6 High Altitude Drones [Safety + Maximum Flying Height]


  • Tips for Flying from High Altitude
  • High Altitude Flying and Safety
  • High Altitude Drones and the Legislation
  • Traxxas Aton (+-400 ft)
  • Blade Chroma (+- a thousand ft)
  • Autel Robotics X-Star Premium (+-3300 ft – maybe? )
  • Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K (+- 3300 ft)
  • DJI Inspire 2 (+- 16500 ft ASL w/ high altitude props)
  • DJI Phantom 4 (+-20 000 ASL ft! )
  • What Drones Reaches the Highest Altitude?

When looking on the specs for a drone we usually care most regarding things like speed, range, endurance and camera quality. Most people don’t really treatment how high their drone can fly. To become honest, it’s not an interest I’ve given much believed to either. That is, until I saw this video clip of a guy traveling his drone as much as a good insane 33 000 foot.

That got me personally wondering, just how thin air can some commercial drones go? Which drones hold the highest ambitions? Can some of them make it to area? OK, the very last one will be almost definitely not gonna happen, but I’m nevertheless going to try plus find the commercial drones with the highest altitude rating.

Short on period? Take a look at our Quick Checklist of High Altitude Drones

  • Traxxas Aton (+-400 ft)
  • Blade Chroma (+- one thousand ft)
  • Autel Robotics X-Star Premium (+-3300 ft – maybe? )
  • Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K (+- 3300 ft)
  • DJI Inspire 2 (+- 16500 ft ASL w/ high altitude props)
  • DJI Phantom 4 (+-20 1000 ASL ft! )

By i mean these types of drones aren’t purpose-built, custom made or otherwise physically altered products. It’s off-the-shelf altitude numbers we care about here, albeit with a software program hack here and right now there.

Techniques for Flying at High Altitude

Obtaining an aircraft to go higher and higher is not simply a case associated with mashing the throttle.   There are plenty of aspects that limit how high any flying machine can go.   For one thing, it might be relatively calm near the ground, but as going up wind gusts can become stronger than a rotorcraft can deal with.

Air is also getting slimmer and thinner, which indicates the rotors aren’t working as effectively. The heat also decreases rapidly the particular higher you get. Lithium-ion batteries lose performance because the temperature drops. Basically the further away from the Planet you get, a lot more identified nature is to enable you to get back down. So drones that may hit high altitude numbers are in fact pretty amazing from a design perspective. Respect!

Also remember that there are a difference between max altitude above ground and above sea degree (ASL) . Many drones have high ocean level altitudes, but will only go an established limited distance above floor. The numbers quoted here are meant to stand for above ground altitudes, but in many cases it’s not clear which it’s intended to be. Where I can confirm it’s an ASL number I’ve noted it. Feel free to correct the figures in the comments if you have more details.

High Altitude Flying and Safety

  Just because a drone is rated to reach a particular height, doesn’t mean it’s safe!   The increased you go, the much better the chances something will proceed wrong. You can lose the particular radio link or have a fly away because of strong winds. Usually users that want high altitudes usually have a specific purpose within mind, such as filming a structure that really needs that kind of height. In case you proceed up into the azure yonder you have in order to do it with the particular full knowledge that your drone could be going bye-bye.

Also keep within mind that the quoted altitudes are usually only achievable by removing software program limiters. Sometimes this may involve some hacking, that could invalidate your warranty.

High Altitude Drones and the Regulation

The particular video I included from the top of the particular article was made within Siberia, which apparently don’t have much in the method of drone laws. Therefore it was a perfectly-legal thing to try. However, in other parts of the world things are not so lax.   In america under FAA laws you can’t fly your drone above 400 ft (about 120 meters) with out special permission  . Therefore how high a jingle can fly is probably not very relevant to you should you be not someone who may get that permission (such as a research scientist) and therefore will never ever need that ability. If you are inside a career that requires some elevation from your drone or reside in a part of the world where it truly is legal to push the particular ceiling a bit, read on for the top contenders.

Even if right now there are no explicit height restrictions inside your part associated with the world, line-of-sight laws and regulations might have the same effect. So if your drone is so up high you can’t see it along with the naked eye, you may also be breaking the law.

Traxxas Aton (+-400 ft)

Traxxas isn’t the most well-known brand, but I’ve actually got more than a few run ins with their drones over the last few years plus have come away usually impressed. They make some actually fun racing drones and other non-autonomous quadcopters. Along with a strong sense of style, cool fuselages and solid performance there’s a lot to like here.

The particular Aton is not much different brand picture. It looks like the flying race car and it is decked out in strong colours and shapes. It looks just the racer and when you consider of the limiter and switch it to sports activities mode, this thing actually moves.   Aton says it may exceed 50 mph, which is more than 80kph.   It may not audio all that fast, but it’s 30% faster than, for example, the DJI Spark.

This also can make the Aton purpose-built for acrobatics and insane aerial stunts. The frame will be made from composite material, which is one associated with the reasons it has a pretty steep price for a relatively basic drone. That doesn’t imply it can’t be utilized for some filming as well. It has the stable flight mode to take better footage plus you can also obtain an Aton with the optional gimbal.

There’s   no camera included  either method, so you can basically attach the sports activity camera compatible with the mount.

How do the Aton on this high-altitude list? It’s because this jingle tops out at just under the   400 foot mark  . Meaning no matter how high you push it, you’ll still be around the right side of the particular law in the UNITED STATES. Make no mistake, 400 feet is still pretty darn high. The Aton simply frees you from getting to check how high you’re going to begin with.

  The drone has an app user interface and GPS system.   Allowing with regard to features such as position hold and return-to-home. Overall, this is one badass sports drone.

  Here are our favorite high altitude drones:  

Blade Chroma (+- a thousand ft)

The Blade Chroma’s style is clearly riffing pretty strongly on the DJI Phantom. No less than at first glance. If you look a little closer you’ll observe this drone hasn’t long gone for the all-white, all-smooth look. Instead there are a lot of little accents plus details which I quite like.

Excellent   1080p/60fps camera with a three-axis gimbal  and a price that will puts it in the same ballpark as comparable drones from well-known brand names. Blade says you’ll obtain   30 minutes of flight time  from the Chroma, which is pretty good at this price point.

Similar to a Phantom,   the Chroma has tracking modes, automated flight patterns and various safety features  that mean actually a novice pilot won’t be wrecking it.   The incorporated transmitter also has a large 5. 5” touchscreen constructed in.   Really it has the lot of bang with regard to buck. You can furthermore buy versions of this drone with no digital camera or a different design of camera.

In terms of altitude, the Chroma is   software-limited to 400 feet  , but I’ve noticed account of people hitting altitude of more than 1000 feet. This drone is getting on within years and isn’t also listed on the Blade home page as far as I can see, but might still be a viable mid-range option. Even though you have to pick up an used a single.

Autel Robotics X-Star Premium (+-3300 ft – maybe? )

I have never heard of Autel Robotics, in order to be honest. Searching for their website yields some really interesting drones. The X-Star Premium is an upgraded model of their X-Star. It improves on the initial in several ways, particularly when it comes to video transmission range.

The X-Star comes with a 4K camera and 1. two mile video transmission variety. It’s autonomous and supports both GPS and GLONASS. This premium bundle furthermore comes with a 32GB memory card as regular. A small thing, but nice to have in the box. Also, when you’re taking 4K footage 64GB isn’t all that much.

It uses the Starlink Application, which lets you mess with the different setting since you expect, while also acting because the live give food to monitor. The transmitter has a phone/tablet clamp regarding that very purpose.

In terms of altitude the X-Star is restricted to the regulation 400 feet altitude, but We have ready several individuals claiming it can be pushed upward to 3300 ft with the software limitation removed. The thing is, I actually can’t find any strong instructions on how that’s supposed to work as well as the recognized documentation doesn’t mention anything I could find. Therefore take this particular höhe figure with a grain of salt.

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K (+- 3300 ft)

Yuneec has already been making a real title for itself and will be a really viable alternative in order to DJI as well as range of class-leading drones.

The Q500 in question here is an absolute beast and extremely well-priced so that you get.   The particular onboard camera about this design will do 4K/30fps or 1080/120fps.  

  The Q500 continues to be widely praised as the solid aircraft that provides a stable platform regarding amateur videographers and professional photographers.   This particular comes with the ST10+ ground station, which provides a built-in screen. The same basic unit all of us saw with the Blade Chroma.

When it arrives to high altitude, the particular Q500 apparently has simply no altitude restriction cap in the latest firmware and owners have purportedly flown it at 1000 meters (3300 ft) with an achievement.

DJI Inspire 2 (+- 16500 ft ASL w/ high altitude props)

If you are dropping several thousand dollars on a drone rather than several hundred, you expect excellent things from it. The Inspire 2 is the   professional drone meant for Showmanship productions and super-serious tasks.  

The Inspire 2 may be   equipped with a 5. 2K camera.   Incredibly solid intelligent flight modes and really cool landing gear that lifts completely out associated with the camera’s view. This has a respectable airline flight endurance too, given the particular hefty payload and technological density. DJI says you’ll get between 25 plus 27 minutes depending on which camera you choose.

The Inspire 2 is usually rated to have an astounding 16500 feet above sea degree. In order to reach that height and function in such thin atmosphere, you do however need the special high-altitude stage sets. This means you may use this drone in order to film in locations along with thin air without stressing that the baby will fall out from the sky.

DJI Phantom 4 (+-20 000 ASL ft! )

Does the Phantom four even need an intro? This particular is the latest iteration in the drone model collection that launched DJI into the market leader this is today.

Like other high-end drones within the DJI stable, the Phantom 4 benefits from advanced vision systems and high levels of autonomous flight capability.

You obtain a   4K/30fps camera with a very effective gimbal.   This produces footage that certainly looks quite professional, although DJI doesn’ t market the Phantom as anything beyond “ enthusiast”. You’ ll need to look to the Inspire for Hollywood aspirations.

At this stage DJI have refined simply about everything about their own software for the small information of the design happen to be polished to a glow. This is one of the particular most mature drone systems on the market.

Additionally, it   gets the highest ASL altitude rating  here. Even though the stock jingle is limited to 400 feet above ground, this   may operate almost 20 500 feet above sea level!  

What Drones Reaches the particular Highest Altitude?

It’ s remarkably tricky to get a straight answer when looking for drones that can climb to the maximum heights.

Right now there also appears to be a rather one-sided decision by jingle makers to limit their particular drone in the manufacturing plant to FAA specifications, regardless of having enormous service ceilings. It’ s particularly annoying when there are plenty of places on Earth where it is neither dangerous nor illegal to proceed greater than the US government feels comfortable with.

Hopefully that nanny-like attitude will alter eventually in order to giving the pilot the particular responsibility to obey their own local laws. Still, We can’ t help but be amazed at how long the actual flight capabilities of consumer drones has come.

  • About
  • Latest Posts
Sydney Butler

Sydney Retainer

Sydney Butler is a prolific technology author with a knack with regard to digital gadgets and a love of flying items. He’s been messing along with tech since the early 90s and desires for the day time that quadcopter hoverbike finally goes on sale.

Sydney Butler

Latest posts by Sydney Retainer ( see all )

  • Getting a Commercial Drone License in the US [Step-By-Step] – February 5, 2019
  • The 5 Best 4K Drones 2019 [From Budget to Pro Choice] – January 22, 2019
  • FAA Part 107 Research Guide 2019 [Pass FAA:s Drone Test] – January 8, 2019