Should you fly a drone in strong winds

Recent drones sold in the market are extremely strong and can fly in strong winds, but it depends on the specifications of your device. There are different types of drones that all have their own specs regarding how fast they can go and how well they can fly in certain types of climates and conditions. 

Drones can indeed fly in strong winds, but that mostly depends on the capability of the drone you’re using.

Typically, drones can fly in winds up to two-thirds of their maximum speed . If the wind is stronger than two-thirds of the drone’s maximum speed, the drone will probably not be able to fly properly and you may be at risk.

Flying in strong winds is not the best option for taking great photos and stable shots on video!

One of the things you need to consider when flying a drone is that drones are primarily electronic devices that have their limitations.

This is why you need to know the characteristics of your drone before trying to fly it on a particularly windy day.

Drone flying at wind

What is the maximum wind speed a drone can withstand?

To be more specific, most commercial drones can fly at wind speeds between 15 and 50 km/h. 

Larger, more expensive drones with larger, higher quality propellers have more stable flight capabilities and will likely fly at wind speeds of 50 km/h or more. Smaller drones, on the other hand, are better able to fly at normal wind speeds, or when the weather isn’t very windy.

After all, not all drones are equal, in the sense that some are capable of flying in stronger winds, while others are simply capable of flying indoors or in light or normal wind conditions.

No matter the price or the degree of technology embedded in your drone, it is always a limited technological device, which will not be able to fly in all climatic conditions. Simply put, you probably won’t be able to fly your drone when the wind is too strong or at least its performance will be significantly limited.

Either way, it’s best to make sure you don’t fly your drones at wind speeds above about 55-60 km/h . You might be able to go beyond 50 if you are really experienced in controlling your drone, but you shouldn’t try to risk losing your drone when the winds are stronger than 40-50 km/h.

Above all, the gusty wind and that the wind speed is never the same on the ground as it is at 100 meters high!

In strong winds your drone will tilt to compensate for the force of the wind and to stabilize itself!

How do you know what wind conditions your drone can withstand?

Indeed, a more powerful and faster drone can naturally fight against strong winds. Thanks to more powerful motors and greater thrust, while drones which are not very fast and which are light will not have the power and speed needed to fly in less than optimal wind conditions.

The best way to estimate the maximum wind speed your drone can handle is to know what your drone’s top speed is.

The general rule to remember when flying your drone is that it should only be flown when wind conditions are around two-thirds or less of the drone’s top speed.

There’s no exact science behind this rule, but it’s what most drone enthusiasts and experts follow to be safe when flying their drones in windy weather.

For example, if your drone can fly at a maximum speed of 50 km/h, it will probably be able to withstand winds of 15-20 km/h at most. 

In practice, DJI drones for example can reach up to around 72 km/h in sport mode and can easily withstand winds of up to 40-50 km/h although performance is greatly reduced.

What are the risks if I fly my drone in strong winds?

If you decide to brave strong winds and fly your drone on a particularly windy day, here are the main risks you are exposing yourself to.

Danger during on take-off

The take-off phase is often the most dangerous part, especially when the winds are too strong.

Indeed, the drone is still trying to gain altitude during takeoff and the propellers have not yet reached their maximum speed. At this point, the drone can easily be moved by strong winds and flipped over as soon as it takes off. This can easily crash the drone or cause it to crash into someone. You will suddenly damage your propellers, or even worse…

A good way to limit the effects of the wind here is to find a sheltered place up to about 1m 20 high to take off in decent conditions. Do not linger if possible in the take-off zone under 1m20 a piece of advice!

Many more experienced dronists will favor launching from the hand to avoid any problems on the ground. Be careful here not to cut yourself with the propellers in the event of a sudden gust! Try to know in which direction the wind is blowing a tip to have the wind at your back during this manipulation.

Launching and receiving the drone by hand

Difficulty hovering

Then, when the drone is hovering, it will struggle to stay horizontal if the winds are too strong.

It will try to compensate by flying against the direction of the wind so that it can stay horizontal. However, this will force its motors to work harder, which can easily cause the drone to overheat and even end up damaging its motors and propellers in the process. The battery will also drain much faster.

Loss of control

There is also the possibility of losing control of the drone while it is in the air. The winds can be so strong that your drone can sometimes be blown away or violently thrown around.

In this situation, you won’t always be able to control the drone’s trajectory properly, and it will probably go where you don’t want it to!

Be really careful if you fly by the sea or in the mountains! Gusty winds can be particularly treacherous and cause you big problems.

The higher you go, the stronger the winds will be! If you feel that you are losing control of your drone or that it is being carried away by the wind, immediately lower your altitude, try to put it in shelter (behind a dune or a hill for example), switch on sport mode for more power and make sharp turns to avoid direct trajectories. This should bring the drone back to base!

Danger on landing

Finally, landing can be just as difficult as taking off. When landing, your drone can easily be blown off by the wind and damaged when it hits something or crash when it hits the ground.

Once again, some seasoned pilots will prefer landing in the hand to limit the risks, but once again you need to be experienced to perform this maneuver!

All of these scenarios show that you probably shouldn’t try to fly your drone when the winds are too strong. You risk damaging your drone or even injuring yourself or someone trying to fly it in windy conditions.

Your drone is vulnerable when landing

How to fly a drone in strong winds?

If you decide to fly your drone in windy weather because you feel like it or because you have no choice (after all, we don’t always choose the conditions in which we fly), here are some tips to consider so you can fly your drone no matter how strong the wind:

During takeoff and landing, position yourself between the wind and the drone so that it is easier for it to take off and land without the wind pushing it while it picks up speed or it begins to slow on landing.

When the drone is in flight, try to find places where the wind is blocked by a large structure , such as a tree, hill or building. This will make it easier for you to prevent the wind from interfering with the flight of the drone.

Don’t try to fly the drone too high in the sky where the winds are stronger. You would have a harder time controlling the drone. Watch out for gusts at high altitude!

If you can, use a drone that’s fast and strong enough to fly in strong winds and switch to sport mode. Avoid using smaller drones that are not capable of flying in strong winds, as they will be easily blown away by the wind when it gets too strong. The drones highlighted in our comparison are more than enough!

Keep in mind that windy conditions will drain your battery faster, so expect shorter flight times than usual, and plan your photography needs and flight plan accordingly.

What is the best drone for windy conditions?

If you are looking for the best drone that can fly on a particularly windy day, we recommend you go for the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 .

This drone is often considered the best commercial drone available on the market today due to its speed and ability to withstand strong winds. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can fly at speeds of around 72 km/h, like the Mavics, allowing it to fly in wind speeds of up to 50 km/h.

The majority of drones in the Mavic range can also withstand winds between 35 and 50 km/h, but drones in the Phantom range offer better stability due to their design and design!

For those looking for the best camera on the market for their drones, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can record video in 4K resolution with a 1-inch sensor and can do live streaming in 1080p. This makes for a really solid drone with some of the best video and photography capabilities.

This way to discover the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 and learn more about this device.

Bottom Line

If it’s a little windy outside, but you still want your drone out to fly in these conditions. Just ask yourself these questions: Is the wind too strong for my device? Will the drone be able to withstand a strong breeze without losing control and crashing? Is it worth risking flying your drone on a windy day?

Overall, DJI drones are great machines! If you have any doubts about the limits of these devices, we invite you to watch these videos to reassure yourself…

You can probably fly it at slightly higher wind speeds, but you should have more trouble maintaining control over your device. To be on the safe side, you should follow the two-thirds rule so that you never risk losing your drone due to high winds.

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