In case you haven’t noticed, aerial drones are one of the most popular new gadgets on the market today. Drone sales have soared in recent years. According to this Fortune Magazine article, sales of drones (also referred to as Unmanned Arial Vehicles, or UAVs) nearly tripled in 2016.
Citing statistics from the retail research group NPD, there were almost one million drones sold in the US in 2016, making this one of the fastest growing technologies in the country. According to a report by the Federal Aviation Administration, sales are expected to top seven million units by the year 2020.
Many people use drones for aerial photography. This has become especially popular in the real estate industry, where drones are used for overhead shots of homes, commercial buildings, farms, and other properties for sale.
But before you invest a lot of money in a high-end UAV, you might want to start with an inexpensive model first, just to get your feet wet and find out if this is a hobby you’ll want to pursue. The best drones for beginners should be stable in flight, maneuverable, and easy to take off and land. Believe it or not, there are several choices available for under $100.
With millions of people getting into this exciting new motorsport, it’s no wonder that many of them are looking for ways to improve the performance of their drones. Drone racing has become a popular pastime for many UAV owners, with the goal of making their aircraft winners by improving speed and overall performance.
There are a number of ways to improve the performance and stability of your drone, and much of this depends on how you intend to use your UAV, and the weather conditions you’ll be operating in. For example, if you want to do a lot of hovering shots in strong winds or inclement weather, your drone will need better handling performance than if you’re flying in calm, clear airspace.
With that in mind, here are three ways you can go about improving the performance of your drone:
1. Increase the Vehicle’s Power-to-Weight Ratio
One way to accomplish a higher power-to-weight ratio is by increasing the number of small motors on the UAV. Drones with a lot of small motors almost always perform better than ones with a few, larger motors. Controlling more motors adds to the complexity of the vehicle, but it also makes the drone more responsive in wind gusts due to the fact that each small motor has less inertia to overcome. Another tip is to eliminate gears and gear boxes as part of the drive train, as these add a degree of lag time when a drone is responding to wing gusts and other adverse weather conditions.
2. Reduce the Amount of Drag
Drag is another factor that can adversely affect the performance of your drone. You can increase your drone’s stability in strong winds by streamlining the motors and arms of the vehicle. You’ll want to focus on reducing the cross-section area as much as possible, which usually involves making the arms of the drone look more like wings than square blocks. Another way to accomplish his is by designing the drone to “weathervane” into strong cross winds, which helps to stabilize the drone.
3. Add Wings to Your Drone
Adding wings to your drone is another way to improve stability and overall performance. Just as the wings and tail section on an airplane serve to keep the aircraft stable in flight, wings on a drone help the vehicle fly faster, and remain more stable in cross winds and other adverse weather conditions. And because of the extra lift the wings provide, the motors on your UAV can provide more power to propelling the vehicle forward rather than keeping it aloft.
As you can see, there are several ways you can enhance the performance of your drone. There are a variety of hacks and aftermarket accessories available that can be customized to your particular UAV make and model. Decide in advance exactly what you need, shop around, and buy the best components available for your model drone. Then go out and have some fun!
This article is written by Mark Chesterman from Droneista. He got his first drone 2 years ago and became fascinated by this trend. He trained to become a professional drone pilot. He is also interested in artificial intelligence and software. Follow him on Twitter.
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