Three Different Types Of Drone License


A man flying through the air while standing on top of a mountain

There are different types of drone photography available for anyone interested in this new and emerging hobby. The question is, what type of hobby can one engage in and what types of drones can one fly? Are there different sizes and speeds of drones? All these factors will come into play as you consider the many different types of drone photography currently available.

Small Remote Controlled Planes

A plane flying in the air

First, what are the different types of drones? In short, they can be classified into three categories: small remote controlled planes, medium-size remote controlled planes, and large remote controlled planes. Each has different features and flight capacities. A small remote control plane might be used to take short videos of a landscape or a person, for example. A medium sized remote control plane could be used to capture high-quality photographs of people, large structures, or other subjects.

These three sizes also identify the different types of licenses that one might be eligible to apply for. If you would like to legally photograph people without having to get a separate license, then you can simply fly one of the small remote controlled planes. However, it’s important to understand that if you wish to obtain a DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus, or any other brand of DJI drone, then you will have to get a separate license. This isn’t necessarily because of safety issues, but merely because every single brand has its own set of regulations that must be followed.

Types Of Camera

A flock of seagulls flying in the sky

Another way to differentiate the types of drone is by noting the types of camera that the aircraft will be equipped with. Some models only require the use of a regular camera; others will require the use of a camera that is mounted on the unit itself. Many hobbyists enjoy the ability to utilize a variety of different types of cameras, so this may affect your final decision. As mentioned, all types of drones can fly indoors. However, you must always keep in mind that a camera on an indoor drone is just that – and is restricted to being inside the unit.

When flying outside, you can utilize a “hot-air” model – which is essentially a radio control model that allows the hobbyist to control the drone from a distance. Although this type of drone is faster than a fixed model, there are still limitations with the model. The model can only fly at certain speeds indoors. Furthermore, the model cannot be flown directly by another pilot.

Use Decal Stickers

In order to distinguish the different types of drones, hobbyists commonly use decal stickers to outline the model’s characteristics. These stickers should not be confused with registration plates, which will vary from country to country and can carry restrictions and regulations related to the model. Although there are different types of DJI Mavas, for instance, the company doesn’t sell them under the name “DMZ”, but instead under the name of “DJI wings”. If you plan to fly the UAV outside of the United States, you should purchase a United States registration plate, as United States laws prohibit drones from being flown or controlled by non-residents of the country.

Final Thoughts

The final and most popular type of UAV that a new hobbyist might consider is a mini-drone. As the name suggests, these mini-drone models are very small – often as small as 2 inches squared. Some RC mini-drone models are so tiny that they are suitable for a tabletop model. There are some important differences between the different types of remote controlled vehicles. For example, a remote controlled plane should never be flown above six feet, because they can become airborne and pose a serious risk to people on the ground. Also, a mini-drone pilot must be familiar with the way in which he or she will need to control the craft in flight – this differs from the flight of a traditional remote controlled plane.

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