Best Long Range Drones In 2024

Best Long Range Drones [2024 Update]

As the owner of the nation’s leading drone survey company, I’ve had the chance to test hundreds of drones over the years.

My team and I are always looking for great distance drones while maintaining flight, control range, stability and image quality.

In this post, I’ll share my picks for the best long-range drones currently available in 2024 based on hands-on experience in real-world conditions.

Me checking out my yuneec dji alternative drone 1

While extended range can be useful for mapping large areas or inspecting infrastructure, it’s critical to keep Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) laws in mind.

No matter how far your drone can go on a single battery charge, responsible pilots always put safety first.

My goal in this post is to highlight drones that offer enhanced range capabilities.

As regulations evolve, I’m eager to test drones with capabilities like autonomous object obstacle avoidance technology and true Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight.

Best Drones With The Longest Range In 2024

  1. DJI Air 3 | 20km (12.4 Miles) Drone Range
    Pros:
    • Ultra-long range: Fly confidently up to 20km away, exploring more than most drones.
    • Reliable connection: O4 transmission provides a stable, HD signal, even at maximum distance.
    • Enduring flight: Stay airborne for up to 46 minutes per charge, maximizing your time in the sky.
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  2. DJI Mini 4 Pro | Range 18km (11.1 miles)
    Pros:
    • Flies over 17,700 feet for expansive views
    • Clear 1080p 60fps signal for distant control
    • External antennas ensure reliable long-range connection
    • Efficient battery management maximizes flight time
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  3. AUTEL EVO PRO 2 V3 | 15KM (9.3 MILES)
    Pros:
    • Reaches over 3.1 miles in real-world tests
    • Dual-band transmission maintains a reliable signal
    • V3 model offers an incredible 9.3 mile range
    • Excellent 6K video capture, even at a distance
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  4. DJI Mavic 3 Pro | Range 15km (9.3 Miles)
    Pros:
    • Surpasses 4 miles in real-world range tests
    • OcuSync 3.0 for reliable transmission up to 9.3 miles
    • Long flight time (45 minutes) maximizes exploration distance
    • Unmatched safety features for extreme range flights
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  5. DJI Avata 2 | Range 13km (8 Miles) [2024 New Drone]
    Pros:
    • Exceeds 4 miles (6.8 km) range in real-world tests.
    • OcuSync O4 delivers rock-solid HD video transmission.
    • Stable control for immersive long-range FPV flights.
    • Significantly surpasses the original DJI Avata's range.
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  6. DJI MINI 3 PRO | 12KM (7.5 MILES)
    Pros:
    • Reaches over 1 mile with HD video in ideal conditions.
    • Reliable OcuSync 3.0 for stable long-range control.
    • Compact size for exploring further locations.
    • Obstacle avoidance enhances safe long-range flying.
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  7. DJI AIR 2S | Range 12KM (7.5 Miles)
    Pros:
    • Reaches over 1 mile with a usable HD video feed
    • Small size with a surprisingly long range
    • Obstacle avoidance improves safe long-range flying
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  8. AUTEL EVO LITE PLUS | 12km (7.5 Miles)
    Pros:
    • Reaches over 7 miles in real-world tests
    • Dual-frequency transmission resists interference for long flights
    • 40-minute flight time maximizes range potential
    • Advanced return-to-home ensures safe flights, even at distance
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  9. AUTEL EVO NANO PLUS | Range 10KM (6.2 Miles)
    Pros:
    • Reaches over 6 miles in optimal conditions
    • Smooth HD video transmission for 3+ miles
    • Tiny size and folding design for maximum portability
    • Advanced transmission technology for reliable long-range control
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  10. DJI AVATA | Range 10km (6.2 Miles)
    Pros:
    • Reaches up to 6.2 miles (10 km) in ideal conditions
    • Rock-solid HD video transmission, even at maximum range.
    • Controller designed for a reliable long-range connection
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For now, let’s look at some of the top contenders for long-range personal and commercial use in 2024 based on my hands-on experience in the field.

I look forward to sharing tips and insights to help you capture images or data further than ever before while following best practices.

Let’s get started!

drone operator

DJI AIR 3 | 20KM (12.4 MILES) DRONE RANGE

DJI Air 3 | 20km (12.4 Miles) Drone Range
Pros:
  • Ultra-long range: Fly confidently up to 20km away, exploring more than most drones.
  • Reliable connection: O4 transmission provides a stable, HD signal, even at maximum distance.
  • Enduring flight: Stay airborne for up to 46 minutes per charge, maximizing your time in the sky.
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I’m always looking to test new drones with the longest ranges possible that can fly far while maintaining a connection.

When DJI released the Air 3 in july 25, 2023, with a max stated flight range of 20km (12.4 miles), I had to take it out and see how this long range drone performed within legal visual line of sight.

After extensive field testing, I can say the Air 3 provides an impressive transmission distance for a drone this size while delivering great camera capabilities.

On open-country flights, I was able to fly the Air 3 with the longest range several miles away (with helps of eVlos spotters) before noticing any lag or breakup in the HD video feed.

Of course, real-world results will vary based on interference and obstacles.

But the long-range O4 transmission system proved solid far beyond the limits of most mid-range drones.

The key technology enabling the extended range is DJI’s O4 HD video transmission.

It gives the Air 3 an advantage through stable signal strength over increased distances compared to other drones.

I noticed a few minor connection drops, but switching to 5Ghz helped smooth things out. Overall, the transmission tech here is very good for this class of long range drone.

But excellent drone range takes more than just a strong signal.

drone gear 3

The Air 3 also provides 46 minutes of flight time per charge to cover more ground. The onboard sensors help avoid crashes at long distances. And the folding design makes transportation easy for remote piloting locations ideal for long range drones.

When it comes to cameras, the dual setup really impressed me.

The wide and 3x telephoto lenses capture 48MP stills and buttery 4K/60fps video, even from far away. Having two perspectives to switch between opens up very creative and aerial photography possibilities.

The Air 3 hits a great balance between affordability and premium features for one of the best long range drones with cameras. You get capabilities like extended range and dual cameras exceeding budget drones.

And it’s an excellent value next to the Air 2S which the Air 3 improves on.

After many line-of-sight test flights, I can easily recommend the Air 3 as a top choice if you need a long range drone that can fly far while maintaining video quality and control.

The safety, camera performance, and compact size also make it a versatile all-around drone for professional drone pilots.

For pushing your aerial missions further, the DJI Air 3 has the range and skills to take your work to the next level.

Pros

  • Long transmission range up to 20km stated by manufacturer
  • O4 HD video transmission enables stable signal at long distances
  • 46 minutes of maximum flight time per battery
  • Dual cameras (wide angle and 3x zoom) capture dynamic aerial photos/video
  • Obstacle avoidance sensors for safer long-range flights
  • Foldable, compact size for easy portability and storage
  • Strong performance for price – better value than DJI Air 2S

Cons

  • Minor lag/dropouts with O4 transmission
  • Higher price point than more budget-friendly models
  • Not capable of true legal BVLOS flight without waiver
  • Lower wind resistance than some larger drones
  • Advanced features require learning curve for new users

DJI Mini 4 Pro | Range 18km (11.1 miles)

DJI Mini 4 Pro | Range 18km (11.1 miles)
Pros:
  • Flies over 17,700 feet for expansive views
  • Clear 1080p 60fps signal for distant control
  • External antennas ensure reliable long-range connection
  • Efficient battery management maximizes flight time
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I headed out to an open area on a day with light winds around 10 m/hour to conduct a range test on my new DJI Mini 4 Pro drone with the RC 2 controller. Many people have been asking about the range capabilities compared to the Mini 3 Pro with the standard RC controller, so I wanted to put it to the test.

I made sure to fly into the wind for optimal range and kept the drone in normal mode rather than sport mode due to the hot conditions.

Starting at an altitude of about 40 meters, I began flying the Mini 4 Pro out while monitoring the signal strength and video feed.The drone easily reached 500 meters with no issues.

As I approached 1,500 meters, I noticed the signal start to fluctuate between 4-5 bars, whereas the Mini 3 Pro struggled at this distance. Pushing further to 2,000 meters, the signal dropped concerning to just 1-2 bars.

However, by increasing the altitude to 90 meters, I was able to regain signal strength.To my surprise, the Mini 4 Pro kept going, reaching an impressive 4,700 meters before the video feed became too laggy and unusable.

At the maximum distance of 5,440 meters (over 17,700 ft), I lost the signal completely and the drone automatically initiated its return-to-home function.

This was more than double the range I was able to achieve with the Mini 3 Pro and RC controller in previous tests.

When the drone returned and landed, I was pleased to see it still had 20% battery charge remaining after the long flight.

Overall, the DJI Mini 4 Pro with RC 2 controller performed incredibly well, giving me much more confidence to capture footage in a wider variety of locations without worrying about losing connection.

AUTEL EVO PRO 2 V3 | 15KM (9.3 MILES)

AUTEL EVO PRO 2 V3 | 15KM (9.3 MILES)
Pros:
  • Reaches over 3.1 miles in real-world tests
  • Dual-band transmission maintains a reliable signal
  • V3 model offers an incredible 9.3 mile range
  • Excellent 6K video capture, even at a distance
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The Autel EVO II Pro caught my interest as one of the best long range drones with its stated maximum transmission range of 9km (5.5 miles) under ideal conditions.

I recently had the chance to put the EVO II Pro through extensive real-world testing to see how far I could push its limits as a long range drone.

In my testing, it achieved around 4,000 meters (2.5 miles) before I noticed the HD video signal beginning to weaken.

Pushing farther, this long range drone incredibly exceeded 5,000 meters (over 3.1 miles) on my final long-distance attempt.

One of the EVO II Pro’s standout features is its dual-band transmission system.

checking drone wind levels

It intelligently hops between frequencies to maintain the strongest possible connection for long range drones. Throughout the flights, the video downlink remained solid, with no transmission breakups.

The upgraded V3 model boasts an enhanced 9.3 mile (15km) range.

While I wasn’t able to verify the full 15km, the boosted performance was noticeable compared to earlier versions of this long range drone.

Ultimately, the EVO II Pro’s range was capped by long battery life on my tests.

Aside from its long-range capabilities, the EVO II Pro also shines when it comes to imaging from distance. The large 1-inch CMOS sensor captures stunning 6K video even from longer ranges.

This makes it a great choice for aerial cinematographers needing control and quality for drones with cameras long range.

Some third-party accessories like the ALIENTECH range extender can provide an additional boost. However, it’s important to adhere to visual line-of-sight guidelines and local regulations.

Overall, I was very impressed with how the EVO II Pro performed in real-world testing. It demonstrated transmission distances much farther than other consumer drones I’ve reviewed.

Pros

  • Very long max transmission range (9km/5.5 miles claimed)
  • Dual-band frequencies for resilient long-range connection
  • Excellent real-world range of 3+ miles shown in tests
  • 6K camera captures stunning aerial video and 20MP photos
  • Upgraded V3 model further extends max range
  • Return-to-home and landing functions work beyond range
  • Sturdy build quality and design survives crashes

Cons

  • Shorter battery life limits flights at max range
  • Large size may be less portable than some drones
  • Advanced features have a learning curve
  • Higher price point than beginner models
  • Some reported gimbal vibration issues
  • Occasional smartphone app connectivity problems
DJI Mavic 3 Pro | Range 15km (9.3 Miles)


Pros:
  • Surpasses 4 miles in real-world range tests
  • OcuSync 3.0 for reliable transmission up to 9.3 miles
  • Long flight time (45 minutes) maximizes exploration distance
  • Unmatched safety features for extreme range flights
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MAVIC 3 PRO | 15KM (9.3 MILES)

The DJI Mavic 3 Pro takes drone range to extraordinary new heights. In my testing, this drone blew past expected range limits and kept on going to over 4 miles away before I had to turn it around.

The transmission remained solid even at extreme distances, living up to DJI’s claims.

In my max range test flight, I wanted to see just how far I could push the Mavic 3 Pro. Taking off from a wide open field, I slowly flew the drone out, keeping sight of it, until the battery hit 50% charge.

At this point, the drone had reached an astonishing 4.55 miles away!

I still had complete control and a clear video feed back, which is practically unheard of at this range.

dji mavic 3 cine 2 28 11zon

Other users have achieved equally impressive distances during range tests over the ocean. One test showed the Mavic 3 Pro completing a 10 km round trip over open water with no issues.

The advanced OcuSync 3.0 transmission system enables a remarkable max range of over 15 km or 9.3 miles.

Of course, these are optimal conditions and max range will vary depending on obstacles, interference, and regulations.

But even conservatively, the Mavic 3 Pro delivers an absurdly long max range beyond visual line of sight.

The stability and video transmission at multiple miles out performed far beyond my expectations.

With its long endurance and 45 minute flight time, you can really push the Mavic 3 Pro to its limits during a single flight. I felt comfortable flying miles away over forests, rivers, and fields, capturing unique aerial perspectives. The drone handled wonderfully even at extreme distances.

Safety should still be the top priority when flying long range.

While the Mavic 3 Pro makes it possible to fly farther than ever, it’s important to follow regulations and maintain reasonable control of your drone.

But the capabilities are extremely impressive.

For landscape photographers, search and rescue teams, industrial inspections, and other uses, the Mavic 3 Pro brings a new level of long range aerial access. DJI has achieved a major milestone in drone control and video transmission distance with this drone.

In my experience testing the limits, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro lived up to the hype and shattered my expectations when it comes to maximum range. Pulling off a 4 mile flight is a drone aviation achievement. This is hands down the new best long range drone flight leader.

DJI Avata 2 | Range 13km (8 Miles) [2024 New Drone]
Pros:
  • Exceeds 4 miles (6.8 km) range in real-world tests.
  • OcuSync O4 delivers rock-solid HD video transmission.
  • Stable control for immersive long-range FPV flights.
  • Significantly surpasses the original DJI Avata's range.
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DJI Avata 2 | Range 13km (8 miles) [2024 New Drone]

I couldn’t wait to put the DJI Avata 2’s impressive 13 km (8 miles) maximum flight range to the test when it launched just recently in 2024. With my eVLOS spotters in place, I set out to an open field to push this drone to its limits.Taking off, I quickly realized the Avata 2 was in a league of its own.

The HD video feed remained crystal clear as I flew the drone further and further away, thanks to the advanced OcuSync O4 transmission system.

I watched in awe as the Avata 2 soared past the 1-mile mark, then 2 miles, and beyond, maintaining a solid connection throughout.

It wasn’t until I reached a distance of approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 km) that I began to notice the first signs of signal drops. Switching to the 5GHz band helped stabilize the connection, allowing me to push the Avata 2 even further. Despite the minor hiccups, the O4 technology proved its worth, showcasing DJI’s commitment to optimizing long range performance.

As I hit the outer limits of the Avata 2’s range, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of freedom and excitement. The drone’s responsive controls and smooth video transmission created an immersive flying experience that left me craving more.

By the end of my range test, I had flown the DJI Avata 2 an impressive 4.2 miles (6.8 km) before deciding to bring it back home.

While I didn’t quite reach the maximum stated range of 8 miles (13 km), I was thoroughly impressed by the drone’s performance.

The DJI Avata 2’s impressive range, thanks to its advanced OcuSync O4 transmission system, sets it apart from its predecessor, the DJI Avata.

With the ability to maintain a stable connection over distances of up to 4.2 miles (6.8 km) in my tests, the Avata 2 offers a significant improvement in range and reliability, making it the clear choice for FPV enthusiasts seeking the best long range drone in 2024.

Pros

  • Advanced OcuSync O4 enables stable, long-range transmission up to 13 km
  • Maintains solid connection beyond 3 miles with minimal drops
  • Improved range allows greater freedom in exploring new locations

Cons

  • Occasional signal drops at extreme distances require 5GHz band switching
DJI AIR 2S | Range 12KM (7.5 Miles)
Pros:
  • Reaches over 1 mile with a usable HD video feed
  • Small size with a surprisingly long range
  • Obstacle avoidance improves safe long-range flying
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DJI AIR 2S | 12KM (7.5 MILES)

I recently had the chance to push the limits of the DJI Air 2S, a long range drone with an impressive max range for its size. Taking off from a wide open field on a clear day with minimal wind, I slowly flew this long distance drone out as far as I comfortably could, keeping it in sight.

The transmission remained solid the whole time with no issues.

Even at long distances from the takeoff point, I maintained a clear video feed and responsive controls.

At around 11,600 feet away, over 2 miles from the take-off point, I started to get weak remote controller warnings on the app.

This was approaching the limit of the Air 2S’s max range of 12km (7.5 miles) with its OcuSync 3.0 transmission system. At this extreme range of nearly 2 miles away, this long range drone was still responding smoothly with no lag or video problems.

The stability and handling felt very precise even when miles from my location.

I turned the Air 2S, one of the longest range drones in its class, around at that 2 mile mark rather than risk losing transmission.

On the return trip at full speed, the connection held up all the way back with the drone landing safely right at my feet.

The total max range reached was about 11,000 feet or over 2 miles roundtrip away from the pilot and back.

Even at these long distances, the advanced transmission system kept everything intact.

For most uses, this type of long range capability means you can explore perspectives much farther than ever before with a good long range drone.

The advanced transmission system enables extended aerial filming opportunities at distances that were unheard of just a few years ago. Drone technology has rapidly evolved to offer reliable long range functionality like never before.

Of course, it’s essential to follow regulations and maintain a visual line of sight when operating a drone. Safety should come first when pushing boundaries with a long distance drone.

But the Air 2S certainly has the technology to keep up if you do want to reach new ultra long range possibilities. The potential is there for those with proper training and skills.

Compared to other drones with long range capabilities, the Air 2S exceeds the max range of the Mavic Air 2 by 2 km and matches the latest Mavic 3 and Mini 3 Pro, some of the best long range drones on the market.

This positions it among the long distance leaders in the consumer drone space.

Even among the best long range models, the Air 2S holds its own.

Considering its compact size versus the flagship Mavic 3, the Air 2S packs an impressive balance of portability and extended range performance for a drone with camera long range. For landscape and outdoor aerial photographers who want reach further than ever, it’s a lightweight powerhouse option.

The footage and still images possible at these ranges open up new creative possibilities.

In my experience testing the limits, the DJI Air 2S, an excellent long range drone with camera, provides an impressive long distance capability for a drone its size.

The stability and video transmission staying solid at over 2 miles out was extremely impressive. This is a new generation of extended aerial access, enabling shots once impossible.

DJI continues pushing the boundaries when it comes to the maximum range possible with a consumer drone.

Pros

  • Very long max transmission range (9km/5.5 miles claimed)
  • Dual-band frequencies for resilient long-range connection
  • Excellent real-world range of 3+ miles shown in tests
  • 6K camera captures stunning aerial video and 20MP photos
  • Upgraded V3 model further extends max range
  • Return-to-home and landing functions work beyond range
  • Sturdy build quality and design survives crashes

Cons

  • Shorter battery life limits flights at max range
  • Large size may be less portable than some drones
  • Advanced features have a learning curve
  • Higher price point than beginner models
  • Some reported gimbal vibration issues
  • Occasional smartphone app connectivity problems

DJI MINI 3 PRO | 12KM (7.5 MILES)

DJI MINI 3 PRO | 12KM (7.5 MILES)
Pros:
  • Reaches over 1 mile with HD video in ideal conditions.
  • Reliable OcuSync 3.0 for stable long-range control.
  • Compact size for exploring further locations.
  • Obstacle avoidance enhances safe long-range flying.
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The DJI Mini 3 Pro is DJI’s latest sub-250g drone, released in May 2022. It succeeds the popular Mini 2 and other toy drones while it introduces several new features like obstacle avoidance sensors and an upgraded 48MP camera.

However, one of its most anticipated upgrades was the extended transmission range using OcuSync 3.0 technology.

In my testing, I was able to achieve a maximum transmission range of just over 6,000 feet or around 2,000 meters in ideal open conditions with the RC controller.

Drone range is always variable and dependent on environmental factors.

The Mini 3 Pro maintained a clear HD video feed back to my RC controller up to around 1,600 meters or 1 mile away before signal started to deteriorate. Between 1,600 to 2,000 meters, signal was intermittent with some breakups and lag.

Beyond 2,000 meters, I experienced complete signal loss and disconnection.

While the maximum range is impressive on paper, I found little practical use for flying so far away. Visual line of sight becomes impossible at these distances, making manually controlled flight dangerous and illegal in many areas.

The laggy video feed also makes capturing usable footage virtually impossible.

For my real world aerial filming, I found the Mini 3 Pro’s range to be perfectly sufficient. At ranges of 300 to 800 meters, well within visual line of sight, the HD low latency feed was flawless, allowing me to capture cinematic tracking shots and fly complex maneuvers with precision.

While not as robust as DJI’s flagship drones, OcuSync 3.0 provides a usable dynamic range that surpasses my needs for most situations.

Just don’t expect to push the limits and routinely fly miles away.

It’s also worth noting that range is highly variable based on your environment. Despite its power, OcuSync 3.0 is still susceptible to interference from structures, trees, RF signals, and other factors that can reduce range.

Always fly conservatively within visual line of sight.

Testing in a wide open area with minimal obstacles, I achieved the maximum 2km range. But when flying among buildings or trees, my usable range dropped noticeably, sometimes down to just a few hundred meters. Position yourself carefully to maximize range.

Flying at higher altitudes can help extend range by minimizing ground interference.

I got the best results around 100 meters up. However, altitude restrictions in controlled airspace can limit how high you can legally fly in many urban areas.

For the best experience, try to avoid sources of wireless interference like dense neighborhoods or other RC pilots. OcuSync 3.0 operates on the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz bands which are also used by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other devices. This can disrupt the control link.

While advanced, OcuSync 3.0 has its limitations, especially compared to the more robust and dedicated control links used on higher end drones. But for a sub-250g drone, DJI has struck an impressive balance of range, size and cost with this latest transmitter system.

Despite the impressive on-paper range numbers, responsible visual line of sight flying is always recommended. Never try to push the limits max flight distance and lose sight of your drone as this poses a major safety risk.

Fly conservatively within VLOS and land if control or video becomes compromised.

For aerial filming applications, the Mini 3 Pro provides an outstanding mix of portability, camera quality and robust control link range that fits the needs of many professional drone pilots.

Just utilize it responsibly by maintaining visual line of sight and focusing on capturing great shots close in.

So while it may not break any long distance records, the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s transmission system still provides excellent performance for a drone of its size and cost.

OcuSync 3.0 enables seamless filming well beyond visual line of sight limits, but always fly responsibly within your actual visual range.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design makes it very portable
  • Excellent 4K/60fps video and 48MP photo quality from the camera
  • Up to 34 minutes of flight time from the Intelligent Flight Battery
  • OcuSync 3.0 provides a stable HD video transmission feed
  • Obstacle avoidance sensors on 3 sides help avoid crashes
  • Advanced shooting modes like ActiveTrack 4.0 and MasterShots
  • Improved wind resistance compared to the Mini 2
  • Quiet, low-noise operation

Cons

  • No sideways obstacle avoidance sensors
  • Range not as long as higher-end DJI drones
  • More expensive than the Mini 2
  • Propellers can be damaged easily in crashes
  • Does not come with a charging hub or extra batteries
  • Low-light and night image quality not as good as other drones
  • Controller is required for full functionality (not just using phone)
  • Advanced shooting modes may require practice to master
AUTEL EVO LITE PLUS | 12km (7.5 Miles)
Pros:
  • Reaches over 7 miles in real-world tests
  • Dual-frequency transmission resists interference for long flights
  • 40-minute flight time maximizes range potential
  • Advanced return-to-home ensures safe flights, even at distance
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AUTEL EVO LITE PLUS | 12KM (7.5 MILES)

The Autel EVO Lite Plus is an impressive drone that excels at long range flights. I recently had the chance to test out this long range drone and was very impressed with how far it could fly while maintaining a stable video transmission signal.

In my testing, it proved to be one of the best long range drones, able to achieve a maximum range of over 7 miles.

One of the standout features of the Autel EVO Lite Plus is its long maximum transmission range of 12 km or 7.5 miles.

This makes it one of all the drones with the longest range and an excellent choice for pilots who want to fly far and capture unique aerial perspectives. The long range drone provides video transmission through a stabilized 3-axis gimbal 4K camera.

In my own real world testing of the EVO Lite Plus long range drone, I was excited to put its this top long range drones advertised 7.5 mile range to the test. For my initial test flights, I flew the long distance drone with camera over a series of fields, aiming to reach maximum distance.

The EVO Lite Plus performed admirably, maintaining a strong radio connection even when 4 miles away

The key to achieving such long range seems to be the Autel’s use of dual frequency radio technology. It transmits video and control signals via both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz bands. This provides more robust transmission that is less impacted by interference.

I was impressed by how reliably it maintained a connection, even when miles away with buildings and trees obstructing direct line-of-sight.

In addition to its straight line performance, the EVO Lite Plus also handled changes of direction well throughout long distance flights.

As I piloted the long range drone with camera through sweeping turns at far distances, the video feed remained steady and crisp. This is essential for accurately composing aerial shots and footage during long flights.

The EVO Lite Plus provides a few different speed modes including a Max Speed mode. At top speed, the long range drone can reach 45mph which helps extend its maximum range potential even further.

However, for most practical long distance flights, its Normal mode maximum speed of 22mph is more than sufficient.

With a maximum flight time of 40 minutes on a fully charged battery, the EVO Lite Plus also has impressive endurance for marathon sessions. This keeps it in the air long enough to take full advantage of its long wireless range.

Just be sure to keep a close eye on battery levels when flying near maximum distance.

Throughout all of my long range test flights, the Autel Sky app provided useful telemetry data including real-time distance and battery levels. This helps ensure you can fully utilize the drone’s range capabilities without losing connection.

The advanced built-in auto return-to-home functionality is also reassuring if you ever do lose the radio link.

One minor gripe is that the controller does not show telemetry data directly. You have to view the distance, battery, and other info in the app. It would be convenient if some of this was duplicated on the physical remote as well. Still, the intuitive app interface provides the key data needed for long flights.

For image quality, the EVO Lite Plus uses a 1-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing 20 megapixel stills and stable 4K video at 60 fps. Footage captured at long range still looked impressively sharp and clear when viewed on a large screen. The 3-axis stabilization gimbal plays a key role in this.

The advanced camera options allow you to shoot professional quality aerial footage, even from miles away.

Just be aware that range can decrease somewhat when shooting in higher resolution or bitrate modes. But the EVO Lite Plus gives you flexibility to fine tune camera settings based on your distance needs.

While not as compact as some drones, the EVO Lite Plus still offers a thoughtful folding design.

The 4 landing legs and arms fold in to create a smaller footprint for transporting. It’s not ultra-portable like a Mavic, but still fits in most standard backpacks when folded. The rugged body also helps it hold up to repeated long distance flights.

For any pilot who wants to capture stunning footage from far away locations, the Autel EVO Lite Plus is an excellent option. It combines robust long range transmission technology, a high quality camera, and excellent flight endurance. My testing proves this long range drone consistently delivers during long distance flights.

If you’re looking for a drone that can cover several miles while maintaining a safe connection for professional aerial footage, the Autel EVO Lite Plus is hard to beat.

It has quickly become my go-to choice whenever I need to fly far and capture scenic long range shots. I’m thoroughly impressed with its performance and reliability as one of the best long range drones.

Pros

  • Very long maximum transmission range of 7.5 miles
  • Dual band radio provides reliable long range connection
  • 40 minute flight time on a single charge
  • Fast top speed of 45mph extends range
  • Advanced auto return-to-home feature
  • 1-inch CMOS sensor captures high quality 20MP photos
  • Shoots stable 4K/60 fps video footage
  • Integrated 3-axis gimbal stabilization
  • Intuitive Autel Sky app with useful telemetry data
  • Rugged, folding body design

Cons

  • Larger and heavier than ultraportable drones like the Mavic series
  • Controller does not directly show telemetry data
  • More expensive than some consumer drones
  • Range can decrease in higher resolution video modes
  • Tracking capabilities not as robust as some competitors
  • No front-facing obstacle avoidance sensors
  • Gimbal can occasionally jitter if not properly calibrated
AUTEL EVO NANO PLUS | Range 10KM (6.2 Miles)
Pros:
  • Reaches over 6 miles in optimal conditions
  • Smooth HD video transmission for 3+ miles
  • Tiny size and folding design for maximum portability
  • Advanced transmission technology for reliable long-range control
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AUTEL EVO NANO PLUS | 10KM (6.2 MILES)

The Autel EVO Nano Plus is a lightweight folding drone that was released in early 2022.

With a maximum video transmission distance of 10km or 6.2 miles, it offers impressive range capabilities for its portable size, making it one of the best long range drones available.

In my own range testing of this long range drone, I was able to achieve just over 3 miles or 5km before experiencing any transmission issues

The HD video feed remained smooth and clear for the entirety of the outward flight.

Even at distances over 2 miles away, the EVO Nano Plus maintained a steady RC signal with no noticeable lag or interruptions. Only minor breakups occurred near the max range limit before video was lost completely with this long range drone.

Considering its compact form factor with folding arms and weighing just 249g, the 3 mile range I achieved is quite remarkable. Many larger and heavier drones with the longest range often struggle to reach similar distances.

However, the EVO Nano Plus does sacrifice some battery life for its long range transmission system. I was only able to fly for around 17 minutes before needing to turn back. Extra batteries are a must for extended outings with these long range drones.

On the return flight, signal breakups and battery warnings started occurring before I could make it back to the takeoff point. I ended up having to perform an emergency landing in a field with this long range drone with camera.

Thankfully I located the Nano Plus in some rocks after it auto-landed itself with critically low battery. Aside from some scuff marks, the drone survived the rough landing with no damage.

While the outward bound range of the EVO Nano Plus is impressive, its battery limitations make actually utilizing this max distance difficult. Flying at range quickly drains the small 2250mAh battery.

The Autel EVO Nano Plus provides excellent long range transmission capabilities in a highly portable airframe. But practical flight times at distance are relatively short even among the best long range drones with cameras.

The smooth low latency video, even at 2+ miles away, makes the Nano Plus well suited for long range applications. Just be aware of its battery consumption at range.

For pilots looking for max range in a small package, the Autel EVO Nano Plus delivers. Just take steps to ensure you have enough battery capacity for the return flight or a retrieval plan when pushing these long range drones to their limits.

Responsible visual line of sight flying is always recommended with any drone. Never fly so far that the aircraft becomes a tiny speck in the sky. Stay conservatively within reasonable VLOS at all times.

While the Nano Plus provides an impressive long range control link, I prefer to stay well within a mile or so for most of my recreational flying and filming. This provides a good balance of long range flight capabilities while retaining a safe VLOS.

Overall, the Autel EVO Nano Plus gives drone enthusiasts an option for the cheapest long range drone drone with extensive transmission distance.

Just be sure to fly responsibly within visual line of sight and budget in extra batteries when pushing the range limits.

Pros

  • Impressive max transmission range of over 6 miles
  • Foldable, ultra portable design weighing only 249g
  • Smooth HD video feed even at long distances
  • Advanced obstacle avoidance sensors
  • 50MP photo capability and 4K/30fps video
  • Intelligent flight modes like orbit, waypoint and follow
  • Robust remote controller with integrated screen
  • Good wind resistance for its small size

Cons

  • Short max flight time of around 30 minutes
  • Batteries drain quickly when flying at max range
  • Lack of sideways obstacle sensors
  • Low light and night image quality not the best
  • No zoom functionality on the camera
  • Advanced intelligent flight modes can be difficult to master
  • Range not as good as larger drones with bigger antennas
DJI AVATA | Range 10km (6.2 Miles)
Pros:
  • Reaches up to 6.2 miles (10 km) in ideal conditions
  • Rock-solid HD video transmission, even at maximum range.
  • Controller designed for a reliable long-range connection
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DJI AVATA | 10KM (6.2 MILES)

  • Impressive max transmission range of up to 6.2 miles (10 km) in ideal conditions
  • Long-range optimized controller with excellent antenna design maintains solid connection even at extreme distances
  • HD video transmission system provides crystal clear FPV view up to the maximum range limit
  • Very portable and lightweight airframe design makes it easy to transport for finding ideal long-range flight locations

For this initial flight test of this long range drone, I used the motion controller that came in the kit along with the DJI Goggles V2 to maximize the immersive first-person view experience.

My first impressions after unboxing the Avata were just how compact yet robust it felt.

Weighing in at just 410g with the battery, it felt solid and sturdy thanks to the protective propeller guards. I really liked the intuitive design of the motion controller as well.

It made maneuvering this drone with the longest range incredibly natural, allowing you to fly in whatever direction you tilt the controller.

For the test flight, I found a wide open field with a clear view across to a lake in the far distance. After a smooth vertical takeoff, I tilted the controller forward and flew the Avata, one of the best drones for distance, straight toward the lake off on the horizon.

With the goggles on, it felt like I was piloting the long range drone directly, rather than just controlling it remotely.

Flying full throttle in normal mode, the Avata topped out around 17 mph. I was impressed by how quickly the distance started to increase displayed on the goggles’ telemetry.

After just a minute or two of flying, this drone with the longest range had already covered nearly 1/3 of a mile in distance. The video feed remained crisp and clear.

At around the 7 minute mark, the Avata, one of the best long range drones for sale, had flown over a mile away. The far shore of the lake was tiny in the distance.

I was relieved that the HD video feed was still coming through perfectly to the goggles, with no lag or breakup. The controller signal was also solid at this far distance.

I decided to turn the drone with the longest range around at the 8 minute mark, with the Avata achieving a max distance of 1.5 miles away. Even with the battery draining faster thanks to flying full speed, the return flight was smooth.

The long distance drone flying with camera maintained a good pace despite some intermittent gusts of wind.

However, shortly after passing back by the 10 minute mark, the first low battery warnings started to appear. I still had almost a mile left to cover to make it back to my starting point. Going full speed was rapidly draining the last bit of juice against the wind speed.

The last few hundred yards ended up being a real nail biter.

The long range drone kept refusing to let me increase throttle. I managed to nurse it along just a few feet off the ground until reaching a clear spot in the field to touch down safely.

While I didn’t quite make it back to the starting point, this drone with the longest range still managed an impressive distance.

After picking up the downed long range drone with camera, I was relieved to see it had flipped over upon landing but sustained no damage.

Just some dirt scuffs from the rough touchdown. Having the Find My Drone feature in the DJI Fly app was invaluable to locate the landing site. It pinpointed the location perfectly.

I’m very impressed with the long-range capabilities of the Avata right out of the box.

While the actual flight range is short at high speeds, the 2 mile max range on a single battery charge is still quite respectable for such a compact drone with the longest range.

I’m definitely eager to test just how much farther the Avata can go in Sport mode!

The biggest advantage of the Avata that this flight test really highlighted was the superb transmission system. The HD video feed to the goggles and the controller connection were rock solid, even when this long range drone with cameras was barely a dot on the horizon.

The intuitive motion controller and FPV goggles really make you feel fully immersed in the flight experience. Compared to watching drone footage on a phone screen, the first-person view on the goggles is far more exhilarating and gives you a true pilot’s perspective.

While the battery life could be longer, I was impressed with how the fail-safes allowed me to stretch the last bit of juice to reach a safe landing zone.

DJI’s safety features like this give me confidence to really push this drone with the longest range to its limits without worrying about losing it.

For pilots focused on long-range flight like myself, the DJI Avata is an exciting new option that offers excellent transmission tech in a highly portable frame. I’m looking forward to testing how much farther this long range drone can go in Sport mode with the proper environmental conditions.

This drone has quickly become my new go-to for long-range adventures.

Pros

  • Excellent transmission range of up to 6.2 miles with clear HD video
  • Intuitive motion controller provides immersive FPV flying experience
  • Safety features like auto return-to-home give peace of mind at max range
  • Durable and lightweight airframe for easy transport to flight locations
  • Find My Drone feature helps recover drone if range is pushed too far

Cons

  • Short battery life when flying at top speeds
  • Not as fast as some dedicated racing/freestyle drones
  • Goggles can be uncomfortable for some during extended wear
  • Noisy propellers may draw unwanted attention at distance
  • Low light and harsh weather reduces usable range
  • High price point for a more niche long-range focus
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USING DRONE RANGE EXTENDERS TO INCREASE DRONE FLIGHT RANGE

Drone range extenders are devices that boost the signal between a drone and its remote controller, allowing the drone to fly farther while maintaining a strong connection.

They work by focusing and amplifying the radio signals transmitted between the drone and controller to reduce signal loss over long distances.

HOW DO DRONE RANGE EXTENDERS WORK?

There are two main types of drone range extenders:

YAGI ANTENNAS

Skyreat Antenna Range Extender
$9.99


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Yagi antennas are directional antennas made up of parallel metal rods of specific lengths. They use mutual coupling between elements to achieve high forward gain in a particular direction, focusing the signal from the controller towards the drone.

PARABOLIC REFLECTORS

Parabolic Signal Booster
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Parabolic reflectors are bowl-shaped antennas that concentrate radio waves from the controller and reflect them towards the drone in a narrow beam. Their concave shape focuses the signals, providing signal amplification.

Both types of range extenders minimize radio signal dissipation and interference, enabling increased transmission distances between drones and controllers.

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HOW MUCH MORE RANGE CAN THEY ADD?

Most drone range extenders can boost signal range by 25% to 50% compared to just using the standard controller antennas.

With a high-gain directional Yagi antenna, some drones can achieve over a 100% increase in max range, even doubling their usable distance.

Parabolic reflectors typically offer closer to 25% gains, while multi-element Yagis can achieve 50% or more range extension.

Range boost capability depends on the extender type and make/model specifics.

CHOOSING THE BEST DRONE RANGE EXTENDER

There are several factors to consider when selecting a drone range extender:

COMPATIBILITY

Ensure the extender is made specifically for your drone make and model remote controller.

TYPE

Choose a directional Yagi antenna for the longest range extension or an omnidirectional parabolic reflector for a moderate boost.

SIZE AND WEIGHT

Bulkier extenders can negatively impact flight performance. Prioritize smaller, lighter options sized appropriately for your drone.

GAIN LEVEL

Look for models that significantly boost signal strength by at least 50% or more. Minor range gains may not justify the added bulk.

EASE OF USE

Opt for extenders that easily mount without complex modifications or setup procedures.

By matching an appropriate extender design to your specific drone setup, you can maximize your drone’s usable flight range and capabilities.

FLYING DRONES LEGALLY: MAXIMIZING RANGE WITH VISUAL OBSERVERS

In the United States, recreational drone pilots must abide by FAA regulations to fly legally. This means staying below 400 feet altitude and keeping your long range drone within your visual line of sight (VLOS) at all times. But using visual observers can help maximize your drone’s range while remaining compliant with drone laws.

FAA DRONE REGULATIONS

The FAA requires hobbyist drones be kept close enough to maintain a direct visual contact without aids like binoculars. Flying beyond visual line of sight is only permitted with proper certifications.

Additionally, you must avoid restricted airspace near airports, over crowds, or above 400 feet without clearance. Check local airspace restrictions before flying your long range drone.

EXTENDING VLOS RANGE

While you must fly within sight, using dedicated visual observers can significantly extend the usable range of your long range drone with camera. Positioning spotters that maintain visual contact along the flight path allows you to fly much farther than just relying on your eyes alone.

Ideally, space observers between 500 feet and 0.5 miles apart, maintaining a clear vantage point of the sky. Coordinate with hand signals or radios to pass off tracking duties of your best long range drone yet.

REMAINING COMPLIANT

Even with visual observers extending your VLOS range, always put safety first. Avoid flying near people or manned aircraft, and do not attempt complex maneuvers beyond your or your spotters’ sight with your long range drone.

While visual observers can legally maximize your drone’s maximum flight distance, it’s essential to fly responsibly and follow all other FAA regulations.

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BEST LONG RANGE DRONES IN 2024 CONCLUSION

When it comes to finding the best long range drones, there are now more options than ever for pushing the limits of flight distance.

Advancements in transmission technology have rapidly expanded the capabilities of consumer drones, with some models now boasting ranges well over 5 miles.

However, just because a drone can fly miles away on a single charge doesn’t mean pilots should make a habit of taking them to their extreme limits.

Responsible visual line-of-sight operation and adherence to local regulations should always be top priorities.

While regulations continue to evolve with technology, following basic safety practices while utilizing visual observers can help maximize your drone’s range potential legally.

Focus more on capturing unique aerial perspectives from moderate distances, not extreme record-setting flights.

I hope these reviews and flight tests provide insights into the best long range drones in 2024, I’ve evaluated first-hand. Let me know if you have any other long distance models you think should be featured.

I look forward to seeing how these impressive ranges continue to increase as technology improves in the years ahead.

But for now, fly safely and make the most of your long range drone’s capabilities, whether a mile away or right over your head.

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