A hexacopter is a bit uncommon in the drone space. Drones are quadcopters, since they are the easiest to manufacture and maintain. In addition, there is really little reason for the two for extra rotors on these smaller machines. Hexacopters are usually more expensive than quadcopters, and less than the more industrial octocopter. They’re built to support heavier payloads and often don’t come with a built-in camera. They are designed to support an external camera that a smaller quadcopter wouldn’t be able to handle. They’re bigger rigs and thus can support bigger payloads, but not as big as the octocopter. That’s not to say that they’re only built as professional, industrial machines. Plenty of little drones are hexacopters — we’re just saying they are less common.
If you’re looking to buy a hexacopter, you may be looking to get into aerial photography and rack on an industrial camera. Or do you just want to fly a drone with more power and payload>? It all depends on your intended use. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best hexacopters on the market right now, both professional and hobbyist:
10 Best Hexacopters
first, anything engineered by DJI is going to be engineered for excellence. They are one of the most esteemed and trusted drone manufacturers in the world. So it just makes sense that their hexacopter, the S900, is one of the most celebrated hexacopters to date. Made with carbon fiber lightweight materials and filled with DJI-intelligent technology, there is not much this drone can’t do. It’s made to support high-powered, professional cameras, and meets that goal. It’s equipped with fully retractable landing gear so you never have to worry about those little legs obscuring your shot. Its newly modified arms are now foldable and it has a thrust power of 5.5lbs. It can support up to eighteen pounds of a payload and is compatible with the Zenmuse Z15, GH3, GH4, and BMPCC. It flies for around twenty minutes (even with its payload maxed out) and performs exactly how you’d expect a DJI drone to perform. Of course, it’s not nearly ready-to-fly out of the box and requires extra parts (most obvious here being a camera and a transmitter), but that’s generally what’s to be expected with professional hexacopters. This is a drone engineered for support, power, and excellence. It hits every mark.
Inguity XR Micro HexDrone
this isn’t a professional hexacopter, but rather a toy drone that fits in the palm of your hand. This intuitive little drone is built to fly indoors and carries highly advanced sensors on board that help with flight optimization and stability. It can perform all the cool tricks you want out of a little drone, like barrel rolls, flips, and dives, and flies for up to ten minutes -- which is impressive for a drone of its size. It has propeller guards that help ensure the least amount of damage in case of a crash -- and since this drone is a hexacopter, you don’t have to worry about one of the rotors failing during the flight and the thing going soaring down to the ground. It takes about 45 minutes to charge and comes with everything you need to get it flying (except for controller batteries, which are sold separately). This little drone is sure to be fun and stable in flight.
This hexacopter is in the $100 range, meaning it’s certainly not a professional machine, and yet it’s a step above the Inguity XR above. It is loaded with all sorts of intelligent technology and supports a foldable frame that is easy to transport. It flies for around twenty minutes when fully charged, and was built with 3k carbon construction. As with most hexacopters that take a step above the ‘mini’ criterion, it is not a machine that’s ready to fly right out of the box. It requires a five-channel transmission system, a remote controller, and a few other necessities. Truth be told, this drone as it stands should be seen as a frame, and will take some proper research to put it together.
this is a drone engineered for quality and affordability. Yuneec usually hits its mark with everything it manufactures, and the UHD is no different. This all-inclusive drone is nearly ready to fly right out of the box and comes equipped with its own 4k camera (not often seen in hexacopters of this caliber). It’s pretty much completely fail safe, can take 12MB stills, and is filled with intelligent, autonomous technology (auto takeoff, land, orbit, journey, collision avoidance, waypoint following, and keeping a point of interest). It has multiple flight modes and flies for up to 25 minutes, which is impressive for a hexacopter of its size. In the drone community the Typhoon H UHD is regarded as one of the best ‘bang for your back’ hexacopters on the market. It is easy to set up and can outperform most machines of its class.
this is another hexacopter that’s built for sustainability and performance. Its headless mode means you can fly the hexacopter without having to worry about orientation (something that is really convenient when first learning to pilot). It’s compatible with a 3D VR headset and offers the first person view, big for a drone that is under $100. The camera isn’t much, since it only supports 3MP, but for the price you can experience the full drone dynamic with a hexacopter, which will be durable and more powerful than a quadcopter. It’s nearly ready-to-fly right out of the box and is an incredibly fun toy to fly around indoors (it won’t fare well outdoors, unless the conditions are perfectly clear). This is a great machine to use a toy or an introduction into the drone space.
for another mini drone that’s under $100, this packs a punch for being such a small size. It livestreams the FPV and is compatible with a 3D VR headset. This is another perfect drone that serves as both a toy and an introduction to the drone dynamic. It comes with a throttle altitude meter that allows for speed adjustability, and offers headless mode so you can fly despite the drone’s orientation. It incorporates a 6-axis gyroscopic flight control system that helps for stability in air and optimized flight. The 2.4GHz transmission system is interference resistant and can transmit up to 100 feet. It takes about two hours to charge and flies for around ten minutes. This drone is a durable, reliable mini that is guaranteed to be fun and offers the first-person-view much like upper end drones. It’s definitely a toy, but it's engineered to outperform the standard.
since this drone was engineered by DJI, it’s most certainly at the top of the market. Perhaps one of the most impressive things about the DJI Matrice 600 Pro is that it’s ready-to-fly right out of the box. Most of these industrial quality hexacopters take some serious building once they’re out of the box -- but the Matrice 600 pro has no issues there. It’s all dialed in, comes with everything you need to put in the air (the camera is sold separately). Its airframe is equipped with Lightbridge 2 technology which makes it compatible to livestream the FPV and it can support a payload of up to 6kg. Its price point is certainly higher than many of the hexacopters in its class -- it comes in just under $5000, but it’s all together an incredibly affordable machine for what it offers. Its intelligent technology offers the full spectrum of autonomous components you’d expect from DJI, and when paired with a Zenmuse or professional camera, there’s not much this drone can’t accomplish. Equip it with a camera and literally become an ace of aerial photography. It’s easy to load, easy to manage, and easy to travel with. If you’re someone who is serious about aerial photography and wants to attach one of your industrial grade cameras to a drone that can both support it and incorporate it professionally, then the DJI Matrice 600 Pro is the drone for you.
this is the earlier edition of the Matrice 600 Pro and is basically the same machine except for a few upgrades. It comes with Lightbridge 2 technology and it is ready-to-fly (all calibrated) similar to the Pro. It can’t sustain the same payload, but it’s not as expensive either. It supports a multitude of different cameras and gimbals that ensure crystal clear aerial photography. It doesn’t come loaded with all the autonomous components seen in the Phantom series (something DJI is most noted for) but that’s because this is an industrial machine engineered to support heavier payloads, fly faster, and is more durable. It meets the same standard of excellence you’d expect from DJI drones and is most certainly a professional drone meant for skilled and experienced enthusiasts and photographers. It clocks in at $4500, about $500 less than its successor, the Pro.
this Yuneec machine is one that compares to DJI engineering and is about $1000 less than the Matrice 600. It’s compatible with the GB603 gimbal for the Panasonic GH4 camera (an industry favorite). It comes equipped with retractable landing gear and fail-safe folding arms. It has one motor survivability and autonomous capabilities (return-home and auto-landing). It comes equipped with a GPS antenna, a compass, and an air pressure sensor. By no means is this a machine suitable for beginners or even intermediate pilots and should be flown by experienced enthusiasts or drone photographers. It’s also compatible with a Yuneec camera, and the 3-axis gimbal ensures camera stability and a wide range of mobility. Its intelligent controller comes equipped with a 7 inch touch screen and it uses an advanced, 24-channel 2.4GHz system to avoid interference and transmit with the purest clarity. This industrial machine is meant for only the most professional aerial photography capabilities and is one of the leaders in the market for industrial hexacopters.
generally, this is a drone used for aerial photography, but nowadays some enthusiasts are using it for search and rescue missions. It’s sort of the lightweight version of the DJI S900, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t perform as you’d expect a DJI machine to. It’s rather unchallenging to assemble despite the assortment of pieces -- and has been noted as one of the quickest assembling industrial hexacopters to date. The arms are plug-and-play built. It’s got the same retractable landing gear that the S900 and S1000 have, allowing for 360 degree gimbal movements and aerial photography. You’re not going to have to worry about your machine’s legs obstructing your shot. It contains highly intelligent stabilization technology, but doesn’t really incorporate all the autonomous components you see in the Phantom series. This, of course, is due to the fact that this machine isn’t necessarily designed for ease of use and is tailored towards the more experienced hobby enthusiast or photographer. It supports a heavy payload, flies without interference, and is failsafe at 5 rotors. It’s everything you’d ever want out of a durable industrial drone, except for some of the accolades and added perks of more advanced models. If you’re looking to buy a machine that can support an industry standard camera, then look no further. The DJI S800 Evo can support your needs and do it in style. It’s affordable (for a hexacopter in this category) and it’s DJI-engineered.