4 questions I’m always asked about flying my DJI Phantom
Every time I take the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus out to fly, it grabs everyone’s attention. Most of the people that I come across are very interested in the “UAV”, “Drone” or “Quadcopter” or how ever you would like to call them (lately I’ve just been calling mine a “bird”). Some people are even considering getting one for themselves. The conversation usually starts with the same 4 questions
1 – How high can it go? It’s always the first thing I’m asked. Legally 400 ft. in the United States. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates how high an UAV can fly. I have seen some videos of people putting range extenders on and taking off to unbelievable heights. There is a reason for this legal limit. Safety is important and I assume the FAA feels they will interfere with national airspace..
As far as distance, I’ve never let mine out of my sight, which is what is advised. The live video WiFi is range is about 700m (.43 mile 2296ft) on the P2V+, and the remote control range around 800m (.49 mile or 2624ft) or more. Many circumstances come into play regarding environment and surroundings. I thought about trying it on a trip to the dessert, but like I said, I don’t like it to leave my sight. I have a fond attachment to mine and they cost to much to lose. Which leads me to my next question I’m always asked…
2 – How much do they cost? There are many choices of Phantoms to choose from. I like the DJI Phantom 2 series. There are 3 different choices, but the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus (P2V+) brand new from DJI Phantom.com at the time of this writing was $1299.00. (It will be fun to go back in a year and see what they will be).
3 – Is it hard to fly? That’s a hard question to answer. No, although I started with the AR Parrot Drone. I flew them for a over a year before I went to the Phantom. So… The transition was easy. I like the controller compared to flying off of my tablet (I didn’t have a controller for the AR Parrot, but they are available). I learned a lot before I moved on. The basic functions and control made the transition even easier. Obviously the more practice the easier it becomes. Unlike some people, I don’t play video games and I work more than a full time job, so “hands on” is how I learned. I had practiced quite a bit on flying in all different directions so I feel comfortable when it is facing towards me or any direction but forward. The manual comes with some practice exercise, use them until you feel comfortable flying. DJI has gone to great lengths to make them easy to fly.
4 – How long can it fly? All of the Phantom 2 series which include the P2V+ use the 5200mAh Lipo Battery. It allows flying time up to about 25 minutes. Times are a little shorter when using the video function. It is much longer flying time than most Quadcopters. I found that Amazon offers a good selection of Phantom parts and accessories that include the batteries. They seem to cost around $130.00 at this time. I suggest having more than one on hand.