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Drone landing pad! A DIY guide, including helipads!

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Why do you need to get a drone landing pad for your quadcopter? First and foremost, we need to keep our precious drones protected at all times. Quadcopters are not only at risk of damage while in mid-air.

However, they’re also susceptible to breakage during take-off and landing. Launching from or landing on rugged, uneven terrains can potentially break or scratch your quadcopter. Of course, you don’t want to cause severe damage to your expensive aircraft.

Over the years, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle) has become more than just a mere hobby. Technological advancements have transformed copter design to execute professional applications such as aerial cinematography, agriculture, demographic research, and many more.

As UAV technology is getting more advanced, UAV accessories such as landing pads and component guards are becoming more relevant. For drone enthusiasts, these accessories are essential to extend the life of their pricey quadcopters.

Drone landing pads, in particular, are essential tools especially for beginners who are still trying to learn the ropes. Every quadcopter pilot would attest that learning how to launch and land a quadcopter is not an easy task.

It would take a lot of experience and several trials-and-errors to pull this off. Moreover, that also means a very high probability of crashing or dropping your aircraft to the ground.

However, how does a drone landing pad protect our quadcopters during take-off and landing?

What’s the Purpose of a Drone Helipad?

Landing pad for drone

So, why do we need to get a drone landing pad? You probably think that this accessory only has one primary purpose. Moreover, that is to act as a guide for your aircraft.

However, there’s more to it aside from serving as a guide for landing. Launching or landing a quadcopter on a flat, smooth surface doesn’t pose a problem at all. However, the case is entirely different on a grassy, muddy, or rocky ground.

As the aircraft slowly descends, the spinning propellers can pick up dirt, dust, and other debris from the ground. These particles may enter and accumulate into the delicate parts of your quadcopter, particularly the motor bearing.

Dirt build-up and pebble strikes can hamper the quadcopter’s motor system that can eventually lead to corrosion and motor failure. When this happens, you won’t have any other choice but to buy a new motor for your UAV.

Furthermore, pieces of grass can also get entangled in the propeller. Moreover, you can only imagine the damage this could bring to the props and the rotors.

Operating on muddy, wet environments can also cause severe damage to the internal electronics. Descending on a moist, muddy ground is as good for destroying your expensive aircraft.

However, you can prevent these mishaps from happening by using a reliable drone landing pad.

Placing a drone helipad on a dusty or grassy terrain keeps other debris from rising into the quadcopter. Thus, it remains your aircraft away from dust particles that may damage its internal parts.

In addition to this, this essential accessory also protects the camera from potential damage during take-off and landing.

With that being said, buying a landing pad for a drone is a wise investment as it effectively protects your quadcopter as a whole. Moreover, it saves you from buying expensive replacement parts such as camera, motors, and propellers.

Buying an affordable drone landing pad is better than spending on expensive repair costs or purchase replacement parts.

Considering all of these benefits, there’s no excuse why you shouldn’t buy a landing pad for a drone.

There are many different brands of landing pads for drones in the market. If you’re worried about making a buying decision, don’t worry because we’ll make it easier for you.

We’ve picked out the best products on the market based on their key features and benefits. While we’re at it, we’ve also included some drawbacks in each product so you can come up with a decision.

Check out our top picks and take time to compare each feature and carefully examine what they have in store for you. After which, we’ll teach you how to choose the best product to assist you in this endeavor further.

Top 5 Brands Landing Pad for Drone

With so many different options on the market to choose from, which one should you buy?

Here is our list of brands of the best drone landing pads:

1. RCstyle Drone Landing Pad

There’s a good reason why RCstyle is one of the most popular drone pad in the market right now. Not only is this brand affordable but it also lives up to its promise of keeping your quadcopter safe at landing.

RCstyle Drone Landing Pad is made with a waterproof material that you can just lay on the moist, muddy ground. Aside from its waterproof property, it also has sun-protection property so you can use it in all kinds of weather. Its high precision printing won’t fade easily even under wet or scorching conditions.

Although the product description implies that it was designed for DJI Mavic 2, it can be used on virtually all quadcopters out there.

RCstyle Drone Landing Pad is a circular helipad with a width measuring 30 inches. One of the best things about this product is its double-sided color design. One side has orange and white print while the other side has black with orange print.

For better visibility during night flying, it comes with a reflective sticker that you can easily paste on the top surface. This reflective sticker can help your aircraft locate the helipad at night so it can fly day and night.

Are you worried that this lightweight accessory might get blown away by strong winds? Never worry. Use the included landing nails to hold the helipad in place in windy environments.

Storing it won’t be a problem because it can be easily folded and stored in a carrying bag that also comes with the package. The carrying bag itself is made of durable nylon designed to stand the test of time.

Folding the item can be a bit of a challenge especially for beginners, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

All you need to do is a twist and fold the padded edges to spring it back into a small size. Once folded, you can conveniently put it into the carrying bag for storage.

Key Features:

-Suitable for virtually all models of quadcopters

-Made with waterproof material with sun-protection property which can be used in all kinds of weather

-Two-sided design; orange with white print on one side and black with orange print on the other side

-Foldable design with a lightly padded edge that can be easily twisted to fold

-Portable carrying bag made with a high-quality nylon material

-With reflective stickers for better visibility during night flight

-Comes with three landing nails to pin the helipad in place, preventing it from being blown away under windy conditions

Product Information

-Item weight: 1.6 lb

-Width: 30 inches

-Collapsed width: 13 inches

-Material: nylon

Pros

  • Collapsible and portable
  • Suitable for night flying
  • Landing nails included which can come in handy during windy weather
  • Double-sided color options

Cons

  • Folding it can be a little tricky, but you can search for video tutorials online to teach how to do it
  • The reflective sticker may fall off after several folding and unfolding

2. Hoodman Drone Launch/Landing Pad

If a 30-inches launch pad isn’t enough for you, then you can go for a larger one. You may want to check out this brand. Hoodman Launch Pad has a generous 60-inches width which is double the size of the RCstyle brand.

Its vibrant orange print is highly visible which helps your camera locate the touchdown area easily.

Although it is made with lightweight material, it has a galvanized-steel cable ring around the circular pad. This heavy perimeter weight keeps the item in place even when the quadcopter propellers are spinning at full speed.

So, there’s no need to stake the helipad with nails or pegs to hold it in place. When not in use, you can fold it up nicely and pack it in a carrying bag which is also included in the package.

Hoodman Drone Launch Pad is also available in a smaller 36-inches size suitable for mini quadcopters.

Key Features:

-Durable material protects your quadcopter from dust and debris during take-off and landing

-Galvanized-steel perimeter serves as a weight to hold the item in place

-Discernible orange color

-Available in 2 sizes: 60-inches and 36-inches

-Collapsible and portable

-Carrying bag included

Product Information

-Item weight: 10.3 lb

-Width: 60  inches

-Collapsed width: 20 inches

Pros

  • Weighted perimeter doesn’t require additional nails or pegs to keep it in place
  • Flashy orange color for better visibility
  • Ideal for larger UAVs

Cons

  • Due to its large size and the steel edge, it may be a bit heavy and harder to transport
  • Difficult to fold
  • Expensive

3. Fstop Labs Drone Landing Pad

Here’s another product that can enhance your flying experience for a very affordable price. FStop Labs Drone Landing Pad, with its 32-inches surface area, is compatible with a wide range of quadcopter models.

Sensitive parts of your quadcopter are mostly exposed to dust and moisture during take-off and landing. Moreover, debris and pebble strikes could also scratch and dent the frame. In worse cases, these rocky particles can smash the built-in camera.

Protect your quadcopter from these damages by using Fstop Labs Drone Pad. Made with waterproof nylon material, it guarantees a safe touchdown zone for your aircraft even on muddy grounds.

Designed as a double-sided drone helipad, you can use the orange-colored side for higher visibility or the blue-colored side as an alternate.

Additionally, it comes with an orange-colored reflective sticker that allows your camera to locate the touchdown zone at night.

Secure the quadcopter helipad in place under windy conditions by using the three landing nails that are also included in the package.

Aside from the reflective stickers and landing nails, the product also includes a nylon-made carrying pouch for easy transportation. Just fold the entire item to fit into the carrying bag for storage and transportation.

Key Features:

-Constructed from 100% nylon; durable and waterproof material

-Double-sided design allows you to use both sides; orange-colored and blue-colored sides

-Collapsible and portable design

-Nylon-made, durable carrying pouch included

-Comes with three landing nails used to peg down the item

-Reflective stickers to help your UAV locate the touchdown zone at night

-Suitable for all models of quadcopters out there

Product Information

-Item weight: 0.85 lb

-Width: 32 inches

-Collapsed width: 12 inches

-Material: nylon

Pros

  • Highly visible colors that are easy to catch sight of
  • Can be collapsed into a smaller 12-inch for easy storage
  • Automatically springs open when it’s ready to use
  • Comes with complete accessories such as reflective stickers, landing nails and carrying pouch

Cons

  • Some issues with the carrying pouch fabric pulling away
  • Landing nails may be a bit too long and may potentially hit the props

4. SunfyreTek Drone Landing Pad

Let’s try to stray from nylon-made, circular pads for a moment and check out this unique product. SunfryeTek Drone Landing Pad is a rectangular helipad with a 22 inches x 22 inches sides with a thickness of 1/3 inch.

You may think that a 22-inches surface area is significantly smaller than other brands out there. However, let us remind you that it has a square shape which has more surface area than the circular-shaped ones.

Moreover, if you think nylon material is durable enough, then you haven’t tried this one yet. This product is made of eco-friendly rubber layered with waterproof fabric material for added protection against moisture.

No need to use landing nails anymore because this rubber-made quadcopter accessory is bulky on itself. Not even a strong wind or air pressure from the props can blow it away.

Furthermore, it has a non-slip bottom surface that automatically adheres to any terrain so it won’t slip out of place.

Nylon-made variants are so thin that it won’t absorb touchdown impacts. Rubber material, on the other hand, can serve as a cushion for your quadcopter by absorbing impacts from landing.

When it’s time to store it, roll it up into a bundle, and you can just put it in your bag. Don’t worry about folding it up because it won’t hold a crease when folded.

Key Features:

-Made from eco-friendly rubber material for more durability and reliability

-Appropriate thickness absorbs touchdown impacts which serve as a cushion for your quadcopter

-Protects your aircraft from dirt, dust, debris, and moisture that may damage the motors and other sensitive parts

-Highly visible print design to help your quadcopter locate the touchdown zone with ease

-Easy storage and transportation; roll it up into a bundle or fold it into a smaller square

-Heavy rubber material and non-slip bottom surface keep the quadcopter helipad in place

Product information 

-Item weight: 1.7 lb

-Product dimensions:  22 inches x 22 inches

-Material: rubber

Pros

  • Impact-absorbing rubber thickness gives your quadcopter a safer descend
  • The top surface is layered with waterproof fabric for added protection
  • Highly visible prints
  • Securely stays in place under normal flying conditions

Cons

  • Creates an uneven landing surface when laid over a grassy surface
  • Some issues with the bottom surface not sticking to the ground

5. PGYTech Landing/Launch Pad

As far as the best quadcopter landing pads on the market are concerned, PGYTech is always in the discussion. Last but not the least, this 30-inch launch pad for drones can be used on all modern day quadcopters.

Constructed from nylon material, this collapsible drone helipad can be folded to fit into a nylon-made carrying pouch. This two-sided helipad features a vibrant orange color on one side and a cool blue color on the other side.

The package also comes with a set of a reflective sticker with luminous property to aid your aircraft during night flight. Additionally, it has three landing nails included securing the item in place.

Protecting your quadcopter during take-off and touchdown has never been this easy and affordable. With PGYTech Drone Landing Pad, you can never go wrong.

Key Features:

-Made of waterproof nylon material to protect your quadcopter from moisture that can damage the motors other internal components

-Suitable for all modern models of quadcopters

-Double-sided design; orange color and blue color sides

-Carrying pouch, reflective stickers, and landing nails included in the package

-The quick-fold mechanism allows you to fold the item with ease for more accessible storage and transportation

Product information 

-Item Weight: 0.55 lb

-Width: 30 inches

-Collapsed width: 12 inches

-Material: nylon

Pros

  • Can be folded easily when not in use and springs open when it’s ready to use
  • Super lightweight and portable
  • Ideal for quadcopters with precision landing feature
  • Effectively prevents dust and other particles from blowing onto the aircraft

Cons

  • Due to its lightweight construction, pegging it down with landing nails is required to prevent it from being blown away by a mild breeze.

How to Choose the Best Landing Pad for Drone?

Drone landing pad

There’s a wide array of options available in the market, but not all of these brands are created equal. So, you better make sure that you’re getting the best deal for your money.

However, how would you know that you’re getting the best product for your quadcopter? Our top picks of recommended brands could help you narrow down your list of prospects.

Unfortunately, we can’t precisely pick the particular brand that is most suitable for your UAV. Only you can determine which product can meet your preference and your quadcopter’s requirements.

In this regard, we can assist you in finding your quadcopter’s perfect match. Take a look at the fundamental factors to look for when buying a drone landing pad.

1. Size

Quadcopter frame sizes vary from 4 inches to 20 inches. Then add the propeller length which ranges from 3 inches to 10 inches. Considering the overall size of your quadcopter, you should choose a quadcopter helipad that can sufficiently accommodate your aircraft.

For smaller quadcopters, a 30-inch quadcopter pad should be good enough. However, you may want to get a 60-inch drone helipad for larger quadcopters such as DJI Phantoms, Walkera QR, and X650.

Moreover, larger quadcopter pads are much easier to notice from afar. This can help your copter locate the touchdown zone easily. The only downside is that large-sized helipads are bulkier and more cumbersome to carry and transport.

Most models are collapsible so you can fold them up into a smaller size for storage and transportation. However, due to their large width, large-sized helipads are more challenging to handle and fold up.

2. Material

Probably the most critical aspect of the material is its waterproof property. This is to ensure that you can safely launch and land your quadcopter even in wet environments.

Both nylon and rubber are known for their waterproof ability so you can never go wrong with either of them.

Aside from their waterproof property, both nylon and rubber are also capable of fending off particles from the ground.

The main difference between the two is their thickness and weight. Nylon is very much lighter, so it is more portable than rubber. However, being lightweight also has its disadvantage.

3. Wind Resistance

Let us continue where we left off. Lightweight material (nylon) is much easier to handle and transport, but it also has its drawback.

Lighter material tends to get easily blown away by strong air pressure. This can be a problem if you’re operating in a windy environment. Furthermore, air pressure from the propellers is powerful enough to blast it away.

To address this issue, most nylon-made variants have a weighted perimeter to drag down edges to the ground. With this weight, the item can be fixed into place against prop wash or strong winds.

Some products also include landing nails to fasten the helipad to the ground. Rubber-made drone helipads are made of heavy materials, so they don’t require additional weight anymore.

However, keep in mind that rubber-made variants are not created equal when it comes to quality. Cheaper rubbers that are made of inferior quality material tend to be lighter and may not withstand air pressure.

With that being said, make sure that you’re buying high-quality rubber material from trusted manufacturers.

4. Ease of storage

Folding this product to a compact size can be a bit of challenge, and you may need to watch some online video tutorials for this. However, with frequent practice, you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

A carrying bag to store your drone helipad can come in handy. Many brands include a carrying bag so you can take advantage of this freebie. While you’re at it, choose a model that has an automatic spring-to-open mechanism, so you don’t have to unfold it manually.

Just a bit of reminder, however. Never open this product towards your face or anyone’s face. These things spring open in a flash, and it may injure you and other people around you.

5. Visibility

To set a landing zone, you should be able to make the touchdown area stand out even from afar. That is why manufacturers are using very bright and almost fluorescent colors for better visibility.

The quadcopter should be able to see the touchdown zone from great heights easily. Extremely vibrant colors such as orange, yellow, and bright blue are often printed on the surface for such purpose.

Additionally, some brands also come with reflective stickers that can glow in the dark. Pasting these luminous strips on the helipad’s surface allows your aircraft to locate the zone even at night.

DIY Drone Landing Pad

DYI Drone landing pad

Some professional UAV enthusiasts prefer to make their custom-built aircraft. Instead of buying commercial models, they choose to design and assemble their copters.

However, why do they go with all these troubles? The answer is quite simple. They decide to make their quadcopters because none of the commercial models meet their specific preferences and requirements.

Does this also mean that you can make your own DIY drone landing pad? Yes, you can! You can even save a lot by creating your own DIY drone landing pad.

If you have some spare rubber mats or foam floor mats at home, you can use these instead of buying new materials.

One of the perks of creating your own DIY drone landing pad is that you can shape it the way you want it. Would you prefer a rectangular shape over the circular ones? The choice is yours.

Of course, you can also cut the rubber mat down to your preferred size. Use a regular utility knife to cut all the way through the rubber. Then brush the surface with soap and water to get rid of lingering dirt. Allow the rubber mat to dry completely before you decorate the top surface.

You have the option to coat the surface with rubberized paint of any choice of color. However, take note that you need to keep the touchdown zone as noticeable as possible. So, decorating it with your print design is highly advisable.

Once you have come up with a design, mask it off on the pad by using a multi-surface tape. Make sure that the areas that need to be painted are exposed and the remaining areas are covered in tape.

Apply the rubberized paint evenly on the surface of the pad. You can opt for the spray variant if you don’t want to use a paintbrush.

Allow the paint to dry for about 2 to 3 hours. Then carefully peel off the tape and remove them entirely from the surface. Moreover, there you have it! You can already take it out and try it.

Conclusion

Now that you already know the essential purposes of drone landing pads, you don’t have to waste time any longer. Go and get one now!

This versatile landing pad for drone doesn’t only serve as a guide for a touchdown. However, it also keeps your quadcopter safe from debris and moisture that can cause potential damage.

A very affordable drone helipad is worth buying considering how it can protect and extend the life of your pricey aircraft.

Depending on your copter’s size and environmental conditions, you can pick the best option available in the market.

It’s true that there are many different products to choose from, but there’s that one that perfectly suits your requirements. As long as you bear in mind the critical factors to consider, you’ll undoubtedly get the best.

While most of the products are super affordable, you also have the option to create your own DIY drone landing pad. Making your quadcopter helipad helps you save more money. On top of that, you can also apply your desired size, shape and design.

Getting a quadcopter launch/landing pad is, without a doubt, a must-have for all UAV owners.

If you ever decide to get one, make sure to choose wisely and pick a high-quality product. Moreover, if you ever get lost with your search, you can always check out our list of recommended products.

We assure you that each of our top picks is of premium quality coming from trusted manufacturers.

However, just in case you are not able to find the one you’re looking for, you can create your design instead. This way, you can recycle some old rubber mats as you also save much money.

As you can see, protecting your quadcopter doesn’t have to burdensome on the budget. All you need is a bit of creativity or a very keen eye that can scrutinize the best product among the rest.

References:

expertworldtravel

dronesglobe

dronersguides

tested

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