I'm looking for some budget multirotor drone (up to $300) which can lift 500g-1kg of weight and has long enough range to fly a ~2 km radius, it should also have a small camera just for control. Is there a ready to fly model which I can buy, or can I somehow easily construct a drone with the following parameters?

  • $\begingroup$ Do you need vertical take off and landing? If not, a fixed wing will be faster and cheaper than a multicopter. $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2020 at 7:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'll second @RobinBennett's comment. What kind of drone are you looking for? It's critical to include this in the question, either as an affirmative "I want a multirotor" or a less firm "I don't care if it's an airplane, a multirotor, or a helicopter". $\endgroup$ Oct 18, 2020 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


The flight you describe is 100% illegal in the US requiring 107/commercial license + BVLOS waiver. BVLOS waivers are very rare, 61 issued searching the DB for "107.31" here: https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_operators/part_107_waivers/waivers_issued/. The rules are similar in most countries.

Your budget is off by a zero as well. Depending on your duty needs, I think minimum \$1k for the core + $ for peripherals.

A Phantom could probably limp that payload - but you need to dig into the powertrain math:

  • What ratio of thrust do you want? Are you carrying a load form point A to B or will you require some performance?
  • Weight of unit AUW desired? Payload and performance are correlated to thrust and other performance features.
  • Flight time desired?

Camera for control at 2km requires high power VTX (FAA HAM license required). A 1 watt VTX in an urban environment will struggle to get you signal without a lot of extra gear (signal tracking from a ground station). Also, 1w is the legal max for a HAM / FCC licensed person, else you are 25mw (0.025 watt) limited and can't mod anything legally. To get more watts you need to dip into FCC Part 15 regulations, not cheap.

I see you are in Armenia - I don't know the local there laws but my international flight experience informs me that most of the world is either unregulated (3rd world) or as strict or more strict than the US.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for a detailed explanation, there should be no problem with law, regarding to the questions: you are correct it's just for carrying a load from point A to B. AUW doesn't matter (whatever is better), drone just needs to correspond the listed requirements. Regarding to flight time - need to find rational balance between speed and cost. As it's for delivery I will need multiple drones perhaps dozens, so you are saying the cheapest solution would be ~$1k for each even in case of not ready to fly/custom build? $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2020 at 23:40

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