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How much does a drone cost?

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  • 7 min read

Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years, both for recreational and professional purposes. With the rise in popularity, the market for drones has grown significantly, and there is now a wide range of drone models available to choose from.

You may be wondering how much does a drone cost? Don’t worry, we got you covered. In this article, we’ll explain in detail the cost associated with owning a drone. But before that, let us understand the types of drones and later we will also present you with a few FAQs on the topic.

To give you a gist, toy drones will cost you as less as $50 and the pro ones can come for as much as $10,000 and even more. Check out the prices here directly if you’re in a hurry.


Different types of drones in the market

As the drone market has rapidly expanded in recent years, the needs of all the customers can now be fulfilled. Whether you are a hobbyist or are a professional, drones are available in all shapes and sizes that will surely fit according to your needs and budget.

There are several different types of drones that are used in civil applications, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Here are the different types of drones that you can buy in the market:

Fixed-wing drones

These drones are one of the most common types of drones used in mapping, surveying, construction, agriculture, and security. These drones have the longest range, hence are suitable for harsh environments. The only downside of a fixed-wing drone is that they require a runway during landing or takeoff. Also, these drones are a bit difficult to carry around.

Moreover, you will need training to fly fixed-wing drones as it always moves in a forward direction speedily. You should have a fair idea of how air pressure works and also understand how the four major forces — life, gravity, drag and thrust — work on the aircraft.

Fixed-wing drones can be divided into three categories, although there is no official classification guide of these drones. I just found this classification to be more useful than the other ones:

  • Large fixed-wing drones: These drones pack high endurance, long range and a much higher payload capacity. Examples include MyTwinDream UAV and X-UAV Mini Talon.
  • Medium fixed-wing drones: Medium fixed-wing drones are the most popular in the fixed-wing drone category. Although they have less endurance and range than large fixed-wing drones, they are suitable for most civil needs. Examples include Firstar 2000 V2 and Wltoys XK A800 4CH RC.
  • Small fixed-wing drones: If you are looking for a drone that can fly for an hour or so, you should go for small fixed-wing drones. Examples include Strix Nano Goblin and RiteWing Drak Nano.

Multirotor drones

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Also known as quadcopters, these drones are one of the most commonly used drones. People use multirotor drones for ariel photography and videography. These drones follow the same principle that a helicopter uses to fly. Multirotor drones can be tricopters, quadcopters, hexacopters and octocopters.

The advantages of a multirotor drone is as follows:

  • Vertical takeoff and landing
  • Easy to fly
  • Increased manoeuvrability
  • Affordable
  • Can be used in a wide range of applications
  • Portable

While multirotor drones have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages that are important to consider when buying:

  • Shorter flight time
  • Limited range
  • Limited payload capacity
  • Noisy
  • Susceptible to wind
  • Can crash into people or objects if not flown properly

Examples of multirotor drones include DJI Inspire 3, Yuneec Typhoon H and Autel Robotics X-Star Premium.


Hybrid drones

A hybrid drone uses a combination if electric power and an internal combustion engine to power its flight propulsion system. These drones have longer flight times, greater payload capacity and can operate in more challenging environments.

However, hybrid drones are heavy and are more complex then then traditional drones. Due to this, hybrid drones cost significantly more than other drones. Also, these drones are in the early stages of development and we are still unsure of their capabilities.

Examples of hybrid drones include Airbus Zephyr S, Wingcopter 198, Alta UAV 600EX.


VTOL drones

A Vertical Takeoff and Landing drone can take off and land vertically and they have a different design that allows them to fly more like a fixed-wing drone. As these drones have the capability of both a helicopter and an airplane, they are highly versatile and efficient.

VTOL drones have excellent maneuverability and can be used for a variety of applications such as search and rescue, package delivery and surveillance.

Examples of VTOL drones include Skydio 2, WingtraOne and Ehang Ghost Drone.


Factors affecting the cost of a drone

Here are some factors affecting the cost of a drone:

  • Drone type: High-end models of drone cost significantly more than lower-end ones. Fixed-wing drones are considered more expensive than multirotor drones.
  • Size: Larger drones tend to be more expensive than smaller ones.
  • Payload capacity: If you are searching for a drone with a heavier payload capacity, you will have to shed more money.
  • Flight time: More the flight time, the more advanced the batteries in a drone and the more the cost.
  • Range: Drones with longer ranges have an inbuilt advanced navigation system thereby increasing the cost.
  • Camera and sensor capabilities: Drones with high-end cameras and sensors such as thermal imaging cameras or LIDAR systems will generally cost more.

Also read: Top 11 Gadgets to boost productivity


How much will a drone cost?

As the drone technology is reaching the masses, the costs have reduced significantly. Here is the price range of various drone types:

  • Toy drones: These drones are useful for beginners for practice and to get familiar with the tech. It will cost you somewhere around $20 to $150 for small toy drones.
  • Intermediate drones: For more advanced drone usage, you should opt for intermediate drones which will cost you between $150 to $400.
  • Professional drones: These drones are expensive and can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. For example, Yuneec Typhoon H Plus Hexacopter costs around $2099.
  • Commercial drones: Commercial drones pack more functions like thermal imaging that can be used for mapping, ariel surveys and other fields. These drones cost north of $10,000.

Thus, depending on your usage and needs, a drone can cost anything between $20 to more then $10,000.


Frequently answered questions (FAQs)

Let us head to some FAQs related to this topic:

How much should you spend on a drone?

It all depends on your pocket and needs. If you are a beginner, go for the toy drones which will be less burden on your budget. If you are a CEO of a multinational company, go for the hi-tech commercial drones.


How far can a drone fly?

Typically, a drone can fly between 1500 feet to several hundred kilometers. How far a drone can go depends on the battery, the navigation system and the drone capabilities.


Are drones difficult to fly?

Drones are not difficult to fly. As with every new tech, you will need to familiarise yourself with the software and tools used to guide the drones. Once you are done familiarising yourself, flying drones will be like a cakewalk.

Also read: Top 7 drone cameras

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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