(Last Updated On: November 16, 2022)

We’ve come a long way since introducing drones when you were lucky to get a maximum of 5 minutes of flight per charge. It’s necessary to address all the factors influencing flight time.

Here’s a rundown of the four major determinants of how long your drone battery will last:

How Long Does A Drone Battery Last?

The Type Of Drone

Drones come in many different forms. Naturally, you will choose your fit based on whether you are a hobbyist or professional, but know that your choice will also affect the durability of the battery.

While this isn’t the rule of thumb, the following piece of info can help you know what to expect regarding the flight time based on what type of drone you get:

  • Most entry-level drones for beginners will give you around 8-10 minutes of flight time, with some exceptions that can go even up to 13 minutes.
  • Mid-range drones – say, under $500 – will offer an average of 15-18 minutes of flight time.
  • High-quality, professional drones – such as 4K and specially made long-range drones – will take around 25 minutes. According to my analysis, some great picks, like the DJI Mavic Pro 2, the most extended flight time drone, will provide about 31 minutes.

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Weight & Size

The general rule is: 

The heavier your drone, the more power you will need to propel it.

Another thing to be considered here is the number of motors. The more motors your drone has, the more power it will require while in the air.

Both factors affect the battery life by drawing more power from it.

So, a compact and lightweight drone isn’t only easier to store and carry with you – it could also have a more extended range on average.

Nowadays, most manufacturers manage to achieve that perfect balance between maximum efficiency, power, and drone size. It will help if you need help finding a compact drone that performs well battery-wise.

Additional Gadgets

Cameras, recorders, detectors, goggles – you name it – any drone accessories you attach or use with the drone will affect its battery life.

  • Simply put, some add to the drone’s weight, while others require more power from the battery to keep the drone in the air.

All of this results in your battery draining a tad faster.

Battery

Of course, the battery itself will have the most significant impact on your drone’s flight time.

Drone batteries come in various shapes and sizes.

Back to the weight for a moment: 

The bigger your drone is, the bigger the battery should be. A high-power drone battery is key to a long flight time.

Regarding battery composition, it’s generally better to go with LiPo batteries. Their output speed is faster, and they can store more power than NiCad batteries. 

The result is longer battery life.

Also, lithium batteries will last much longer before they start to degrade. While drones with lithium batteries might be a bit more expensive, it’s worth paying extra for the durability and longevity that you’re getting.

That said, it’s essential to maintain your drone’s battery properly to prolong its life. If you don’t take care of it, the quality will deteriorate in just a couple of months – and that’s likely something you don’t want to happen. 

That brings me to the next topic.

How To Prolong A Drone’s Battery Life & Range?

Is there anything more annoying than when your drone’s battery suddenly dies while shooting an awesome video?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. 

Check out my tips and tricks on what to do to maintain your drone’s battery properly and make the battery life more reliable:

#1 Pay Attention To The Flying Conditions

Sunny and bright days are the best conditions for using your drone. You should only fly it during rainy days if you are 100% certain it’s waterproof – but know that, even then, it will require more power and reduce your battery life.

Windy conditions also mean your drone must work harder, especially if the wind speed is above 20 mph. So, avoid flying your drone in solid winds, too. 

Besides, the wind increases the probability of blowing your drone away and causing it to crash into something.

#2 Get Rid Of Unnecessary Add-ons

For each flight, you should only use the gadgets that you require at the moment.

For instance, prop guards might be helpful while you are a beginner, but make sure to remove them after becoming more experienced.

Reducing the unnecessary weight will reduce the strain on your battery and prolong its life.

#3 Use Flight Modes To Your Advantage

When you fly your drone at a higher speed, it will also drain your battery faster.

So, whenever you can, consider using slower flight modes because they are power-efficient and will increase your flight time and the durability of your battery. 

#4 Charge Your Battery Wisely & Efficiently

With the risk of being Captain Obvious here, it’s essential to keep the drone powered up when you’re not using it.

If you keep your battery in prime condition by following the tips mentioned above, it should be enough to charge it thoroughly – that is, to 100% – every three months. 

Charging it fully more often than that will reduce its capacity, resulting in a shorter lifespan.

#5 Have A Backup Plan

If you are a professional and need to get more out of your drone’s flight time, you ought to ensure you have enough batteries.

It’s better to invest in one or two extra-capacity batteries that will last for about 20 minutes than to get smaller ones that only last for 10 minutes.

Conclusion

So, now you’re aware of how long a drone battery last based on different criteria that determine the flight time of a drone.

Does your drone’s battery last as long as it should?

If the answer is no, the tips above should help you minimize your battery degradation and get the maximum flight time out of your drone!

Author

Ornaldo has been working in the Marine Industry for over a decade and holds certifications for Yamaha and Mercury Marine. It is not uncommon for him to own and be working on at least three different boats at any given point in time! Ornaldo is a person who lives an outdoor life to a great extent. He is more interested in mountaineering and boating. And now he is co-creator and author of this blog

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