Wondering if can drone fly in strong winds? Check out this blog to find out how to fly your drone in strong winds and other conditions.
Different flight environments can bring in different kinds of challenges to fly your drone. As a drone enthusiast, you might wonder if drones can withstand strong winds.
The answer to this question is not straightforward since it needs to examine the issue from different viewpoints.
Also, we need to talk about the safety and performance of your drone during strong winds as well
In this post, I have covered quite many useful points related to flying drones during strong winds. In the next few minutes of reading, you will understand whether it is possible to fly a drone during strong winds.
Can Drone Fly In Strong Winds
How much of the winds your drone can endure, how strong winds impact your drone’s flight, and what you must not do with your drone during strong winds.
Case Studies of Drones in Strong Winds
Flying drones in strong winds can be a challenging task. Below are some case studies of drones flying in strong winds.
I flew my DJI Mavic Pro drone in 20 mph winds. The drone was able to fly, but it was difficult to control. The wind pushed the drone around and made it difficult to keep it steady. I had to constantly adjust the controls to keep the drone in one place. The battery life was also reduced due to the strong winds. Overall, I would not recommend flying a drone in winds over 20 mph.
Another case study involved the DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone. The drone was flown in 25 mph winds and was able to maintain stability. However, the battery life was reduced, and the drone had difficulty flying against the wind. The drone was able to fly downwind with ease, but it struggled to fly upwind.
A third case study involved the Yuneec Typhoon H drone. The drone was flown in 30 mph winds and was able to maintain stability. The drone was able to fly upwind and downwind with ease. However, the battery life was significantly reduced, and the drone had difficulty hovering in one place due to the strong winds.
What wind speed is safe to fly a drone?
Drone technology has come a long way today. Many drone models are made to withstand strong winds. As a general rule, drones can manage to fly in winds up to two-thirds of their maximum speed.
This will mean that a drone’s flight will be challenged if the wind speed is more than two-thirds of its maximum speed.
How well a drone can withstand strong winds depends on the drone’s make, model, build, and specifications.
So, a drone can fly in strong winds, but the question must consider the drone’s capability. When you want to fly your drone on a windy day, you must first know your machine’s specifications.
While flying your drone, you must always consider its limits. Despite the price and technology of your drone, every drone has its own limitations that will make it risky to fly it in certain types of conditions. In most cases, it is not advisable to fly your drone in strong winds.
Some drones can fly in strong winds while some cannot. Therefore, we must understand in which wind conditions a drone can fly. The majority of commercial drones can fly in winds up to 30 miles per hour.
Larger and more expensive drones come with larger propellers and hence you can depend on them for stable flights in wind speeds up to 30 miles per hour or slightly more than that. On the other hand, it is recommended to fly smaller drones only when it is not windy at all.
You must go by the understanding that whatever be the model, build and specifications of your drone, you must not try flying it in winds speedier than 35 miles per hour.
Nevertheless, flying a drone during winds blowing at around 30 miles per hour is advisable only if you have expert-level drone controlling skills.
Find out what wind conditions can the drone handle
Before trying to ascertain if your drone can handle some wind conditions, you must first reflect on the fact that not all drones are made with equal specifications.
While some drones can fly in strong winds, some are good to fly only during normal wind conditions.
The right way to figure out the maximum wind speed your drone can endure is by knowing your drone’s maximum speed.
Stronger and faster drones having powerful motors and enjoying a bigger thrust can withstand strong winds.
Drones that can’t fly very fast and do not have the required thrust can’t be depended on to fly during challenging wind conditions.
There is a rule of thumb you can apply in this case. While flying your drone, the wind speed must not be more than two thirds of your drone’s top speed.
Though we will not deal more on the science behind this rule, to be on the safer side, it is necessary to go by the understanding that most drone experts follow while flying their drones.
For instance, if your drone can reach up to a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour, your machine can probably handle a maximum wind speed of 20 miles per hour.
It is always good to follow the two-thirds rule as there is the risk of losing your drone to strong winds that it cannot handle.
Even while sticking on to the two-thirds rule, the more the wind speed, the better your controlling ability must be.
Understanding Drone Aerodynamics
When it comes to flying drones, understanding aerodynamics is crucial. Aerodynamics is the study of how air moves around objects, and it plays a big role in how drones fly. As a drone operator, I need to understand the basic principles of aerodynamics to keep my drone stable and safe in the air.
One of the most important concepts in aerodynamics is lift. Lift is the force that keeps an object in the air, and it’s what allows drones to fly. Drones generate lift through their rotors, which create a downward airflow that pushes against the air below the drone. This creates an upward force that lifts the drone into the air.
Another important concept in drone aerodynamics is drag. Drag is the force that opposes motion through the air, and it’s what slows down a drone’s forward movement. Drones experience two types of drag: parasitic drag, which is caused by the drone’s shape and surface area, and induced drag, which is caused by the lift generated by the rotors.
To keep my drone stable in the air, I need to understand how these forces interact with each other. For example, if I increase the speed of my drone, I’ll also increase the amount of drag it experiences. This can cause the drone to become unstable and difficult to control.
Overall, understanding drone aerodynamics is essential for any drone operator. By knowing how lift and drag work, I can keep my drone stable and safe in the air, even in strong winds.
What to expect if your drone faces strong wind conditions
Now let us move on to the question, what to expect while trying to fly your drone during strong winds. Most people might imagine that strong winds can’t affect a drone’s flight as a drone flies in its own air flow.
But, the fact remains that strong winds can certainly affect a drone’s flight. In every flight situation, you must consider different things.
In the few subtitles below, let us analyze the effect of strong winds on the different sequences in a drone’s flight.
Risky take off
During strong winds, take off or the starting sequence can be the most dangerous condition. When the drone is trying to gain elevation, its propellers are yet to pick up speed.
Around this time, the strong winds can easily flip over a drone. Therefore, when a drone takes off during high winds, there is the risk of drone being broken or crashing into something.
Difficulties in hovering
While hovering, strong winds will make it difficult for a drone to stay levelled horizontally. Therefore, in order to compensate for the wind and maintain its horizontal position, the drone will try to fly against the wind.
This will cause an undue workload on its motors. Therefore, there is the risk of the drone getting over-heated and the motors and propellers getting damaged.
During heavy winds, you have the risk of losing control over the drone when it flies in the air. The strong winds can carry off the machine.
The situation will make it extremely difficult to control the drone and make it follow your directions. There are chances that the drone might go where you might not want it to.
During strong winds, it can become risky to land off the drone. When the drone lands, strong winds can dislodge it.
As a result, the equipment can crash on something resulting in severe damage to the drone as well as the object on which it crashes.
The scenarios we discussed above are enough justifications to the end that it is not advisable to fly your drone during strong winds.
After all, you do not want to risk damage of your machine and the people or things around you.
Will flying a drone in strong winds consume more battery?
This question depends on the direction of your drone’s flight during strong winds. If the drone is flying with the wind, there will not be any big impact on battery consumption as the drone will not have to do any extra work in fighting the wind force.
If the drone is flying against the wind direction, more battery will be consumed as it has to fight the wind force in this case.
Also during strong winds, the sensors need to make some corrections to maintain the drone’s position and this factor will lead to more battery consumption.
How to fly your drone during strong winds?
There may come a situation when flying your drone during strong winds becomes an absolute necessity.
For instance, you might want to take a skyline picture during a stormy condition or you might need to take an aerial shot to meet an urgent deadline.
If you happen to face such circumstances, here are a few useful tips to fly your drone during strong winds.
When the drone takes off or lands, stay in between the wind and the machine so that you prevent the air from bothering the drone’s movement and stability.
Especially this is important because the drone slows down or picks up speed while landing and taking off respectively.
During the drone’s flight, it is advisable to find a spot where a tall structure like a building or tree blocks the wind. This will help prevent the interference of the tough wind with the drone’s flight.
Never try to lift the drone to high altitudes during strong winds. This will render controlling the drone a nightmare in due course.
If you have to absolutely fly your drone in strong winds frequently, invest in a drone that is built to withstand heavy winds.
Smaller drones can be easily carried off by strong winds and hence it is never recommended to fly them during such circumstances.
Since heavy winds can drain the battery quickly, you must always be prepared for shorter flight times than what is normal for your drone. This understanding must guide your flight plan and photography mission.
The best drone you can depend on during windy conditions
For drone enthusiasts who want to invest in a drone that can fulfill their mission even during strong winds, DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can be a great option.
Studies show that this is perhaps the best commercial drone model available today in the market. This drone can fly fast and hence can withstand tough windy conditions.
The maximum speed specified by the manufacturer for the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is around 45 miles per hour and therefore, this model can withstand winds up to 30 miles per hour.
Due to its amazing capabilities, this drone has become the ruler of the commercial drone market during recent times.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 sports the best drone camera in the market that can record videos at 4K resolution and live stream it at 1080p.
Therefore, in this model, you can expect to land the strongest drone with amazing video and photography capabilities.
Do Strong Winds Affect Drones
Some of the latest drone models can withstand high winds to an extent. However, while flying your drone in high altutides during strong winds, you will also need high skills to be able to maintain the heading and height of the drone’s flight.
Drone experts advise against aerial photography if you happen to fly your drone under strong winds.
Flying your drone during strong winds need to take into account many factors like the force that the motors are generating and whether this is enough to overcome the wind speed.
The drone’s weight also has an important role in this. Light weight drones can easily be tossed around by strong winds.
Also, do not forget that flying your drone during strong winds can also drain its battery faster.
Jon is a passionate photographer and videographer who has been flying DJI drones for over 5 years. He loves the freedom and creativity that comes with capturing aerial footage and the unique perspective it provides. Jon is always on the lookout for new locations to explore and capture with his DJI drones. His favorite DJI drone is the Mavic 2 Pro, which he uses to capture stunning 4K footage with its Hasselblad camera. Jon is always eager to share his knowledge and experience with other drone enthusiasts and is a member of several online drone communities. When he’s not flying his DJI drone, Jon enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with his family.