Drone wind resistance levels are broken into numeric categories from 0 to 12. The numeric representation explains the highest wind level of resistance in which a drone can fly. A higher number indicates the drone’s ability to be stable under high wind conditions.
Hello, fellow drone enthusiasts! My name is Lavelle and I am a long-time drone operator and pilot. Over the past decade, I have flown my drones in many types of wind conditions. I have learned through trial and error and many studies that various drones have wind resistance ratings.
In this article, I will discuss resistance level classifications, how wind conditions can affect your drone and factors that affect the wind resistance level.
- Key Takeaways
- What is Drone Wind Resistance Level
- How the Strong Wind Can Affect Your Drone
- Factors that Affect the Wind Resistance Level of a Drone
- Tips for Flying in the Wind
- Final Thoughts
- Wind resistance rating is an important factor to consider when operating a drone.
- High wind speeds can cause turbulence, which can make it difficult to maneuver the drone and keep it in the air.
- Fly at lower altitudes when winds are higher than normal.
What is Drone Wind Resistance Level
A drone’s wind resistance level describes a drone’s ability to be stable under certain wind conditions. The lower the level rating (0), the more unstable the drone is in high wind conditions. Conversely, the higher the level rating (12), the more stable the drone is.
The Beaufort Scale is the universally accepted rating scale for wind conditions. The table below explains the scale categories.
|Wind Resistance Level
|Less than 1 mph
|Smoke moves in wind direction
|Wind can move leaves
|Move leaves and twigs
|Move dust off the ground
|Move small trees
|Cause tree branches to sway
|Can feel resistance while walking
|Break twigs and small branches
|Can blow slate from rooftops
|Can break trees
|Cause widespread damage
|73 + mph
|Can destroy structures
Some of the popular drones and their wind resistance levels are shown below.
|Resistance Level Rating
|Maximum Wind Speed
|DJI Mavic Mini
|DJI Mavic 3
|Yuneec Mantis G
|Autel Evo 2
How the Strong Wind Can Affect Your Drone
From excessive battery drain to shaky videos, wind conditions can wreak havoc on drone operations in many ways.
High Chances for an Accident
Heavy wind conditions, including wind gusts, can move a drone off its position in an instant. When this occurs, there is an increased chance of an accident. Many drones rely on sensors for positioning and movement and heavy winds can cause interference with sensor operations.
Batteries are strained by strong winds, and they frequently drain too soon. Wind resistance causes the motor to run at a higher rate, drawing more current from the battery and resulting in excessive battery drain.
Unclear Videos and Images
Heavy wind conditions can also result in shaky video and photo images. Sometimes the drone’s gimbal will compensate for some wind, however, it is not a wind-proof capability at all times. The best situation for stable video and photo images is a calm, windless day.
Factors that Affect the Wind Resistance Level of a Drone
Here are some factors that can affect the wind resistance level of a drone.
1. Size, Weight, and Shape of a Drone
The size of your drone may impact its ability to handle heavy wind conditions. Heavier drones may have a higher wind resistance level rating. Additionally, the weight and shape of your drone impact its ability to handle properly in strong winds. Some drones are more aerodynamically shaped and therefore are more conducive to operating better in windy environments.
2. Engine Power
It is another factor that can contribute to stability in heavy wind conditions. The more power your drone has, the higher it’s chance of remaining stable. However, note that higher engine power may cause a faster battery drain as well.
Sensors have multiple uses on drones. Some sensors help to avoid obstacles while others allow the drone to follow you. In many cases, strong winds can compromise the sensors’ ability to read properly. Some sensors do compensate for wind by allowing the drone to recalibrate itself in windy conditions.
Some drones have software installed on them that allows them to compensate for lateral movements such as windy conditions. Check your specific drone’s software package for ideal conditions.
Tips for Flying in the Wind
Here are a few tips that I’ve used when flying in strong winds.
1. Check the Wind Speed Before Flying
Use a wind meter to check the current wind speed before flying. Doing so allows you to prepare properly for the conditions that you are flying in.
2. Find a Spot with Lower Wind Speed
Look for locations with lower wind speeds. You can find good information in blogs and online groups for drone enthusiasts.
3. Keep a Safe Distance
Maintain a safe flying distance between your drone and its controller. Also, stay away from obstacles in heavy wind conditions.
4. Fly at a Lower Altitude
You may consider flying at a lower altitude when the wind is stronger than normal. Doing so will allow you to have better control of the craft.
5. Prepare for Safe Landing
Before taking off, identify safe landing areas in case of heavy winds. Prepare for a safe landing by identifying escape routes and emergency landing spots as well.
Here are a few answers to some of the frequently asked questions about wind resistance levels.
What Does Level 5 Wind Resistance Mean for a Drone?
A level 5 wind rating indicates that the drone is able to maintain stability in winds that are between 19-24 mph.
What Is Level 10 Wind Resistance?
A level 10 wind resistance rating indicates that the drone can maintain stability in winds that are between 55-63 mph. In many cases, these are drones that are meant to be used by storm chasers or in some similar capacity.
What Is Too Windy for a Drone?
Any wind condition that is outside the drone’s wind resistance rating level is too windy for that specific drone. Use caution and common sense when flying at any wind level. Always err on the side of caution.
Flying your drone should be a fun and safe experience. All drones have a wind resistance rating and caution should always be used when flying in windy conditions. Follow some of the tips provided in this article and most importantly, use discretion when wind conditions are higher than normal.
Do you have experience flying a drone in heavy winds? Are there any tips you’d like to share with other drone pilots? Feel welcome to share your advice in the comments below.