The DJI FPV drone is already two years old but is a fantastic FPV drone for long-range flights and creating cinematic content with. But to fly far, you must always care for the battery life.
How long can DJI FPV fly?
According to DJI, the DJI FPV drone can fly up to 20 minutes maximum, but I could never fly more than 12 minutes in manual mode and up to 15 minutes in normal mode. Flight style and throttle input can drastically affect how long the DJI FPV can fly, among other factors.
This being said, we must keep in mind a few elements to ensure we can fly the DJI FPV as much as possible with a single battery pack, what can influence how long the DJI FPV can fly, and also, I want to share a few extra tips after having to deal with the DJI FPV drone for two years.
Table of Contents
What is the DJI FPV drone
The DJI FPV drone is the first FPV drone released by DJI to embrace excellent digital transmission that will contribute to long-range flights and smooth controls with relatively low latency.
A year and a half after the DJI FPV was released, the DJI released Avata, a fantastic cinewhoop drone that is perfect for close-range and proximity flights. But the Avata does not perform as well in speed and flight performance as DJI FPV does.
Read more: How High Can DJI FPV Fly?
Even nowadays, DJI FPV is still a top drone with long-range flight capabilities and safety functions behind that can fly for quite some time.
FPV drones, when they age, they are not as affected as standard drones, where we need better sensors, better camera quality to be more portable, and the latest technologies. That is because an FPV drone flown in manual mode will fly without any active sensors, and even nowadays, the image transmission of the DJI FPV drone is absolutely fantastic.
But the flight time may look slightly poorer. That is because the DJI FPV, like any FPV drone, has very powerful motors and can reach speeds beyond a standard drone can reach in a fraction of a second.
What batteries does the DJI FPV drone use to fly?
The DJI FPV drone comes with 6S LiPo 2000 mAh batteries weighing about 300 grams and having a discharge rate of 10c.
The discharge rate of the DJI FPV battery may seem lower than some FPV LiPo batteries with a discharge rate of 50-80 times and even more, but this is to extend the battery’s longevity and flight time to ensure safe flights.
Having a DJI FPV battery is like gold. They are more expensive than Avata batteries and any other FPV drone batteries.
This is because there are a lot of electronics and safety features behind such a battery and because it is DJI.
I had three batteries with my DJI FPV drone, but unfortunately, two batteries died because I didn’t know how to take care of them. If you have a DJI FPV drone or want to buy one, please check the following article to avoid my mistakes.
Read More: How to Protect your DJI FPV Batteries
What is the DJI FPV flight time compared to a custom FPV drone?
Compared to a custom FPV drone, the DJI FPV can fly a lot longer.
Custom FPV drones can generally fly between 3 and 10 minutes and rarely more. It all depends on many factors, but mainly on the motor’s power, the capacity of the battery, the voltage, and how the pilot flies the drone.
We did mention just above that the discharge rate of the DJI FPV battery is about 10c.
There are FPV batteries rated to support even beyond 100c
But what is the C-rate in an FPV LiPo battery?
The C-rate is the maximum current a battery can safely discharge. For instance, the DJI FPV drone battery has 2000mAh and a C-rate of 10, meaning it can drain a maximum of 20000mAh, or 20 amps.
A LiPo battery with 100c that has 650mAh, which is suitable for drone racing, can withdraw about 65 amps at maximum.
In the end, the C-rate is just about power delivery and can directly impact how long drones can fly and how powerful they can be.
Do standard drones fly longer than a DJI FPV drone?
Standard drones tend to fly a lot longer than a DJIFPV drone
A standard drone, such as DJI Mini 3 Pro, can fly up to 34 minutes with the intelligent battery and 47 minutes with the intelligent battery plus.
But these drone batteries are very limited in power delivery and will deliver only small amounts compared to an FPV drone.
That is because a standard drone does not need as much power as an FPV drone, such as DJI FPV.
Of course, a standard drone cannot by far fly as fast as an FPV drone.
What are the factors that can influence how long DJI FPV can fly?
Besides what we discussed above, let’s look at some real-life factors that can influence how long DJI FPV can fly, shall we?
- The drone weight: Having extra weight such as a GoPro, landing gear, support arms, or anything that adds up to the standard weight of the DJI FPV drone can drastically decrease the drone’s flight time. Removing from the drone’s original weight to extend the flight time is impossible.
- Props: The original props are recommended to have a decent flight time. Some third-party props may even slightly increase the DJI FPV flight time, but others can definitely decrease it. Beware of what props you use for your DJI FPV drone.
- Additional consumers: When you film in 4K at 60 frames per second, you drain the battery. It is not much noticeable but is also a consumer, altogether with the drone lights that can decrease how long the DJI FPV can fly.
- Weather Conditions: Weather conditions, such as wind and hot weather, can decrease the flight time of the DJI FPV drone.
- Takeoff Altitude: When you take off the DJI FPV drone (or any drone for that matter) in the mountains at higher altitudes, the drone will exercise more motor power in order to compensate for lighter atmospheric pressure. This can also decrease the flight time of the DJI FPV drone.
- Flight Style: This is another main factor influencing how long DJI FPV can fly. If you fly aggressively and often throttle up, you will burn the battery quicker.
- The life of the battery: This happened to me before (as mentioned above), where battery life decreased, and the drone wasn’t able to fly as much as possible before failing. Having more cycles on the battery can have an impact on the flight time of the drone.
- The mode you are flying the DJI FPV drone: In normal mode and sport mode, expect you to fly the DJI FPV slightly longer than in manual mode.
Read More: 27 FPV Tips to Know Before Flying FPV Drones
Does DJI Avata fly longer than the DJI FPV drone?
There is very little difference between the flight time of the DJI Avata and the DJI FPV drone, where the DJI FPV drone may be able to fly a minute or two more than the Avata.
The DJI Avata is rated for a maximum of 18 minutes of flight time, whereas the DJI FPV drone is rated for 20 minutes.
Of course that in reality, the flight time is much lower than what is rated, but Avata will induce a lot more air friction due to being a cinewhoop drone with duct guards, whereas the DJI FPV benefits from a unique frame shape that can contribute to the drone aerodynamic.
Many more factors can contribute to both drones’ flight times, but on average, they have similar flight times, with little favor to the DJI FPV.
How long can DJI FPV fly in normal mode?
In reality, I was not able to fly the DJI FPV drone for more than 15 minutes while flying in normal mode before draining the battery.
When in normal mode, the drone will attempt to stabilize for any extra wind and to hover in place when set, but the flight speed is much lower than in manual mode.
How long can DJI FPV fly in sport mode?
I noticed similar flight times in sport mode as in normal mode but with little extra flight speed.
The DJI FPV drone is slightly faster in sport mode than in normal mode but slower than in manual mode.
When flying in sport mode, the avoidance sensors are disabled, which has little impact on the flight time. But if you are looking to beat a record on how far your DJI FPV drone can fly, the sport is the most suitable mode.
Read More: How Far Can You Fly the DJI FPV Drone?
How long can DJI FPV fly in manual mode?
When I was flying in manual mode most of the time, I could rarely go beyond 12 minutes of flight time.
Generally, I was landing my DJI FPV drone with about 20% battery at 9 minutes of flight time.
But not always, the flight time was similar, and the above-mentioned factors had a real influence on how long I was able to fly my DJI FPV drone in manual mode.