Not many people associate drones with gasoline. This is because gasoline has had very little application in the drones' field in the past when compared to its use in motor vehicles and other forms of transport. Fortunately, this is quickly being changed with the growing number of organizations and individuals working on producing gas powered drones.
If you want a drone that can fly faster and for much longer than a traditional drone,you should be thinking of ordering a gas powered drone.Gas powered drones are built with small and efficient engines that act fast to start and move your drone to your required destinations without the delays associated with batteries. Usually, the engine works perfectly with traditional gasoline. Most use motor oils that can be found in your local store. The engine is designed to deliver the same functionality as a traditional electric drone.
Gasoline engines are often heavy, and this makes the drone be a little bit larger and weigh more than the typical RC model. This helps give a better flying experience because the added weight is a significant advantage in windy conditions as it helps resist the force exerted by the wind, stopping the wind from influencing the flow of your drone.
You can also fly your drone for longer and gain a better perspective on how best to operate it so that you can achieve your desired results. However, it is important to note that the control of a gas powered drone can be more challenging to an average flyer, especially when compared to the traditional RC drone because of the additional size and weight. T
The gas powered drone has a stronger engine and much heavy body which might prove challenging to individuals especially those used to flying light RC models.Every gas powered drone model is designed and built differently. Each model has its own unique design and features which make it work well for the purpose it was intended.
Some ready-made models are fitted with their own high-quality cameras for taking pictures and filming events as may be desired. Some come with all parts in a box just ready for assembling.
Today there are several organizations that build gas powered drones, providing many options when you decide it is time to purchase a new drone for whatever use you desire.
Note: Gasoline powered drones are not currently for sale as they are still in the development stage. Here are a few drones that can perform the tasks that gas powered drones can do.
Freefly Systems ALTA UAV
This drone can not only hold heavy payloads up to 15 pounds, but it is also made of a lightweight carbon frame. Made in the USA, this is probably the closest you can get to a gas powered drone. It is a bit expensive, but for the price it is well worth it. If you are looking for a cheaper option, check out the DJI Drones below
This DJI Drone can hold up to 4lb. The Drone itself is not that heavy coming in at approximately 10lb. This drone is much cheaper than the Alta UAV coming in at approximately $1500
DJI Matrice 600
Another DJI Drone, this one a bit more expensive than the S1000+, the Matrice 600 can hold up to a 5.5lb payload. It's perfect for industrial applications and aerial photography.
Types of Gas Powered Drones
When compared to RC drones, the gas powered drones are not very common. In fact, most of the available gas powered drones are as a result of Do It Yourself projects. However, there are still some options when you want to buy a powerful gas powered drone. If you really want to fly this type of a drone then here are your options:
Heavy Lifting Quadcopter (HLQ)
This gas engine quadcopter was designed by a team of engineering students from the San Jose State University in California. As the name suggests, the HLQ was designed to help in lifting and delivery of loads of about 50 pounds to preset destinations. The drone has its own Kickstarter campaign, and it is intended to be used widely in the e-commerce, delivery parcels.The HLQ is designed with a pair of two-stroke gasoline engines. The engines are made to deliver about 12.5 horsepower. The drone is relatively large and requires more space for it to operate efficiently.
For lifting the desired weight, the quad is designed with four helicopter rotor heads and 435 mm blades. These are propelled by the engines to produce the required thrust to lift its heavy weight plus the loads.The drone employs the Ardupilot module flight controllers. The Ardupilot module is an open source module which allows for finer configuration as it may be required for flying. To make the drone lighter, its frames are made of aluminum tubes.
Although there has been a lot of buzz about this commercial drone, it is still in its testing stage without much commercial application yet.
The Nitro Stingray is a gas powered drone similar in functionalities to its electric version. The Nitro Stingray gas powered quadcopter is built with a single two-stroke Scorpion motor and 110 mm blades to provide the up thrust it needs to fly.The drone uses the TG-Multi flight controllers which are set to make adjusting speeds and direction as easy as possible. The system has variable pitch features which make it easy to move the quadcopter up and down.
The Nitro Stingray gas powered quadcopter is very stable during flight and can maintain a steady position for much longer when compared to other drones. This has make the drone stand out to many people, particularly individuals who prefer a strong and active drone that has little or no risk of falling.The Nitro Stingray drones not only handles the normal drone flight movements but also a wide variety of 3D flight movements. For 3D movements, the drone supports up and down maneuvers as well as diagonal movements.
The drones can also support rolls and all manner of acrobatic movements that makes flying the drone such a great experience.
The Yeair quadcopter is still under development but has lots of promise as a gas powered drone. The drone is a strong model with a great gas engine and a small battery to power the system given that it is a little heavier and powerful than ordinary drones. This makes it more expensive than its peers.
The Yeair drone is a very fast drone designed for transporting parcels over longer distances in the shortest time possible. It can cruise at high speeds of up to 60 mph for long distances transporting a package weighing up to 12 pounds. The drone is also built to fly for about an hour before it is due for refueling.
The battery that comes with the model is not rechargeable but helps keep emissions from the drone at a minimum.The engine designed for Yeair is a unique two stroke engine which is immune to wear and quite long lasting. The drone is also quite rigid and can last much longer. It is efficient and fast, making ideal for all manner of uses. The drone is also designed with a strong border which helps shelter it from possible damage during strong winds.
This is one of the best Do It Yourself products you can get in the market. The drone is designed to be assembled from easily available materials, making it easy for any person passionate about drones to be able to easily assemble one.
The Goliath quadcopter was designed for and entered in the Hackaday Prize Competition. It is created with a single gasoline engine that delivers about 30 horse powers. The engine controls the propellers via control cables attached to it, eliminating the need for rotors.
The Goliath is designed in a way that allows the average consumer to buy the materials locally and assemble the drone with a little assistance. The parts can easily be purchased in local stores across the world. This makes the assembly of the body structure of Goliath very affordable, allowing the owners some change to buy a quality engine and propellers.
The drone uses either wood or aluminum materials for its frame, and this makes it lighter which is an advantage, as it does not demand that the engine produces extra power for its flight.
The Goliath uses the Ardupilot for its flight control system. This gives the drone a lot of flexibility regarding flying as you can easily customize the software to fit your flight requirements. This is further made easy by the fact that the flight controller software is open source allowing for easy customization and improvement.
If you love to create things and would like try your hand at assembling your own drone, then you should consider acquiring a Goliath.
The quadcopter parts can be purchased locally and it is easy to fit them together. The Goliath is a great drone for carrying stuff around; however, there are still some issues being worked on by experts that will make the model a lot better once resolved.
Why Should You Buy A Gas Powered Drone?
A gas powered drone is different from the electric drone primarily because it does not have a battery. This significant difference has its own benefits and drawbacks, which might help you make the right decision when deciding whether or not to buy a gas powered drone. Here are a few reasons why you should consider a gas powered drone over an electric one:
It is Easy to start
When the drone has the right fuel, it is a lot easier to start and operate. The use of fuel eliminates the need to wait until the battery is charged for you to use your drone. In fact, when the fuel gets exhausted all you need to get it back up in the air is to add more fuel.
Most models use common forms of gasoline easily available in the market such as unleaded gasoline or even the two stroke motor oils.
Only a few high-end models use nitro- based fuels, but these are easily available in the market if you look in the right places.
If you don't want to have a problem with finding fuel for your drone then go for one that uses the ordinary gasoline which is easily available in the market.
Longer Drone Life
A gas powered drone is often stronger than its electric counterpart. This means that the drone has limited wear and tear and thus can last a lot longer than the electronic ones. Usually, the life expectancy of gas powered drones varies from one model to the next but all will last longer than the electric model. This is because the gasoline engine drone is made with larger and stronger parts which reduce wear and tear issues and increase its life expectancy.
Longer Flight Time
One problem with batteries is that they are quickly discharged when put to heavy use. An electric drone will have to stop every ten or so minutes so that the battery can be recharged. The gas powered drone helps solve this problem by letting you fly your drone continuously for up to an hour before refueling.
Also, the fueling only takes a few seconds as opposed to several hours required to recharge a battery. When flying for longer, you will require more fuel which might be a bit expensive when compared to recharging your battery. However, this does not need to be a major concern especially if you are interested in keeping your drone up in the air for much longer.
Size and Weight
This may be an advantage and a disadvantage depending on how you look at it. Larger body frame and increased weight mean that your drone can easily resist heavy winds giving you a lot of control especially when flying it in windy conditions. The large size and heavy built also means that your drone can carry relatively heavy loads a lot easier when compared to similar electric drones.
However, it is important to note that the larger your drone the larger space you will need to fly and control your drone. Also, you may need the engine to produce extra power to help with the flight.
Problems Associated with Gas Powered Drones
Although gas powered drones tend to have a lot of benefits, they also have issues relating to their design and how they are built. Some of the key issues to take note of include:
The gas powered drones weigh more than their battery-powered counterparts. Although the additional weight helps balance the drone while flying, especially in windy conditions, it presents a bigger problem. First, getting the drone off the ground and landing it may be an issue for many people especially those not used to flying such weighty devices.
Second, more weight means that the engines have to produce more power to help lift the drone of the ground and this means having a larger engine and hence more consumption of fuel which makes running such a drone more expensive. More weight also means that more materials are required to build such a drone, and this adds to the cost of the drone.
Finally, the additional weight presents an additional risk in case of a crash. Whereas a battery-powered drone may not have a lot of complication during a minor crash, a fuel powered drone will be extensively damaged and if it fell from a higher height may burst into flames.
A drone that uses gasoline behaves more like a motor vehicle. To start of the drone you need to ignite the motor which may cause interference because the ignition process requires relatively high voltage. This may not be a big problem, but can be challenging to novice drone users. Most people solve the interference problem by using a 2.4 GHz spread spectrum radio or PCM.
To power and use an electric drone is a lot easier; all you need to check is the battery levels to ensure that it is charged to fly your drone. This is not always the case in gas powered drones. The reality with the gas powered drones is that you need to check a lot of things regularly to ensure that your drone does not crush and get damaged.
You need to check fuel levels for the flight, the fuel system to make sure that there are no leaks that can cause a fire, and you need to check the lubrication of the moving parts to ensure that can work effectively to carry the weight of your drone.
Although size and weight may seem to be the same problems regarding materials required to build the drone. However, with the extent of damage in case of a crash and the general cost of owning a gas powered drone, it presents unique challenges to controlling the drone.
First, the large size means that you need more space to operate the drone when compared to the typical battery-powered drone. In addition, you cannot use the drone in places that require micro drones. Second, the large size presents a lot of challenges when maneuvering the drone in places with lots of other objects such as trees.
Who Needs a Gas Powered Drone?
Due to their unique features, gas powered drones works best for specialized operations.
Gas powered drones are made of strong materials and can fly in windy conditions much better than the ordinary electric drones. This quality makes them perfect for emergency services such as rescue teams, for example, the Red Cross and fire departments may fly the drones fitted cameras in difficult conditions to assess the situation.
Gas powered drones are designed to lift and deliver loads and travel longer distances at higher speed. Their large size and powerful engines mean that they can be used to by delivery companies or online businesses to deliver goods and parcels to homes and other businesses. The drones may also find greater applications in the delivery of emergency medical supplies to patients and doctors on call in case of an emergency or where it is difficult to access easily.
Although the electric drones are often used for surveillance, their main disadvantage is that they can fly for much longer and they need to be recharged after every few minutes. The gas engine drones eliminate the problem because they can fly for longer and refueling takes a short time than recharging the battery. This makes them better equipped to provide continuous surveillance when compared to the battery-powered drones.
Click here to see our article on surveillance drones.
Filming live events
Live events that last longer such as demonstrations and places with large crowds may require continuous filming from vantage points that will give a clear picture of the happenings. The use of gas powered drones, which fly for longer and quick refuelling, is more viable then the use of electric drones which may require frequent stopping to recharge.
The Cost of Gas Powered Drones
As discussed above gas powered drones are generally larger and heavier when compared to battery-powered drones. What this means that more materials and powerful systems are used in the making of the drones. This makes the drones more costly than electric drones.A typical gas-powered drone will cost you more than a thousand dollars. It is, however, important to note that the cost of the drone differs from one model to the next.
Do It Yourself models that you only have to buy parts then assemble them yourself are a lot cheaper when compared to high end ready to fly models.The other cost of a gas powered drone to be considered is the cost of fuel. Whereas the cost of recharging batteries may be minimal, gas can be quite expensive especially if you have a drone that uses high-end nitro based oils. Depending on the reasons you are building a drone, you should go for one that uses easily available gasoline and has a reduced consumption rate.
Important Features to Consider When Considering a Gas Powered Drone
A gas powered drone can be put to great use such as surveillance or delivery of parcels when used in a commercial setting. In addition, the drones can be powerful tools for the hobbyists who just want to enjoy flying drones. Gas powered drones have many features each designed to perform a specific function.
The features of a given drone have will directly influence its handling and general use. Depending on the use you want for your drone you should go for one that has the features that make it ideal for the work you have in mind. Before you buy a drone it is important that you consider these factors:
How do the parts work?
The working of individual parts of a drone may have several features that influence how the drone functions. Before you buy a drone, you need to consider each part and how it works.
For example the blades rotate to provide the require up thrust, but you need to consider a number of important blade features such as the size of the blades in relation to space you have for flying the drone, the material used to make the blades and if the blades can easily be replaced in case they are damaged.
You have to do the same for all the other parts such as the motor, the exhaust, the fuel system and the engine. This is important to ensure that you know how your drone works, how the parts can be improved and how easy you can replace any damaged part.
How is it assembled?
Whether you are buying parts to assemble yourself or a ready to fly drone, you need to know how the parts are assembled. Learning how your drone is assembled will help make work easy for you when it comes to maintaining the drone.
If you buy an already assembled drone make sure it is well assembled so that it can easily fly and not crash.Make sure that you get the manual for assembling the particular model that you buy. The manual will help you know how the parts are put together and how the drone is set up ready for flying.
This is an important step in learning how to handle your drone because once you know how it is put together and how different parts work you can easily manipulate it to achieve the desired goals.
Remember to resist the temptation to take apart your ready to fly drone just because you feel that you know how it works and you can easily reassemble it. Unless you are absolutely sure how to assemble it, taking it apart can damage it and make it difficult for you to use it.
Is your drone ready to fly?
When you go shopping for a drone, you are likely to see the letters RTF on the packages of a number of gas powered drone models. What this means is that the drones are already assembled for flying. When you buy such a model all you do is just set it up by checking the systems and fueling it, and it is ready for takeoff. Once this is done, you need to follow the instructions on the drone for controlling and flying it.
It is always important to check if the drone is ready for flying or if you have to assemble it before buying it. Usually, the one to be assembled has all the parts in the box, and all you have to do is to follow the manufacturer's instructions in assembling it. If you are going for high tech models it is always important you get it ready for flying. Some may have delicate parts that need to be machine fixed and may be complex for you to assemble the parts without the right tools.
Know the controls
To fly any drone, you need to study and understand the use manuals. Make sure that you read the user manuals and know how different control works. You will be surprised to learn that the controls even for the most sophisticated gas powered drone is just like the control schemes of the simplest drone you have ever had.As you learn the controls practice how to start and stop the drone.
Then slowly learn to move it up and down. Learn about the throttle features and how to maneuver it through different flying positions. This is important before you get started on the mission you intend to use the drone. Only deploy the drone when you are certain you can control it effectively.
How does the Drone Start?
This may be considered part of the controls, but it is an important feature for your drone that you need to pay attention to. Some gas powered drones have a button for starting while others use a pull cord. It is important to know which of the two starting methods your drone has and know how you can start it.
Some gas powered drones come with a battery for starting the drone and for doing a lot of other things. It is important you check how the battery is used for your particular model so that you have an idea of the workload on the battery and the best time to replace it. The sizes of the battery vary depending on the model, and this should be able to tell a lot in regards to how the battery is used and how and when it needs to be replaced.
Some drones come with cameras while others require you buy your own cameras for them. It is important you check on this especially if you want to use your drone for surveillance or filming purposes. In case you have to mount a camera on the drone make sure that you find the right fit for the camera so that it functions effectively as per your intended use.
In addition to having cameras, you should check on the memory and recording capacity of the drone. Some drones have large hard disks for storage of information while others only have a port where you are supposed to attach a storage device. Checking this will help you prepare well for the use of your drone.
Some gas-powered engines produce way too much noise that they may bother people if used near settlements; however such drones may be fine in a noisy factory. For drones intended to use in populated areas, for filming purposes, or even for surveillance, they need to have minimum noise. Depending on your intended use check the sound levels of all the models you are interested in and then buy one that produces the least noise.
The Final Verdict on Gas Powered Drones
Gas Powered drones come in a wide range of models which gives you lots of choices. These drones are strong, powerful and work effectively in a wide range of situations. There are lots of drones that can work for longer and fly for several miles without having to be refueled. Make sure you check on the controls and how far a gas powered drone can fly before being refueled.
This is important to ensure that you get the most out of your drone.Whatever your needs also ensure that you check on the motor and the battery of the drones you are interested in. Check the general design, the flying capability of the drone and the lifetime of the battery. This is the only way to ensure that you can fly your drone fast and you manage the starting very well Remember to also check on the controls.
Although the controls of many drone models may appear to be similar, there are some distinctive differences that may affect how you fly your drone and how to get the best out of it. It, therefore, important you feel comfortable with the controls before you pay for any gas powered drone model.It is always advisable you consider the intended uses of any models before you pay for them.
Even though a typical drone can be modified and used for lots of purposes, it is always important that you know how best to use a particular model. Some models are designed to do certain tasks and may not be best fit for what you want a drone for. Always check on this to ensure that you get a drone suitable for your purposes.
Finally, before buying a gas powered drown it is always important to be certain that you need such a fancy drone. This is because despite having many advantages it also has some cons that may work to your disadvantage. To make the right decisions on your particular need, here are some pros and cons of gas powered drone that you should consider:
The gas powered drone does not require recharging and avoids time wastage occasioned by battery rechargingThey use the same principles as other gasoline engines which make it easy for you to learn how to fine-tune and tweak your droneThe gas powered drones can travel long distances and much faster than similar electric-powered drones.The gas powered drones work for a longer time of up to an hour before refueling is required. This is way longer than the time a battery-powered drone can fly before it has to be recharged.
If you have no experience working with engines, you will find it difficult working with such dronesThe drones like gas engines generate fumes which may be a concern for your particular work. Some gas powered engines are quite noisy and unfit for use in populated areas. A gas powered drone may experience considerable damage in case of a crash.
The gas powered drones are great to have. They are built as working drones and can help do a lot. They are also great hobbyist drone that you should consider having.
If you liked this article, check out our article on what is a drone.