One of the most important things about drones is the amount of time they can fly (aka “drone flight time”). This is among the well-known specifications that everyone must check before buying their first drone with long flight time. In other words, drones come with different types of motor and battery combinations which mean their flight time will vary significantly.
We often get messages from our visitors asking about drones with the longest flight time. So today we’ll try to make it easier for all of you by publishing list of drones with long flight time.
For example, you can’t expect more than 5 minutes from a $20 drone just like you can’t expect more than 20 minutes drone flight time from a $200 one. More money equals to more battery power resulting in drones with long flight times.
Luckily, there are drones with good battery life in almost every price range. If by any chance, you desperately need a drone that can withstand rather long aerial sessions, then you should definitely take a peek at the list below.
DRONES WITH LONGEST FLIGHT TIME :
|5. UDI U818Plus||150m||15min||720p||See price now|
|4. Holy Stone HS100||500m||15min||720p||See price now|
|3. MJX Bugs 3||300m||15min||GoPro||See price now|
|2. Traxxas Aton||300m||20min||GoPro||See price now|
|1. MJX Bugs 2W||1000m||18min||Full HD||See price now|
5. UDI U818Plus
Coming in at an incredibly affordable price point, UDI U818Plus will surely amaze a fair share of people. This entry-level drone with long flight time does not only have a great flight time but generally feels excellent. From build quality to stability, from camera to features – UDI U818Plus displays a stellar set of everything you could want from an entry level quadcopter.
Camera and features
The first thing that needs to be said about this longest flying drone is its absolutely brilliant camera. It’s pretty big and sports a reliable locking mechanism with anti-vibration effect. This ensures the 720p footage it records is as smooth as possible time in and time out. Furthermore, this little bugger also sports a decent set of features. The likes of altitude hold, headless mode and 1 key takeoff/landing are all here. On top of them, there’s also a special feature called custom flight route. It allows you to set a route for your UDI U818Plus with a single tap.
As far as flight time is concerned, I guarantee you will not be able to find a better drone than this one for this amount of money. The folk over at UDI really outdid themselves by making their U818Plus model endure up to 15 minutes drone flight time. Realistically, you will be getting 12-13 when recording in 720p which is still admirable.
It can go quite the distance as well. As a matter of fact, we are talking about a decent entry-level exploration drone thanks to 150 meters of operating range. Lastly, inside the package, you’ll not only get the stylish controller but a 4GB microSD card for storing your videos. All in all – UDI U818Plus makes for a great budget model with outstanding flight time!
4. Holy Stone HS100
HS100 is a brand new longest flying drone made by the popular entry-level drone brand Holy Stone. In fact, it’s their first endeavor into mid-tier waters where MJX has been asserting their dominance for quite some time now. But, with a gorgeous design, brilliant specifications and flashy controller, Holy Stone HS100 might just take the crown. However, there’s a small drawback to this drone that many people will notice at the first glance… and that’s exactly why it’s going to be the first topic of our discussion down below!
Camera and features
The camera… The camera is the biggest downside of this one. As a matter of fact, it’s the only downside considering everything else is as neat as it can be. So, what’s wrong with the camera? Well, the mounting mechanism is outstanding. As a matter of fact, it is tiltable in mid-air via special scroll on the controller, allowing for gimbal-like movement. But the sensor itself is not that good. It captures aerial footage (albeit pretty smooth) in only 720p which is, by today’s standards, too low.
But, to compensate for the lack of a proper camera, Holy Stone decided to implement powerful hardware inside this one… up to the point of it being able to carry third-party cameras. So, if you’re looking to record professional grade aerial videos with HS100, the only real method is to purchase a third party action camera. As for the features, you’re looking at a well-versed drone sporting GPS, follow me, return to home, headless mode and adjustable flying speed.
Like I’ve already stated above, this drone with long flight time delivers exceptional performance. It’s all thanks to the proprietary 2500mAh battery which grants around 15 minutes of drone flight time, just like UDI U818Plus. However, operating range is absolutely ridiculous, standing long at around 500 meters. Make that 150 meters for WiFi FPV that works wonders with the provided controller sporting a smartphone-mount.
3. MJX Bugs 3
MJX Bugs 3 is the definition of a Steady Eddie. It has been on the market for quite some time now and it still hasn’t lost its charm. With a plethora of positive reviews and a huge fanbase, there is no doubt it’s one of the most popular drones with longest flight time by MJX… up until the point they released Bugs 2W. But more on that one down below. For now, we are going to focus solely on the old champ Bugs 3 which still has lots of tales to tell…
Camera and features
Unfortunately, this longest flying drone does not come with a camera. Still, I find its ability to capture excellent aerial footage outstanding once it’s paired with a proper camera. In fact, this little bugger actually started a movement of drones that work with GoPro cameras. With superior stability, ease of use and lengthy flight time combined with a decent GoPro, there is no doubt MJX Bugs 3 can provide with thrilling videos.
Unfortunately, as far as features go it has some drawbacks. The biggest one is definitely the lack of a GPS module that would do it a world of good. Luckily, MJX Bugs 3 compensate for that with low voltage alarm, altitude hold and return to home among several other handy features.
Finally, we have reached the point in which we’ll discuss its specifications. I suppose the battery is a good place to start. Even though it does not exactly have the best locking mechanism, MJX Bugs 3 still has a solid 1800mAh 2s LiPo that helps it fly up to 15 minutes on average, which is above average drone flight time for this price range. Batteries are not that expensive so I suggest you buy a couple of spare ones if you want a full day worth of juice.
As for the operating range, MJX Bugs 3 will provide approximately 300 to 500 meters. This heavily depends on the area you’re flying in as well as optical visibility… so bear that in mind. All in all… is MJX Bugs 3 still a viable entry-level longest flying drone? It sure is!
2. Traxxas Aton
Just one spot from the top, we have my all-time favorite budget drone ever. Even though it’s not the most popular drone model out there, it still has a very special place in my heart since it’s made by Traxxas, a company whose RC products I always adored. But still, I will do my best to keep a fully objective description here and switch off my personal preferences within the next couple of paragraphs…
Camera and features
Traxxas Aton is a unique looking quadcopter with a fixed camera mount that supports most of the today’s action cameras. It is packed with powerful motors which allow it to go more than 50 miles per hour in sports mode. In addition to this super fast sports mode, the Traxxas Aton also excels at being a rather stable aerial photography platform in its dedicated film mode.
With a powerful 3000mAh 3s LiPo battery, it is able to perform awesome aerobatics that is quite easy on the eyes. It can reach a maximum distance of up to 300 meters without any sort of control lag and is able to fly for around 20 minutes drone flight time on a single full charge. All these specs, in combination with its manufacturer Traxxas, make it one of my favorite long flight time drones ever.
1. MJX Bugs 2W
And now we’ve reached the best drone that sports less than 20 minutes of flight time. Without a single doubt, MJX Bugs 2W is taking the throne as the hottest new drone available. And it had huge shoes to fill as somewhat of a spiritual successor to the good old MJX Bugs 3.
But luckily, thanks to its magnificent performance and drop-dead gorgeous design, this longest flying drone MJX Bugs 2 is all that and more! So, driven by those words, I guess there’s no reason to beat around the bush for much longer… So let’s take a closer look at this pretty little bugger and see what’s it all about!
Camera and features
Starting off with the camera, MJX Bugs 2W sports an integrated sensor which captures aerial videos in 1080p. The footage is actually quite stable despite the obvious lack of stabilization. We are talking about a wide angle lens that does well in low light conditions too. Last but not least, its camera also features 5Ghz WiFi FPV which can extend up to 500 meters without any issues.
Moving onto the features, MJX Bugs 2W does not only come with GPS but GLONASS as well. Thanks to this, I was getting anywhere from 15 to 22 satellites which is a lot more than its direct competitor Hubsan H501S. Other than that, MJX Bugs 2W also sports failsafe protocols (out of range, low battery and manual return to home) as well as a handful of supporting features such as altitude hold and headless mode. Now that you know everything about MJX Bugs 2’s amazing array of features, it’s time to show you how specifications aren’t far off either…
It’s true – MJX Bugs 2W is a highly versatile longest flying drone, and honestly speaking, one of the best affordable GPS drones out there, with equally awesome features as well as specifications. It’s safe to say the folk over at MJX did not cut costs. They’ve presented us with a marvelous product which well exceeds its price point.
Just take its operating range as a cornerstone – this little fella can go up to 1 kilometer away from its transmitter. Compare it with similarly priced drones and I guarantee you won’t find anything above 500… heck, even 300. Battery duration is outstanding too, standing high at cca 18 minutes. It’s simply one of the drones with longest flight time in this price range, no questions about it…
|6. GoPro Karma||3000m||20min||GoPro||See price now|
|5. Autel R. X-Star Premium||2000m||25min||4K||See price now|
|4. Yuneec Typhoon H||1500m||25min||4K||See price now|
|3. Parrot Bebop 2||2000m||21min||Full HD||See price now|
|2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus||7000m||27min||4K||See price now|
|1. DJI Mavic Pro||7000m||27min||4K||See price now|
6. GoPro Karma
At the 6th spot with just a tad bit over 20 minutes, we have GoPro Karma. This aesthetically pleasing drone is now finally doing itself justice. After being recalled shortly after its initial release, GoPro Karma is now back on the market looking to charm more people. And believe it or not, it’s doing so with some style. This foldable longest flying drone is not only compact but sports excellent performance and a great array of action cameras to choose from. What more does it need? Well, a slightly longer battery duration would be a good start…
Camera and features
As far as cameras are concerned, I am sure none of you expect nothing more than brilliance coming from a GoPro drone. And you’re right – GoPro Karma offers a wide variety of action cameras to choose from. With official support for GoPro Hero 4, 5 and 6, you’ll be in for a rollercoaster of professional grade aerial footage.
Karma Grip is a big factor here too, allowing not only aerial but body-mounted and handheld photography as well, effectively eliminating the boundaries between different types of users. Features-wise you’re looking at a smart drone with GPS connectivity and autonomous flight modes. The only minus in terms of features is the lack of obstacle avoidance. Everything else is more or less on point.
GoPro Karma doesn’t fail to deliver when it comes to specifications. Now that it’s technical issues have been done and dealt with, it’s safe to say GoPro Karma excels at long range flying thanks to its 3000 meters of seamless operating range. As stated above, its battery duration is slightly above the 20-minute mark which is a bit of a downside considering its direct competitor DJI Mavic Pro does 25 to 27 minutes. Still, for a truly professional aerial photography experience, I believe GoPro Karma is well worth the money!
5. Autel Robotics X-Star Premium
Dear ladies and gentlemen, here we have another amazing long flight time drone bundle. This one is actually a bit less expensive than the previous one, but it comes with less stuff inside the package to compensate for the price. Despite that, it’s still a great choice for someone who doesn’t want to spare any money while drone shopping.
Camera and features
Let’s be clear here – the Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone is one hell of a device. It has a crisp clear 4K camera (which is also able to shoot slow-motion videos… as it should because this guy costs a fortune) mounted on a motorized 3-axis gimbal for the ultimate image stabilization. Let’s just say that you won’t even notice any shaking or distortion while filming great aerial videos. With this bundle, you will get a bunch of extra drone equipment such as extra propellers, battery, prop guards, and a 64 gigs micro SD card among other stuff.
Its dedicated controller has a top-notch LCD screen with flight information displayed and is equipped with SecureFly magnetic interference protection which grants it an amazing range of up to 2 kilometers. All things considered, this is an excellent real estate drone that is straight on par with DJI’s longest flying drone beasts.
4. Yuneec Typhoon H
4th spot belongs to Yuneec Typhoon H, and deservedly so if I may add. Typhoon H, both versions, expresses a great design that merges functionality with aesthetically pleasing design. And it’s that much more charming considering we are talking about a huge hexacopter with no room to spare for silly compromises. In fact, Yuneec Typhoon H is quite the beast in every sense of that word… and below you can find the list of things that make it stand out from the others.
Camera and features
Camera-wise, Yuneec Typhoon H sports a 4K capable branded camera with exceptional photo/video quality. Not surprisingly though, as it sports a 3-axis gimbal for stabilization purposes. FPV is there too, all thanks to the sophisticated transmitter featuring a 7-inch Android-powered device inside.
In addition to the standard features you’d come to expect from a high-end drone such as this one, Typhoon H can also boast with its obstacle avoidance technology. Alongside the standard one, there is also an Intel-powered version of Yuneec Typhoon H which incorporates RealSense obstacle avoidance technology. You won’t believe how good it really is until you see for yourself… trust me!
Thanks to the huge 4S 5400mAh LiPo battery running the show, you should not have worries about drone flight time. Yuneec Typhoon H can fly around for close to 25 minutes which makes it one of the drones with longest flight time. Apart from that, you should also know that it has a pretty good range. too.
More precisely, thanks to good reception coming from its transmitter, Yuneec Typhoon H can reach as far as 1500 meters. This makes it a viable choice for lots of commercial uses… which is surely the main reason people are buying it these days.
3. Parrot Bebop 2
Followed by a huge success in recent time, Parrot has released yet another top quality drone with long flight time. This time, we are talking about their newest flagship model called Bebop 2. As you can conclude from the 2 in its name, it is, in fact, an upgraded version of their previous model with a few improvements here and there.
Camera and features
If you are looking for a cheap smartphone-controlled drone, then Parrot Bebop is probably your best pick at the moment. It is powered by Parrot’s FreeFlight app which features intuitive design and plenty of interesting features for you to examine. On the other hand, if controlling your drone with a smartphone seems like too much hassle to you, you can always make an upgrade in the form of Parrot’s dedicated controller called Sky Controller.
It gives you all controls at the tips of your fingers and significantly boosts the operating range of Parrot Bebop 2. Plus, I almost forgot to mention its built-in HD camera which supports FPV and outputs generally solid quality recordings.
When it comes to its specifications, this longest flying drone is able to reach 300 meters when controlled with a smartphone… but as I’ve already mentioned above, if you opt for the Sky Controller you’re looking at way more than that.All in all, it’s a great drone that will surely provide you with a ton of fun, especially considering it can last up to 25 minutes in the air on a single full charge.
2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus
The newest installment in DJI Phantom drone lineup is the Phantom 4 Pro. The professional version is primarily targeted at, you’ve guessed it, professionals. That includes photographers, real estate agents and pretty much people from a wide variety of industries that have started using drones as their day-to-day drivers. Why is that so?
Camera and features
Well, first of all, you need to understand that DJI Phantom 4 Pro is not a toy drone. I mean, the price suggests that too but nevertheless I wanted to make it clearer by stating it out at the very start. With that out of our way, I’d like to point out this beauty of a drone comes with 1-inch CMOS sensor featuring an integrated 3-axis gimbal for perfect video and image stability. Of course, in addition to its excellent camera traits, DJI Phantom 4 Pro also has an abundance of sensors (including obstacle avoidance) as well as advanced smart features that incorporate DJI’s patented recognition algorithms that allow features such as ActiveTrack to perform at their best.
On the technical side, you’re looking at an immensely sturdy drone made out of only the highest quality materials. DJI’s brand new OcuSync technology gets it roughly 5 kilometers of range and its smart 5870mAh LiPo battery enables up to 25 minutes of airtime. So, if you take everything stated above into your thoughts, you’ll end up with a positive picture about DJI Phantom 4 Pro, one of the best premium models currently available on the market.
1. DJI Mavic Pro
The bronze medal from this list goes to DJI Mavic Pro – longest flying drone, another one of DJI’s modern marvels that are well capable of replacing your big bulky day-to-day model. This unique looking foldable drone’s main traits are its size and the sheer quality of hardware packed inside. For those of you who don’t know – DJI Mavic Pro is a miniature drone that’s the perfect example of the good old saying: best poisons are hidden away in smallest of flasks…
Camera and features
First things first, DJI Mavic Pro is capable of performing as good as Phantom 3 or 4 in terms of flight stability and photography. It is equipped with a 4K capable camera that has an integrated hardware stabilization system for ultimate aerial photography. Moving forward, DJI Mavic Pro is also finely poised with some of the most advanced features available on the market. I am, of course, talking about DJI’s patented ActiveTrack and TapFly (among others) technologies which do wonders in terms of autonomous flight.
The technical side of DJI Mavic Pro is simply awesome. This drone, even though it’s a miniature compared to others, has unbelievable specifications. More precisely, DJI Mavic Pro can reach up to 7 kilometers and fly for around 27 minutes drone flight time. Needless to say, this sort of specifications wouldn’t be a bottleneck to the majority of full sized models on the market.
Why is flight time so important?
Imagine this – you’ve finally managed to gather your entire family at one place for your annual family barbecue. After taking a couple of excellent aerial shots with your drone, you’re all set to make a gorgeous little video that you’ll rewatch for years to come… but unfortunately, your drone’s battery had other plans. It’s dying. Considering most people are leaving in an hour or so, and your battery needs roughly 2 hours to charge, it’s safe to say your video opportunity has gone to waste…
Well, in order to stop this from happening, you should definitely consider buying a drone with a proper flight time. Also, flight time is of crucial importance for commercial users too. Obviously, this is because it allows you to get more job done in a single flying session, instead of chopping it between a couple of charges. It will give you a continuous amount of entertainment which is exactly why it is worth investing in better batteries for your drones. It’s a fact!
Besides flight time, what are other equally important drone characteristics?
What’s a good flight time for different usage scenarios?
Don’t forget the camera!
In addition to battery duration and operating range, the camera is also a very important characteristic that can make or break a drone. With that said, there are great variations in camera between various drone models. What you should look for heavily depends on what kind of a drone you’re looking for.
If you are in the market for a commercially viable drone, you should go for a 4K camera with a 3-axis gimbal. For casual use, you should be looking for a 720p or 1080p camera with a WiFi transmission module. FPV racers, on the other hand, won’t go for anything but a CCD camera equipped with a powerful 200mW or even 600mW vtx.
How to further improve drone flight time?
If you are not satisfied enough with the flight time of your drone (or the next one you’re aiming to buy), you can bypass it with a simple “hack”. Either get a stronger battery (but you also have to make sure your drone supports it) or invest in a few spare ones to go along with a specialized charging hub.
The latter (at least in my honest opinion) is the best way to go. For example, if you get a total of 4 batteries for your charger, 1 is being used by your drone while the other 3 are simultaneously charging. Result? A continuous flow of entertainment/work without any sort of hassle whatsoever.
And that’s it, guys! With the most expensive drone in this article, you have come to the end of the list of drones with long flight time. As you could see for yourselves, there are many variations when it comes to drones’ flight durations. Without a doubt, this particular specification significantly depends on the pricing range meaning that you will have to spend a couple of extra bucks for a drone with longer flight duration.
The first model on this list comes from Hubsan, a company who is really starting to make a proper name for itself out there on the market. Until a couple of months ago, they weren’t really ranking that well… but now that their top models have settled in and are starting to sell well, it’s safe to say better times for Hubsan are on the horizon.
When you take a first glance at Hubsan H501S you will see that it’s a gorgeous model with a miniature built-in full HD camera. With a beautiful gold/black color combination, powerful brushless motors and intuitive controls, Hubsan H501S has already conquered a big portion of drones market. That comes as no surprise since this little guy features GPS at an incredibly low price point. Navigation system allows more advanced features such as Follow Me, One key return and auto-landing.
Specifications-wise, Hubsan H501S is extremely aggressive, especially considering its price tag. It can reach up to 300 meters without any issues at all. Likewise, this birdie runs on 7.4V 2700mAh LiPo battery that effectively keeps it in the air for up to 20 minutes; 18 on average. So, with all that taken into consideration, it’s pretty clear that Hubsan H501S delivers great value for money and has every right to be featured on this list!
If you are looking for a feature-packed drone that has a lot of upgradeability in terms of camera quality, then look no further because 3DR Solo offers exactly that. This interesting little drone doesn’t have the marketing capability of DJI and the bunch but is still among popular drones due to its impressive price/performance ration. But, is it any good for average users? Well, that’s exactly what you will find out in the next couple of paragraphs!
Let’s start off wit 3DR Solo specifications. Most importantly, this drone can fly for around 20 to 25 minutes which is excellent for its current price tag (there’s been a massive drop in recent months so you can consider 3DR Solo a steal). Likewise, operating range is solid too. We are talking roughly 800 meters which give you plenty of room to work with.For those of you interested in aerial photography, I need to tell you 3DR solo doesn’t come with a camera.
For those of you interested in aerial photography, I have to inform you that 3DR solo doesn’t come with a camera. That’s not the end of the world though, as you can always purchase a dedicated gimbal for it and enjoy professional quality aerial footage powered by amazing GoPro Hero action cameras.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional
The golden middle of this list goes to DjI’s third installment in the Phantom series. I am talking about none other than DJI Phantom 3 Professional version. Needless to say, this little birdie has a couple of great aces up its sleeves so it’s a must to check it out!
With a crisp clear 4K UDH camera mounted on a fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal, you will get the optimal shake-free image time in and time out. With this camera system in place, it comes as no surprise why this drone is considered as the professional aerial photography platform.
When you combine this with the rest of its features and specifications, you will begin to understand why is it priced so high. When I come to think of it, it is actually not even priced that high if you take into consideration the fact that it can fly up to 5 kilometers away from you without much control lag. In addition to that, it can last up to 25 minutes in air and has a whole heap of additional features that will surely amaze not only you but your friends as well! Phantom 3 Professional is definitely one of the drones with longest flight times.
Yuneec Q500 4K
As you can see, we have moved onto the big boys on this list. All of the following drones are equipped with top notch cameras and image stabilization systems that will most likely rock your world once you try them out. Nothing different can be said about Yuneec’s newest drone – the almighty Q500.
This excellent looking drone comes with a 4K CGO3 action camera and a St10+ controller which allows it to have a lag free flying experience for up to 600 meters. When it comes to the controller, I should also mention that it features a relatively bright built-in display that will serve as your very own FPV monitor. That means you won’t need to use your smartphone which is always a big plus. Additionally, you can also expect a much better FPV range since we all know WiFi connection is a no-go for FPV…
Its 4K CGO3 camera is not only able to record 4K@30fps but excels at shooting slow motion footage. It can do so in full HD at amazing 120fps which is something we rarely see with drone cameras nowadays. Truth be told, there are a couple of them on the market, but they will set you back much more than $700, which is the price of the standard Yuneec Q500 package.
DJI Inspire 2
At the very end of our list, I have a very special drone to show off to you guys! Not only is this one the best drones in terms of flight time but it’s certainly the best one when it comes to professional-quality aerial photography. As the title suggests, this drone goes by the name of Inspire 2 and it’s at the moment, DJI’s most reliable solution to aerial photography platforms. With that said, let’s jump straight to action and see what is DJI Inspire 2 all about!
Inspire 2, a successor to the ever so popular Inspire 1 brings the true meaning of a reliable and utterly professional aerial filmmaking platform. We are talking about a huge model here that is equipped with state of the art photography solutions including Zenmuse X5S that sweeps the floor with the competition. With a 20mpx sensor and 3.4 microns pixel size, this baby can soothe all your 4K imaging/video needs.
Performance is nothing short of brilliant either. Even if you use all of its advanced features such as ActiveTrack, GPS, and TapFly, DJI Inspire 2 can still reach 25 minutes in the air. Even better, with OcuSync technology, this beast of a drone can go as far as 5 kilometers away from its controller before ultimately losing connection. All things considered, if you are a professional user who doesn’t mind the huge price tag, DJI Inspire 2 can really inspire your needs and allow you to do what you do best – take breathtaking aerial videos!