Did you ever play that game as a kid where everyone went around in a circle and answered what kind of superpower you would choose? Some kids would choose invisibility, others super strength, but I guarantee you, several kids (myself included) would give the most obvious answer: flying.
Who didn’t gaze up at planes passing overhead with awe? Who didn’t have a secret fantasy of skimming clouds with your fingertips? Ever since we could cast our eyes the sky, people have dreamed of lifting themselves off the ground…but sadly we were never meant to fly – so instead, we got inventive. And aviation was born.
From the first biplane to the RC plane/helicopter craze of the early 2000s, we’ve only grown more and more obsessed with creating and manipulating crafts with which we can fly vicariously. So it was no big surprise when quadcopters (or, more commonly known as “drones”) used by the military were miniaturized were suddenly made available for everyday civilian use became the next big obsession.
They were everywhere and used for everything.
Deliveries. Journalism photography. Heck, it even became its own competitive sport.
With so many different makes and uses, there is an almost unlimited amount of ways you can put your drone through its paces…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last couple of years, you’ve more than likely heard of competitive drone racing.
The sport’s roots began in 2014 in Australia as an amateur motorsport. These crafts are designed to be lightweight and have a camera mounted directly onto the quad’s body. Pilots will stream footage from their places on the ground – either by using a monitor or specialized headsets.
The video streamed from the drones allows pilots to directly see what the drone sees, thus the unsubtle moniker of First Person View (FPV) quads.
Racing drones differ from their photography quad counterparts in that they are designed to be as light and agile as possible for faster forward movement.
Drone photography and videography have both become almost the norm when it comes to modern cinematography. If you’re looking to capture video or pictures of that radiant horizon sunset, a quality quad equipped with a particularly exceptional camera is a must-have.
Taking shots or footage while your drone hovers obediently overhead opens entirely new avenues of cinematic possibilities. Why? Because flying at higher altitudes gives your camera a wider field of vision and when it comes to fitting a mountain range or those infamously tall redwoods into a single frame, it might just give you just the advantage you need for that perfect alignment.
Pro tip: Be sure to invest in an FPV drone to tweak shots to your exact specifications. Why? The beauty of using a First Person View camera to boost the quality is that it enables you to capture just what you had in mind.
This particular use of quadcopters with cameras has seen a recent spike in popularity due to the breathtaking overhead shots at sweeping angles. Couples who selected an outdoor venue or destination location (i.e.: a pebbled beach with a scenic ocean view) can readily utilize aerial photography or video to fully capture their ceremony and landscape. The unique footage/photos will add an over-the-top touch of flair to any wedding video or album!
Pro-tip: it is recommended that families seeking to use this new way to document memories hire a professional drone pilot. This ensures that the photos/video taken will come out the best.
Real Estate Photography/Video
Real Estate agents have gotten ambitious in the last few years with the application of FPV drones to capture aerial footage of large homes and properties. Back in the day, some agents would go out of their way to hire helicopter pilots and film overhead footage. With the use of quadcopters, agents can now drastically cut back on the price of capturing that panoramic aerial footage. These hi-def videos/photos offer agents a chance to give potential buyers an online tour.
Typically, large companies would rent an airplane or helicopter to help survey potentially hazardous electrical lines or gas outlets. Now, though, companies can utilize drones in order to assess which parts of any project or property are in need of repair – all while minimizing worker risk or injury.
Employing a quad pilot with a good eye can also help companies keep track of vital materials, prevent theft, boost owner visibility, and supply essential information regarding design alterations or flaws.
Just like companies can use their drones for construction/design surveying, any homeowner can employ a helpful drone-friend to help find anything in need of repairs around your property. From finding a hole in the roof that requires patching to mapping out a new space to build your next backyard project, the possibilities are almost endless.
Know before you take-off…
While there are seemingly endless possibilities on how you can use your new quadcopter, it is important to read up on the rules before you fly – because there are laws established and regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) all pilots must observe.
1. Get your license
All pilots must take the FAA approved test in order to receive their remote pilot certificate.
2. Register your drone
Depending on whether you’re using your quadcopter for recreational or commercial use, you might need to register your drone. If you’re unsure, the FAA has kindly provided a list of quad registrations according to state for both “hobbyists” & “non-hobbyists.”
3. Keep clear of airports
All quads are not allowed in a five-mile radius of airports!
4. Google the drone laws in your state
Each state has varying regulations on the use of drones/cameras – i.e.: it is not legal in the state of California to use a drone to film a person without their consent.
So, if you’re ready to take your hobby or next big business venture to the sky, it’s worth putting in a little practice, research, and patience. Happy flying!