Drones with a 1 hour flight time…do they even exist?

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First things first, if we are talking about battery-powered models, there are no drones with a 1 hour flight time currently available on the market today!

Drone 1 hour flight time

Technology has been a bit slow when it comes to miniaturizing batteries with high capacities so the longest flying time that can be achieved by the newest drones is about half an hour.

A drone with a 1 hour flight time is the “holy grail”. Many drones are becoming heavier as they increase in size and have to carry state-of-the-art camera technology.

For sure battery technology will catch up at some point and we will see the first drones with 1-hour flight times but for now, the weight vs. battery capacity means that the best drones on the market can only manage around 30 minutes of flying time on a single charge.

The drone with the longest flight time is the brand new DJI Mavic 2 Pro (released August 2018). This awesome flying machine is capable of approx 31 minutes of air time which is a slight improvement over its predecessor – the DJI Mavic Pro, which had a maximum flight time of approx 27 minutes.

To help all you drone enthusiasts out there, we’ve looked at all of the best drones on the market and made a shortlist of the top 5 drones according to their flying times.

The statistics have been compiled by taking into account the manufacturer’s specifications and user reviews.

Make and Model Flight Time
DJI Mavic 2 Pro 31 Minutes
DJI Phantom 4 Pro 30 Minutes
DJI Phantom 4 28 Minutes
DJI Inspire 2 27 Minutes
DJI Mavic Pro 27 Minutes

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

DJI hasn’t changed the original Mavic Pro’s design much with their new model and that’s a good thing as it was near perfect already!

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The drone still has the same folding mechanism and the color scheme is also unchanged. The main changes come in the way of smoothing some of the drone’s sharp edges which have made the machine more aerodynamic. In fact, according to the manufacturer, the modifications have reduced body drag by 19% and increased the top speed to 44mph (when in Sports mode).

DJI has always enjoyed the best obstacle avoidance tech available and now it’s even better with the addition of ten sensors on all of its sides.

The Mavic 2 Pro is also a tad quieter than the previous model thanks to its noise-reducing propellers and quieter propulsion system.

It is also now able to shoot 4K at 100Mbps with its awesome Hasselblad camera that claims to capture four times the color depth of its predecessor.

To conclude, if you’re looking for a drone with the longest flying time, you’ve found it – The Mavic 2 Pro has an impressive flight time of 31 minutes which trumps the Mavic Air Mavic Phantom 4 Pro.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro

The drone with the second-longest flight time is the massively popular DJI Phantom 4 Pro which is truly one of the best drones on the market today.

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Last update was on: March 24, 2023 3:34 pm

For sure, drones like the Inspire 2 have more features but they’re a damn sight more expensive and probably not worth the extra bucks unless you have your heart set on a drone with every bell & whistle available.

The Phantom range offers the perfect mix of features, performance, top quality, and portability at a price that’s not going to leave you paying it off for years to come.

The best reason to get yourself a Phantom 4 Pro over a smaller model such as the Mavic is the awesome onboard camera. It has a full 1-inch sensor that takes 20-megapixel photos and 4K video at 60 frames per second, making it just about as good as top-of-the-range professional cameras.

Camera performance aside, the Phantom 4 Pro is fantastic to fly. With a top speed of 45mph (in Sports mode), it is also one of the longest-flying drones with an advertised flying time of 30 minutes in ideal conditions.

Another excellent feature of the Phantom 4 Pro is the Lightbridge transmission system which gives flyboys a maximum range of 4.3 miles.

Aside from the impressive flight specs, thousands of happy customers agree that this drone is a joy to fly. Even in high winds the Phantom 4 Pro is very agile and has a very smooth flight action which will inspire confidence even for amateur pilots.

In these times of tiny, foldable models, this fantastic drone is sometimes overlooked as it has rigid landing gear, but to be honest this will protect the camera so you won’t have to worry about the occasional flying mishap.

So if you’re serious about aerial photography and you need a drone that’s easy to fly and can be put into your backpack on long hikes, you can’t go far wrong with the Phantom 4 Pro.

DJI Phantom 4

The Phantom 4 is the younger brother of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. It might not be the newest kid on the block but it’s still proving to be very popular with tech-savvy amateur pilots on a tighter budget.

At a glance, the two models look almost identical but when you get under the hood, there are significant differences in the camera/image quality and also in the field of sensor tech. This model has an advertised flight time of 28 minutes but all other features such as speed, ascend rate, descent, motors, dimensions, etc are the same as the Pro version.

As this is an older model, you probably know all about it, so we’re not going to bore you with yet another review, but you may be interested in this video that goes through all the major differences between the Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 Pro.

DJI Inspire 2

Serious aerial cinematographers are very excited about the DJI Inspire 2 drone with its unbeatable versatility, unrivaled performance, and state-of-the-art drone technology.

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First of all the camera – the gimbal can pitch (like many other drones with gimbals) but it can also yaw & roll which is fantastic if you need to shoot from different angles.

While hovering, the Inspire 2 can spin its camera a full 360 degrees to capture footage from any angle. This cool function makes flying the drone with two operators really easy with one person controlling the movement of the drone and the other controlling the FPV (First Person View) camera.
If you’re looking for the coolest drone available today, you’ve found it! – Your buddies will be green with envy as they watch the landing gear lift on take-off and the sleek design with stealth colors are the proverbial icing on the cake!

Of course, appearance isn’t everything so let’s get onto the performance – an incredible top speed of 58 mph (in Sports mode) and an advertised flight time of 27 minutes.

The Inspire 2 uses two 4,280 mAh batteries which are hot-swappable, meaning that you can land the drone, insert new batteries and be back in the sky in about 10 seconds. This puts an end to waiting around for the IMU ( Inertial Measurement Unit) to reinitialize or the GPS to reconnect.

Flying the drone is a similar experience to that of the Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro but the Inspire 2 has tons of extra features to play with and the customization options are truly endless. One of our favorite features is the ability to change the maximum speed while descending. This can be adjusted from about 9 mph up to about 20 mph.

We could honestly write all day about this incredible drone but we will conclude with a quick mention of the DJI Go app. Every part of the Inspire 2 is customizable and you can even choose whether your mobile device will be charged by the remote or not!

To conclude, the DJI Inspire 2 is as good as it gets in the world of drones so if you’re looking for a high-end aerial platform that is packed with more features than you can shake a stick at, break out that credit card and become the king of the skies!

DJI Mavic Pro

A stone-cold classic, the Mavic Pro was released way back in 2016 and was the first drone from the Mavic series.

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Last update was on: March 24, 2023 3:34 pm

The drone is widely considered to be the first (or at least one of the first) personalized drones on the market.

The massively popular Mavic Pro is capable of capturing 4K video, it has a flight range of 4.3 miles and according to the manufacturer, it has a flight time of 27 minutes in zero wind conditions.

The Mavic from DJI features a compact quadcopter that is both snappy and agile. It features an advanced flight control system with a host of sensors. These include a ground-facing camera, ultrasound, GPS, dual redundant IMUs, and even more so you can keep track of where it is flying in 3D space and avoid any collisions.

The Mavic works with DJI’s GO mobile app allowing you to access settings, get telemetry readouts, view the low-latency video feed, and even edit / share your footage.

And our final word…..the Mavic was also the first DJI drone to feature gesture control – users can wave their arms in specific patterns to operate drone functions, such as taking pictures.

A big thanks for our featured image by dronepicr (Jan Thiel Curacao) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.

If you enjoyed this article about drones with a  1 hour flight time, you might also be interested in reading about the longest flight time quadcopters from our tech section.

Everyday Ape