How fast do drones fly?
How fast do drones fly? This question has always been a topic of debate among drone enthusiasts. With technology developing fast, the development of drones isn’t getting any setback. While these devices have only become prominent in recent years, their development has been quite rapid. Especially in the department of drone speed, things have improved a lot. Although drones do possess other important aspects that desire attention in terms of development, speed remains a top priority. Over the years we’ve seen massive growth in technology and changes in design to account for better drone speed. And with the current scenario, we are going to see a lot more.
The maximum threshold of drone speed has been a topic of discussion. If we go by the current standard, the top speed varies around 80 to 120 km/hr. However, it depends on the model that you are using and some other relevant factors. In some instances, you might even come across drones that surpass the top standard speed limit.
So you will always find some room for experimentation and improvements. Changes can be essentially made to increase the top speed. Those changes are achievable by tweaking factors that influence the speed of the drone. Let’s take a look at those factors.
- Wind Resistance
Now, this isn’t the factor that you can experiment with in regards to increasing the speed of the drone. However, it does hold a certain gravity of importance. The wind resistance is not unpredictable; you can determine it using various methods. The drone companies list down the top speed of a given drone but it’s not always achievable.
The wind resistance acts as the single biggest external factor that causes limiting drone speed. So if this resistance is more in the environment, it will reduce the speed of the drone. The rate of reduction however depends on the drone’s size and design.
Gravity is a force of nature that causes things to keep attached to the surface of Earth. This similar force acts on the drone flying upwards. As you may know, weight is equal to the product of mass and gravitational force. So more the mass, more drones will be susceptible to the force of gravity.
You can’t change gravity so the only logical choice here is to reduce the mass of the drone. By doing so the drone becomes less vulnerable to the force of gravity. DJI Spark Drone is one of the lightest drones with a mass of only 300 grams.
This allows it to speed up at about 50 km/hr. While gravity may still affect its speed but the rate at which it does gets considerably reduced. So this factor should get more emphasis whenever considering the speed of the drone.
- Type of wing
You will come across two types of wing design for the drone; fixed-wing and rotary-wing. The design of a fixed-wing highly depends on the direction of the wind that’s why it’s not much prominent. Nevertheless, its counterpart rotary type is what most of the drone companies use for their design. Autel Robotics EVO is a good example of a rotary type drone with a top speed of about 72 km/hr.
Rotary types contain propellers that do the job of both liftings as well as speeding the drone. Compared to the fixed type these drones have more freedom over controlling the velocity. They may cost more due to the inclusion of motor and battery but more speed compensates for that.
- Propeller design
Lift and drag are two major components one has to consider while designing a drone. These two significantly affect the potential speed of the device and are highly associated with an aerodynamic design.
To ensure that the speed performance of the drone remains top, the aerodynamic design of propellers is necessary. Yuneec Q500 Typhoon is one such drone that possesses an excellent aerodynamic propeller design.
Furthermore, it is capable of achieving a top speed of 65 km/hr which is pretty convenient. By making propellers aerodynamic, the effects of air resistance on speed will be minimized. It’s within the scope of propeller design to greatly influence the speed of the drone. The more aerodynamic you make it, the better the speed you will get.
The motor does the job of powering the propeller of the drone. It affects the RPM of the propeller. If your motor is of high rating it will produce high RPM. DJI Mavic 2 Pro is such a drone with a powerful motor that is capable of achieving a speed of 72 km/hr.
This high RPM will result in more speed of the drone. But things with the motor are tricky. You see, the motor makes up for a lot of the weight of the drone. If you opt to choose a high power motor, the weight will also increase alongside it. With increased weight, the effects of gravity will increase.
So to utilize a motor to its fullest potential, a balanced approach is essential. It is important to select a motor that doesn’t compromise performance or speed. Do you drones fly with motor.
- Type of drone
One can classify drones according to various types but when considering the speed the usage plays an important role. Generally, drones get divided into two categories; recreational type and commercial type. Recreational drones are often referred to as toy drones so they possess very limited speed. The Holy Stone HS 100 drone is a prime example of a recreational drone.
On the other hand, commercial drones are part of professional use and for them, high speed is a necessity. For instance, DJI Mavic Air which is a commercial drone provides a staggering speed of 68 km/hr. So you will likely find commercial drones to be faster than recreational types.
Drone by the name of DRL Racer X holds the official Guinness World Record for the fastest drone. It weighed 0.8kg and achieved a top speed of 263.13 km/hr during the assessment making it the fastest in the world. And it is depend on your experiences that you can fast drones fly.
As it goes the speed variation in regards to drones gets influenced by various internal and external factors. In most cases, the top speed falls between 80 to 120 km/hr. But this is not imminent, top speeds will keep on changing with developments and changes in design and technology.