When you want to buy commercial drones, features like speed, flight time, and camera quality are crucial. However, there is another essential feature that is overlooked by most buyers - the drone range, which is how far a drone can fly, and how many miles can it cover before the battery runs out.

Today long range drones are becoming a craze among professionals and drone hobbyists. These drones offer a considerable flight range that is suitable for different applications.

In this article, we've prepared a detailed review of the best long range drones in the market, covering everything you need to know before you buy a long distance drone.

If you are in a hurry, here is the list. 

A roundup of the best long range drones - table summary:

Model

Max Flight Distance

Video Transmission Distance

Max Flight Time

Top Speed

JOUAV CW-40

100km/200km

100km/200km

600mins

90km/h

JOUAV CW-15

50km

50km

180mins

61km/h

DJI Mavic 3

30km

15km

46mins

76km/h

DJI Mavic Air 2s

12km

12km

31mins

68km/h

Autel Robotics Evo II

10km

10km

40mins

71km/h

DJI Mini 2

10km

10km

30 minutes

80km/h

Parrot Disco FPV

2km

2km

45 minutes

80km/h

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro

1.6km

1.6km

22 minutes

35km/h

Hubsan H501S X4

0.99km

0.3km

22 minutes

83km/h

How far can a drone fly?

How far can a drone fly?

Before we start, it's good if you have a measure of how far drones can actually fly from the controller. Generally, drone range depends on the drone mode, how the model is configured, and how far you want the drone to fly.

best long range drone

Most high-end drones have the ability to fly about 5 kilometers or more. And with improved technology and battery life, it is not uncommon for some drones to be able to fly 10 km or more. For example, the JOUAV CW-40 VTOL drone combines a graphical link with a video transmission link that can still fly normally and transmit video in real-time to a command center up to 200 kilometers from the controller. Common ranges for mid-level drones are 400 meters to 3 kilometers or 0.25 to 1.5 kilometers. While toy drones can fly between 50-100 meters, FPV drones can fly between 8-10km.

JOUAV CW-40: 100km/200km range drone

9 Best long range drones for sale

Let's dive right in to learn what we picked and the detailed review of the 5 best long distance drones right after.

JOUAV CW-40: 100km/200km range drone for professional

Made for professional use, the JOUAV CW-40 VTOL fixed-wing drone is the longest range UAV on this list, beating out many of the high-end drones on the market. With an integrated 200km control and video transmission range, the CW-40 allows you to fly and transmit HD live video from up to 200km away.

best 200km range drone

Unlike most muti-rotor drones that use lithium batteries, the CW-40 is an electric and gas powered drone with a four-stroke EFI engine and low fuel consumption. It can stay afloat in the air for 8-10 hours carrying a 6kg payload, which can meet the requirements of large-scale drone surveying and surveillance, such as large mine sites, road surveys, border patrols, etc.

Weighting up to 10kg, this long range drone can be equipped with 100MP medium-frame cameras, 210MP oblique imagery cameras, and long-range LiDAR sensors. The CW-40 can also carry a dual night version of the gimbal camera, which can be used as a police drone for search and rescue, law enforcement, etc.

Key Specs:

  • Flight distance: 100km/200km (optional)
  • Max flight time: 600mins
  • Max payload: 10kg
  • Mac flight speed: 90km/h
  • Max take-off weight: 45kg
  • Max wind speed resistance: 13.9-17.1m/s
  • Video transmission: 1080p live view
  • Obstacle avoidance sensor: Forward, downward, ADS-B system
  • Multiple flight modes: Remote control flight and an autonomous flight are available
JOUAV CW-15: Best 50km range drone

JOUAV CW-15: Best 50km range drone

As one of the small VTOL fixed-wing drones of the JOUAV CW series, the CW-15 is the most prominent long range drone of all. It has a range of close to 50km that really punches above its weight. This drone has a long battery life of up to 3 hours and a cruising speed of 61km/h which means you can cover a large area in a shorter time.

best 50km range drone

The CW-15 comes with a built-in 61MP full-frame camera, which can mean you will have more time to capture jaw-dropping and high-contrast images even in low-light conditions. This thermal drone can be also equipped with a dual gimbal camera which offers a 1080p live stream up to 50km away. With a payload capacity of up to 3kg, the CW-15 is capable of completing a wide range of drone applications like aerial mapping, emergency response, power line inspection, and traffic control.

Another feature is the impressive obstacle avoidance ability and algorithm. The obstacle avoidance system consists of obstacle sensors in all four directions to ensure the safety of aircraft from take-off to landing.

Key Specs:

  • Flight distance: 50km
  • Max flight time: 180mins
  • Max payload: 3kg
  • Mac flight speed: 61km/h
  • Max take-off weight: 17kg
  • Max wind speed resistance: 10.8-13.8m/s
  • Video transmission: 1080p live view
  • Obstacle avoidance sensor: Forward, downward, ADS-B system
  • Multiple flight modes: Remote control flight and an autonomous flight are available
DJI Mavic 3: Best long range drone with camera

DJI Mavic 3: Best long range drone with camera

As a compact, foldable quadcopter, the DJI Mavic 3 is the best long distance drone for the majority of people. The highlight of the Mavic 3 continues to be a compact, foldable quadcopter. In size, it is the largest of the Mavic series, especially when unfolded. The highlight of the Mavic 3 is undoubtedly its excellent video and safety features, with two independent sensors and lenses, adjustable aperture, and improved anti-collision features.

DJI Mavic 3 long range drone

Designed specifically for professional photographers and videographers, the Mavic 3 features a massive 20 MP Hasselblad 4/3rds CMOS image sensor that can shoot up to 50fps 5.1K video, C4K video at up to 120fps, FHD video at up to 120fps when shooting Apple ProRes, and up to 200fps when using the H264/H.265 codec, which includes D-Log (Raw).

In addition to this, its 5000mAh battery provides the drone with longest flight time of 46 minutes or a distance of 30km (when there is no wind).

Key Specs:

  • Max flight distance: 30km
  • Max video range: 15km
  • Max flight time(no wind): 46mins
  • Max flight speed (in sport mode): 76km/h
  • Max takeoff weight: 895g
  • Advanced return to home
DJI Mavic Air 2S: Best cheap long range drone

DJI Mavic Air 2S: Best cheap long range drone

Released in spring 2021, the DJI Mavic 2S combines the compact design of the DJI Mavic 2 with the image quality of the Mavic 2 Pro. As one of the best long range drones in the market, the Mavic Air 2S comes with a wide range of features that make it suitable for professional drone photogrammetry.

DJI Air long range drone

Equipped with a large 1-inch sensor, the drone can capture 20-megapixel still images and is also capable of shooting video up to 5.4K, while shooting 4K video at up to 60fps.

The DJI Mavic 2S has multiple camera modes, including a new Smart Camera mode for optimizing HDR images and the ability to record HDR video in 10-bit D-log color format. Other features include autonomous flight mode, obstacle avoidance system, ASPAS 4.0, and 31 minutes of flight time.

Key Specs:

  • Max transmission range: 12km
  • Max video transmission range: 12km
  • Max flight time: 31 minutes
  • Mac flight speed: 68km/h
  • Load capacity: 500g
  • Weight: 595g
  • 1-inch CMOS sensor with 22mm lens and 88° FOV.
  • Records videos in 5.4k at 30fps, 4k at 60fps, 2.7k at 60fps
  • SmartPhoto Mode for AI-powered HDR images
Autel Robotics Evo II: Best 10km range drone

Autel Robotics Evo II: Best 10km range drone

Autel Evo 2 is a foldable quadcopter drone with incredible specs and a camera. Its most notable feature is a modular camera system that offers three models covering a range of features to meet the needs of different users, from consumers to professionals. The modular system allows users to switch cameras on one drone when needed. It has high-tech cameras that record at the best resolution, in 8k at 25fps or 4k at 60fps. The modular system allows users to switch cameras on one drone when needed.

Autel Dual Evo II long range drone

The 8K EVO 2 is the less expensive model, while the EVO 2 Pro maxes out at 6K video, but from a 1" sensor. There is also an EVO Thermal (an 8K camera paired with a 640 x 512 FLIR thermal camera) for more professional uses.

Key specs:

  • 9km video transmission
  • Max flight time: 40min (35 minutes hovering)
  • Max flight speed: 71km/h
  • Camera resolution: 12MP
  • Video megapixels: 8.8MP(4K)
  • Weight: 6.4kg
  • 12 computer vision sensors for omnidirectional obstacle avoidance
  • 3-axis gimbal
DJI Mini 2 - Best long range drone under 250g

DJI Mini 2 - Best long range drone under 250g

Mini 2 looks very similar in appearance to its predecessor, the Mavic Mini, but it comes with more great features. mini 2 packs a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that can record 4k video clips at 30fps at 100Mbps, which is a big improvement over the 2.7K video offered by the older Mini.

DJI Mini 2 long range drone

On top of that, the Mini 2 has a much-improved controller that is easier to use with smartphones. The transmission system has also been upgraded to a more powerful communication method - Ocusync 2.0, which supports both 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz.

The Mini 2's weight of fewer than 249 grams means it doesn't currently need to be registered with aviation agencies in the US, UK, and Australia, but you'll still need to check your local drone laws in advance.

Key specs:

  • Max operating range: 10km
  • Mac flight speed: 80km/h
  • Max flight time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 249g
  • OcuSync 2.0 Transmission Technology
  • 1/2.3- inch CMOS sensor
  • 12MP still images (RAW & JPEG)
Parrot Disco: Best long range FPV drone

Parrot Disco: Best long range FPV drone

As a fixed-wing long-range drone, the Parrot Disco doesn't take advantage of the fact that it doesn't utilize a quad-rotor or hex-rotor design to facilitate vertical takeoff and landing, but rather a single rear propeller and fixed-wing design. This design allows you to experience the thrill of flight as if you were flying a real airplane.

Parrot Disco long range FPV drone

The Full HD 1080p camera allows you to record stunning footage and stream it in 720p resolution. The aircraft is equipped with a powerful motor that allows flight speeds of up to 50 mph.

The Disco has a huge lithium battery inside the fuselage that guarantees you 45 minutes of battery life, allowing you to extend your flying experience.

Like most first-person view drones, the Disco also requires you to use your smartphone to plug in and link to the Skycontroller 2 via USB, allowing you to enjoy an optimized and secure WiFi link.

Key specs:

  • Max operating range: 2km
  • Mac flight speed: 80km/h
  • Max flight time: 45 minutes
  • Weight: 759g
  • Android and iOS compatibility.
  • Camera: 14 Megapixel.
  • Image Stabilisation: Electronic image stabilization
Yuneec Typhoon H Pro: Best budget long range drone

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro: Best budget long range drone

The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus Pro is not only a long range drone but also a heavy lift drone that comes with 6K video and excellent image quality. It has a six-rotor design and sonar sensors for obstacle detection in front of it, making it very smooth and safe to fly.

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro

As one of the most competitive follow-me drones on the market, the Typhoon H, unlike most consumer drones that need to work by connecting to a smartphone app, puts a color display into the controller itself so you can fly, take pictures and record video without additional equipment.

Similar to the configuration of the Mavic Air 2, the Typhoon H has a 1/2-inch stacked 48-megapixel quad-Bayer CMOS sensor. Unlike the Mavic, this configuration allows the camera to produce video at 8K 24 FPS, while it can also shoot 6K 30 FPS, 4K 60 FPS, and 2.7K and 1080p 120 FPS video. We've never seen better photo quality from any long range drone at this price.

Key specs:

  • Video transmission range: 1.6km
  • Max flight time: 22 minutes
  • Max flight speed: 35km/h
  • Payload capacity: 10.4kg
  • Weight: 1.96 kg
  • Ultrasonic collision avoidance.
  • 4K UHD 30fps, HD 1080p 120fps video/12 Megapixel still camera.
  • 3-axis anti-vibration gimbal camera with full 360° rotation

Hubsan H501S X4: Best long range drone under $500

Weighing in at 410 grams, the Hubsan H501S X4 is a compact, lightweight non-foldable drone. This drone is the relatively cheapest long range drone compared, so it has a considerable following among consumers who are looking for a beginner-friendly drone.

The Hubsan features an HD camera and remote control with an integrated 4.3-inch LCD screen, which means you can fly this FPV aircraft without the need for a cell phone only.

Equipped with a dual GPS module, the Hubsan allows for more accurate positioning and has several autonomous flight modes like the return-to-home function. Combined with its excellent flight time of about 20 minutes, this drone is still a good choice for anyone looking for an affordable HD camera drone despite being out for a few years now.

Key specs:

  • Flight distance: 0.99km
  • Video transmission range: 0.3km
  • Max flight speed: 83km/h
  • Max flight time: 22 minutes
  • Weight: 410g
  • 2.4GHz remote control with 3.7in color screen
  • GPS with return-to-home

Husban H501S X4 long range drone

What you should consider before buying the best long range drone?

What you should consider before buying the best long distance drone?

When you are picking the best long range drone, you need to be aware of some unique specs set. Listed below are some things you need to consider:

Flight range

The flight range of a drone is the length you can keep connected before the aircraft and the controller. Under perfect conditions, the most powerful drones can give you a flight range of up to 200km. However, there are many other factors that can adversely affect the distance. Things like signal interference, obstacles, bad weather conditions, and short battery life can shorten a drone's potential range.

Flight time

Long range drone aircraft must combine long distances and equally long flight times. You have to make sure it has plenty of flight time because no matter how fast you fly, your drone will take some time to get back home from a remote location. In addition to a powerful battery, you also need the farther it hovers, the more time it needs to stay afloat.

For drone distances of 5 km or more, 25 minutes or more of flight time is essential. Any less time may put the drone at risk of losing its signal before it can possibly return.

Navigation system

With an onboard GPS unit, the long-range drone is aware of its surroundings and its location. This ensures that the drone automatically avoids obstacles during flight and is able to find its own way home, reducing the chances of losing your drone. It also ensures that your long range drone lands safely in the event of battery drain or connection loss.

Payload

What is your purpose for choosing a long range drone? For most people, it's to take clear pictures or videos. If you want to get the best quality images, camera specifications should be an important consideration, so be sure to look at several important parameters, including resolution, focal length, and more.

For video, we recommend buying a 4K quality camera. For images, any camera with more than 12 megapixels can produce stunning results. Also, a gimbal is essential for picture stabilization, enabling shake-free professional shots.

CW-15 drone with payload

Obstacle avoidance

Obstacle avoidance is an important safety feature when you are choosing a long range drone. This feature means that the drone is equipped with a multi-directional sensing radar that automatically identifies any obstacle in its flight path at a certain distance from the aircraft, thus avoiding collisions and damage to the airframe. This is because even a first-person view drone does not provide you with a 360 view of every hazard your aircraft may encounter.

Auto return

The auto-return feature means it will bring your long distance drone back to you when it is low on power or when communication is lost. With this feature, you're less likely to lose track of your drone or lose connection to it, which could crash it.

Long range drone FAQ

Long range drone FAQ

What factors affect a drone's range and signal strength?

The drone range is mainly determined by the used frequencies and the surrounding environment. The latter refers to the amount of interference caused by other obstacles and sources. Other factors are related to the technical characteristics of the drone itself.

  • The location of the controller and the drone, including obstacles in the space between them
  • The type of antenna on the controller and the type of antenna on the drone
  • The power of the transmitter on the controller and the power of the transmitter on the drone
  • Reflective obstructions behind and around the control unit and the UAV
  • Interference from other RF sources
  • The relative orientation of the control unit and the drone
  • The position of the antenna within the drone

How to extend the flight time of your drone?

You can extend the battery life of your drone by following some tips to make it fly longer:

  • Choose the right propeller for your drone and try to change the size and shape of your drone's spiral so that you can increase your flight time.
  • Try to reduce the weight of the drone. You can increase the flight time of the drone by removing the extra stuff added to it.
  • Buying a larger capacity and better quality battery can also help you increase your flight time
  • Choose a clear day, without clouds and wind, to fly your drone.
  • Try not to fly too fast, aggressive flying will lower the battery faster.

How to prevent the drone from flying out of range?

  • Turn on the beginner mode. Beginner mode ensures that you don't lose your drone. Even when your drone is low on power or you lose signal, the drone will automatically return to the home point.
  • Make sure the return home is activated. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced flier, you need to make sure that the return home setting is activated every time you take off. This will allow the drone to return safely no matter what happens.
  • Monitor your drone's lifespan. Don't forget to check your drone's battery level before each takeoff and while flying. This is to avoid your drone on the way home is to go power.
  • Make sure you have enough altitude, many countries have strict rules on how high your drone can fly.
  • Monitor for compass interference. Compass interference is a major cause of drones flying away, so you need to check for compass interference on your drone's app before you take off.

How far am I allowed to fly a drone legally?

In the United States, according to FAA regulations, your drone must always be within line of sight (which can be up to 3 miles). This means that if your drone flies far enough away that you lose line of sight, technically your drone is flying illegally. However, it does depend on a few things.

Commercial operators can apply for exemptions, for example, in pipeline inspections or other drone inspection cases, where the flight would be within that right and can prove they can do it safely. Google/Alphabet and Wing just got a waiver to deliver homes by drone in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia, and will undoubtedly move into other areas as it proves to be safe and reliable. This involves flying beyond VLOS and we are waiting to learn more details about the infrastructure and control systems they use to ensure safe flights.

Ordinary hobby and commercial drone pilots cannot legally fly beyond the VLOS without an exemption. If the job requires it, such as using a drone in construction to map a large job site, it is recommended that a flashy strobe light be attached to the drone, which helps keep the drone in your line of sight, even during daylight hours.

Will the drone return home on a low battery?

High-end drones can decide to land or return to flight automatically (common with drones such as the JOUAV CW-40). Some poor-quality customer drones may simply fall out of the air because it does not have enough battery power to keep the motor running.

What to do if my drone loses connection?

In the event you lose connection to the drone, you need to check the camera feed and the responsiveness of the joystick. If there is a button to return to the home, press it. You can also use the controller to move in the general direction of its last flight to try to find it.

Sometimes you may be able to reconnect the controller to the drone while it is still in the air. Try adjusting the antenna or moving yourself to a better vantage point to make sure there are no obstructions between you and the drone.

How much does a long range drone cost?

The average cost of a long range drone varies from $200 to $20,000, while entry-level camera drones cost $300-$500.

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