Types of Drones

Different Types of Drones Explained

A drone is an unpiloted, autonomous aircraft and becoming very popular as technology rapidly advances. In this article, we will let you know about different types of drones. 

Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be classified into different types based on their size, usage, range, propellers, and abilities. Quite confusing, isn’t it? Don’t worry; here we’ve discussed types of drones and their use, so you get a clear idea about drones. Please read our article before you buy a drone for yourself according to your need.

Drone Types: According to Their Aerial Platforms

This is one of the most important classifications of drone types. Here we are describing four main types of drones based on the aerial platform. 

Single Rotor

Many of us wanted to own a helicopter when we were a child. Single rotor drones closely resemble helicopters if you compare them with their design and structure. Moreover, the launch of single rotor drones is almost the same as helicopters. They are suitable for longer flights because a gas motor powers them for long endurance. The cost of single rotor drones is costly because of their complexity and regular maintenance. Single drones can lift heavier things because they use less battery or fuel when they fly. However, they can be very risky for you if you lose control over them due to their large rotor blades.

Single Rotor Drone – Image Source

Multi Rotor

Multi rotor drones are popular for getting an “eye in the sky,” and they have many purposes and uses for both hobby and profession. In this category, multi rotor drones are cost-effective. They need more energy than the other drones to keep them flying. They are capable of giving you so much control over possession and framing. The usage of multi rotor is- aerial photography, film making, surveillance, etc. They are small in size and ready to fly whenever you want. However, they are not efficient in energy usage and they can fly for only about 15-30 mins because of their small payload capacity. 

Multi Rotor Drone – Image Source

Fixed Wings

Fixed drones look like an airplane. Launching these drones in the sky is quite more difficult yet efficient than other drones. Fixed wings drones need the energy to keep them moving forward while they are flying. Most fixed wings can fly for a couple of hours. Some fixed wings drones are gas powered, and it helps them to be airborne for about 16 hours! That’s why they can cover a longer distance and do longer monitoring. They are helpful for delivery, commercial works, aerial mapping, photography, and so on. They are capable of carrying more weight. But they are quite expensive and need training before using them. They are more difficult to land than other drones.

Fixed Wings – Image Source

Fixed Wings Hybrid

They have both of the features from fixed wings and rotor based drones and a couple of rotors attached at the end of their fixed wings. These drones were designed in the 60s for aircraft. However, these drones are still in an experimental process and they are not commercially available than other drones. Many companies are working on them so we are hopeful to see more models of these drones in near future. 

Fixed Wings Hybrid – Image Source

Drone Types: According to Their Size

Drones come off different sizes, and so we can classify them according to their size too. Here we’ve described the drones in this category.

Nano/Micro Drones

A Nano drone is exactly what it sounds like, almost like a large insect sized. The lengths can be up to 20 inches. They are very popular for those who are using drones for the first time among different types of drones. They are perfect for pilots to work on their piloting skills. Nano/micro drones are prominent for their size. They may not sound impressive to you at first, but they are best according to their size and usage. These drones are designed for indoor uses, but they can be used outdoors as well.

Nano Drone – Image Source

Small Drones

They are more efficient than the previous types. They are about 80 inches long in size. They commonly look like fixed wing drones but they have many types as- rotary wings. They are one of the good quality drones according to their price. The price range of the drones is from $100 up to $1000 dollars. They are affordable for beginners who are looking for a good quality drone at the cheapest rate. 

Small Drone

Medium Drones

They are not typical fun sized drones like the previous ones. They are not at a reasonable price for you to buy. They will cost you around 440 pounds. So it will cost you a lot if you want to get them up in the air.

Medium Drone – Image Source

Large Drones

These are drones that have been used in the military and you won’t get one if you are not working for the military. They are extremely innovative and accurate drones that don’t need human involvement. These drones save military lives and strengthen their team. Their sizes are as similar as a small aircraft. 

Large Drone – Image Source

Drone Types: According to Their Range 

Here we have listed the drones that are classified by how far they are capable of flying. You may think that the bigger the range, the better but this is not applicable for all types of drones.

Very Close Range 

These categories include toy or hobby drones, and their range is around 3 miles or more than that. They can fly for about 20 t0 45 minutes, but it depends on their battery life. The most popular drones among them are DJI Phantom Range. 

Close Range

These drones can fly about 30 miles from the user. Depending on their batteries, they can fly up to six hours in the sky.

Short Range

They can stay airborne for 8 to 10 hours, and they can fly about 90 miles from the user. They are best for spying, surveillance purposes, and so on. 


These are high-speed drones and can cover areas up to 400 miles. For their efficiency, they are used for surveillance purposes and for gathering data for science, agriculture, etc.


These drones can reach up to 3000 feet and stay in the air for hours.

Drone Types: According to Their Ability

Drones can give you an impressive performance according to their built-in equipment. Here we have categorized these drones-

GPS Drones

These drones are linked up to satellites. Beginners drones do not have GPS; more advanced drones make use of GPS. They automatically return to their base if they are running out of battery power.

GPS Drone

RTF Drones

RTF means ready to fly. They are ideal for beginners because they need a little maintenance. All you need to charge up the battery- and then your drone is ready to fly.

Trick Drones

They are generally used as toys and they are only 10 inches and lightweight drones. They can pull off barrel rolls and flips while flying in the sky.

Photography Drones

Drones are widely used for photography and videography. They can reach areas and shoot from angles that your regular cameras cannot. You can do aerial photography, videography of landscapes, buildings or any event. They allow you to get a bird’s eye view of any place.

Photography Drone

Underwater Drones

Underwater drones work like submarines without any crew. You can control the drones so that they don’t sink. While most drones can’t get wet, these drones can give you the best experience from underwater. 

Underwater Drone – Image Source

Racing Drones

The racing drone’s speed can be 60 miles per hour. They are lightweight, and they have additional features that allow them to achieve the highest speed. 

Racing Drone

Alternative-Powered Drones

Not all drones use batteries, and many drones work on alternative powers like gas, fuels, solar energy, etc.

Delivery Drones

Suppose you’ve ordered your favorite pizza, and your pizza gets delivered by a drone! They are operated remotely and can go to several places in the world. Though they are now limited, the day is not so far when they will be able to deliver our products.

We hope we have covered pretty much everything about drones. Now you know about different types of drones, so think wisely and choose the right drone for you. Please read our article before buying a drone and learn about different types of drones and their usage, so you don’t waste your money buying the wrong drone. 

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