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Useful Tips to Improve Drone Flight Time

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

As far as drones have evolved over the years, many models still feature a max flight time of around 25 minutes. Here are some helpful tips on how you can keep your drone in the air longer:


1. Fly in the Right Conditions

Avoid flying during windy or rainy conditions, as it can shorten your flight time drastically. This is because the more power your drone needs to fight bad weather, the faster the battery drains. It’s also worth noting that most drones are not waterproof, so be extra cautious about flying in rain. The best time to fly is in clear skies, little to no wind, and mild temperatures.


2. Fly Conservatively

Flying aggressively at full throttle or high speeds can drain the battery a lot faster than you would think. It might be fun to pull off some sick flips and stunts, but you should take it easy if you are trying to conserve battery power. We recommend flying conservatively and smoothly to increase your time in the air.


3. Reduce the Weight of Your Drone

You can reduce the weight of your drone a few different ways. First off, if you are an experienced pilot, you can take off the prop guards. These guards help protect the drone during flight, but they also add a bit of extra weight that is sometimes unneeded. Obviously, not having them installed can add some risk to your drone, so only take them off if you are completely comfortable flying without them. Another option is to remove the camera if your flight doesn’t need it. A camera adds a lot of extra weight when you don’t plan on taking any photos or video. You can also take off any stickers, skins, or any additional pieces to reduce the weight of your drone.


4. Change Your Drone's Propeller Size

Most drones come with mid-sized propellers that can be changed out for a different size if you are trying to improve battery life. A large propeller creates more lift, meaning your drone does not have to work as hard to stay in the air, while a smaller propeller usually means you can fly faster. It’s a good idea to do some research to see if others have had success using a bigger propeller or smaller propeller because every setup is unique. Ultimately, you will have to experiment a bit before you find what works in your specific situation. As with anything, practice makes perfect!


5. Upgrade Your Battery.

Sometimes the battery that comes with your drone is just not the best one you can get. You can buy a new one compatible with your drone that has a higher mAh but make sure it has the same voltage as the other battery. Check your drone specifications for max mAh you can use and don’t forget to keep battery weight in mind.


6. Charge Batteries a Few Hours Before Flying

When you remove the battery from the charger, it starts losing some of its charge right away. Most lose a percentage of charge for every hour off the charger. The best course of action is to simply use the battery shortly after removing it from the charger.


7. Buy Extra Batteries

This doesn’t improve flight time, but it will keep you up in the air longer overall! Having spare batteries ready to go is perfect for flying large areas. It’s also smart to have a few on hand in case one of your batteries decides it doesn’t have enough juice left to power your drone. An average lithium battery can be fully charged and drained between 300 and 500 times before it needs to be replaced if taken care of properly. Even though batteries last a relatively long time, we always recommend having an extra one on hand just in case any problems arise.


8. Follow Battery Care Best Practices.

Keeping up with battery care really helps extend the life of your batteries. Here are some drone battery care best practices that you can follow. Follow these best care practices and you’ll be able to extend the life cycle of your battery and avoid having to regularly buy new ones.

  • Don’t store a fully charged or discharged battery for an extended period of time.

  • Don’t fully deplete a battery.

  • Store batteries in a dry and ventilated area at room temperature

  • Fully charge batteries for your first flight and after periods of long-term storage.

  • Fully charge batteries at least once every three months.

  • Don’t allow a battery to completely drain itself.

  • If possible, monitor the battery level during flight.

  • Use caution when handling your battery, lithium polymer batteries can cause a fire if handled incorrectly.

  • Never alter, puncture, throw, bend, or impact the battery.

  • If you notice any abnormal features, such as damage or deformation of the battery, abnormal smell, leakage or other unexpected behavior, do not use the battery.

  • Keep batteries away from liquids, fire, microwaves and other hazardous or combustible materials.

  • Don’t expose batteries to extreme temperatures.

  • Inspect batteries before and after each flight.

Storage and Charging

  • For long-term storage, store batteries in an 18°C to 28°C environment, between 45-85% relative humidity, and with at least a 50% charge.

  • Always store batteries in a place where they won’t be exposed to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.

  • Always disconnect batteries after charging.

  • Never charge a battery that has less than 3.0 volts/cell.

Disposal

  • Do not dispose of the battery in the trash; bring it to a battery recycling center as soon as possible.

We hope these tips and battery care best practices help improve your drone flight time!

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