How Long Can A Drone Fly?

Why Do Drones Have Short Flight Times?

Drone flying time is very limited and most of the drones have average 15-30 minutes flying time. The most common reasons why batteries on drones are so short is that motors that drive drones require a lot of energy. Cheap drones can  fly only for 5 -10 minutes. Secondly, when energy is transferred in to or out of these batteries, heat is generated. Heat is a wasted energy from the batterie, and it is not good for battery because it reduces battery cycle life.

When choosing a battery for the Drone, the main thing we should look at are features such as capacity, safety, long duration and price. Batteries can have a long life characteristics, high capacity, high power, deep discharge, quick charge or other defined parameters. What’s important is battery capacity. Drones should choose the best battery that can store the most energy per unit of mass (Wh/kg). Lithium is the lightest of all metals, has the highest electrochemical potential and offers the highest specific energy by weight.

How Long Can Batteries Last?

Regardless of whether the battery is used or not, the battery performance deteriorates over time. Lifetimes of 500 to 1200 cycles are typical, which is approximately 6 years of use. When we talk about ageing process, it continues with the same rate as before so if the cell capacity falls to 80% after 1000 cycles, it will probably continue working to approximately 2000 cycles also.  The most likely cause of battery failure of a battery is abuse, subjecting a battery to conditions for which it was never designed.

How to Extend Your Battery Life on Drone

The simplest and most obvious way of getting the maximum life out of a battery is to ensure that it always works well within its designed operating limits. If you are drone owner, you know how important it is to get the most out of every charge because those last few minutes could get you the winning shot. So here’s a few tips on how to maximize your battery life.

1.Take care of your battery

Lithium polymer lipo batteries found in most drones are sensitive to temperature. Store in a cool dry place when you’re not using them. Never charge immediately after use while they’re still hot and once they’ve had some time to cool off make sure to charge them at room temperature. This is very important, and with this tip you will drastically increase your battery life and cycles.

2. Charge before you Fly

Most batteries start to drain on their own after charging, so timing is important. The longer the wait the more it will drain, so aim to charge a few hours before you take it out. Try to always  charge the battery to its full capacity on 100%.

3. Avoid Overcharging

A very important thing you must not forget is to avoid overdoing the battery when it reaches full capacity. Some batteries stopped charging automatically, but it’s never a good idea to leave a lithium-ion battery plugged into the wall for longer than it has to be. The reason fro that is the chemical composition that batteries contains.

4. Check the Weather

Weather is a very important factor no matter how experienced pilot you are, because it is very difficult to control your drone when there is a strong wind. Be aware that a fairly strong wind can reduce the flight time of a drone.. Another important factor about bad weather is when you are using a drone it takes more power to balance and with that the battery drain faster.

5. Remove excess weight

It is very clear that extra weight affects your drone’s flight time. Therefore, to increase flight time, get rid of the payload. This includes any propeller guards lens, filters or other accessories that may be weighing down your drone. This way you will greatly reduce the strain on the battery and increase your battery life.

6. Don’t Fly aggressively

The harder you fly them the more power you use and now that you got rid of the propeller guards, you should probably aim for a more steady controlled flight anyways plus you’ll get steadier footage.

7. Never fully drain your battery

Yes, it’s tempting to push it to the very end but those extra 5 minutes of flight are not worth the damage you may be doing to the battery in the long run. So listen to the warning signs and land as soon as possible.

Drone With Longest Flight Time 2019

Nobody likes short battery times with their drones. It is very desirable to have long drone flight time. Drone flying time is very limited, most of the drones have average 15-30 minutes flying time. These are the drones that have the longest flight time for now.

  1. DJI Mavic Pro 
  2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro     
  3. Parrot Bebop 2         
  4. Yuneec Typhoon H                                  
  • Range: 7000m
  • Range: 7000m 
  • Range: 2000m
  • Range: 1500m     
  • Flight Time: 27 min
  • Flight Time: 27 min
  • Flight Time: 21 min
  • Flight Time: 25 min

Cycle Life of Battery

This can be considered as one of the main parameter for displaying the battery life. When we talk about cycle life of a battery, we mean the number of charges and discharges that a battery can carry out before its capacity drops below 80% of baseline. This number of charging and discharging cycles in the battery also depends on the storage factor, as the temperature and load mode of the battery, because it also play a big role in how long the battery will last. Ideal conditions are the best way to increase the cycle life of a battery.

Memory Effect

The so called “Memory Effect” is another manifestation of the changing morphology of the cell components with age. It appears that some Nickel based cells particularly NiCads could “remember” how much discharge was required on previous discharges and would only accept that amount of charge in subsequent charges. Therefore, the best way is to always charged up your batteries to its full capacity [100%].


Drone flying time is very limited, and we can not change that (at least for now). The only thing we can do is to properly care about the battery, and thus increase its cycle life. Also, very important note is that your battery capacity never drops below 15%, because you will drastically reduce your battery life. And remember that Cycle life also depends on temperature and storage temperatures.

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