How drones stay in the air

How drones and quadcopters remain in the air

Hey there guys, I’m a drone specialist. They’re your best friend and your worst nightmare, and today, I’m going to teach you guys how drones actually get off the ground.

Here’s a quick warning. Do you have friends? Sure you do, but if your friend doesn’t own a quadcopter or drone, ask yourself this, “What is so good about this person? Could I do without them?”

Trust me – it’ll be worth it in the long run.

So I’ve got a drone and it’s just here. I don’t know if you’ve seen any… It looks pretty decent, but a lot of people ask me the science of how drones actually fly.

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I don’t know if they’re just making small talk or whether they’re genuinely curious, but we’re actually talking about it now, so suck on that! So I’m just going to look at the simple physics of how drones fly. Okay, so this drone is a quadcopter which has four rotors that are all connected to individual motors, allowing them to move at different speeds The two diagonal rotors will rotate clockwise, while the other two diagonal motors will rotate anti-clockwise.

flying drones for fun

The two opposite rotations balance out and keep the drone steady. When the rotors spin together, they push down on the air and the air pushes back up on the rotors. When the rotors spin fast the drone lifts up into the sky and when the rotors slow down the drone will descend towards the ground… And hopefully not the water.

drones for fun flying

..Drones don’t fly so well in water. When you want the drone to turn, you slow down two of the diagonal motors and you speed up the other two diagonal motors.

fun flying drones around

Remember how the motors next to each other are spinning in opposite directions, so by slowing down two going in one direction and speeding up two going in the other direction, the lift will remain constant so the drone doesn’t change height, but the angular momentum is increased so the drone will turn in place.

drones around flying fun

If you want the drone to move forwards or backwards, you slow down two rotors on one side of the drone and speed up the two rotors on the other side. The drone tips slightly toward the slower side and move in that direction. Hey, we’re moving forward! If you want to move sideways or backwards, we just use the same principle on the other sides of the drone.

around flying fun drones

The way we control the rotor speeds of the drone is by using the joysticks on the remote, which work to increase or decrease the voltage being delivered from the battery to each of the four rotors. If a motor is getting more voltage it’s gonna go faster. Also, drones are powered by lithium ion batteries and it’s really important to maintain healthy batteries so you can get maximum flight time.

Check out my video on battery life if you want to maximise the batteries for your drone! Finally, a lot of drones have a built-in GPS so they know exactly where they are. If for some reason your remote-control disconnects from the drone, it knows to fly straight back to where it came from… …Although sometimes they don’t do that, they just fly away.


.. and that’s really bad! Drones are pretty sweet! You can get some amazing aerial footage. But they’re also a little bit scary and if something goes wrong you can freak out. Overall, drones are an amazing tool to have, and now that you know the science behind how they fly you’re pretty much a drone expert! So happy droning! That’s all for today guys, thanks so much for watching.

If you’ve got any funny stories or questions about drones – keep them to yourself.