What are Commercial Drones?
A commercial drone is a drone (or small unmanned aircraft system) that is used for commercial purposes. Rather than being just a recreational piece of equipment, drones fall into the commercial category when utilized to solve complex problems for businesses.
There are many different commercial applications for drones that we’ll discuss throughout this article, but one of the most popular business ventures is selling photography taken by your UAV. UAV’s (or drones) are utilized in all kinds of businesses, and are continuing to expand.
Need to move something heavy in accessible areas? Need a tethered feed with data mapping? The possibilities are endless. If you already know what you need, and you think it’s a custom built UAV, please use our contact form to the right to discuss your needs with our commercial drone specialists.
With that being said, the drones that are consumer drones for sale have developed quickly and allow businesses to utilize them for commercial applications. They have become a valuable tool for a variety of major industries and Fortune 500 companies. If you’re a business thinking about using a drone for commercial purposes, check out some of our favorite commercial drones below. These are generally considered “prosumer” drones that can be utilized and adapted for commercial purposes.
If you’re a business looking to hire out a drone specialist page, check out our drone services page, and again if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our Top Commercial Drones for Sale
A commercial drone is a drone (or small unmanned aircraft system) that is used for commercial purposes. Rather than being just a recreational piece of equipment, drones fall into the commercial category when utilized to solve complex problems for businesses.There are many different commercial applications for drones that we’ll discuss throughout this article, but one of the most popular business ventures is selling photography taken by your UAV. UAV’s (or drones) are utilized in all kinds of businesses, and are continuing to expand.
Need to move something heavy in accessible areas? Need a tethered feed with data mapping? The possibilities are endless. If you already know what you need, and you think it’s a custom built UAV, please use our contact form below to discuss your needs with our commercial drone specialists.
With that being said, the drones that are consumer drones for sale have developed quickly and allow businesses to utilize them for commercial applications. They have become a valuable tool for a variety of major industries and Fortune 500 companies. If you’re a business thinking about using a drone for commercial purposes, check out some of our favorite commercial drones below. These are generally considered “prosumer” drones that can be utilized and adapted for commercial purposes. Remember, if you’re flying commercially you need a drone license.
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If you’re a business looking to hire out a drone specialist, check out our drone services page, and again if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Spire Drones Top Picks
Phantom 4 Pro
- 30 Minute Flight Time
- 7km Control Range
- 72km/h Flight Speed
- 4K 60fps Video
- 30M Sensor Range
The successor of the Phantom 4 earned its place in the market not by being an optimized, perk-filled machine similar to the pervious unit, but by being its own independent craft. Fit with a camera that shoots in RAW 4k, sports tap-to-focus, and with a built-in 20MP 1 inch Sony Exmor Sensor, some of the most sought-after aerial footage has been capture on the Phantom 4 Pro. It comes with a stomach full of intelligent tech, including integrated Lightbridge technology which allows for FPV live streaming at 1080p, and a transmission system that has a range of 7km.
It's the first and only drone of its line to incorporate 360 degree obstacle avoidance, meaning it has sensors on its side, front, and rear that autonomously detect obstacles once the mode is activated. Integrated into its core are a series of different intelligent flight modes that allow for the Phantom 4 Pro to autonomously carry out flight manoeuvres. One of these is Draw, a mode in which you can simply draw along the FPV screen and the Phantom 4 Pro will follow the trajectory all the while maintaining a constant speed and altitude. It can fly for around 27 minutes per charge and up to 45mph in Sports mode. The Phantom 4 Pro, for the price, could perhaps be the best value-to-cost unit on the marketplace.
- 28 Minute Flight Time
- 5km Control Range
- 72KM/H Flight Speed
Coined ‘the drone anyone can fly on,’ the Phantom 4 is the drone that shook the marketplace, and has solidified its place ever since. A perfect solution for aerial photographers, the Phantom 4 comes loaded with intelligent DJI technology, a camera that shoots in 4k, Lightbridge technology which allows for a 720p FPV stream, and an obstacle avoidance system. Fit with an assortment of intelligent flight modes, the Phantom 4 can do everything from track a desired subject, return back to its take off point autonomously, capture selfies of the user, fly along pre-set flight paths, and more.
Using the DJI GO Application paired with the flight controller, the RTF Phantom 4 will be up as soon as it’s charged without any assembly needed. It can detect and autonomously avoid obstacles up to 15m away from its sides and frontward trajectory. The dual sport and beginner mode allow for pilots to ease into the experience and develop their skills organically. In sports mode, it can fly up to 45mph and up to 25 minutes per charge. It’s stable even in somewhat harsh conditions and has a control range of 5km. The Phantom 4 is a drone engineered for excellence and at a price point that allows even the average enthusiast to afford.
DJI Phantom 3
- Comes with Phantom assisted beginner flying
- Offers FPV which streams directly to your tablet
- GPS assisted flight
- Flies just under thirty minutes with an integrated intelligent battery
- Updated controller from the Phantom 2
- Comes with 2.7k camera
With the DJI pilot app you can program this drone to auto take-off, land, and return home by using the failsafe protection in case the battery is running low or you lose control range. It’s designed to detect sign, even before you do and will automatically descend to 60 feet and fly in a straight line back to its original starting point, land safely, and power off. Also, with the Intelligent Orientation Control feature, this commercial drone’s tail is pointed directly at the pilot at all times to avoid loss of navigation.
A rechargeable 6000mAh LiPo battery provides a flight time of 23 minutes and a flight distance of 1.2 miles. The battery itself slides into the rear of the copter and 4 LED light indicators alert the pilot of the flight time remaining without having to consult the app.
As a professional drone, it also comes with tethering abilities which allow you to connect live monitoring or FPV using the integrated Lightbridge Ground Station Support to your Android or iOS device via a USB port.
DJI Inspire 1
- 4k Camera with 3-Axis 360 Gimbal
- Comes with remote and lens!
- Ready to fly right out of box!
- Carbon fiber arms retract
- Vision Positioning
- 720p FPV stream
- Over a mile radio range
Another great commercial drone is the DJI Inspire 1. As with the Phantom 3, it comes equipped with a 3-axis gimbal and a 4K camera allowing the same video and photo capabilities. As an added bonus, the Inspire 1 also has retractable arms which allow a 360° unobstructed view. A 16GB memory card is included and records your camera shots internally. In addition, 720p live video can be transported to your mobile device using the Lightbridge app.
The Inspire 1 has a highly functional aerodynamic design that not only looks great, but also reduces resistance and increases battery life. With only 18 minutes of flight time per charge, this drone is not desirable for longer jobs. However, the Optical flow technology creates stabilization with precise movement indoors using the quick response controls.
One of the really nice features the DJI Inspire 1 has is the dual transmitter control function. This feature allows one person to fly the drone and the other to control the gimbal and the camera. Also, with the DJI app control software you can create autopilot functions, flight telemetry, and manual camera control. However, you must be connected via USB to your tablet and have an internet connection.
DJI Matrice 100
- Dual Battery Compartments for longer flight
- Expansion Bays allow for customized payload
- All of the Matrice can be programmed to tailor towards you preferences
- Heavy Payload Capable
- Industrial Drone
- DJI Intelligent-Technology
The DJI Matrice 100 (M100) is a heavy-duty quadcopter meant for professional applications. It’s built flight-ready and with technology that allows pilots stable and reliable flight control. With DJI’s intelligent technology integrated, the M100 comes with the flight controller, a GPS unit, Lightbridge technology, and an intelligent battery system. It’s a system designed to leave the piloting to the machine, while the professional can more readily focus on their work.
Fully customizable, the DJI SDK board can adapt to any flight system developed for it. As one of the most adaptable machines out, the M100 can be fully customized to fit the pilot’s specific needs. The powerful rotors and nimble design allot 40 minutes of flight time per charge. Fit with a gimbal that can support professional-grade cameras, all you have to do link in the Lightbridge technology, and you have one of the most practical, efficient, and high-performing machines on the market. Normally with consumer drones of this caliber, pilots need an excess of knowledge and mechanical knowhow to put it in air, let alone fly it safely. However, with the M100, DJI does the hard work for you.
- Large Carrying Capacity, Strong and Stable
- Highly Portable, with Foldable Arms
- New Power Distribution System
- Removable Upper Center Board
- Sparkproof Plug
- Professional Quality
- Wide Range of Shooting Angles
- Retractable Landing Gear
- Compatible with Zenmuse Gimbals
- Reduced Vibrations, Clearer Footage
- Greater Power
- Innovative Arm Design
Not a quadcopter, but an octocopter, the DJI s1000 has 8 self-storing portable arms that can be easily folded down for convenient storage or transportation. This makes it easy to lock them into place for flight and helps keep the drone in top shape.
This particular copter was designed specifically for commercial use as it is equipped with a heavy duty Zenmuse Z15 gimbal. The Zenmuse Z15 is capable of handling a heavier payload such as a Cannon 5D Mark II or Mark III, or any other compatible camera. It’s also mounted lower to prevent obstructed views.
A DJI A2 controller, paired with an iOSD onscreen display and DJI Lightbridge 2.4G HD digital video downlink provide optimal control. Equally important is the multi-rotor, autopilot feature which makes it ideal for the videographer by maintaining stability when flying and hovering.
Flight time for this particular copter is 15 minutes, more than likely due to the size and payload capacity. The DJI s1000 is still extremely powerful, especially for a large commercial drone. The V type mixer design, 4114 pro motors, and the 1552 propellers give the s1000 a maximum thrust of 2.5g. Even if a loss of a rotor were to take place, the octocopter will still remain steady in flight.
DJI Matrice 600
- Super-powered A3 flight controller
- Lightbridge 2 transmission system
- Intelligent battery system
- RTF and the foldable arms
- Ronin-MX gimbal compatibility
The Matrice 600 (M600) is an intelligent flying platform engineered by DJI. It’s tailored towards professional aerial photographers and enterprise pilots. Built to host intelligent and optimized DJI technologies, it includes the super-powered A3 flight controller, a Lightbridge 2 transmission system, and an intelligent battery system. The modular design is RTF and the foldable arms make it easy to prepare for flight. All Zenmuse cameras and gimbals are compatible, and the Ronin-MX gimbal compatibility allows the M600 to sport cameras like the RED Epic. Considered an industrial hexacopter, the M600 is built for power, sustainability, and professional enterprises.
The M60 can support heavy payloads and has a 5km range. That range includes the FPV downlink which streams HD in 1080p at 60fps due to the integrated Lightbridge 2 technology. Being that DJI wanted the M600 to be ‘open to development,’ it’s compatible with the DJI Onboard SDK and Mobile SDK, meaning it can meet the requirements of newly developed software for industrial applications. As far as industrial applications, it doesn’t get much better than the ingenuity of the Matrice 600. After all, it’s a DJI machine.
The Phantom 4 Advanced
- Equipped with 4K camera
- Sony Exmore Sensor
- Engineered for professional aerial photography
- Multiple flight modes
The Phantom 4 Advanced is somewhat of a middle child between the Phantom 4 and the Phantom 4 Pro. Equipped with a camera that can shoot in RAW 4k, incorporates tap-to-focus, and has a built-in 20MP 1 inch Sony Exmore Sensor, the P4A is engineered for professional aerial photography. It comes integrated with DJI’s intelligent technology; from Lightbridge technology that allows for FPV live streaming in 1080p at 60fps, and a 7km range transmission system, to the assortment of multiple flight modes, this is one of the smartest, most cohesive drones on the market.
It can fly up to 45mph in sports mode, and sustain up to 30 minutes of flight per each charge. Equipped with side and front sensors, the newly optimized obstacle avoidance system can detect a variety of objects at ranges up to 30m and even auto-brake when they’re near. If you buy the Advanced + package, you’re also getting the new controller; a newly upgraded model that has an integrated ultra-bright 5.5 inch luminance screen which streams both flight data and FPV.
DJI Inspire 2
- Dual camera frequency system
- Supports SpotlightPro
- Developed for professional pilots
- Can shoot 5.2k in CinemaDNG RAW
The DJI Inspire 2 is a masterpiece. Engineered for professional aerial photographers, the Inspire 2 can shoot 5.2k in CinemaDNG RAW with a 3-axis gimbal that has 360 degree rotation. The image processing system can also support Apple ProRes. With its powerful rotors, it can fly up to 50mph in a span of five seconds, with a total flight time of 27 minutes per charge. The Lightbridge 2 Technology allows for FPV to be live streamed at 1080p, with a transmission range of up to 7km. Not to mention the Inspire 2 can also fly at heights up to 30,000 feet.
With a dual camera frequency system, a dedicated FPV camera serves as the ‘eyes’ of the drone, while a Zenmuse, Red Epic, and more can be fit to a compatible gimbal and attached to the Inspire 2. This means the drone can use its dedicated camera for flying, and the pilot can use the dedicated camera for aerial photography. Both of which can stream simultaneously. The Inspire 2 supports SpotlightPro and a whole arsenal of intelligent flight modes. It’s a drone developed for professional pilots, intelligent enough to do the flying autonomously and setup dynamic, complex shots that would otherwise take a dedicated pilot and director of photography to accomplish. It’s one of a kind, and just about the most impressive drone on the market for strictly aerial photography applications.
DJI Agras MG-1
- Engineered for agricultural and industrial applications
- Powerful propulsions system
- Live stream FPV at 1080p
- Fit with Lightbridge 2 technology
The DJI Agras MG-1 is an industrial octocopter engineered for agricultural and industrial applications. The powerful propulsions system allots a 10kg payload capacity to the Agras MG-1, which means it can hold both pesticide and fertilizer. The blend of speed and power allows it to cover areas of up to 6000 m² in a matter of minutes; which is exponentially faster than manned operations.
The intelligent flight system uses pre-calibrated actuators to control the spraying and automatically adjust the amount distributed versus the speed of flight, in turn always producing an even spray. By this, DJI adheres to national regulations and ensures pilots they will never distribute too much pesticide or fertilizer and in turn cause pollution. This industrial octocopter sports three different flight modes and, despite the mode, can collect aerial data to save and optimize flight patterns in future legs. Its foldable design allows for all eight arms to tuck into a single, portable square. Fit with Lightbridge 2 technology, it can also live stream FPV at 1080p.
Commercial UAV Solutions and Custom Builds
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USES FOR COMMERCIAL DRONES
- Commercial Photography: Several commercial photographers and cinematographers have taken their business to the air. Specific drones with built in autopilot and highly advanced applications create the ideal platform for taking phenomenal aerial shots with precise clarity at extreme angles. These type of shots were not capable of being produced for the average business owner. Whether you’re taking photos or videos for the real-estate market, or shooting for a magazine, these copters bring a whole new meaning to the words “ground control”.
- Public Safety and Service: Police and Fire personnel are utilizing these miniature flying machines for rescue operations and surveillance. Drones have the capability to go into places where it was almost impossible or too dangerous to access previously. Instead of placing personnel into immediate danger drones can scope out the situation prior to commencing operations.
- Media: As we know, the media photographers love to creep in for the best shot. Their only means of getting that unique shot was from helicopters. Now, they can utilize drones to capture action footage, such as a high speed chase or take down.
- Agriculture: Farmers are beginning to get the picture, literally. They now incorporate the use of drones for crop management such as growth monitoring and UAV scouting of soil and dirt levels. Check out our full list of agricultural drones for sale to learn more.
- Wildlife Conservation: Drones allow conservationists to monitor species populations and get the ultra-quiet copters into certain areas without disturbing the wildlife.
- Internet Service: This advanced technological use of a drone would create internet service to the most remote parts of the world. Facebook is developing a solar-powered drone that was capable of delivering internet services and for 5 years, remain airborne and relocatable.
- Delivery: Still in development and testing stages, drones may be taking over the role of delivery drivers by delivering products to customers via unmanned aircraft. This in turn would cut out the middle man and save the company money; however, it could cause the standard UPS driver their job.
When drones were first recognized for their commercial capabilities, it wasn’t the general population who grasped at the opportunity, it was the military. The military capitalized on the potential of drones by using them for their covert spy capabilities. However, the unmanned drones the military incorporated are nothing like the quadcopter and octocopters we see in the civilian world. Even though they are unmanned, and controlled in basically the same way, military drones are a fixed wing aircraft and have the capability of flying extreme distances for longer periods of time.
Commercial drones are becoming a business investment of the present and the future. Advanced technology has come a long ways and right now we are in the height of computerized inventions such as unmanned aerial drones. When we combine business with innovation, we excel in our productivity and advance far beyond our normal capabilities. Commercial drones will eventually be utilized in more and more corporation and business venture. Despite the controversy and FAA regulations for copters, drone technological developments will continue to advance. If you’re thinking about keeping up with the competition, you may want to think about a commercial drone.