Gas Powered Quadcopters: Get More Realistic Flying Experience

Gas Powered Quadcopters
Written by Jack Brown

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Gasoline has been used to power all sorts of vehicles over the years. Today the same can be said for quadcopters. You can order a gas powered quadcopter for your own use right now if you want something that can get up in the skies quite well.

A gas powered quadcopter is designed with a small engine that will quickly move your quadcopter out there without having to wait for a battery to start it up. It can run off of traditional gasoline or even through two-cycle engine oil that you can easily get from a typical auto supply store. The engine can also work with the same functions that you might expect to get out of a smaller item with plenty of moving gears all around.

This can also provide you with a more realistic experience when flying it and this is because a gas powered quadcopter weighs more on average than a traditional RC model. This added weight helps in keeping the quadcopter steady in windy conditions as it will be harder for the wind to influence where it might go while in the air. In fact, you can fly one of these for thirty minutes or longer at a time, thus giving you more control over how your quadcopter is to move out into the sky.

However, you have to watch for how one of these quadcopters can work as this is often a little more complicated or difficult to handle for some people when compared with a smaller model. The stronger engine and heavier body of a typical quadcopter might make this a little tougher for some people to work with when they are trying to pilot something well enough.

Each one of these quadcopters is made differently. Each model has its own particular design and key features that can make it work properly. Some models even come with their own cameras to help you take pictures of all sorts of things in the sky. Today you can order a great quadcopter from a variety of sources; here’s a closer look at a few of the best choices that you can find right now when looking for something that is easy to pilot and can work at very long distances.

Gas powered quadcopter – four great options

Sadly, quadcopters that support a gas engine are quite rare on the market and most of them are DIY projects. That’s why we can’t discuss about a special producer or special features as these drones are mainly designed. For those who wish to find out about all the different types and classes of UAVs, we suggest checking out our article about types of drones.

Nitro Stingray

The Nitro Stingray has been made with a special gas-powered edition to go alongside the original electric version of the product. This particular quadcopter is a model that features a two-stroke Scorpion motor that works alongside 110mm blades on all of its corners.

The design works with the TG-Multi flight control system to help you adjust its direction in as simple and careful of a manner as possible. The variable pitch feature will especially help to allow you to move it up or down rather quickly.

The quadcopter is also popular for being very stable and can maintain a steady position for as long as needed. This ensures that the model will stay active and strong without being at risk of slipping or falling.

Nitro Stingray

This can handle traditional movements with care but this choice is also able to support some 3D flight maneuvers as well. These include moves where the model can move up and down or even in a diagonal manner. This can also support rolls and other acrobatic moves to create a more realistic flight sensation yet it will still be easy to identify when the item is right side up or otherwise while it is in the air. If you are interested in aerial stunts, but gas powered drones are maybe too complicated for you, we suggest checking out our Arris X-Speed FPV 250 in-depth review, where you will find out everything there is to know about one of the best racing drones on the market.


The Yeair is a quadcopter that is in the planning stages and is expected to be released to the public very soon. Although it costs a little more than a thousand dollars, it is a strong model that works with a gas engine but is also paired with a small battery cell that will help to power up the unit.

This particular quadcopter can go up to 60 mph in speed and can carry about twelve pounds on average. It can also stay in the air for about an hour on average before it has to be refueled. The battery that comes with the Yeair will not have to be recharged although it will at least keep the emissions from the model from being more of an issue than necessary.

The Yeair uses a two-stroke engine and will not wear out easily like what might come about when a conventional drone is used. Still, the quadcopter is a point that helps with making it easier for the model to be used the right way.

Yeair drone

This is all made with a series of strong borders that are around the rotors as well. This is to ensure that the model will keep on running without the rotors being at risk of potentially being damaged as it is about to get in the air.

Incredible HLQ

This gas powered quadcopter actually has its own Kickstarter campaign and was designed by a team of passionate mechanical engineering students from the State University in San Jose, California. They designed the HLQ (or the Heavy Lifting Quadcopter) in order to introduce a new type of drone on the market. This one is capable of carrying loads up to 50 pounds and delivering them to a set destination.

Incredible HLQ

The HLQ is equipped with 2 gasoline two-stroke engines, each being capable of producing 12.5 HP (horse power). The quad is not small, and as you can see, it requires lots of space to feel comfy. In order to be capable of such a task, the quad is equipped with 4 commercial helicopter rotor heads with 435 mm blades.

The flight controller uses the Ardupilot module which is open source and can be configured according to necessities. The frame is designed with aluminum tubes in order to make the entire quad as light as possible. However, keep in mind that this is just a project and the quad is still in testing.

Goliath Quadcopter

This is another DIY project put together by a drone passionate and it is still at the stage of a prototype. The project was built for the Hackaday Prize competition and it looks (and sounds) quite scary. The power is provided by a single 30 HP gasoline engine which controls belts that are attached to the propellers. This way, the producer removed the need of rotors at the 4 ends of the quad.

Gas quadcopter review

Just like the Incredible HLQ we discussed earlier, the Goliath is designed using as many off the shelf objects as possible. This makes the frame and the structure extremely cheap and allows you to invest more in the engine and propeller. Also, due to the use of wood and aluminum the frame is lightweight so the engine doesn’t have to develop any extra power to keep the quad in the air.

Also, the flight control system is customized to fit this large quad’s control system and the software is Ardupilot. Both the flight controller and the software are open source and can be easily customized.

At the end of the day, Goliath is a nice project that could prove useful for delivering large payloads. However, there are still lots of issues to figure out with the system so it will take a while until we can see it (or similar models) on the market.

Are they better than electric models?

A gas powered quadcopter is clearly different form a traditional electric one in that it does not need a battery. In fact, this is one of the best reasons why you should consider getting a gas powered model if you want a great option for your hobby.

Easy to start

It is easier to start one of these when enough fuel is added. That is, you will not have to wait for a few hours to get a battery charged up just to use this.

In fact, you can use all sorts of common forms of fuel to make it work as traditional unleaded gasoline or two-stroke motor oil can be used depending on the model you choose. Some high-end choices will use nitro-based gasoline instead but you are typically more likely to find one that uses regular gasoline than anything that uses nitro fuel.

A strong motor

The motor will not be at risk of wearing out either, a point that is different from many traditional electric models where a battery may not charge as well over time.

Gas powered motor

The life expectancy of a gas powered quadcopter will vary by each model but you can ensure that you will have a choice that will last substantially longer than what you might get elsewhere. A typical choice can last for at least five years in some of the best cases.

Fly for a while

One of the biggest problems that people have with electric quadcopters is that they often work for about five to ten minutes at a time before they run out of power. This problem will be mostly alleviated when you order a gas powered quadcopter.

Such a quadcopter can work for about thirty minutes at a time when the gas tank is fully filled up. This will only require a small amount of gas in most cases but it will continue to keep the model up quickly.

Fly it for a while

You will have to make sure the movements on the quadcopter are rather simple though as you will use more fuel when flying for a longer period of time. Still, when using a quadcopter like this in a standard fashion, it will be very easy for you to keep it in the air for an extended period of time without worrying about whether or not it can stay in the air the right way.

What about problems?

There are a few issues relating to gas powered quadcopters that should be explored just as well. First, such a quadcopter will weight much more than a typical battery-powered option, thus meaning that it might be hard to get off of the ground. Although its added weight allows you to have more control of it in the air, the challenge of getting it up may be tough for some people to work with. In addition, a potential crash can result in a greater amount of damage because of the heavy weights and the intricate series of parts that will have gone into the model.

Also, the ignition process may cause interference in some cases. This interference will come about due to the high voltage used in the process of starting up the motor. This will not be much of a threat if you have a PCM or 2.4GHz spread spectrum radio to use on your model though.

It is also typically harder to set up a gas powered quadcopter. You will need to put in an extra bit of effort to get a gas powered model up because you need to check the fuel system, exhaust pipe and other features on a gas powered option.

Who should use these quads?

These gas powered quadcopters are best for police departments, fire crews and others dedicated to public service. Such a quadcopter can go further and higher up than a traditional plastic quadcopter and can work for a longer period of time without having to be recharged. The fact that this can be used immediately after gas is added helps too.

This is important for public service groups as it ensures that these organizations will be able to find targets on search and rescue missions. Fire departments can also use this to quickly get images of spots in a fire to where it will be easier to target what spots are in the most trouble and what entrance points may be used when attempting to rescue people from inside a fire if necessary.

Gas powered

People who are more experienced with quadcopters can use these gas powered options as well. The fact that such a model can travel longer and higher distances and can use more intricate parts will make this ideal for those who might have become bored with traditional battery-powered options and want something new to play with.

What about the cost?

The cost that comes with a gas powered quadcopter will be rather high when compared with other models. You might have to spend at least a thousand dollars on a typical model. This is due to the expenses relating to getting an engine ready and allowing for enough parts to be set up. The cost will vary by each individual model that you order though so be sure to shop around to find an option that is right for your particular piloting needs.

How about the controls?

The controller that you might use when getting a gas powered quadcopter ready should be checked carefully. The control scheme is typically the same as what you might get out of a smaller model in that you will have control features that are based on how you can move the gas powered quadcopter up and down or move it rather quickly or slowly.

The throttle and control features will vary based on what you might demand so it will be easier for you to get your unit to run quickly. This in turn will make it very easy for the controller to be run the right way to make it all run properly.

Important features to consider

A great gas powered quadcopter can be the perfect item for a hobbyist who wants something more powerful to play with. However, you must look carefully to see if a model you are interested in is worthwhile because such models can come with an extensive variety of features.

Carefully choose when buying

These features are important in that there are many different points around the quadcopter that can directly influence your work and make it easier for you to pilot such a vehicle. However, you have to understand how everything can work to ensure that you will actually take advantage of whatever you are going to use while out in the field.

Know how the parts work

The individual parts that will come with your quadcopter can include a variety of features that will keep it all running. An exhaust port is needed to keep the fuel burning smoothly and cleanly without being at risk of causing backups. Meanwhile, you have to look at how the blades on the corners work and if they are easy to replace as well as if you can get plenty of replacements later on if needed.

Also, you have to see how the motor may work. A typical one or two-stroke motor can be used in a typical quadcopter. A more powerful motor will clearly help you to keep the quadcopter up in the air longer and higher.

How do you start it?

You have to look carefully to see how you can get your model started up when you buy it. You have to see if there is a type of pull-cord material or button that can be used to get the model ready for use. This is to help you get it to clearly start up in as little time as possible.

Also, you have to look at how well the battery can be used. The battery that can come with a gas powered quadcopter should be checked based on the particular model that you can get. This is used to send a signal to get your motor to start up properly. The size of the battery will clearly vary based on the particular model that you have and should be checked to ensure that it will work properly just like what you’d get on a car battery.

Check how It’s assembled

You must look carefully to see that your quadcopter is assembled properly so it won’t be too hard for you to maintain it or fix any parts on it as needed. You must make sure that your model is properly assembled so you will not struggle all that much when trying to make it fly up in the air just fine.

Gas powered quadcopter in action

The assembly can be detailed within your particular instruction book. The book can help you see how to take it apart if needed or at least help you understand how to set it up if necessary. This is a useful point for handling your quadcopter but you have to make sure that whatever you order is easy to read and figure. You should not try to take apart a quadcopter on your own unless you absolutely know how you are able to do this before you start.

What about the camera?

Not all quadcopters will come with their own build-in cameras. The ones that do have them should be checked to see if they are HD-ready and if you can get items recorded onto a memory card or other device that can be inserted and then removed.

In other cases you might have to manually mount a camera onto your quadcopter so it can fit. Be sure you check carefully on how the camera can be fit and if you can find a flat surface to add it onto while also ensuring that the camera will not slip off or vibrate far too much while it is in the air.

Is it ready to fly?

You might notice the letter RTF on some gas powered quadcopter models. These are ready to fly models that are easy for you to start up provided that you have enough fuel ready for it. This is a special feature that makes it easier for you to get the quadcopter up in the air and should be easy to follow.

You have to check and see if the quadcopter you want to fly is ready to work out of the box or if you have to assemble it. In most cases any parts that you have to assemble will be included in a kit alongside the tools that are needed to get it all set up. You must be certain when getting a good model that you are carefully getting it ready and that it will be fully prepared for you to make it work.

Don’t forget the sound

You must watch for the sound that will co me out of the model that you want to get. The problem with some models is that their gas-powered engines will generate far too much noise and make it harder for the model to go around in the air without bothering people. This is a key point to watch for as it cannot be too loud.

The verdict

When looking for great gas powered quadcopters to buy, you have to look around to see what is available in terms of how easy it can be to pilot it and how far it can go. There are many great models out there that can work for several minutes and can go for miles. Some options can also run rather quickly while others are simply designed to be steady and easy to pilot with precision in mind.

Choose the model

No matter what you choose, you should look at how the motor and battery on a particular option for your use works. Look to see that the choice you have is designed properly and that it will be easy for you to get it up in the air. If used carefully enough, it should be easy for you to get a better overall experience when flying.

You must also look to see how you can get this controlled. A controller for a typical material like this can be similar to what you might have for any other model that is powered in a different manner. With this in mind, it will be easier for you to get a good sense of control over how this can be used as needed.

It is essential to watch for how well the model can be used as well. You have to check carefully to see that whatever you are using is simple and easy to follow. The instruction book in a typical kit should help you understand what you can get out of a great model but it’s important to at least know what you can get out of such a model before you start using it.


  • A gas powered quadcopter doesn’t have to be recharged like a typical battery-powered model would. You can get this to run right away if you just have gas added to it.
  • You can learn more about how to tune an engine and other mechanical points about using a quadcopter by working with one of these quadcopters.
  • A gas powered model can go for further distances and can travel faster with some models going close to 60 mph in the best cases.
  • You can also use one of these for a longer time in that it can take at least thirty minutes for one of these choices to run out of juice.


  • Those who are not all that experienced with handling engines might struggle to try and get one of these quadcopters to work.
  • The fumes that are generated by a quadcopter like this might be tough for some people to handle.
  • The sounds that can come out of one of these models might be a little louder than with something else.
  • One of these choices will not only be heavier but also tougher to manage if a crash or wreck occurs as more damage could occur depending on what you are using.

Remember that a gas powered quadcopter will certainly be a more attractive option to take to the sky than something that might be a little lighter or weaker. You have to choose a sensible option to find something that is easy to bring out and enjoy having in the air.

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About the author

Jack Brown

Jack is the Chief Pilot at bringing experience, expertise and knowledge in this quite new industry. He is a graduate of the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Besides having all the necessary technical knowledge when it comes to drones, Jack and his team love to spend the time outside by the ocean, working on new features and teaching others how to pilot these amazing and exciting new robots.