UAVAir's top tips when thinking about which drone to buy

Believe it or not, there are many different kinds of drones on the market, and they are all useful for different applications. Whether you are a hobbyist, a photographer or an engineer, there are many different variables to consider when deciding which drone is right for you. We’ve created a checklist of questions to ask yourself when considering the options that are available on the market, helping you choose your drone.

What do I want to achieve?
Different models of drones are designed to help you achieve a range of goals, and there are many applications that you may be considering when buying one. Choosing the wrong model may result in you being unable to complete the task you set out to do.

For high speed, longer duration tasks, a fixed wing model is recommended. Their simplistic design makes them great for covering long distances in little time, however they are limited by their need to take off and land on a runway, and cannot hang vertically on one spot in mid-air.

If you want to have fluid manoeuvrability, with vertical take-off and landing capabilities, a multi rotor device can hover over targets and travel through the air in an agile way, rather than on a fixed flight path. They do however have limited flight time, and feature are much more complex mechanics.

What type of data do I want to collect?
Drones are capable of carrying various sensors and add on technologies to capture a multitude of kinds of data. For those who fly just for fun, they are also available with no add ons at all, but it is important to specify this otherwise you may be paying for a drone with a much bigger, and more expensive capability than what you need! Knowing whether you want to attach a lightweight camera, a more heavyweight lens or an industrial laser scanner or thermal imaging device will greatly improve your chances of choosing the drone with the correct weight, carry load capacity and flying time to fulfil your missions successfully.  

How precise does the data need to be?
Knowing the precision of data needed as well as the type can further influence the drone you purchase. An amateur, short range camera system will be much more lightweight than an industrial camera used for professional filming, and the drones needed to carry it will be effected by this. There are two standard weight categories of drones, 0 – 7kg & 7 – 20kg, with each weight category being required to be added to your permission in order to fly, so knowing your equipment requirements can make the process of getting your job off the ground much quicker and easier.

So your question should be not what drone do I need, but rather, what job am I trying to do.