Drone Range: How Far Can Drones Fly?

David Lemay25 Jan 2022

When you first start looking for a new drone to add to your collection of toys, one of the questions that usually comes to mind is how far can it go — is this a long-range drone? The extent to which a drone can be controlled to fly away from its controller without the signal dropping before it comes back is called the drone’s range. There are two ways to measure the range of a drone. Some drones sacrifice speed so they can have more endurance but in turn have less distance they can travel before running out of power; while others might be able to cover ten miles of ground at high speeds, yet will only travel one mile away from the remote control.

The range of your drone will depend on what sort of controller you have and how well the controller can send signals. Since more expensive drones generally use better technology, they’ll offer a longer range than an entry-level one. However, keep in mind that by the time you’ve reached the maximum distance that your controller can send to your drone, you might not be able to see it anymore since staying within line of sight is required by the FAA for all recreational flights.

So, how far can drones fly? 

Toy Drones 

Most toy drones have a 100 ft. (30.48 meters) range, but there are some outliers out there like the Voyager that can fly up to half a mile away!

Small Drones 

Small drones can be small. You will be surprised when you see them. They are like 300 millimetres in length at least and they're so lightweight you can hold one between your fingers alone. If that doesn't impress you, we don't know what will. Small Drones can have anywhere from 700 to 1,300 feet of range.

Medium Drones

As a first time buyer of drones, you might be a little nervous. Don't worry, though - you don't have to spend hundreds to get started. With premium drones costing anywhere between $600-USD 5000, there is a lot of wiggle room to spare when it comes to medium-sized drones. You won't find many newbies hovering around medium-sized recreational drones, but they can generally range anywhere close to $100 or more depending on the size and battery life. Medium drones can have a range of up to 3.1 miles or 5 kilometres.

High-end Drones 

The top-of-the-line, high-end models offer 2.5 miles to nearly 5 miles of distance from its controller in optimal conditions. This means you can rest assured knowing your drone won't end up across town somewhere it's not supposed to be when you're controlling it with GPS protocols! Not to forget, you'll need to fork out $800-$1,500 to get one.

Drones that are equipped with all the high tech gear and sensors can fly between 37,000 and 55,000 feet up in the air and they are the most expensive ones.

Some examples of drones with their ranges

  • Holy Stone HS210 Mini Drone has a flight range of 50 metres and can be used for up to 7 minutes. 
  • The SIMREX X300C Mini Drone can fly for up to 8 minutes and has a range of about 45 metres. 
  • Altair Outlaw SE has a flight range of 400 meters and can stay in flight for 15 minutes at a time. 
  • The Holy Stone HS720 is a quadcopter that comes with features such as a flight control bar, altitude hold and headless mode. It also has a 1km radius and lasts from 26 minutes to 30 minutes.
  • DJI Mavic Mini Drone has a range of 4 km and a flight time of 20 minutes. It also has a return to the home option, as well as a waypoint mode for every possible occasion.
  • The Autel Robotics EVO Drone has a superior flight range of up to 7km and stays in the air for as long as 30 minutes
  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a state-of-the-art drone that can reach speeds of up to 100km/h (62mph). It has a flight range of 8km (5 miles) and a flight time of 30 minutes. In contrast with its predecessor, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 comes with several new features such as ultra HD 4K videos, obstacle avoidance, and a mechanical camera shutter.
  • With a flight range of up to 9km and a flight time of 40 min, the Autel Robotics EVO II drone lets you see the world from high above.
  • DJI Mini 2 drone has a flight range of 10 kilometres and a maximum flight time of 31 minutes.
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone is a highly sophisticated and advanced flying machine with a maximum flight range of 10km and a flight time of 31min.

Which Factors Affect Drone Range?

1. Type of air space you're flying in

Depending on the type of airspace you're flying in, your drone's range may be impacted.

2. Weather conditions

Watching weather unfurl over your drone's horizon is about as frustrating as trying to communicate the full extent of your company's vision to an unprepared investor. Windy conditions, presence of clouds can all affect your drone range.

3. Quality of materials used in the drone's production

The quality of the materials used in drone production affects how much lift your drone receives while it's flying.

4. Quality of drone's receiver

As with any other piece of machinery, the quality of your drone's receiver can affect how far it can travel.

5. Drone battery type

Make sure you choose a reliable and safe drone when walking into your drone store. You will have to keep in mind that the kind of battery that your drone has installed or the ones that are programmed on to use can also affect the range of the drone.


Many hobbyists may be tempted to purchase an expensive drone with the hopes of flying it out of visual sight. However, this violates FAA regulations and there are several measures you can take right now to ensure that you are using your drone safely. The reason why this restriction exists is that flying without being within sight immediately puts your aircraft at risk as well as others’ lives. How far you can see will depend on many factors such as weather, line-of-sight obstructions, and potential heliport interference. However, 1,500 feet is typically a good rule of thumb even during clear conditions.

David Lemay

David Lemay

I'm David Lemay, a lover of tech and have had an interest in drones for years. Bought my first few drones, before I started building my own. I want to share my passion with others, so I started this site to help others who want to get into the hobby.

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