Most consumer drones can fly between 40 to 70 miles per hour. However, racing drones can fly over 100 miles per hour and up to 165 miles per hour. There are also military drones that can reach speeds of 1,650 miles per hour.
Hi, my name is Larry. I’ve been flying drones recreationally for nearly a decade and have tested dozens of different models.
- What Factors Impact a Drone’s Speed?
- What Is The Legal Drone Speed Limit?
- How Fast Can a Recreational Drone Fly?
- How Fast Can a Commercial Drone Fly?
- How Fast Can a Racing Drone Fly?
- How Fast Can a Military Drone Fly?
- Closing Thoughts
What Factors Impact a Drone’s Speed?
Several factors influence how fast a drone can fly. Let’s take a closer look at each key attribute.
1. Motor and Propellor
The primary factor determining how fast a drone can fly is its motor and propellor system. A more powerful motor found in high-end drones that produce high RPMs results in faster drone speeds.
Furthermore, the drone’s weight impacts its speed. The heavier a drone is, the more it has to fight gravity. A heavier drone also indicates a bigger surface area and more air resistance. Therefore, smaller and more lightweight drones offer faster speeds.
3. Outdoor Conditions
The atmospheric conditions also affect a drone’s motor output power and speed. For example, windy conditions can decrease a drone’s max speed if the wind blows in the opposite direction of the flight path. Conversely, wind can also increase a drone’s top speed if it’s flowing in the same direction as the flight path.
4. Mode of Operation
Many drones offer a “sport” mode dedicated to pilots who want to cruise at max speeds. This sport mode disables some of the safety features that prevent the drone from crashing, such as the forward and downward crash sensors. Furthermore, the sport mode also increases the motor output by raising the power input from the battery.
What Is The Legal Drone Speed Limit?
The Federal Aviation Association (FAA) handles the laws surrounding anything related to aviation, including drones. As such, the FAA states that all commercial drone pilots are allowed to reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour or 161 kilometers per hour with their drones.
However, hobbyists and recreational drone pilots are allowed to fly their drones at any speed. Nevertheless, even high-end consumer drones from DJI can only fly up to 58 miles per hour. Therefore, you generally don’t have to worry about breaking any drone speed laws.
How Fast Can a Recreational Drone Fly?
As I mentioned in the introduction, high-end consumer drones can typically fly as fast as 40 to 70 miles per hour. On the other hand, inexpensive hobbyist and beginner drones can generally fly up to 20 miles per hour.
Here’s a closer look at the top speeds of popular drone models:
|Drone Model||Maximum Speed (mph)|
|Parrot Bebop 2||37|
|DJI Mavic Pro||40|
|DJI Mavic Pro 2||45|
|DJI Phantom 4 Pro||45|
|DJI Inspire 2||58|
|Yuneec Typhoon H Pro||70|
How Fast Can a Commercial Drone Fly?
The only difference between a commercial drone and a recreational drone is that commercial drone use applies to any individual who uses a drone for work, business, or non-recreational business. A recreation or hobby drone means you fly the drone for entertainment and not for business purposes.
Therefore, commercial drones and recreational drones include the same drone models but are used for different purposes. So, commercial drones also have top speeds between 40 miles per hour and 70 miles per hour.
How Fast Can a Racing Drone Fly?
In general, most racing drones are capable of flying between 70 miles per hour and 120 miles per hour without modifications. The current world record for a customized racing drone is 163 miles per hour, achieved by Drone Racing League’s RacerX.
You can find the video documenting how the drone was built and what components were used below:
Here’s a breakdown of the top speeds of a few popular racing drones:
|Racing Drone Model||Racing Speed (mph)|
|Walkera F210 Professional Racer||50|
|Eachine Wizard X220S||70|
|Blade Mach 25 FPV||70|
|Eachine Falcon 250 FPV||90|
How Fast Can a Military Drone Fly?
The US military had an extensive range of drones in its arsenal, each designed for a specific purpose. However, most military drones are mini unmanned aircraft used for reconnaissance missions.
The exact top speeds of military drones are typically kept from the public since they are used for combat and reconnaissance purposes. Therefore, I can’t give an exact number as to how fast a military drone can fly.
Nonetheless, I expect military drones to fly significantly quicker than racing drones, with speeds over 1,000 miles per hour.
Before you head out, let’s take a look at a few common questions I receive about how fast drones can fly.
Can a drone go 200 mph?
Since the fastest racing drone recorded a top speed of 163 miles per hour, 99.99% of drones cannot go 200 or more miles per hour. However, several military drones can likely travel significantly faster than 200 miles per hour.
How can I make my drone go faster?
The easiest way to make your drone go faster without any modifications is to activate your drone’s sport mode. You can also make your drone go faster by removing excess weight, upgrading the propellors and motors, and flying with the wind.
Drones are incredibly robust flying machines that can demonstrate high speeds and excellent video footage when appropriately configured. However, since drones are meant for aerial videography and photography, going slower lets you capture a clearer shot.
Nonetheless, I have a blast every time I engage sport mode and test out the limits of my drones. But now I want to hear from you. Do you own a drone, and if so, which model? Do you have any additional questions related to how fast drones can fly?
Either way, let me hear it by dropping a short comment down below.