Drone Test: Tricopters and Modern Quadcopters in Endurance Test

On our website droneprozone.com, we present the latest drone models that we have thoroughly tested. For each drone test, you will find explanatory articles about the respective models. Below you will find a table showing a sample of the best drones currently on the market.

Quadro and multicopter is a real hit in America. In addition to commercial use for filming and professional filming on television and film, more and more private owners are also using high quality drones.

Besides market leader DJI, new drone manufacturers are constantly emerging. We test the latest drones, show you what the drone market has to offer, and provide you with a wealth of top quality drone information.

drone test

Different prices and drone models

Tricopter

In the drone market, tricopters are less common. Due to the fact that these copters have only 3 rotor drives, they are more prone to engine failure. If a drive fails, failure is imminent.

In addition, tricopters cannot carry heavy items because they have less thrust than a quad, hex or multicopter. Therefore, the camera is smaller and the recording quality is not as good as we would like.

Many tricopters are very maneuverable due to the location of the propellers. In addition, they can be purchased for little money.

Advantages

  • Low price
  • Flexible flight maneuvers possible
  • The propellers are not showing in the picture

Disadvantage

  • Low thrust
  • Can’t lift heavy loads
  • Crash on engine failure

Quadcopter

quadrocopter

Quadcopters guarantee a stable position in flight and at the same time can carry large loads, unlike tricopters. Due to their fairly balanced position in the air, quadcopters are very popular and are bought very often.

A stable center of gravity and increased thrust allow for larger cameras to capture better aerial photos. 4K recording in the highest resolution is standard on many mid to high-end models.

Since drones have 4 rotors, they are less susceptible to wind and can withstand stronger gusts of wind.

We recommend this type of drone especially for beginners and inexperienced drone pilots.

Advantages

  • Small, compact and very durable
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Fun guaranteed
  • Available from $50

Disadvantage

  • More susceptible to wind than large drones
  • Shorter flight times
  • Mediocre or poor quality camera recording

Small mini drones are less fragile and a lot of fun. You can find good drones from $ 50. Because they are so small, accidents hardly matter and therefore mini quadcopters are very suitable for beginners who mostly want to practice their flying skills indoors.

They are often equipped with particularly interesting features. For example, the Parrot Mambo has gripping arms and a cannon. Both functions can be controlled through the app.

Many small drones can perform flips and other fun tricks. They often have cameras, but the recording quality leaves much to be desired due to the small size.

There are also so called selfie drones, they are also very small and lightweight and the construction is very simple. Selfie drones have been specially designed for taking selfies and are so small they fit in almost any pocket.

Mini drones are usually controlled via an app, smartphone or tablet.

Drones from $500

Drones starting at $500 are ideal for advanced users who value very high quality photos and videos. At this price point, there are now drones whose sophisticated technology makes it easy for beginners to get started with large drones.

Drones from market leader DJI are very popular, with the help of which you can cover long distances and produce very high-quality video from the air.

Drones starting at $500 often have Intelligent Flight Modes such as Follow Me / Active Track, Point of Interest, Home Function, and many other modes that allow flight maneuvers to improve video recording.

Since they have 4 propellers, accidents can occur if more than one of them fails. The likelihood that this will happen is negligible. If the propeller fails, the drone is usually stabilized using a built-in gyroscopic system.

Advantages

  • Ideal for beginners and advanced
  • High resolution photos and videos
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • Special and safety features
  • Reaches high speeds (50-80 km/h)

Disadvantage

  • price

Hexacopter

hexacopter

Anyone who has flown a hexacopter and have only flown conventional quadcopters before will clearly feel the huge difference in thrust due to the 6 propeller drives. Hexacopters are often used for professional purposes.

Their large thrust allows carrying large loads and, for example, equipping them with an SLR camera.

More rotors means more flight stability. Hexacopters maintain a stable flight position even at high wind speeds. If 1 or 2 rotors fail, the hexacopters remain stable in the air.

Hexacopters are more maneuverable and faster than tricopters and quadcopters due to 6 engines. Since 6 engines consume significantly more power than 4, hexacopters must be equipped with a larger battery, otherwise the maximum flight time is reduced.

It is more difficult for a beginner to fly with 6 engines than with a quadcopter. Some hexacopters are only pre-assembled and still in need of rework, this workload must be taken into account in addition to the high purchase price.

Advantages

  • High thrust
  • Rapid flight maneuvers possible
  • More stable in the air
  • Can carry more weight than a quadcopter

Disadvantage

  • Need a big battery
  • More suitable for experienced pilots
  • High price
  • Some models are only pre-assembled

Octocopter

octacopter

The octocopter is very strong and can carry significantly higher loads thanks to its eight rotors. The thrust is very powerful and the flight safety is significantly higher than that of triple, quadro or hexacopters, since octocopters are still stable in the air even if 3 rotors fail at the same time.

This is accompanied by increased resistance to very strong gusts of wind.

The octocopter is a lot of fun if you practice with it a little. Fast flight maneuvers and a very quiet airborne position make the Octocopter a professional drone.

Since these quadcopters have 8 motors, they need twice as much power as a quadcopter. Consequently, the weight of the battery is also double.

Advantages

  • Octocopters can carry heavy loads
  • Easily withstands strong gusts of wind
  • Flexible and fast flight maneuvers
  • High flight safety

Disadvantage

  • Extra large battery needed
  • For experienced pilots
  • Very high cost

However, drones can be roughly divided into multicopters and quadrocopters. Quadcopters are generally cheaper and better suited for beginners.

Cheap quadcopter

Inexpensive drones are available for as little as $50-200, often smaller and have poorer camera images or no camera at all.

They are less suitable for first person flying (FPV). However, real tricks can be performed with small mini drones. They are also slightly stronger due to their small size and weight.

They are less suitable for high quality aerial photographs, but are ideal for an initial flight experience.

More expensive quadcopters

With drones starting at $500, you can take good photos and videos from a bird’s eye view. You need to make sure the drone has a good camera.

Typically, these drones also have a gimbal system that balances camera movement in all directions so that a silent image is produced.

Quality drones also have live radio control images. The image is displayed there either through the built-in screen or through a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.

Multicopter for professionals

Remote-controlled aircraft for professionals, the so-called multicopters, are used in particular in industry, filming, agriculture and professional filming.

Price from $1000 to $10000.

How to fly a drone?

Modern quadrocopters and multicopters are relatively easy to fly and control. The built-in position sensor constantly detects the position of the drone. However, in the event of headwinds or other influences, it turns to stay stable in the air.

Control

You control the drone with the remote controller with the left and right joysticks.

As seen in the picture:

The left stick is responsible for mounting and dismounting, as well as for rotating the drone around the vertical axis. With the right joystick, you control movements in the horizontal plane, that is, forward, backward and sideways.

Drive

There are different drive configurations for drones. There are, for example, the H form, the X form, and the + form. This means the position of the rotors. X and H shapes sometimes appear in combination and are best for aerial photography since the rotors do not move in the camera’s field of view.

Typical Intelligent Drone Flight Modes

With the help of modern tracking technology, the drone tracks a previously selected object. To do this, the drone uses the following data:

  • GPS signal
  • Altimeter
  • State-of-the-art image recognition via camera

The drone adapts to your movements and follows you constantly. This means you can film yourself while doing sports such as mountain climbing, cycling or hiking. This way, you can capture your moments from the air without having to actively fly the drone.

In most drone models, you select yourself on the screen as soon as the drone is in Follow Me mode, and from that point on, the drone will follow you. Please note that the settings differ from device to device.

A stable GPS signal is especially important in this mode!

Waypoint mode

In waypoint mode, waypoints are first determined, after which the aircraft flies completely independently.

One of the advantages of this mode is that the drone flies very calmly over waypoints, which guarantees a high-quality recording without jitter.

You can fly certain routes in advance, fly to individual points, save each one and assign a name to the route. In waypoint mode, there is usually a certain minimum altitude to be observed. Often it is at least 10 meters. Fixed waypoints retain their elevation if you have saved them correctly.

Sport mode

Sports mode is no different from normal. The drone can only fly much faster. On average, drones reach a top speed of 40 to 70 km / h. Racing drones can also reach speeds of over 100 kilometers per hour at their peak.

Home point mode

Home Point Mode is a security feature that is now integrated into many models.

With a good GPS signal, the drone will automatically set its home point as soon as the drone and remote control are activated.

However, the home point can also be set manually, usually using remote control software or in an app.

Points of interest mode

With Point of Interest Mode, you let the drone fly in a perfect circle around a specific object. This flight mode is very useful for getting stable aerial photos without wobbling while driving around. Manually, you won’t be able to fly in this ideal circle as easily as the drone does automatically in “points of interest” mode.

Drones and laws

Before buying a drone, you should familiarize yourself with the most important and current legal regulations.

This includes, among other things, where and how far you can fly the drone.

The following public places are specifically prohibited in the United States:

  • Department stores
  • Markets
  • Nature reserves
  • Sleeping areas
  • Close to airports
  • Over the crowd
  • Military facilities
  • Over industrial buildings

It is also prohibited to fly over federal and state authorities. It is also forbidden to cross accident sites and rescuers with the drone.

Many countries are still slightly behind stricter laws. However, before flying a drone in another country, you should still inquire in advance about the applicable regulations in the respective region.

Permitted weight and pilot’s license

With a weight of 250 g or more, you must mark your drone, this is a must in the USA! Your address as well as your first and last name must be clearly visible on the drone.

A drone or pilot license is required as soon as the drone exceeds 2kg total weight! These “driver’s licenses” naturally cost money and time.

Therefore, we advise you to use quadcopters and multicopters, the total weight of which does not exceed 2 kg.

Another drones weight limit is 5 kg. If such a drone weighs more, additional special permission must be obtained. In general, higher weight categories from 5 kg are prohibited.

Drones with particularly good cameras

Many quadcopters come with a high quality HD and 4K camera as standard. They create very high quality images and video footage from a bird’s eye view. Good drones are very stable in the air, even in light to moderate headwinds, and have a so-called harness to which the camera is attached.

The gimbal’s job is to always keep the camera in its current position.

As a rule, good drones have a live image transmission directly to the built-in remote control screen or to another device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) with the corresponding application installed. Such a drone can be used to perform FPV flights, which means first person view. You can use the transmitted image to find out where the drone is, at what speed and in which direction it is flying. There are also drones bundled with glasses, they look like virtual reality glasses. The image signal is then transmitted directly to the goggles, and you are “right in the middle” of the flight.

However, you must be careful not to lose sight of the drone. In the USA, you are only allowed to fly the drone within sight!

General questions about drones

Which cameras are suitable for drone flights?

If you are buying a multicopter or quadrocopter that can or should be equipped additionally, you will be spoiled for choice when looking for the right camera to equip with a drone.

In our experience, you can’t go wrong with so called action cameras. GoPro cameras are very popular cameras in the drone sector. They can be deleted and used for other recording purposes.

Some drones can also be equipped with a DSLR camera. It takes very high quality pictures and has a high quality recording, but it is unlikely to be weather resistant and probably won’t survive an accident.

From $500, you get good entry-level drones that record good HD footage. Drones with 4K recording quality are very popular. Experience has shown that you get a drone that also flies very well and is of a very high quality in a total package from about $1000.

Which drone is right for me?

You may be wondering which drone is right for you. There are a few things to consider carefully before buying. You must be clear about what the drone is capable of. Should it just fly stably and the quality of the recording is not so important to you?

Or are you new? Then we recommend the DJI Phantom 3 Standard! However, for better recording, the Typhoon Q500 4K with a built-in 4K camera with a removable stabilizer is also suitable.

How far can I fly with the drone?

You can only fly with your drone as long as you can see it in the air. The drone forums read over and over again stories in which pilots had to look for their drones in the forest and in the bushes. Once the GPS signal is lost, finding it quickly becomes quite difficult.

How high can I fly my drone?

In the USA, the maximum altitude is 100 m at this point, but the rules may change. This is what the new regulation on unmanned aerial vehicles provides. But since there are many older models on the market and the 120m limit applies, this height limit is programmed. You can also expand it as you see fit, but we do not recommend doing that.

Some drones are unable to climb higher than 6000m because the air becomes too thin from this altitude and the propeller motor cannot generate enough lift. The programmed height limits are different. Some drones can no longer be launched in the mountains from an altitude of 2500m.

What does a gyro sensor do?

Since drones are difficult to fly without automatic flight correction, a gyro sensor is required that maintains the aircraft’s position in the air and balances it in the event of gusts of wind or other resistance.

The gyro sensor detects even the slightest deviations in flight position and automatically corrects them by the aircraft.

In addition, GPS is used to stabilize the flight. In the case of very high quality drones, there is also a visual positioning system that further enhances this effect!

What is a gimbal system?

Since the drone and thus the camera constantly changes its angle of inclination to the plane during the flight, the camera image must be “balanced”. This is done with a so-called gimbal system.

There are mechanical, multi-axis gimbal systems and various software solutions. Which type is installed in the drone depends on the respective model. The software stabilizer, for example, is typical of Parrot, in which the software calculates a correct rectangular fisheye image.

In mechanical stabilizers, a distinction is usually made between 2- and 3-axis stabilizers.

This technology is now very advanced and reliably compensates for drone movements due to flight maneuvers or gusts of wind, so that the camera image always remains unchanged.