Drones (or UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles) have been used for military purposes for years, but are now being used by civilians as well. If you’re wondering about which one you should buy, we’ve got you sorted with these options. Be warned – these machines can be tough to control for a beginner, but you’ll get better with time. 

FLYER’S BAY SCOUT QUADCOPTER 2.4G

This drone doesn’t come with a camera, but you can attach it externally. It has a range of 30 metres and costs an affordable Rs. 4,399. Another interesting feature is its ‘Throw Launch Capability’ which enables you to start flying the drone by simply throwing it into the air. 


YUNEEC TYPHOON H

One of the things that we really like about the Yuneec Typhoon H is that it has a controller with a 7-inch touchscreen, which allows you to see your photos and videos in real time. It also has an above average battery life of 25 minutes and costs $1299, which is around Rs. 87,500.


DJI MAVIC PRO

If you have the money, the DJI Mavic Pro drone is a fantastic buy. It comes with a 12-megapixel camera and you can even live-stream your videos on YouTube and Facebook. The only catch is that it costs around Rs. 66,000. 


GOPRO KARMA

This is an extremely easy to use and smart buy for beginners. The Karma drone was briefly taken off the market, as some models were losing power during flight, but GoPro has fixed that problem and are back in the mix. Costing $799 abroad, the Karma comes with a gamepad-like controller with a screen, a case and a stabiliser that can be removed and used separately by hand; the GoPro camera needs to be bought separately. It’s not available in India yet, so you’ll have to wait a while (or import it) to get your hands on it. 


HOVER CAMERA PASSPORT

This is a unique drone when it comes to appearance. What stands out about it is its ability to shoot perfect selfies. It can detect your face, follow you everywhere you go and you don’t need to control it all the time. It’s a bit on the pricy side though, at $599 which is approximately Rs. 40,000. 


AZI SYMA X5SC 2.4G

Another great drone for its price (Rs. 6,359 on Amazon). You can fly it comfortably at a height of 25 metres. It also comes with a camera, and can take more than a few drops without getting damaged. 


DRONE RULES


“The regulations have been drafted by the DGCA at this point. The final mandate on the regulations is expected very soon. In the interim, drone based projects may be conducted on a permission basis. You can also fly drones in public places provided you have written clearance from local police,” says Vignesh Santhanam, Chief Marketing Officer of Quidich Aerial Solutions, a leading service provider in the UAV space. Here are a few key excerpts from the DGCA circular.

  • All unmanned aircraft intended to be operated in India will require an Unique Identification Number (UIN) issued from DGCA.

 

  • All civil UA operations at or above 200ft AGL in uncontrolled airspace for any purpose whatsoever will require UAOP (UA Operator Permit) from DGCA.

 

  • Remote pilots shall undertake thorough practical training in the control of a UA in flight, which may consist of a proportion of simulated flight training.

 

  • Remote pilot should have attained 18 years of age and have thorough ground training equivalent to that undertaken by aircrew of manned aircraft or a PPL holder (aeroplane/ helicopter) with FRTOL. The above training requirements for remote pilots are not applicable for micro category UA & recreational flying.