How to Deal with the Wind When Flying a Drone

by Guest Author on February 27, 2017

in Articles, Guest Posts

It takes some time to learn how to fly a drone.  Afterwards, a novice can graduate to a paid professional.  However, even the pros experience difficulty in navigating their drones during inclimate weather.  For example, you can’t expect a drone to react in the same manner on a sunny, mild day as on a rainy and turbulent one.  Here’s how to deal with terrible conditions.

Windy

You may want to start paying better attention to the weather forecasts, specifically the rate of the wind.  For example, depending on the power of your motor and the quality of your drone, your model may not be able to withstand winds exceeding 10 miles per hour.  It’s reported by seasoned fliers that any wind exceeding 20 mph will make it extremely difficult if not impossible to fly.  Moreover, heavy winds will take a toll on a drone’s battery supply.

Freezing

Freezing temperatures pose a hazard to machinery.  The concept may seem counterintuitive since a machine’s moving parts will grow quite hot while in use. However, many drones are fitted with lithium batteries, which are susceptible to extremely cold conditions.  Despite clear skies, freezing temperatures will drain a battery and potentially damage external or internal parts.  Don’t dismiss the battery life of inexpensive drones.  It’s the quality of the model and not the price that makes a good purchase.

Rain and Snow

It’s highly likely that manufacturers will find ways to make drones impervious to rain and snow.  To date, precipitation is a drone’s worst enemy.  Even a light mist could damage or ruin a high-end drone.  Therefore, despite your curiosity and want to fly in rain or snow, keep your drone landed and dry so you can use it another day.  Snow, better than rain, can make for beautiful shots.  However, snow usually throws off cameras since white color provides no contrast.

Extreme Heat

It’s understood that about 75 degrees is an optimal temperature for flying.  Spring and summer days offer the sun and great skies for flying and capturing pictures.  However, use good judgement when operating your drone in extremely hot temperatures.  Consider using it for a shorter amount of time or not at all if it’s broiling outside.  Obviously, if you notice a change in your battery or drone’s performance, you should land the drone and let it cool down.

Exceptions

There are some exceptions regarding particular models that can handle extreme weather.  For example, The Aeryon SkyRanger is speculated to be able to fly in freezing to broiling temperatures.  It may be worth the effort to search for specific models or modules that allow for an all-around augmentation.  It’s suggested to do further research and participate in forums before making a final purchase.

The Future

Texas Tech University did a bit of research on the present state of drones and made a few observations about the future of the hobby.  Most drones on the market have a battery life of somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes.  However, any added weight will drain more of the battery’s life.  One suggestion for the future is establishing wireless charging stations, so whether a drone is landed or flying it can recharge its battery.

Guest article written by: Mike Plambeck is a Drone Enthusiast who is passionate about helping people learn about both commercial and hobby drones. When he’s not out flying or filming he writes for various online publications and spends time with his wife and two young children.

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