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Бойові дрони для звільнення Херсонщини

Війна на півдні України ще далека до завершення, але ми маємо можливість наблизити довгоочікуваний момент звільнення лівого берега від окупантів та звільнити мешканців.

Drone buyers guide

Drone buyers guide

The number and variety of drones are growing every year, and manufacturers expanding their product line not only cover all the needs of ordinary users but also invent new niches. Some niche applications of drones arise due to terrible and tragic events such as war. Therefore, we have prepared a large drone buyers guide that will help you understand the variety of civilian drones, answer the question of how to choose a quadcopter, and find out which drones are needed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Drone buyers guide

What kind of drones are there

It makes no sense to describe what a quadcopter or a drone is. Drones are already a familiar tool for photographers, videographers, bloggers, or annoying children’s toys. But choosing the right quadcopter is still a non-trivial task. Further, you will learn important things about how to choose a drone quadcopter.

How to choose the right drone for a beginner

The packaging can answer the question of which quadcopter to buy. There is a convenient marking system for this. This parameter is located on the packaging and indicates what level of users this kit is designed for. Most often, these four parameters are noted in the description:

  1. RTF (Ready to Fly) – the device is equipped with everything necessary for use right out of the box: battery, remote control, charger. After purchase, you can immediately perform the first launch.
  2. PNP means “plug and play,” but in practice, the drone comes without remote control, battery and charger. The name “pay (more) and play” is more suitable.
  3. BNF (Bind and Fly) – You will not get the drone’s remote control in the box. This type of configuration is designed for experienced users with their remote control.
  4. ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) is practically a constructor for enthusiasts in the form of a disassembled device, often even without a remote control. An option for professionals who know better what parts they need and where they should be.
How to choose the right drone for a beginner

Number of propellers 

When choosing a quadcopter, be prepared to see four propellers in your device (thanks caps). If your preferences are more specific, pay attention also to other configurations and their features:

Number of propellers
  • Trikopters (3 propellers) – less weight and number of propellers, more maneuverability.
  • Hexacopters (6 propellers) – a larger number of propellers gives more stability, carrying capacity, and flight altitude.
  • Octocopters (8 propellers) – everything is a little better than six propellers.
  • Multicopter (more than two propellers) – nothing specific, just a general name for drones with propellers.

Engine type

There are two types of engines used in drones: brushed and brushless. In short, brushless is better in everything. And if in more detail:

Engine type

Brushed. They are called so because of the brushes that supply direct current to the winding. This type of motor is cheaper, has a little less weight, and is easy to maintain. On the other hand, the presence of a brush means increased wear, low efficiency, low rotation speed, overheating, and low reliability.

Brushless. A more advanced type of motor is devoid of brushes and its disadvantages. Brushless motors are durable, wear-resistant, do not overheat, have a long resource, and are quiet in operation. Unfortunately, such engines are more expensive to manufacture and repair.

Brushed motors are put in very budget models. Mid-range drones are already getting high-quality brushless electric motors.

How to choose a drone according to size

Before choosing a quadcopter, it is important to consider the size. Its price and specifics of use often depend on the size and weight of the drone. All drones can be conditionally divided into several groups depending on size:

Toy drones. The device is palm-sized or smaller. Often consists only of a motor and blades and does not have a camera and fasteners. A simple remote control can be included with such toys, and the drone’s operating time rarely reaches 10 minutes. An ideal gift for a child.

Toy drones

Medium-sized quadcopters. Such a drone can already be a serious tool for video shooting or a serious toy. Medium-sized drones are equipped with cameras, sensors, radars, remote control with many settings, and the ability to connect to a smartphone. In this class, drones can already be modified with various blades, extensions, or cameras.

Medium-sized quadcopters

Heavy drones. Expensive, professional class drones. Such drones are often used in аgriculture, factories when transporting small loads, during rescue operations, police or military operations, and while filming with professional cameras. Drones of this category are already serious tools with powerful motors, full protection against shocks, rain, and birds, the ability to hang heavy equipment (large cameras, thermal imagers, measuring devices, rangefinders, etc.), with flexible customization, and maintainability.

Heavy drones

Camera and its characteristics

No quadcopter buying guide can do without a review of cameras, because this is what drones are bought for. The camera is one of the main components of the drone, and many people decide which quadcopter to buy based only on the camera parameters. Therefore, if the drone’s purpose is not limited to a children’s gift, it is necessary to pay great attention to the choice of camera. First, you need to determine what type of camera you need: built-in or remote.

Built-in camera. The entire camera device is located in the body of the drone. As a rule, the built-in camera has limited mobility, but the drone itself is more maneuverable. Such cameras can be both budget (their quality is sufficient only for photos) and professional level with the ability to shoot video in 4K. Top models of quadcopters are equipped with high-quality cameras in collaboration with famous brands (Hasselblad, Leica).

Built-in camera

External camera. Drones with a remote camera have a special design that allows you to attach a professional photo/video camera or action camera. The advantages of such a drone are obvious; you can replace the installed camera with your equipment and get the quality of the footage you are used to. There are also drones on sale without a camera, which will save the budget.

External camera

As for camera parameters, choosing a matrix in a drone is not much different from choosing a matrix in a smartphone. The more expensive the device, the better the camera will be on board.

Here are some tips for beginners to help you choose a quadcopter with a camera:

The range of resolution in cameras can vary from 0.3 MP to 4K. This value affects not only the quality of the picture but also the size of the final frame. If your goal is a photo on social networks, you should not chase after a high resolution. 720p and above is considered a good indicator for beginners. Even Full HD (1080p) may not be enough for professional video recording, and you need to look closely at quadcopters with a 4K camera (2160p).

Camera and its characteristics

The most important parameters for such cameras are the viewing angle (at least 80 degrees is considered good), the quality of the suspension, and stabilization since it is especially important to get a stable picture in flight.

Battery life

Battery life can be tied to the price range and size of the drone (from 5 to 50 min). Choosing a large and expensive device can count on long work in the air. This principle also works and vice versa. But there are several nuances that you should pay attention to if battery life is critical for you:

  • Even on top models, the run time can be less than in the middle segment due to the power consumption of detectors, sensors, and multiple cameras.
  • The operating time specified by the manufacturer is calculated under ideal conditions (no wind, rain, frequent changes in altitude, etc.). In real use, it will always be smaller.
  • It is important to choose an option with easy and convenient battery replacement. You can extend the shooting time by taking 3-4 additional batteries.

Flight range

The flight range also depends on the battery capacity. Exceptions may be racing models whose priority is speed, not shooting and stabilization.

Drone buying guide 2022. Functional features.

You already have a general idea of how to choose a drone, and now you need to decide on the features and chips you will need in your work. Depending on the tasks, many additional factors can affect the purchase of a drone.

Functional features

Controlling the copter

Most manufacturers offer users to download their proprietary app to control their drones. These applications differ in quality and functionality, but they have something in common – they will not replace a proper control panel.

Controlling the copter

Controlling a drone with a smartphone has several limitations:

  • Low sensitivity;
  • The distance at which communication works rarely exceeds 30-50 meters;
  • Low control accuracy;

A full-fledged complete, or separately purchased remote control will give you maximum possibilities when working with the device. More on the remote control below.

Remote control of the copter

Quadcopters of the middle class and above are equipped with a control panel. As a rule, the “native” remote control will give you full control over all the functionality and capabilities of the drone. Nevertheless, the control panel can be easily replaced. It is only necessary to consider the minimum requirements for compatibility.

Remote control of the copter

When choosing a remote from a third-party manufacturer, you need to look at the number of communication channels with the drone (4 or more). The flexibility of drone control depends on the number of channels since a separate channel is allocated to each device built into the drone (motors, camera, sensors, stabilizer, etc.). Therefore, the cooler the drone, the cooler its remote control, and the number of devices that you can control separately.


The capabilities of the quadcopter can be very wide depending on the number of built-in sensors:

  • GPS allows you to set flyover or landing points on the map;
  • Barometer/altimeter for better orientation at altitude and determination of atmospheric pressure;
  • Accelerometers for determining the angle of inclination of the drone and its speed;
  • Magnetometer compass that will help in navigation;
  • Gyroscope for measuring angular acceleration.

All this technological “filling” will allow you to automate many processes and perform some useful tricks, which will be discussed below.

Software functions

If the quadcopter is equipped with sufficient gauges and sensors, you can implement many interesting usage scenarios.

Software functions

Additional software functions facilitate the management and execution of assigned tasks and allow you to achieve impressive shots. Here are the most popular:

  • Return home. If you lose sight of the quadcopter or lose interest in it, the drone will fly by itself and land in the place from where it was launched with an accuracy of 1m when this function is activated. If the drone is smart enough, it won’t even encounter obstacles.
  • Automatic flight. The drone will pass and shoot everything at the points designated on the map. The danger of running into obstacles remains.
  • Headless Mode. Headless mode means that the drone will be controlled independently of its orientation in space. That is, if the drone is turned “face” towards you and you press “right” on the remote control, the drone will fly to your “right” and not to your own.
  • Follow me. At the specified height and distance, the drone will follow the operator.
  • Fly over the point. Flight around a given point at a certain distance and height.
  • First Person View (FPV). Use special glasses or a helmet that will allow you to “see through the eyes of the drone.” Very interesting user experience but requires additional equipment and a powerful communication channel.
  • Height maintenance. The drone hovers at the selected altitude using the built-in barometer.
  • Change in flight speed. You can set not only the flyover points but also the speed for a more efficient video sequence.
  • Automatic take-off and landing. They significantly facilitate the work with the drone at first.
  • Gesture control. Special gloves or attachments on the fingers are used for this. Allows you to effectively control the drone’s flight with a wave of your hand during performances or shows.
  • Automatic obstacle avoidance. The drone will determine and fly around the obstacle in front of it. A key function ensures the high-quality operation of all previous ones and saves the device from disasters.

Communication technology

Several types of communication are used to transmit the signal between the control panel and the drone.

  • Bluetooth. It is used in the cheapest drones and is slowly being replaced by more advanced types of communication.
  • Wi-Fi. A fairly high-quality digital communication has limitations in terms of distance and stability.
  • Radio channel. The most common analog communication channel. The most common standard is 2.4 GHz (long distance, but does not pass well through walls) and less often 5.8 GHz (high signal transmission speed and shorter range).
  • Proprietary technology (e.g., Lightbridge by DJI). Own developments of drone manufacturers. As a rule, companies use the developments of the above standards.
Communication technology

Professional class drones sometimes use a combination of the strengths of several types of communication. If you are considering which quadcopter to buy for flying between buildings, we advise you to pay attention to this parameter.

Range of action

The drone’s maximum range is determined by the type of communication used and the transmitter’s power. Cheap drones controlled by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi fly at a distance of 10-20 m.

Range of action

PRO segment drones can exchange signals at a distance of up to 10 km. It is worth considering that the laws of physics will reduce the functionality and quality of the picture with every kilometer that moves the drone away from the operator.

Drone buyers guide. It’s important to know

First, before choosing a quadcopter, you must clearly define how you will use it. For a better understanding, ask yourself the following questions:

For what purpose the footage will be used

The answer to this question will help you determine what benefit you will get from the drone and what programs you will need to install. Having a well-thought-out and clear plan for the application of captured data will help you choose the right drone and save time and money. As a rule, goals can be fit into the following categories:

  • Children’s gift: A budget model with no camera can be suitable if the drone is considered a relatively expensive toy.
  • Social media: A small drone with good stabilization or a phone mount is all you need to get a good selfie or group photo from vacation. Working time does not play a big role.
  • Hunting: it is desirable to have a good battery, protection against moisture, dust, and mechanical damage, and a thermal imager.
  • Marketing: You’ll need 4K video and high-resolution photos;
  • Inspection: mechanical shutter with a frequency of 20 frames per second and transmission of high-resolution video to the remote control;
  • Cartography: project maps with GPS support and data on the heights of terrain relief points;
  • Vertical scanning: LIDAR laser scanner, full-color camera, and 3D modeling software.

Frequency of use

How often you intend to use your quadcopter affects the drone design and stuffing choice. Determine in advance how often the UAV will be used:

  • Daily/Weekly: This should be a professional drone designed for frequent use and long flights.
  • Seasonal/Annual: In this case, you may not have to think too much about special insurance and prefer a simple and clear model.


You won’t find a drone buyer’s guide here,  but the durability of the drone is very important for users. What drone to buy to work in extreme conditions? The level of protection of a drone directly depends on its purpose:

  • Amateur devices have minimal blade protection and are designed to operate in ideal conditions (no precipitation and minimal wind).
  • Mid-level quadcopters already have strong bodies of high-quality polymer or metal, flexible blades, and devices for an emergency landing.
  • Drones of the top segment and professional models are equipped with advanced radars for navigation in space, which helps to avoid a collision. Also, the housing of such devices is protected against heavy rain, wind, sand, and dust. As a rule, such a drone has a lot of parts that are easy to replace, which greatly simplifies repairs.

How to choose a quadcopter for the Armed Forces

The military confrontation between the Russian invaders and the Ukrainian defenders has already entered history and will be studied in military textbooks for many years. Military experts call this war network-centric. This means that all parts and units of the armed forces are united in a single digital network while receiving an information and communication advantage over the enemy.

bayraktar AFU

Drones used by the Armed Forces played a huge role in this. These do not only combat UAVs but also civilian drones that provide Ukrainian defenders with thousands of eyes. The unified information network of quadcopters helps to build a detailed map of enemy movements, locations, and cells. This allows Ukrainian troops and territorial defenders to deliver quick devastating blows to the invader.

How to choose a drone for the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The broad term UAV can include many devices for both civilian and military purposes. UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) strike or combat drones are specialized devices that are developed, taking into account the specific needs of the armed forces. Such aircraft are unavailable to the average user due to the high price and legal restrictions. However, even regular civilian quadcopters are widely used in war and often have several advantages:

  • Civilian drones are many times cheaper than military ones.
  • An ordinary drone is designed for use even by an untrained user.
  • You can buy it at almost any electronics store.

These qualities allow civilian drones to participate in hostilities no worse than military modifications.

How to choose a drone for the Armed Forces of Ukraine

During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the participation of civilian quadcopters is difficult to overestimate. Ukrainian soldiers are helped by millions of citizens, providing operational information using, as it were, toys for enthusiasts, bloggers, and photographers. The advantage of our troops is that any visual or coordination information is used in battle.

Non-combat drones play the most important role in defense and counter-offensives and the liberation of Ukrainian cities and their residents.

Rescue Drones to Free Kherson Region
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Updated 21.02.2024 at 20:38