Have humans created the most expensive drone ever yet? Probably not. As technology continues to advance, so too does our ability to build even more complex and utilitarian drones. One day, drones could be completing many of the tasks that we assume people will always do. These include tasks like making deliveries, farming, and assisting with construction. Even with all of this automation in our future, what could be considered the most expensive drone or types of drones on the market today?
What Are the Most Expensive Drone Brands?
We took a look at some companies that produce the most expensive drones available. This is, of course, limited to what's commercially obtainable by civilians. Some types of drones and the technologies to operate them are only available to military forces and governments. It is fascinating to look into these drones, though, because a different version of what's available only to governments today could be available to everyone tomorrow.
Most Expensive Drone with a Human Passenger
This is the Ehang 184, and it's a type of drone that can get you up in the air for about 24 minutes. It takes about 2 hours to charge. The kicker? It costs 300,000 dollars. While this may deter many, if you have a passion for the latest tech and can afford it you'll be flying via drone in no time. Its safety tests have all been successful.
The Most Expensive Drone with a Mounted Camera
For the filmmakers who might seem to have it all, there's a good chance you haven't tried out the Augmented Aerigon Drone coupled with the Phantom Flex4K Camera. It came to be through a collaboration between Aerigon and Brian Farm, who runs the Brian Farm Digital Cinema Group. This industry leading production company is able to capture incredible 4K Ultra HD footage with this drone, and it has been used in several films. It retails at 250,000 dollars.
The Most Expensive Drone You Can Ride Like a Bike
This one requires a helmet and quite possibly some earplugs. Then you'll be ready to get on the Scorpion 3 Hoverbike: a drone you can ride. It's gone through many phases, from prototype to comprehensive safety testing, and it's now finally coming to the market. At the moment, though, it's still highly susceptible to wind gusts, so riding it in an open indoor space may be the best way to try it out for yourself for now. That is, if you can spend the 150,000 dollars to buy one.
The Most Expensive Drone for the Pragmatist
This next drone on our list of most expensive drones costs about as much as a high-end sports car, but it does as much as a smaller drone can do. It's called the XactSens,e and it's primarily used today for disaster relief. It can carry up to 50 pounds and has a range of just about 10 miles. It's also able to be in the air continuously for about 30 minutes. On top of this, it's one of the most easy-to-operate drones out there. To own one, you will have to plan on parting with 125,000 dollars. This price point speaks to both its quality in design and how durable it is.
Less Expensive Drone Types
The following are not drones on the high-end of the spectrum; however they're still perfectly functional/useable drones for those not wanting to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. These drones may not have the same impressive range or be able to reach the same heights as the first set of drones on our list, but they can do what's to be expected of drones in this segment.
The Freefly Alta 8
This drone has a 'spider-like' look. It has a half mile range and can stay in the air for 10 minutes carrying a 15 pound load. If it's carrying 5 pounds or less, it can stay airborne for 20 minutes. You can get this one on Amazon.
The DJI Inspire 2 Quadcopter
This more sleekly designed minimal drone is great for capturing small amounts of 4K footage as well as tracking movements. It uses complex algorithms to do this. In order to capture brilliant HD footage, it utilizes two built-in licences. These are the Cinema DNG Raw and the Apple ProRes Codec. It's also incredibly flexible when it comes to its programmability. Preset routes can be coded in, and during the actual flight the operator can focus on other things, like camera movements, for example.
The DJI Phantom 4 PRO Quadcopter
Another drone by DJI, this model is a great option for beginners that want a simple interface. It takes great photos if you're looking for a vantage point that only a drone can provide. In addition, it's both light and portable, making it ideal for backpacking trips and mountain biking excursions. It does take a little technical expertise to set up, though the included instructions make this process easier. All in all though, this drone has been rated the best value for the money based on its diversity of applications.
The YUNEEC YUNH920US Drone Tornado
This drone has the unique ability to capture the perfect angle for any shot. It has built in directional controls that will control the angle of the camera you attach. At the same time it will also adjust its own height when hovering in the air. This makes it ideal for professional photographers. If you're a beginner, this is perhaps only worth investing in if you have a pro with you. This way you can have someone with experience to teach you the more complex ways this drone operates and show you how it can be used most effectively.
The DJI Mavic Pro
This final lower cost drone is probably the more portable of all the ones we've mentioned. It folds down to the size of a bottle of water and is relatively light too. It also includes obstacle avoidance technology to prevent occasional mishaps. Its speed and flight duration are also impressive. It can achieve a top speed of 40 miles per hour and can stay in the air for approximately 27 minutes. This, coupled with its built-in GPS and GLONASS system, makes this drone a great all-purpose device that retails for under a thousand dollars on Amazon.
Where Can You Purchase the Most Expensive Drone?
If you're looking for drones that are in the less expensive range, your best bet will grabbing one like the ones we've mentioned on Amazon. If you're looking to procure one of the high-end models for personal or company use, it may be worth reaching out to the makers directly. Chances are that for the higher end models, a work order could take quite a while to complete because of the relative infrequency of requests for these top dollar devices.
The Most Expensive Drone in the World
So how much does the most expensive drone in the world cost? Well, this drone was in development for over 10 years, and the cost of its continuous research and testing alone has already cost 11 million dollars. We are, of course, making an exception here and talking about a drone that will never be available for a civilian to own. It's called the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, and it has a wingspan of over 60 feet. Even though there's only so much the public is permitted to know, we'll break down some of the know specifics below:
Its intended use in the US Airforce is for intelligence gathering purposes, mainly conducted by the US Central Intelligence Agency (or CIA). There is limited information as to its full capabilities, but it seems to be intended first and foremost for aerial reconnaissance.
The RQ-170 takes about three people to operate at any given time. Amazingly, in comparison to its almost 66 foot wingspan, its length is a mere 14 ft 9 inches. It also sits at about 6 ft tall when on the ground. As far as performance is concerned, it can fly at about 50,000 feet, which is close to the cruising altitude of most commercial jets.
No matter what use you have for drones, we hope you now have a better understanding of how they can help you achieve your aerial objectives. Maybe one day some of us will be taking drones to get to work. Or maybe in the even nearer future you'll be picking up the pizza you ordered from a flying delivery drone outside your bedroom window.
It's hard to say right now which of these potential uses for drones will be put into practice first. Knowing how to assemble and operate a drone will put you at an advantage once these new ways of using them come to pass. So if you're looking to explore this emerging world of drones, take advantage of what you know now, and you'll be flying in no time.
Last update on 2021-03-05 at 08:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API