Keeping your drone in the air for the longest amount of time possible is often a challenge. Sometimes it’s simply not possible at all, depending on your drone. This is because your drone’s overall weight, payload, and other features directly affect how long it can fly.
Hello everyone! My name is Lavelle and I am a licensed drone pilot. I have been a drone owner and operator for about 10 years now. During this time, I have flown my drones all across the United States for both recreational and commercial purposes. In many instances, I have needed lengthy flight times to complete a project efficiently.
In this article, I will go over some things that you can do to increase your drone’s flying time. I will share with you my list of the best drones with the longest flight times and also I will cover some of the main things you should look for when purchasing a drone.
- Key Takeaways
- What Makes The Best Drones with the Longest Flight Time
- The 7 Best Drones with the Longest Flight Time
- Final Thoughts
- The overall weight and payload of your drone directly impact flight lengths.
- Consider removing any unnecessary accessories to increase flight time.
- Keep your battery fully charged and replace batteries when necessary.
- Keep in mind that wind and environmental conditions also impact flight times.
The average flight time for most consumer drones is between 20-25 minutes. The time can vary depending on how you use the drone and on what accessories may be on the drone at the time of the flight. Some consumer drones can stay in the air for as long as 45 minutes on one battery charge.
What contributes to shorter flight times?
Several factors contribute to shorter flight times. Some of these factors include flying speed, battery quality, overall weight and payload, and video usage.
How far can a drone fly on one battery charge?
High-end drones can fly as far as 9 miles in some instances, however, the industry average is between 2.5 to 4.5 miles. Some hobby (toy) drones have much shorter flight distances.
What Makes The Best Drones with the Longest Flight Time
Reduce the drone’s overall weight (payload) as much as possible. Removing unnecessary items from the drone, allows your battery to last longer.
For instance, if you are using your drone for fishing, the tackle that you carry out to drop into the water is extra weight on the drone which will reduce its flight time by putting an extra drain on the battery. Other things such as adding lights or propeller guards, also decrease the drone’s flight time.
While many drones are designed to withstand weather conditions and operate in adverse conditions, the conditions still drain your battery at a faster rate than normal. Cold weather, for example, drains a battery faster than warmer weather, thereby shortening your flight time.
Conversely, extremely hot temperatures can shorten your flight time also because of the lack of density in hot air. Additionally, wind drafts or strong breezes can affect flight times as well.
Decrease flying speed as much as you can. Flying at lower speeds helps to save your battery usage.
Most drones come with a standard battery. However, there are often compatible batteries that can be purchased separately. Purchasing a premium battery may increase your flight time since premium batteries hold longer charges.
The 7 Best Drones with the Longest Flight Time
Here is my list of the best drones with the longest flight times.
1. Ruko F11 (Best Overall)
- Flight Time: 60-minutes
- Top Speed: 26.8 mph
- Video: 4k video resolution
- Camera: 1080p (HD) resolution
When it comes to flying time, the Ruko F11 stands atop the heap. With approximately 60 minutes of flight time, this drone nearly doubles the flight times of most of the drones in this category.
This drone comes with two batteries and has a single charge of about 30 minutes per battery giving you about an hour of airtime. The drone uses the high capacity 22500 mAh smart battery and is outfitted with brushless motors that do not overheat as some other batteries do.
It is not the fastest drone on the list, however, it has a respectable speed of up to 26 mph and comes with a stabilization sensor that includes 4k video.
The only drawback is that it does take two batteries to maintain the maximum flying time.
My Verdict: The Ruko F11 is the top choice for flying time.
2. DJI Mavic 3 (Best Single Charge Length)
- Flight Time: 46-minutes
- Top Speed: 47 mph
- Video: 5.1k video resolution
- Camera: 20 MP camera resolution with ¾ CMOS sensor
The #2 spot on my list goes to the DJI Mavic 3. When it comes to flying time on one battery, you can’t beat the Mavic 3. This drone gives you a remarkable 46 minutes of flying time on a single battery charge.
In addition to the excellent flying time, this drone has an impressive top-end speed of 47 mph and sports a ¾ CMOS sensor that pushes a 5.1k video system and a 20 MP camera.
DJI has done a great job designing this drone with an agile body style and a responsive motor. If you’re looking for excellent image quality, this camera meets the mark.
A little concerned with the inability of the drone to capture RAW images and the expensive price point of this drone. There have also been some complaints about in-flight glitches.
My Verdict: The Mavic 3 could very well be in the #1 place on my list, however, its expensive price pushes it down on the list to the #2 position.
3. DJI Mavic Air 2S (Best Value for the Price)
- Flight Time: 34-minutes
- Top Speed: 33.5 mph
- Video: 5.4k video resolution
- Camera: 20 MP camera resolution with 1 in. CMOS sensor
When you consider purchasing a drone, one of the most important things you look for is overall value. The DJI Mavic Air 2S sets the standard for overall value.
The Air 2S comes with some excellent features. From the 3-sided obstacle avoidance system to the 1-inch CMOS sensor and all the smart features in between, this drone provides exceptional all-around value.
In addition to these great features, the image quality of this drone is remarkable. The 8x zoom feature allows you to zoom in and capture great detail without sacrificing quality. The 22 mm focal length and a fixed aperture of f/2.8 is also impressive and make this drone a perfect option for professional photography needs.
The gimbal on the Air 2S only is a concern to me since it only allows the camera to tilt at a 90-degree angle. This limitation restricts the user’s ability to manipulate the camera in flight.
My Verdict: The Mavic Air 2S sets the bar for value in this category of drones. The camera and video quality are superb and it comes in a valuable price range.
4. DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro (Best Image Quality)
- Flight Time: 34-minutes
- Top Speed: 36 mph
- Video: 4k video resolution
- Camera: 48 MP camera resolution with 1/1.3 CMOS sensor
Here’s another nice option for longer flying time. The DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro offers a lot of great features. This drone is primarily known for its remarkable camera performance but also offers some excellent intelligent features. It also hosts a respectable 34 minutes of flying time which ties it for third on the list for flight time and my 4th overall pick.
The camera system with 48 MP is outstanding on this drone. The 1/1.3 CMOS sensor and the 3-axis gimbal are second to none on this list. Another impressive thing about the camera system is the 24mm lens and the f1.7 aperture. The Slow Motion recording feature is also notable.
Some of the other notable features include the Timed Shots, the Burst Mode, and the D-Cinelike Color mode. Each of these features provides exceptional value to the user.
The only concern with this drone is its somewhat questionable stability in windy conditions.
My Verdict: The Mavic Mini 3 Pro is the best choice for image quality. The intelligent features are also noteworthy.
5. DJI Mavic Mini 2 (Best Mini Drone)
- Flight Time: 31-minutes
- Top Speed: 37 mph
- Video: 4k video resolution
- Camera: 12 MP camera resolution with ½.3 CMOS sensor
As we continue to review the best drones with the longest flying times, we come to the DJI Mavic Mini 2. This drone, much like the Mavic 3 Mini, offers some nice overall features in a compact body style.
The 31 minutes of flight time gives you plenty of airtime and the impressive intelligent features give you many choices to consider for flight additives. The flying time has a lot to do with the 2400 mAh intelligent battery. The charging time for the battery is also notable as it can fully recharge in about 5 hours.
Some other notable features of this drone include a transmission range of 10 kilometers and a maximum flying speed of 37 mph. Additionally, the drone offers a nice 4k video production system and a decent 12 MP camera resolution.
The only drawback with this drone is the lack of an obstacle avoidance system.
My Verdict: This is another exceptional value. Considering the qualities you get in this drone and the price, it makes for a smart purchase.
6. Parrot Bebop 2 (Best Indoor)
- Flight Time: 25-minutes
- Top Speed: 16 mph
- Video: 1080p HD video resolution
- Camera: 14 MP camera resolution with HD sensor
Next, we move on to Parrot Bebop 2. This drone is a lightweight, compact high definition drone that has some nice performance specifications.
It is a good drone to use both outdoors and indoors and gives you a decent flying time of approximately 25 minutes. The aerodynamic design allows this drone to maneuver easily in the air and is easy to carry around.
One of the main features of this drone is the 3-axis accelerometer which provides exceptional stability for a lightweight drone like this. The ultrasound sensor is also a nice element of the drone.
The main concern here is image distortion. The 14 MP camera comes with a fish-eye lens, however, the instability of the drone and the gimbal quality creates some image quality concerns.
My Verdict: For flight time, this is a decent purchase to make. However, if you intend to use the drone for photography, you may want to consider other options.
7. Bwine F7GB2 (Best Gimbal)
- Flight Time: 50-minutes
- Top Speed: 35 mph
- Video: 4k video resolution
- Camera: 4k camera resolution
The last drone on my list of the best drones for long flying times is the Bwine F7GB2 drone. It has the second-highest flying time on my list at 50 minutes, which is still a remarkable flight time.
The Bwine F7GB2 does take some impressive videos and photos due primarily to its gimbal stabilization. The drone also has an integrated screen on the controller to create an easier user experience.
The 3-axis mechanical gimbal provides exceptional stability on this drone and allows the drone’s camera to produce very good, smooth images.
There is some concern about the drone’s transmission range and it is known to lose the connection more often than other drones.
My Verdict: The Bwine F7GB2 is a quality drone with nice features and is very user-friendly. It’s a good value for the consumer. There are some questions about the image sharpness, otherwise, this drone is a good option.
Finding a drone with a long flight time can be helpful in many ways. Whether you are doing professional photography, conducting inspections, or just out enjoying the outdoors, you want to stay airborne as long as possible.
When looking for a drone with long flight times, consider things like payload, flying speed, accessories, etc. to find the best drone that meets your needs.
I’ve shown you several drones on the market that have exceptionally long flight times. I hope it was helpful and that you have in mind a couple of models that might be beneficial for you.
Which drone have you found to have the longest flying time? What makes you choose that drone? I’d love to get your feedback as I’m sure our readers would love to also. If you have questions, leave them and your comments below and I will respond as soon as possible.
Until next time, stay safe and enjoy flying your drone!