5 High Altitude Drones – [New for 2019] Best Long Elevation Drones

best high altitude drones for sale

Many people think that flight range and altitude are the same. But just because your drone can fly 300 meters away from your remote doesn’t mean that it can fly 300 meters straight up in the air. A drone has to be specifically built to work at high altitudes. Read on to learn about the best high altidude drones today!

How does it work? Well, thanks to a huge boom in the commercial drone market in the past few years, drones are cheaper than ever to manufacture and to purchase. This means that they can be made extremely light, which allows them to gain a high altitude quickly. More importantly, the motors can be made very light without losing too much power, which gives the quadcopter the thrust it needs to hold those high altitudes and makes the propellers go fast enough to maintain its height.

There’s lots of applications for high altitude drones – from photography to construction to simple recreational use. We’ve compiled a list of the five best – each one tested and vouched for by the Dronethusiast staff. Whether you’re an experienced pilot looking for advice or a first-time user who doesn’t know where to start, this list is sure to help you find the high altitude drone that’s right for you.

Table of Contents

  1. FAQ about High Altitude Drones
  2. Best High Altitude Drones For Sale
  3. Budget Outlaw SE Drone
  4. DJI Phantom 4
  5. Autel X-Star Premium
  6. Yuneec Typhoon H
  7. Hubsan X4 H502S
  8. Ionic Stratus
  9. Conclusion about High Altitude Drones

FAQ about High Altitude Drones

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faq about high altitude drones

What are drones?

A drone is simply an unmanned aerial vehicle. The most common drones are quadcopters, which simply means that they have four propellers. Drones are usually controlled with a radio transmitter (just like an RC car), but more recently may also be controlled with a mobile device via WiFi.

Why would I want a high altitude drone?

There’s lots of reasons, but high altitude drones are mostly used in aerial photography or videography. Drones are a cheaper alternative to helicopter or airplane shots. Because they’re lightweight and most of the models on this list have 6-axis gyroscopes, they’re also extremely stable – often moreso than a cameraman hanging out of an helicopter can be. And finally, small drones can take footage of places that traditional aerial photography can’t reach. This is why high altitude drones have been used in major motion pictures like Skyfall and Captain America: Civil War.

What are some non-photography uses for high altitude drones?

Drones are often used in construction to monitor the project site and for mapping and modeling tasks. High altitude drones are also very useful for roof inspections, as we wrote about here. And for recreational fliers, it’s just fun to point the drone straight up and see what it can do.

How high can a drone fly?

Depends on the drone, as we’ll get into below. The record for the highest drone flight ever was a DJI Phantom 2 that was taken up to 11,000 feet. Please note that flying that high is illegal – without a waiver, you can only fly up to 400 feet in the US and 500 feet in Europe. Much higher than that, and the drone can seriously hurt or even kill someone if it falls – not to mention the fact that it may collide with an aircraft.

(Note that we’re only talking about consumer drones here – military drones operate very differently.)

Do I need to register my drone?

It depends where you’re located. If you’re in England, yes. In America (as of 2017) you usually only have to register your drone if you’re using it commercially – that is, if you’re using it in some capacity that makes money. You also have to meet specific pilot and aircraft requirements. It’s best to look up your local laws and regulations and make sure to comply with them.

Best High Altitude Drones For Sale

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Here’s five of the best high altitude drones for sale on the market today. Obviously the main factor that influenced a drone’s placement on the list was how high the drone could get and how stable it was at high altitudes, but we also factored in other considerations. There’s no “one size fits all” in the modern drone market, and we want to make sure you find the altitude drone that’s right for you.

Budget Choice Outlaw SE Drone

See the best price on Amazon.com or get Fast & Free Shipping from their Website at Altairaerial.com

You can spend a lot of money looking for a high altitude drone or you can choose our budget option the Altair Outlaw SE. This drone goes from 600 meters and can go as high as 500 meters!

The Altair brand is a brand we like to talk about regularly on Dronethusiast because they provide quality products and really high quality customer service. The Outlaw SE has all the bells and whistles, this includes 20 minutes of flight time, 600 meters of range, GPS flight mode which includes return home functions to make sure you don’t lose your drone!

It also has follow-me mode for you to use which means your drone will follow you as you walk and explore. It’s a great way to capture awesome bird’s eye view photos and videos.

Altair also put together a nice set of how-to videos for the Outlaw SE (click here). If you run into any problems check these out or I’ve found that they are very responsive at help@altairaerial.com.

The Outlaw SE is a great choice if you’re looking to fly high but not spend all your cash!

outlaw se high altitude

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#1 – DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Click Here To Read Reviews & Shop For the DJI Phantom 4 Pro!

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The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is widely considered one of the best – if not the best – drones on the market in every category. It’s not just that it can climb to 6000 meters in altitude (though it’s limited to the legal limit of 400 feet without a waiver.) It also has incredible five-directional obstacle sensing, which is very important at high altitudes where you’re likely to run into things you can’t even see. It’s also very, very stable and has an incredibly high-quality camera that’s perfect whether you’re taking photos or keeping an eye on a construction site. All in all, it’s hard to “top” the Phantom 4 when it comes to high altitude drones for sale (get it?)

Tech Specs:

  • 5350 mAh 15.2V LiPo battery
  • 1 hour and 20 minutes approximate charge time
  • Weighs 14 pounds
  • Wingspan is 350 mm
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • 8 channels
  • Plastic

Pros:

  • Obstacle sensing system (OSS) means that the drone is smart enough to steer itself away from buildings and other obstacles.
  • High quality camera takes HD video in 120 frames per second.
  • New gimbal keeps the drone stable in almost all weather conditions.

Cons:

  • It’s difficult to set up and the manual is missing some assembly instructions
  • The battery only lasts 28 minutes in the best conditions, which makes it difficult to film long scenes
  • The OSS has difficulty recognizing trees that don’t have a lot of branches or leaves.

best high altitude drones dji phantom 4

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#2 – Autel X-Star Premium

Click Here To Read Reviews & Shop the Autel X-Star Premium!

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The Phantom 4 is great all around, but the Autel X-Star Premium is one of the best camera drones for the money. It has a 4K camera and can take video in Ultra HD, displaying an HD live view to your mobile device from up to 1.2 miles away so that you can see exactly what you’re filming. The X-Star Premium can also go about 1,000 meters in the air and most of its features focus on remaining completely stable. And all this for only about $800 – much cheaper than the DJI flagships.

Tech Specs:

  • 14.8V LiPo battery
  • 1 hour and 30 minutes approximate charge time
  • Weighs 3.2 pounds
  • 25 minutes of flight time
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • 8 channels
  • Plastic

Pros:

  • Extremely cheap considering the amount of features on offer
  • Gorgeous 4K photos and videos
  • Live HD feed that remains stable from 1.2 miles away makes it easy to keep track of what you’re shooting.

Cons:

  • Only 25 minutes of flight time makes it difficult to film long scenes
  • No obstacle detection

high altitude drone for sale autel xstar premium

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#3 – Yuneec Typhoon H

Click Here To Read Reviews & Shop For the Yuneec Typhoon H!

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The Yuneec Typhoon H can supposedly go up to 1000 meters in the air, but its operating range is only 800 meters, so you won’t be able to control the drone beyond that. That’s still pretty impressive. Like the X-Star Premium, the Typhoon’s main feature is a 4K camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, but where it really sets itself apart is its ability to take slow-motion footage in 120 FPS. Also, unlike the two entries which precede it, the Typhoon is designed to require no previous experience to fly.

Tech Specs:

  • 2 hours approximate charge time
  • Weighs 12 pounds
  • 25 minutes of flight time
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • 8 channels
  • Plastic
  • 4K wide-angle camera with a full 360 degrees of motion

Pros:

  • High-quality video, excels at slow-motion footage
  • GPS stabilized flight control, 5 Rotor Fail-Safe, 8 smart flight modes, and 1-touch takeoff and landing mean that the drone can be flown even by pilots with no prior experience.

Cons:

  • The number of features on offer probably won’t justify the $1300 price for experienced fliers.
  • The drone is large and inconvenient
  • No obstacle detection

high altitude drone for sale yuneec typhoon h

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#4 – Hubsan X4 H502S

Click Here To Read Reviews & Shop For the Hubsan X4 H502S!

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The Hubsan is on this list not because it can go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Phantom 4, but because it’s the best high altitude drone for those on a budget. For only $180, you get a 720p camera for photography and videography that streams live to a 4.3 inch display built into the controller, which makes it very handy for roof inspection jobs and similar tasks. You also get a highly durable brushless design, some handy flight features like headless mode, a GPS-based “Follow Me” mode, and 20 minutes of flight time per battery, which is absolutely unheard of at this price point. If you’re looking to take to the skies without breaking the bank, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than the X4 H502S.

Tech Specs:

  • 30-40 minutes approximate charge time
  • Weighs 2.7 pounds
  • 20 minutes of flight time
  • 720p wide-angle camera
  • 4 channels
  • Plastic

Pros:

  • The best high altitude drone available for less than $200
  • Good for beginners to pick up and learn

Cons:

  • Missing several of the key features of other drones on this list
  • Not recommended for professional photography or important construction work because of the low-quality camera and lack of safety features.

high altitude drone for sale hubsan x4 h502s

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#5 – Ionic Stratus

Click Here To Read Reviews & Shop For the Ionic Stratus!

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If the H502S is still too expensive for you, the Stratus is an excellent low-end high altitude drone for sale with a wide array of features. It can reach an altitude of 80 meters. That may not sound like much when compared to the rest of this list, but it’s still high enough that you’ll barely be able to see it. It also doesn’t come with a built-in camera – you’ll have to buy a GoPro separately and attach it. However, this is still a stylish and highly durable beginner drone that can reach incredible heights and stays stable with a 6-axis gyro system that’s pretty rare in drones under $100. It also has a 1-button 3D roll function, which is always fun to see.

Tech Specs:

  • 150 minutes approximate charge time
  • Weighs 3.8 pounds
  • 10 minutes of flight time
  • Action camera mount
  • 3 channels
  • 6-axis gyro
  • Plastic

Pros:

  • The best high altitude drone available for less than $100
  • Easy for beginners to pick up and learn to fly
  • Extremely stable flight thanks to being one of the few cheap drones with a 6-axis gyro

Cons:

  • Missing several of the key features of other drones on this list
  • Does not include a built-in camera or any way to stream a live feed while recording, making it all but worthless for any monitoring tasks

high altitude drone for sale ionic stratus

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Conclusion about High Altitude Drones

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Thanks for reading our ultimate guide to the best high altitude drones for sale. Whether you’re ready to take your photography for the next level – literally! – or are just looking for a great toy to play around with, we hope we’ve helped you find the quadcopter that’s right for you. If you have any questions, or if you’ve got a great altitude drone that we missed, please leave a comment below!

Further Reading

Long Distance Drones via Dronethusiast

kennedy

Kennedy Martinez is a resident writer who joined Dronethusiast at the beginning of 2019. She has years of experience reviewing drones and other tech products. When it comes to flying drones, Kennedy loves the ability to create artistic videos from a unique point of view. Kennedy enjoys researching new drones and other exciting products that are available to consumers which is why she is committed to creating the best buyer’s guides for our readers.

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