The majority of drones today are powered by Lithium Power or also known as Li-Po batteries. Conversely, some flyers need more something a bit more forceful. That is where a gas powered drone comes into play.
Most people are not aware that such drones do exist. Thus, if you're one of them and curious what a gasoline-powered drone is, then keep on reading. Here, we will tackle everything you need to know about this type of drone.
Gas drones are still a rarity in the market, thus, here are the best alternatives to gas drones*
Gasoline Powered Drone: What Exactly It Is?
A gas powered drone is made using a small engine which will move your drone quickly without waiting for the batteries to start it up.
As the name implies, this drone can be flee using a traditional gas or over 2-cycle engine oil which you can acquire from any auto supply store with ease.
Typically, a gas drone is more potent than a battery-powered quadcopter making it more attractive to most RC players. Since a gas power drone weighs more than traditional battery-powered drones, it can offer every flyer a more realistic flying experience.
On the other hand, gas powered drones are not created equal. Every model has its unique design as well as critical features which can make it function properly and efficiently.
Nevertheless, other gas operated drones come with HD cameras which allow flyers to capture breathtaking views in the sky.
Now that you already know what it is let's find out its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages Of Gas Powered Quadcopters
Gas powered drones are much stronger compared to their counterparts. Meaning to say, a gas drone has restricted tear and wear thus you're sure that one of these could last longer.
This is because a gas powered quadcopter is created using stronger and bigger parts that increases its life and lessen tear and wear issues.
Weight and Size
The weight and size of gas powered quadcopters might be both a benefit and drawback depending on how users look at it.
Bigger body frame, as well as increase weight, means that your quadcopter can endure heavy winds providing you more stability in windy situations.
On the other hand, the heavy construction and big size mean that the drone is capable of carrying heavier payloads.
Nevertheless, always keep in mind that the bigger the drone, the bigger space you'll need to control and fly it.
Longer Flight Times
One of the common drawbacks of a battery-operated drone is that they are discharged quickly after heavy usage. Electric drones tend to stop every 10 minutes or more.
However, a gas powered drone can save you from such a problem. These vehicles are capable of flying continuously for more than 30 minutes before refueling. Furthermore, fueling can also be done in just a few seconds.
Easy to Start
Starting and operating one is much easier if the device is using the right fuel. The use of fuel will eliminate the need to wait ‘til the battery is fully charged.
Also, when the drone doesn't have enough fuel refueling, it is quite simple. All you have to do is get your drone and add more fuel. It is very easy.
-Ideal for aerial photography
-Spare batteries aren’t needed
Disadvantages Of Gas Powered Quadcopters
Just like any other drones or quadcopters, gasoline powered models do have their difficulties as well. Nevertheless, here are common drawbacks of gasoline-powered drones.
A gasoline-operated drone acts like motor vehicles. To start the drone, you have to ignite the motor which may cause interference since the process of ignition needs high voltage.
However, this might not be a significant problem, but for beginners, it can be very challenging.
A gas powered drone requires regular maintenance and owners need to inspect lots of things to make sure that it doesn't crash as well as get damaged.
For instance, during flights, you have to check if it has a sufficient fuel level. Plus, you need to make sure that the fuel system doesn't have any leakage as it may cause a fire.
Lastly, you need to inspect the lubrication of every moving part so that it will be able to carry the drone’s weight effectively.
The bigger size means more space to control and fly the drone. Apart from that, the bigger size also displays lots of trials especially when you’re maneuvering your gas powered drone in areas that are surrounded by trees and other objects.
This might be a big problem for those are not into flying bulky devices. Moreover, extra weight also means the drone's engine needs to give off more power to lift the apparatus leading to more fuel consumption. That said, flying a gasoline powered quadcopter can be very expensive.
Nevertheless, the added weight may also present a higher risk crash which might lead to extensive damage.
-Gives offer more noise pollution than a battery-powered drone
-Fly with a highly inflammable fuel.
Is It Possible to Buy Them?
Gas powered drones are uncommon on the market. Most of these types of drones are do-it-yourself projects which require to purchase your drone parts.
However, fortunately, as drone technology becomes more popular, you might be able to walk to stores and purchase one with ease. Yet, until then, you will have to wait.
That said, listed below are the four gasoline powered drones which exist these days or are currently being constructed.
Most RC drones are powered by Li-Po batteries. However, there are gas-powered quadcopters out there, too.
They’re typically much more powerful than their battery counterparts, which is what makes them so attractive to RC flyers. Below, we’ll talk more about these types of drones.
Gas drones are still a rarity in the market, thus, here are the best alternatives to gas drones*
A gas-powered quadcopter will usually weigh more than a traditional battery-powered drone since it has more moving parts.
Due to this added weight, it will have more stability in windy conditions, making it great for aerial photography. Another great reason to choose this type of quadcopter is that it offers a relatively long flight time.
Most gas-powered drones can easily fly for over 30 minutes before needing to be refueled.
As you can imagine, these drones aren’t perfect. A potential drawback is their size. Since they’re big and heavy, it can be intimidating for beginners to fly. The added weight can also result in less maneuverability.
If you’re looking to squeeze through narrow spaces quickly, then a gas-powered quadcopter probably isn’t for you. Now that we’ve talked about the benefits and drawbacks, let’s talk about specific models.
Buying a Gas-Powered Drone – Is it Possible?
Unfortunately, drones that have a gas engine are relatively rare on the market. Most of them are DIY projects that require you to buy your own parts.
As drone technology becomes more common, you may be able to walk into a store and buy one easily. But until then, you’ll need to wait. With that said, here are four gas-powered models that exist today (or are currently being built).
Listed below are the four gasoline-powered modes which are currently available on the market.
This quadcopter is still in the concept stage of design but is expected to hit the market in the future. It will likely cost more than a thousand dollars, but it will be well worth every penny in my opinion.
Not only does it sport a unique and sleek design, but it’s expected to reach speeds of 60+ MPH.
For a quadcopter, that’s very fast. It will also be able to carry payloads of about twelve pounds as well as stay in the air for about 60 minutes.
The Yeair is a drone is anticipated to hit the marketplace shortly. However, this gas powered drone is still under development.
Either way, Yeair is a heavy-duty model that comes with a decent gas engine as well as the battery to power the system.
On the other hand, this type of gas drone is more expensive compared to its peers. However, nevertheless, it'll be worth every penny.
Furthermore, it is an extremely fast quadcopter which is specially designed and made for carrying parcels over a longer distance more rapidly. Design-wise, Yeair sports a unique as well as sleek design and it is anticipated to cruise speeds of more than 60mph.
Even so, for a quadcopter that is extremely fast, it can carry loads weighing about 12 pounds and stays in the air for approximately one hour before refueling.
However, it comes with a battery that isn’t rechargeable, but it keeps emissions from your quadcopter at a minimum. This gasoline operated drone also functions thru a distinct 2-stroke engine that can stand the test of time and last a bit longer.
Yeair is an efficient drone making it suitable for all manner of usage. Lastly, this type of gas drone is built with durability in mind. Thus, you are sure that there's only a little chance that it'll fall apart after a couple of uses or utilize during heavy winds.
- Very Fast
- Integrated Wi-fi
- LED Lights (Programmable)
- Long flight times
- Self-directed flight options
- Lift-up legs
- Awesome flight range
- Can carry heavier loads with ease
- Noisy engine
This gas-powered quadcopter operates via a two-stroke engine that should stand the test of time.
Finally, the drone is built durably so there’s little risk that it will fall apart after just a few uses (which tends to happen with cheaply-built models).
2. Nitro Stingray
The Nitro Stingray is another gas-powered model that has a two-stroke Scorpion motor. It has a specialized flight controller that gives the flyer full control over the drone.
The drone’s “variable pitch” feature increases mobility, allowing flyers to change directions quickly and easily. The Nitro Stingray is also known for its stability.
Even in strong wind, it’s relatively stable. Like the Yeair, that makes it a good option for aerial photographers.
This second type also has a two-stroke Scorpion motor. It has a specific flight controller which offers you full control to your nitro quad copter.
The motor of this quadcopter works together with 110-mm blades on all angles. In addition to that, the quadcopter’s feature known as “variable pitch” will increase mobility allowing you to change your drone’s directions easily and more rapidly.
The Nitro drone is known for being very stable. As a matter of fact, with this nitro quad copter, you'll be able to maintain a constant position. This makes sure that the drone will stay strong and active without being vulnerable to falling or slipping.
On the other hand, the Nitro quad copter can hold traditional movements with care. Not only that, but it also supports three-dimensional movements. That said Nitro drone is perfect for aerial photography.
In addition to that, this type of gas powered drone can support rolls as well as other acrobatic movements.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a quadcopter that supports stunts, but doesn’t want to go for a gasoline powered quadcopter, then Syma X5C is for you. This drone comes equipped with an HD camera and performs flips effortlessly.
- Agile and stable even in strong wind.
- Ideal for aerial photography
- Offers a realistic flying experience
- Powerful gasoline powered drone.
- Difficult to handle specially for beginners
Another benefit to this gasoline-powered drone is that it’s capable of performing barrel rolls and other acrobatic moves.
Note, if you want a drone that’s capable of stunts, but don’t want a gas-powered model, then check out the Syma X5C.
3. Goliath Quadcopter
The Goliath Quadcopter is a DIY project is still at the prototype stage, but it’s still an impressive model nonetheless. It was constructed for the Hackaday Prize competition.
The gas-powered fiend has a 30 HP engine that produces quite a bit of power. Why is this drone so powerful? One reason is due to its light frame.
This gasoline powered drone is one of the best DIY projects. However, it's still in the prototype phase. The Goliath quadcopter can be assembled with ease, and the needed materials are readily accessible on the market.
This third type was made for the Hackaday Price Competition. As opposed to the Nitro drone and Yeair Goliath is made using one gas engine which gives of about 30hp.
Nevertheless, the engine is responsible for controlling the propellers thru the attached control cables on it.
Perhaps, you're wondering why this gas powered quadcopter so great. This drone comes with a lightweight frame. This drone is either made aluminum or wooden frame.
Since it is light enough, the engine doesn't have to work hard to lift it. Moreover, as the name suggests, this a giant drone which is capable of lifting heavier loads.
Another good thing about this gas power drone is that it utilizes the Ardupilot as its flight control system. It offers the drone plenty of flexibility when it comes to flying since it's an open source. Meaning to say, you can customize the software depending on the flight requirements that suit your needs.
Nevertheless, if you’re a kind of person who loves making things as well as wants to try assembling your quadcopter, then Goliath Quadcopter is worth considering. Aforementioned, the needed materials are readily accessible on the market.
- Powerful engine
- Made of a lightweight frame
- Open source software and flight controller
- Heavy payload potential
- Entered the hackaday Price competition
- It's not a weighty end-product
- Bot ideal for novice or faint-hearted pilot since its a massive DIY project
Since the frame is either aluminum or wood, it’s light enough to where the engines don’t have to work so hard to lift it up. As its name implies, the Goliath Quadcopter is a giant capable of lifting relatively heavy payloads.
Another great thing about it is that the flight controller software is open source, so anyone can customize it.
4. Incredible HLQ
The final gasoline-powered quadcopter that we’re going to talk about is the Incredible HLQ. This model started in a Kickstarter campaign and was designed by students from San Joe, California.
The “HLQ” in the quadcopter’s name stands for “Heavy Lifting Quadcopter”. This model was shown to be able to lift to 50 pounds, which is quite a bit for an RC drone.In the drone industry, HLQ is an abbreviation for "Heavy Lifting Quadcopter." As the name suggests, it was built to lift loads weighing 50lbs. On the other hand, the Incredible HLQ has its distant Kickstarter campaign. Plus, it is intended to be utilized widely in the delivery parcels and e-commerce.
Nevertheless, the main reason why this gas powered drone is very potent is that it comes equipped with two 2-stroke gas engines. Every engine provides about 12.5hp.
Aside from that, Incredible HLQ is a relatively big drone which needs bigger space so that it will be able to operate powerfully.
This drone features four helicopter rotor heads as well as 435mm blades. However, they are driven by the engines so that it will deliver the needed thrust to lift heavier loads.
Similar to the Goliath Quadcopter, the Incredible HLQ also employs Ardupilot flight controller. It's an open source module that lets users make more exceptional configurations. Furthermore, its frame is constructed using aluminum tubes.
Nevertheless, Incredible HLQ is still in the testing phase.
- Open source flight controller
- Sports a two engine design
- Massive delivery and lifting potential drone
It can be used for rescuing and searching
- Gas-consuming potential
The reason why it’s so powerful is that it comes with 2 gasoline two-stroke engines. Each engine offers about 12.5 HP which, while it doesn’t sound like a lot, gives the quadcopter a massive amount of power.
Gasoline-Powered vs. Battery-Powered Drones: Which Are Better?
Some drone flyers prefer battery-powered drones, while others prefer gasoline-powered models. The question is, which is better?
As we all know, each type of drone has its unique features as well as drawbacks. So, the big question is, which is better: gasoline powered quadcopters or battery powered drones.
There is no precise answer which is better. Either way, in the next sections, we will compare both battery and gasoline operated drones in various aspects and features to see which is best suited for you as well as flying style.
The gas-powered models by far have the most amount of power. As you read from the reviews earlier in this post, they can reach speeds up to 60 MPH and carry payloads up to 50 pounds.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that a gas-powered machine produces more power than a battery-powered machine.
That’s because there’s more stored energy in the gasoline compared to the battery. In the future, this might change, but for now, the gas models are the most powerful of the two.
In all honesty, it is not surprising that a gas power drone gives off more power as compared to battery powered models.
Price (Champion: Batteries Powered Drone)
If you’re looking to save money, then go with batteries. Battery-powered drones are simply cheaper than their gas-powered counterparts.
With that said, this doesn’t mean that battery-powered models can’t be powerful. They most certainly can. Just look at the DJI Phantom 4. It runs off a battery and has an impressive flight time of about 30 minutes.
Other models like the Parrot Bebop 2 and the DJI Inspire 2 offer equally impressive stats. On the very low end, expect to pay about $20 for a mini battery-powered drone, and on the high end, several thousand dollars.
Flight Time (Champion: Gas Powered version)
Both sides have drones capable of staying in the air for a long time. However, the gas-powered side has the longer average flight time.
On average, they can still in the air for at least 30 minutes. That’s on a full tank of gas, of course. A battery-operated model, like the Syma X5C for example, only has a flight time of about 7 minutes before having to be recharged.
The good thing about the X5C is that it is accessible at a very affordable price and in fact, you don't to need to pay anything to recharge. However, with a gas powered drone, you will have to pay for the fuel every time you fly, which may cost you a lot over time.
Nevertheless, check out this article if you want to find out how to extend a drone’s flight time.
How to Extend Drone Flight Time
The upside to the X5C is that it only costs about $50 and you don’t have to pay anything extra to recharge. With gas-powered models, you’ll need to pay for fuel each time that you fly, which can add up over time.
Surviving a Crash (Champion: Battery Powered Drone)
Since battery-operated drones are lighter, they’ll be more likely to survive a crash. Take the Blade Nano QX as an example. In most cases, even a fall from a relatively high distance won’t break the drone (unless you land it in the water).
With a gas-powered drone, that’s not the case. If you crash one of these models, it will very likely be destroyed in the process. That’s because these drones weigh a lot, and all the weight makes the impact even stronger.
So, if you’re not an experienced flyer, then it’s recommended that you stay away from gas models until you become more experienced. Otherwise, you could be flushing a lot of money down the toilet.
Payload (Champion: Gas Powered Version)
If you recall from earlier in the article, the Incredible HQL could lift a payload of about 50 pounds. To give you some perspective of how much weigh that is, it’s like lifting a dry bag of cement!
That’s very impressive, and is only possible with gasoline. It would be incredibly difficult for a battery-powered model to lift such a heavy load.
If you need a drone that’s capable of lifting heavy payloads across long distances, then go with a gasoline model because a battery-powered model won’t be able to get the job done.
Starting a Gas-Powered Drone
Like any other gas-powered machine, these drones are typically started with a pull-cord. You might need to pull the cord several times until the drone starts.
Also, there are might be other things like a “choke button” that play a role in starting the drone. Since each drone is different, you’ll need to judge it on a drone-by-drone basis.
Do They Come with Cameras?
It depends. Some will come with cameras while others won’t. The good news is that mounting a camera on a drone isn’t that difficult.
All you need to do is find a flat surface on the drone and attach it there. For more information on how to build a drone and attach a camera, check out this guide.
Best Alternatives to Gas Powered versions
Since gas powered quadcopters are quite expensive and trying to find we have compiled some of the best potentially or partially gasoline powered drones which are currently available on the market.
All the drones that we have included in this list can perform similar tasks as the best gasoline powered drones. Not only that, but they can also be modified to utilize various fuel sources.
Nevertheless, they are all readily accessible on Amazon and might be utilized for a wide variety of hefty lifting purposes.
This 40-lbs gas powered quadcopter by Freefly Systems costs over $10,000. The ALTA UAV can lift or carry payloads weighing 15 pounds. In addition to that, it can be assembled with ease, approximately 5 minutes.
On the other hand, its world-famous integrated SYNAPSE flight controller can offer you a systematic range of motion for your videography as well as photography shots. The Alta UAV comes equipped with a lightweight frame and built using carbon fiber.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for the toughest and biggest (partially) gas drone for sale, the Freefly Systems Alta UAV can be a great option as it will never let you and even your payloads down.
2. DJI S1000+
The DJI S1000+ is one of the most affordable drones on the market today, and it may be the best as well.
This octocopter comes equipped with eight more that can be folded to save some space. Similar to FreeFly Systems Alta UAV, the DJI S1000+ is also easy to set up.
Apart from that, this model is made of a heavy-duty carbon fiber body that can stand the test of time.
One impressive feature of this drone is that it has a flight time of 25 minutes and four pounds weight limit.
Thus, if you are looking for an affordable yet great gasoline powered drone from a reliable name, then you will never go wrong with DJI S1000+.
The DJI Matrice Pro 600 is ideal for aerial photography as well as other industrial purposes. This drone has a better loading capacity and enhanced flight performance,
On the other hand, its pre-installed antennas and arms lessen the time needed for setup. Moreover, mounting additional modules is also easy thanks to the system’s modular design.
When it comes to that airframe, this drone comes equipped with the newest DJI technologies like A3 Pro flight controller, original batteries & battery management, and Lightbridge two high-definition transmission system.
Its flight controller can endure magnetic interference. Since it has a flexible design, you can incorporate any gimbal from DJI and other add-ons you want.
On average, this gas powered drone has a flight time of 35 minutes depending on the load’s weight.
Gasoline Powered Quadcopters: Where Can They Utilize?
Because of their impressive and unique features, a gasoline powered quadcopter works best for specific operations including:
1. Delivery Services
Aforementioned, gas operated quadcopters are specially designed and made to carry and deliver heavy loads at longer distances more rapidly.
Their powerful engines, as well as bigger size, mean that such drones can be utilized by delivery businesses and online businesses to deliver parcels and goods to their destinations.
These drones, on the other hand, might find greater uses when it comes to delivering emergency medical supplies to doctors and patients in hard to reach areas.
2. Rescue Amenities
Typically, gasoline powered drones are built using heavy-duty materials. Apart from that, they can also fly in windy situations much better compared to ordinary electric quadcopters.
The reliable quality of these drones is ideal for emergency services like rescue teams. For instance, both fire departments and Red Cross could fly gasoline drones in demanding conditions to assess the current situation.
3. Shooting Live Events
Events that last a bit longer like places with huge crowds and even demonstrations need continuous recording from vantage points which will offer a clearer picture of the events.
However, the use of a gas powered quadcopter that has a longer flight time and fast refueling is more practical than using an electric drone the needs recurrent stopping to recharge.
Most of the time, electric quadcopters are commonly utilized for monitoring. However, their main drawback is that this drone needs to be recharged every after a few minutes.
Fortunately, gas-powered models can eliminate the issue since they stay in the air longer and refueling them is very easy making them ideal for continuous surveillance.
Things That You Need To Consider
Whether you're purchasing an RTF drone or parts that you can muster on your own, having enough idea on how to join the different elements is essential.
Learning how is it assembled will help you in maintaining your drone with ease. If you purchase an RTF model make sure that is adequately collected so that it won't crash and fly easily.
Also, please don't forget the user's manual as it can help you in putting up the parts together and how to set the drone ready for flying.
As a reminder, resist the enticement to disassemble to your ready-to-fly drone directly because you sense that you know how it functions and reassembles the parts.
Know the Drone’s Controls
Understanding and studying the user manuals is highly recommended whether you’re flying a battery or gas powered drone.
Make sure to read the manual and understand how the control works. You'll be shocked to acquire that the controls even for sophisticated gasoline powered drones are similar to the control outlines of the simplest model you've ever had.
Nevertheless, as you learn the different controls, make sure to practice how to stop and start the device. After which, study how to move the drone in upward and downward positions.
Please take note, don't deploy your drone when you're not sure that you can effectively control it.
As you can see above, the most common drawback of gasoline powered drones is their loud sound.
Most gasoline powered engines give off too much sound which may bother other people if you utilized them nears settlements. However, such drones are beautiful in noisy factories.
Even so, if you are planning to use the drone for surveillance, in populated places, and for filming, make sure to go for a gas powered model that has a minimum noise.
Nevertheless, depending on your preferred use check the noise levels of the drones you’re interested in. Pick one which gives off the least sound.
As what we said a while ago, some gas powered drones come equipped with built-in cameras while others oblige you to purchase your camera.
However, if you are using your quadcopter for either filming or surveillance purposes, it is best to go for a model that has inbuilt HD cameras.
Nevertheless, in case you need to install cameras make sure to look for the right fit so that it’ll function effectively.
In addition to cameras, checking the drone’s recording and memory capacity is also a must. You don’t have to worry because some quadcopters have bigger hard disks. Though other models only have ports in which you’re supposed to connect storage devices.
Checking this will aid you to prepare thriving when it comes to choosing your drone.
The cost which is associated with gasoline powered quadcopters will be relatively higher than other types of drones.
On a typical gas powered model, you might need to invest hundreds of dollars. This is because of the cost relating to having an engine ready as well as allowing for sufficient parts or components to be set up.
On the other hand, the cost will also differ depending on the model which you ordered. That is why be sure to shop around and look for the best options that suit your budget as well as piloting needs.
The Bottom Line
We hope that you’ve learned a lot about gasoline-powered drones in this guide.
While gas models aren’t widely available on the market yet (most are DIY projects and Kickstart projects), they may become more common as the technology becomes better.
If you have any questions about how these drones work, then leave a comment below. Good luck and fly safe!