Parrot saw a big bump in drone sales between its first quarter for 2015, and the same period last year – there was a 356 percent increase in revenue derived from the category between those two measurement spans, with consumer drones leading the big increase with 483 percent revenue growth. Pro drones, like Parrot’s eBee Ag agricultural model, also saw revenues rise 164 percent overall.
These are huge increases in a particular category that has benefited from being in the limelight, as major players like Amazon continue to pursue their efforts to make delivery drones a reality, and as domestic players like Skycatch continue to help push the issue of commercial drone regulation forward at home in the U.S.
Increased attention for how drones might be used in commercial settings are clearly helping raise consumer consciousness when it comes to the category, too, as evidenced not just by these numbers, but also by the entry of new players to the market, and the acceleration of the frequency of product releases from established companies like Parrot, as well as DJI and others.
Parrot’s numbers need to be taken in context, of course; The increase for the consumer segment was from € 7.6 million in Q1 2014, to € 34.6 million in Q1 2015, so we’re not talking about the kind of numbers driven by the industry-leading smartphones. But that percentage increase is still incredibly steep, and if the pace of growth keeps up, consumer drones could become a significant product category very quickly.
As a result of the success of its consumer drone push, which included the launch of low-cost, fun entry-level devices like the Parrot Rolling Sumo and Jumping Spider, the company said in its earnings that it will be pursuing accelerated R&D efforts in that area in order to capitalize and stay competitive in the increasingly crowded market. The company also cites the Bebop’s launch late last year as a key ingredient in its sales success.
Parrot’s ability to target the low end of the category with drones that have unique abilities vs. the standard quadcopter consumer form factor could help it stand out from the fray.
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock these last few months, the 3DR Solo is likely the most anticipated launch of the summer.
“Solo is a breakthrough in intelligent flight. It’s not just smarter so that it can do more; it’s smarter so that you have to do less. We’ve turned the Hollywood toolkit into software and allowed everyone to experience what it’s like to make epic video, both behind and in front of the camera. Solo will expand our concept of what a drone can be and do, using advanced autonomous technology to make creativity easier. Rather than needing skill to capture a great shot, you can let the software do the work. Even better, you can be in the shot—you can be the subject of your life’s story, not just the director.”
— Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics
This interesting advertisement from Audi features the use of hundreds of drones. Inspired by The Birds, the famous Hitchcock film, this ad shows how the Audi A6 fares against a horde of aggressive drones. A little ridiculous… probably, but entertaining nonetheless.
Today, I’m going to walk you through 17 inexpensive drones for beginner pilots.
At UAV Coach, we always suggest starting off with a less expensive system. This is so you can hone your skills before moving on to the bigger guns (like the DJI Phantom 4) or the Yuneec Typhoon H).
These models don’t have all the bells and whistles of high-end drones for sale, but you’ll be surprised at how advanced their features can get.
Also, you may want to consider learning to fly using a drone simulator. We’re pro-simulator over here and recommend buying the Great Planes RealFlight Drone Simulator. Great physics and many models to choose from. There’s also this free FPV simulator if you’re interested in learning how to race
Drone technology has come a long way, which means we’ve been able to pack more capabilities into smaller, less expensive packages.
These are some of the most affordable (and popular) UAVs on the market today, and they’re great for anyone looking to get some flight practice under their belt. They’re also great gifts for both adults and kids.
Don’t want to scroll down and read all the specs and just want to see the full list?
Check out the full specs of our list of 17 cheap drones for beginner pilots below:
Note: All specs/features come from either the manufacturer or retailer. Results may differ whether you equip your system with prop guards, a camera, etc.
Note #2: When checking out prices, we’ve included both Amazon and Banggood, two of the largest and most respectable online drone retailers. We do our best to keep these listings up-to-date on a regular basis, but if you see something we missed, let us know at email@example.com.
Note #3: Big thanks to USA Toyz, who sent us a lot of smaller models to test and review. You guys are awesome.
1. U818A Wifi FPV Drone with Altitude Hold and HD Camera
UDI is a highly reputable (and affordable) drone manufacturer that’s been constantly upgrading their training / beginner sUAS models over the last couple of years.
This model, the U818A, boasts altitude-hold and a first-person-view (FPV) screen, so you can see exactly what the HD camera of your drone sees…in real time. Great practice for those of you looking to get into FPV racing.
But that’s not all! You also get bonus VR goggles, an extra battery, extra propellers, AND and a bonus power bank for additional charging.
1 USB Battery Charger
1 SC Card reader
1 4GB SD card
4 Spare Blades
The camera can capture 720P video at 30 frames per second (with an SD card). This is one of the most popular training quadcopters on the market, and I like this particular package because it comes with an extra battery.
The LCD screen on its transmitter displays a full range of flight stats to keep you in the know. Its light but durable frame makes it a great quad for new pilots to practice with.
These extra parts are available for the the U818A:
HEADLESS MODE: Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction, by using Headless, the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction, the direction will be the same as your remote controller
3D SPLIT SCREEN DISPLAY: Compatible with 3D VR HEADSET on MJX FPV APP, use your own VR HEADSET (NOT INCLUDED) to see the world in a different way
FPV REAL TIME TRANSMISSION: Connect your phone with the drone and the view will be shown directly on your phone, thus enjoy the world above the horizon
ONE KEY 3D ROLL: With the latest technology of 6-Axis Gyro flying control system, it can fly very stable and take better pictures and it can finish the 3D roll with one key, it is very easy to use even for the beginner
The X4 H107L is the model I learned how to fly on.
It’s pretty basic but flies well. It has a built-in 720 pixel camera. Its compact size still makes it an excellent indoor flyer. Please note that this model does NOT come with an extra battery, propeller guards, etc. Consider getting a “crash pack” from the link below. I wish I would have bought one when I first started flying this thing back in 2014.
The Hubsan X4 H107L is a great first model for the newbie pilot, but pretty bare bones compared to some of the other models on this list.
Even in moderate winds, the Syma X5C held up really well during my test flights. This exclusive package comes with an extra battery, effectively doubling your flight time. You’re also getting extra propellers as well.
The Syma X5C also comes with a forward-facing HD camera (720p) and 2GB SD card. That, plus a few autonomous features like headless mode and one-button flips and barrel rolls, makes this a great drone for beginners.
First, it’s got SAFE technology. SAFE stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope. It helps you prevent crashing your drone and assists you in takeoff (two necessary skills for any newbie pilot).
If at any time you lose control or need to take a breather, simply let go of the sticks and the quadcopter will hover in place.
When you get more advanced, switch the quad to agility mode to perform skillful maneuvers and hit top speeds.
The Blade Nano is a beginner drone (for under $100) that will carry you into the veteran landscape. (Blade was also featured in our list of drone companies to watch, among a few of the other manufacturers in this article.)
An exclusive training quadcopter from USA Toyz, the F180+ is one of the more durable beginner quadcopters out there. As you can see by those propeller guards, they can take quite a beating.
This makes it great for beginners, but more experienced pilots will enjoy this quad as well. The F180+ has a skillful 360 degree eversion (flip) capability. Mode 1 is best for taking photos/videos, and mode 2 allows for greater control in moderate wind.
These extra parts are available for the the F180+:
The JJRC H8C is the Syma X5C’s arch rival. Boasting 4 different speeds (25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) it’s a great quad to progress from beginner to advanced.
Like the X5C, this drone comes with propeller guards and landing gear standard. The H8C offers an LCD monitor attached to the transmitter. This monitor shows you the throttle, LED light, battery power, and signal conditions — all very useful information for any pilot.
The JJRC H8C also boasts a 2MP camera and dual mode transmitter (Beginner and Professional mode).
The DBPOWER X705C is one of the most affordable FPV options a beginner UAV pilot has. Not only is it compatible with a VR headset, but the transmitter has a built-in FPV screen so you can see exactly what the drone sees. popular drones on the market. For its price, you get a stable quadcopter that can perform all of the maneuvers you want it to.
As you can see from the image, the Hubsan H111 is one of the smallest quads on the market, comparable to the size of a quarter.
But they still managed to fit 3 gyros and 3 accelerometers in there. This isn’t the drone to show off your best moves with, but for a beginner, it will get you airborne, learning the controls, and comfortable enough to move on to more expensive drones.
The Yi Zhan X4 comes with prop guards standard, and is often compared to the famous Hubsan X4. Despite how big it may look in the image, it is on the smaller side of the market. This makes it great for indoor flying.
However, it’s also powerful enough to hit high speeds outdoors, making the Yi Zhan a fun quadcopter for beginner to intermediate flyers.
These extra parts are available for the Yi Zhan X4:
With the UFO-like UDI U845, you can achieve real-time video-transmission, or FPV, by connecting your iOS or Android device via WiFi.
Most of the models in this list are pretty similar, but where the UDI U845 stands out is that it’s a hexacopter, meaning that it’s got 6 sets of motors and propellers instead of the normal 4 that you’d find in a quadcopter.
The reason this is important is that you’ll get extra redundancy if one of your motors or propellers fails during flight.
Also, with this model you’ll get an extra, replaceable battery. When your first battery dies, simply swap it out for another one and you’re good to go for another 6-9 minutes!
It’s a best seller for a reason. This thing is a perfect quadcopter for beginners, and veterans will enjoy flying it as well. It’s great for all skill levels.
The Cheerson CX-10 Mini is (super) small and durable, so even if you do end up losing a few propellers, spare parts are inexpensive. Despite its size, Cheerson still managed to pack a 6-axis flight control board in there for advanced maneuvers.
Selling million dollar homes is a sure way to bring home a large commission check. But selling “luxury” homes (defined today as those in excess of $1,000,000) takes work to gather all the marketing ingredients necessary to stimulate interest from a selected set of buyers.
“What we do is just give the client all the information and they make a decision”
More and more the discussion of luxury home marketing turns to aerial photography as a “need to have” rather than a “nice to have” item in the sales package. This requirement has led the real estate community to quickly educate themselves on the options for capturing promotional aerial views of their homes.
Looking at real estate sales by the numbers (and with a broad “rounding” brush):
There are 5 million homes sold in the United States annually.
Of these sales, 100,000 or (2%) are categorized as “luxury” sales, exceeding a price tag of one million dollars.
Real estate commission rates are five percent or $50,000 (for the one million dollar house)
Realtors generate more than $5 billion annually from the sale of “luxury” properties.
With $5 billion in commissions in play, realtors will do whatever is necessary to get prospective buyers in the door. DRONELIFE believes that this will translate into over $10 million in aerial photography service fees in 2016 in the United States. DRONELIFE expects that 35% of all “luxury” home sales in 2016 will include drone footage and that all but 5% (where the drone is owned by the realtor) will be through business relationships with aerial photography service providers. The $10 million math: 30,000 drone jobs @ $350/home (average price charged for real estate images and video clips).
So how are realtors finding service providers? Most service providers have a website where a realtor can see their portfolio of images and video in the real estate category. DRONELIFE offers a national service for realtors and other service seekers called JobsForDrones.com. This service allows for an immediate introduction to a service provider based on the proximity of the job.