FAQ

During our demos we get asked lots of awesome and clever questions. We've put together a list of the most common questions we get here. If you have another question feel free to leave it in the comments below, or ask us when you see us!

(Just a quick note - we're based in New Zealand, so rules around where you can fly apply only to NZ Law, and prices are in New Zealand dollars.)

What equipment do I need?

Simply put, if you want to fly drones you just need a drone and a controller, and if you want to be able to see through the drone (assuming it has a camera) then you need goggles.

You'll also need some other bits and pieces, like spare propellers, more batteries and maybe a charger. Many drones come with enough of these in the box, so you should be right to get started.

It also helps if you have some tools around like small screwdrivers, tweezers and possibly even a soldering iron if you want to do some work on your drone, but if you don't have them around don't rush out and get them, you may never end up needing them.

How much does it cost to get started?

One of the most common questions when starting a new hobby is cost, and it's a good thing to know going in! Drone flying can be quite affordable (compared to some other hobbies) but depending on what you want to do and the quality of the equipment you want to buy the price can start to go up.

Have a quick read of the "What equipment do I need" FAQ to get an idea of the equipment you might need.

The QX95 drones we fly and talk about a lot can be picked up for around $90, and if you get a combo that comes with a Transmitter you can get the drone airborne for as little as around $160.

If you want to fly First Person View, (and let's face it, who doesn't!) you can pick up goggles for around $80, and if you throw in a few spare propellers and a blade guard you can be flying FPV for around $250.

Of course as with all hobbies you can always spend more money on better equipment with more features or a nicer feel to them!

Where can I fly drones? What about Airports and Air Traffic Control?

Glad you asked, because this is a really important thing to know.

The law says that drones are not toys and are considered aircraft. You don't need a license to fly one, but there are still some rules you should know and obey. We do this to remain safe, be predictable (so others know what to expect from us) and to ensure that large aircraft (carrying people) don't get into problems. 

It's hard to cover all the rules, and they do change as the laws are tweaked to keep them fair and effective, so we suggest that you have a read of the awesome Fly Your Drone site made by 
Civil Aviation, and if you like extra detail you can dig into the actual rules on their website.

And if in doubt, get a smaller drone and fly it inside!

Where did you get those cool light-up hoops?

We get asked about the hoops a lot, and it's not surprising because they look really neat, and a lot of fun to fly through. They're home-made and designed to run off the batteries from the larger drones we fly. We might do a post on how we built them at some stage - let us know if you're interested!

Do you fly big drones as well?

We each have a collection of various craft, some smaller but many of them larger. From 250 sized drones (quads) to small flying wings, to larger scale models and powered gliders with up to 1.6 meter wingspans. Most we fly electric craft that can be flown in parks, but we also have a few RC Cars and even a RC tank that fires Nerf darts at the small drones!

What types of drone are there?

'Drone' is an interesting term because it kind of encompasses many different types of remote control craft, and can mean planes as well as multi-rotors and helicopters - pretty much anything that is remote control.

We fly what we call 'multi-rotors', and I feel they fall into three broad categories (of course opinions vary widely, so this is just to give you an idea):
- Racing drones, which are designed for speed and control over stability, generally have a camera, and are used for racing around tracks, zipping between trees, or (carefully) tearing up the local park.
- Camera drones, which are designed to be stable and easy to fly, have a camera on them that takes nice quality pictures.
- Industrial drones, which is a broad category of multi-rotors that are used for all sorts of clever purposes, from large camera platforms for movie makers, to surveying land, planting trees, and helping fire fighters see hotspots with special heat detection equipment.
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