Drones come in many different styles but they are primarily classified according to the number of rotors. Tricopters, for example, have three rotors that enable the device to fly. They are not as common as other multirotor configurations but good options can be found with a bit of research. Those are looking for a new toy to play with may want to check out the different models available on the market. In this article, we learn more about these nifty unmanned aerial vehicles and compare the top tricopter drones.
Tricopter vs Quadcopter Drones
Quadcopters are probably the most popular type of drone right now. They are easy to spot thanks to their four rotors, usually spaced apart equally from all sides. The way these are attached to the body may differ but their stability and speed are similar. Tricopters, with only three rotors, tend to be more creative with their configuration in terms of distance and angle. They tend to be a bit slower and less stable on the field. The smaller number of blades used to make them cheaper compared to quads. However, the far greater demand for the latter has reversed the pricing situation.
Tricopter Drone Selection Tips
1. Know Your Purpose
Each buyer has a reason for wanting a product. Make sure that these reasons are clear to you so that you can prioritize them when making comparisons. For instance, a bigger unit will probably be more stable and have a higher load capacity. However, it will not be as agile as a smaller drone. The latter may ultimately be more important if you are expecting obstacles along the flight path.
2. Check the Flight Time
These drones consume power at a fast rate. Most batteries will last only 5 to 7 minutes. After that, you will have to land the device in order to recharge the battery or install a spare. A longer flight time means that you can have more fun and less downtime. See how long you need to recharge the battery so you can plan your flights and buy all the spares you need.
3. Consider the Accessories
A lot of these tricopters are sold bare. You can take them to the air and go around but that is all. If you would like to film, then make sure that you purchase something that is fit for that task. It should be capable of carrying a camera for photos or videos. It should be compatible with the accessories that you might require.
4. Look for Headless Mode
Flying tricopters can be tricky for novices. Some get frustrated because their unit flies sideways instead of obeying their commands. Pilots have to identify the front nose in order to fly properly and adjust as they go. If you want things to be easier, then look for a model that features headless mode.
5. Try the Cheap Ones First
You don’t have to shell out a lot of money just to experience tricopters. Try the cheap ones first and then you can decide whether you like the experience or not. Invest in expensive options after you have learned a bit more from your initially flights. Perhaps you will discover things that never crossed your mind.
Top Tricopter Brands
People who are eying drones are likely to hear about certain brands over and over. Some might already own a few units from these respected companies. As such, they may be confused as to why they can’t find the same name in the world of tricopters. They might not even find tricopters at all in their local stores. These are rare because the demand is low, so those who truly want them must look patiently. Among the brands to hunt down are RC Explorer, Cheerson, and Chengxing. Go to the manufacturer if they are unavailable in your area.
The price variation is quite significant across models. The cheapest drone can be bought for just $20 or so while the costliest can push $200 or more. Many are in the $70 dollar range so expect to spend this much if you want a mid-tier drone propelled by three rotors.
The Top High-rated Tricopter Drones
1. RC Explorer Tricopter LR
This is a good option for people who want to fly longer without any worries. Aside from a higher than usual flight time, it also boasts of a wide range. All of these are accomplished with a frame that is only 112 grams including 8-inch propellers. It is meant to be quiet and highly efficient. The folding arms make transport a breeze. Electronics can be mounted on a standard hole pattern including small action cameras. The kit sells for $106.
2. Cheerson CX33 Scorpio
This product is 31 cm wide, 34.5 cm long, and 8.5 cm tall. The drone battery is rated at 600 mAh while the controller uses the common 1.5V AA batteries. Flight time is around 6-7 minutes. Phones may be mounted on the remote control for viewing. The kit includes required tools for building including two screw drivers. It is said to be compatible with both iOS and Android with English instructions written on the product page.
3. Chengxing Scorpion S-Max
One look and you will agree that it lives up to its name. The two front propellers are in double configurations and look a lot like pinchers while the third propeller at the back seems like a poison tail. This cool design is not just aesthetically pleasing, it also makes it easy to make out the orientation of the drone at all times. You can get it for only $65.