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Most aerial drones on the consumer market seem to have painfully limited flying time.

What's the maximum on the consumer / developer market? Obviously, military drones have extraordinary capacities, but I presume they use technology that's not allowed or not available in the private market.

It would need to be programmable or have some API option to give it pre-set flying instructions rather than just RC control, or other technology to allow it to fly longer distances. Let's keep the price under a couple of thousand.

I'm aware of the DJI Mavic Pro, which claims 27 minute flying time for around $1200.

  • What country are you planning to use this in? Drones in the US are required to be under visual observation of the operator at all times. – Mark Jul 17 '17 at 20:44
  • @Mark Thanks for letting me know. Is that in all states? I would have the chance to use it in India as well, but I'd love it if I could have it go out over the local inlet and circle back on its own. Maybe there's a permit? I mean Amazon is delivering orders by drones now. – Hack-R Jul 17 '17 at 21:17
  • If you're anywhere in the United States, if you fly the drone as a hobby you fall under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which requires you to keep the drone in sight at all times. If you fly it for business, you need a Remote Pilot Certificate, and must keep the drone in sight at all times unless you get a wavier from the FAA. – Mark Jul 18 '17 at 20:11
  • @Mark Thanks very much for sharing that. I've been a private pilot for almost 20 years without knowing about that certificate. I will see what's what about earning one. – Hack-R Jul 18 '17 at 21:25

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