Drones have had a major impact on the way human beings carry out some of their activities in the recent past. Some have used them for taking cutting-edge aerial photographs while others have been used in professional cinematography, but most of the time, we see drones being used for fun. However, when it comes to finding large drones for sale, this may be a bit of a problem since they are neither cheap nor easy to come by.
But why would I want a large drone? Well, first we have to clearly define these drones in order to understand them better. For instance, in terms of size, drones can be classified into various types like:
- Very small drones – this category comprises of those drones that are the size of large insects to less than 50cm long. They are further classified into Nano and Microdrones and they are usually made use of as the perfect weapons in biological warfare and also in spying. You can find out more about some of the best models by reading our article about microdrones.
- Small drones – these are relatively bigger than the Micro drones in terms of size but are not more than 2m in size. They distinctively have fixed wings and you will have to first throw them in the air and then fly them.
- Medium drones – are bigger than the small drones and they are also heavier, you cannot carry them with your bare hands. However, they are smaller than light aircraft and they have a wingspan of about 5 to 10m with the ability to carry loads that are as big as 200kgs.
The large drones that we will mainly focus on are made in the size of small aircraft and they are mainly found in military facilities. They are mainly used in the field of combat where sending of normal jets with people will be a dangerous affair. You can use these drones in surveillance missions especially in active warfare areas. This article will outline to you some of the best large drones that you could consider or recommend to someone or a company.
The best large drones in the market
As mentioned in the above section, these drones are specially built with professionals in mind. They are quite suitable for carrying heavy loads and they could thus be used for transporting various packages for different companies. They are also used by the military as weapons of warfare and they are normally deployed to high-risk areas which would otherwise be dangerous for human beings.
The DJI S1000 Ready to Fly Octocopter
This is by far the most advanced drone in the market and it is what professional cinematographers and photographers have been waiting for. It is an octocopter, which implies that it has 8 multi rotors, making it capable of carrying very heavy loads.
This drone is compatible with the Zenmuse Z15 gimbal axis 3 which enables it to conveniently carry a high-quality HD camera such as the Canon 5D Mark III as well as other cameras that are compatible with this gimbal. With the help of the 3 axis technology of the Zenmuse Z15, you will be able to easily and more precisely keep your camera steady with vibrations being eliminated as the drone is flying.
You could attain a wide shooting angle without interruptions as mounting of the gimbal sits low with the arms and the landing gear of the drone being retractable. Thanks to the Zenmuse Z15 gimbal optimum control of the camera functions can be attained from the ground with a level of precision that any professional cinematographer or photographer would desire.
The S1000 Octocopter is also uniquely portable despite its great capabilities and it has even been given the name ‘Spreading wings.’ The reason behind this is because the 8 copter wings of this drone, can be folded down while the propellers are tucked away to ease the storage process of this drone.
It is also good to note that the arms, as well as the landing gear of this amazing drone, have been made from lightweight carbon fiber to guarantee you of its structural stability. What is more is that each arm has been integrated with a 40A electronic speed control.
When you want to fly this drone you will be required to lift the arms up, lock them into space and then power up the motor, this action greatly saves on the time needed for pre-flight prep.
Though this is a highly advanced multirotor it is pretty easy to fly this drone. Optimal control of the S1000 Octocopter is provided by the DJI A2 controller which is paired with an iOSD onscreen display as well as a DJI Lightbridge 2.4GHz digital video downlink.
This drone additionally features an autopilot feature which makes it quite appropriate for videography and photography as its stability will be easily maintained while it’s hovering and flying.
The key features of this stunning drone are:
- It is specifically designed for heavy lift operations and when it is combined with the Zenmuse Z15 with a high-level camera it is the ultimate platform for aerial photography
- It has a unique folding design increasing its portability as well as allowing for short preflight set-up time
- Its V-type Mixer design makes it easy to attain large amounts of propulsions while maintaining its power efficiency
- Its center frame has an integrated power distribution system thanks to the patented coaxial cable connector
- This drone is lightweight and structurally stable as its retractable arms and landing gear are made from carbon fiber
The DJI S1000 has a great camera functionality, it’s easy to fly despite its complexity, quite portable with a low mounting gimbal to ensure the structural stability of this drone. However it requires some assembly and the price tag is way out of reach for many, it costs about $ 4000. It is a suitable drone for professional aerographers and cinematographers, and if you want to get more familiar with it, we suggest checking out our DJI S1000 in-depth review.
The Penguin B UAV Drone
This is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle that has been designed by UAV Factory of the Republic of Latvia. It is a multirole drone that is able to capture real-time intelligence data which will then be transmitted to Portable Ground Control Station, PGCS.
The Penguin B has an optional 7.5 L capacity fuel tank as well as an 80W on-board generator system to improve on its endurance from an initial 6 hours to a remarkable flight time of more than 20 hours. The design of this drone makes it suitable for both military and commercial purposes and it is capable of operating in hostile environments be it while it’s raining or in snow.
The Penguin B can take off from either a runway or a car-top launcher and it could be recovered by a large parachute when the need arises. You will mount the CTP on to the top of your car by applying rack mounts, the standard THULE Rapid Aero ones.
You will additionally make use of the PGCS operator to give autopilot commands to the drone during the flight. This drone has a modular composite airframe, a high lift flap system, detachable V-tail and payload bay, aluminum tail boom joints, heat radiators, large access hatches DZUS fasteners as well as a two bladed propeller at its rear fuselage.
You will be able to capture a footage of the area under survey as this drone has an electro-optic camera that is fitted underneath the centerline fuselage section. Underneath the front fuselage, there is a bartering payload module and this has been packed into a watertight and robust transportation case.
This drone has a backup battery, the Lithium polymer charger that has been incorporated into it and this is quite crucial during the pre-flight checks, at the time of low engine speeds and when there is an engine failure. Soft neoprene has been employed in covering the fuselage covers and this helps in protecting the avionics and payloads when this drone is in hostile environments.
The Penguin B has sensor and navigation capabilities as it is equipped with electro-optic as well as infra-red sensors. This drone can be controlled through a manual means using the PGCS or you can make use of the Autonomous mode. This drone is powered with a relatively powerful 4 stroke Honda engine, rated at 1.3hp to 2.5hp of the output power. It is also fitted with a fixed tricycle type of landing gear and there are also oil-pneumatic shock absorbers.
The Portable Ground Control Station of this drone has been manufactured by the same company as that of the drone. With its help, you will be able to process, retrieve, store and monitor real-time imagery that has been taken by the drone. What is even more convenient is that one operator can control and supervise the payloads of this drone using the PGCS.
This drone costs about $50,000 and it has not only been used for military purposes but many civilians have made use of it for monitoring purposes but privacy remains to be the challenge facing the use of this drone and many in its range.
The Aibotix Aibot X6 V2 drone
This drone has a unique design featuring 6 rotors and it is applicable for many operations and not just commercial and military functions. The Aibotix Aibot X6 has very powerful motors that enable it to climb at a speed of 18MPH with the travel speed being about 25MPH. It measures 3.4ft for the length by 1.5ft for the height and it has an ultra-light and durable carbon reinforced housing which guarantees you of lots of stability while using it.
The housing will enable you to protect your drone from the risk of damage and what is more is that the bystanders and other objects won’t be damaged since they are protected from the rotating propellers.
The Aibot X6 is an easy-to-fly drone. It has an imaging processing software as well as an artificial intelligence that has been amalgamated with individual motion sensors to aid in the avoidance of a collision with other objects or buildings. This drone is able to uniquely automate its take-off and landing which makes it even much easier to fly. To do this, you will only need to flick a switch, and then button press the controller. It also conveniently has the Return home function relieving you of the stress of the recovering the drone when it goes out of sight.
This drone is able to carry loads weighing up to 2kg with the flight time being surprisingly 30 minutes during such a flight. You will enjoy an easy navigation while using this drone as it has a GPS receiver as well as smart sensor fusion system. The smart sensor fusion has a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a barometer, ultrasonic as well as magnetometers. If you are in ideal conditions the Aibot X6 can be able to fly up to 3280 feet over the ground.
This drone is able to provide you with high-quality data and it has an exceptional camera mount that has automatic pitch and roll compensation to eliminate the chances of you capturing blurred images. It boasts of an enhanced level of engineering but it is effortlessly easy to fly. The flying board has been intelligently designed as it has multirotor capabilities and you can operate this unit using a tablet PC.
The Aibot X6 is undoubtedly a high-quality drone that will be quite suitable for operations such as disaster and danger assessment, military surveillance, aerial land surveillance, cartography, Geographical information systems, industrial inspections as well as its use in high sporting events. The price tag clearly dictates that this is a drone for pros, it goes for about $ 30,000.
The SenseFly Swinglet Cam UAV Drone
This is a drone that features a high-quality resolution camera. You will find it as an easy-to-fly drone as it has automatic take-off and landing options and it is conveniently packaged with all the equipment that is needed for it to fly.
Incorporated in this drone is the artificial intelligence that constantly analyzes data that it derives from its Inertial Measurement Unit as well as from the GPS unit with all aspects of the flight being taken care of. This drone doesn’t necessarily need to have a radio connection with your laptop as its autopilot will be able to safely accomplish any flight mission leaving your stress free.
You will also enjoy easy flight planning while using the Swinglet CAM as the e-mo-tion software will help you plan your flight’s trajectory both before and during the flight. Using this software you can be able to monitor this drone’s flight trajectory on the screen of your laptop and you will also be able to access the status information.
With the help of the drag and drop options, the flight plan can also be updated, pictures can be triggered when you just click using the mouse. You can also use the mouse to return the drone home or initiate a landing of the Swinglet CAM drone.
This drone is powered using re-chargeable Lithium-polymer batteries which speaks volumes about how environmentally friendly it is. It also has the brushless engine technology implying that you will have silent and reliable flights. This drone has an average flight time of about 30 minutes with a climb speed of 3m/s and a cruise speed of 10m/s and it able to cover distances of up to 18km for a single flight. It is good mention that you will be able to scan an area of about 10sq. km in a single flight.
You can also be able to take high-quality photos using an onboard 16MP camera that can be programmed to take photos at specific intervals. The autopilot will aid in stabilizing the drone so that you take crisp photos. The imaging processing capabilities of this drone can enable you to map out an area using the Postflight Suite software.
This drone is meant for the commercial class and it costs about $12,000. It desirably has extended flight times as well as high-resolution image systems. It is a suitable drone for mapping purposes due to specks which favor this function.
The Droidworx Skyjib Airframe drone
This drone is considered to be Hollywood’s heavy lifter and it has played a key role in the production of many blockbusters with impeccable confidence and flair. This multirotor helicopter drone is a popular Pro camera ship worldwide with a stunning exterior as well as matching outstanding capabilities that enable high quality and crisp photos or videos to be taken. This drone can carry payloads of up to 5kg and it will enable you to carry your Pro camera for about 15 minutes, quite sufficient time for you to take the footage that you desire.
The Droidworx has been designed using high-quality carbon composites as well as aircraft grade alloys including Titanium.
The drone features the Anti-vibration Isolator gimbal mount which will enable you to take high-quality photos and videos due to its adjustable dampening system. This is made a reality as the stability of the drone is guaranteed due to a remarkable reduction in the vibrations of the gimbal.
You can adjust this system depending on the camera in use as the weight of the camera will be a key factor. The system is also adjustable as dictated by the dampening characteristics and this could be accomplished by you changing the position of the neoprene ball isolators in the mount or you could as well switch to one or two different isolation ratings for this drone. The mount for the Droidworx is designed to specifically dampen for DLSR or RED Epic-class payloads. It is especially suitable for flying the RED Epic-class payloads and it will be a good pick for you.
It is good to mention that the Quick Release System has been included in the system of this drone for you to be able to attach or remove the entire gimbal assembly without the use of any tools in just 10 seconds. It is worth noting that there are two versions of the mount and this will be determined by the airframe that you have.
The notable features of this drone are:
- It features the mission control system which will allow you to easily view on board video streams. It will also provide you with telemetry data to help show you the state as well as the health of the aircraft and it eliminates the use of handheld RC transmitters.
- Has the Ti-OR series; the quick to release foldaway which doesn’t interfere with the electronics integrity of this drone
- Uses the coax engine which will help you to protect your engine wires in the event of a mishap and it enhances the drone’s cosmetic appeal
- The drone has battery mounting on the crash cage
- This drone also has some Titanium components which gives it a more neutral and industrial appearance.
This UAV has been applied in many fields and it will help you save time and money and it has enhanced safety while being environmentally friendly at the same time. This drone has easy to operate systems, it is quite and it will also offer you peace of mind and expand your creative perspectives in the footages that you will take. It costs about $36,500 which limits its access to the professional users or companies that can afford it.
Who are these drones meant for?
After taking a look at some best drones in the market you might still be uncertain of who these drones are most suitable for. Considering the price range and the impressive specs it would be best and even cost effective for you to consider these drones for professional use.
The DJI S1000 Octocopter is an easy-to-use drone that is quite appropriate for professional aerographers and cinematographers. It is a drone that has been designed to accommodate a low-lying gimbal that will allow high-end cameras to be mounted with a high degree of stability. You can be able to take crisp and high quality photos or videos using this drone and its flight time provides sufficient time for this.
The Penguin B UAV drone has been designed especially for military purposes but it can also be used for commercial purposes. You can also make use of it for private monitoring of large tracts of land. It has an impressive flight time of up to 20 hours thanks to the improvement in its power capacity. Privacy remains the main challenge to the use of this drone.
On the other hand the Aibotix Aibot X6 is a suitable drone for commercial and military purposes. It has a high quality 16MP camera that makes suitable for a number of uses. You can use this drone in disaster and danger assessment, military surveillance, aerial land surveillance, cartography, Geographical information systems, and industrial inspections as well as in high sporting events.
The SenseFly Swinglet CAM drone is a suitable pick if you are looking for a drone to help you in mapping out an area. It has a software that eases the use of the drone as you could use to direct and monitor what the drone while it’s flying. It has a high quality camera that will enable you to take crisp photos.
Last but not least the Droidworx SkyJib is most recommended pick if you are in interested in professional photography and cinematography. It has been employed in the production of many epic Hollywood movies and this just speaks volumes about its capabilities. You can make use of it to carry high end cameras with a stability that is highly desirable in professional photography or cinematography.
A quick look at these recommendations will reveal that most if not all of these are a no fit for a beginner drone pilot. Though they are complex they are easy to fly though the cost limits their reach to only the professional individuals and companies who could make a profit out of them.
The pros and cons of these drones
- Most of these drones have long flight times with some being even able to fly for as long as 20 hours (the Penguin B for instance).
- They guarantee the stability that is needed for high quality footage and some are able to take HD photos or videos, others have gimbals that support high end cameras for crisp photos and videos
- Though they are complex in nature, they are surprisingly easy to fly drones. Some have softwares or features that simply and even automates their control
- Some like the Aibot X6 are made from carbon composite which makes them environmentally friendly
- They are safe to fly and by standers would be protected due to the safety precautions seen to in their design
- Some like the DJI S1000 drone are portable thanks to the retractable design despite its complex nature
- These drones are expensive with the least being about $ 4000 quite out of reach for the ordinary citizen
- Privacy is especially an issue for those meant for monitoring purposes, for instance the Swinglet CAM
These drones are good for professional purposes and they are mostly made use of by companies or professional individuals who could make a profit out of them. You can use them for various purposes such as professional cinematography and photography, monitoring purposes but most of the large drones are used in military operations.