Altitude vs Elevation

Discussion in 'General' started by kroorda, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Hello Everyone. I live at a high elevation (in Colorado). I have not yet purchased an Autel drone, but plan on doing so soon. One question that I have asked a number of people (but have never gotten a good answer) is 'how well do the drones fly at ALTITUDE?' When I have asked this question of others' people confuse 'altitude' with 'elevation'. Altitude is the height above sea level, whereas Elevation is height above the ground. I clearly understand the 300' ELEVATION limit. However, I am concerned about flying at ALTITUDE, as the air is thinner (less lift). I am looking to find out, or learn of experiences in which the Autel drones have been flown at High Altitude (especially above 8500 feet altitude). With a propeller-driven airplane, the pitch of the prop is adjusted to compensate for the thinner density of air at higher altitudes. Are there any optional props (from Autel or from Aftermarket) that aid this, or any other drone at higher altitudes? Thanks in advance for your replies :)
  2. I'm really not sure but I have flown mine at 16 feet elevation (where I live now) and about 4000 I think it was in Idaho and didn't notice any difference at all.
    BTW, it's 400 feet limit.
  3. Thank you for your reply. I am trying to find out how these drones do at higher altitude,, such as above 8500 feet.
  4. You're welcome. I'm sure someone will chime in that has flown in higher altitudes than me. Probably not lower lol.
  5. I would like to hear the response on this from Autel. I know a lot of people fly outside the recommended temperatures and have had battery life issues. When your video shows snow and ice I assume it is freezing cold.
  6. The highest elevation I’ve flown at is 7300 feet - didn’t notice much difference at all. Here’s a video of that flight - kind of boring as I was just practicing yaw adjustment.

  7. Bigbit, Thanks for your reply and your great video. (Good job!). I have a feeling that I could be flying at altitudes as high as 10k' at times, so your report is promising. Thanks so much.
    Bigbit likes this.
  8. Great! Thank you for letting me know.
  9. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah at an elevation of 4200 ft. and regularly go camping up in the high rocky mountains at 9600 ft. I fly all the time at this elevation even taking the ship up over a 1000 ft above that 9600 ft elevation (of course i follow faa rules 400 ft away from a mountain and follow it up over a 1000 ft.) with no problems at all. Next time i go up, i will be taking off at 10400 at the summit of mirror lake highway. I will capture video of the summit elevation sign and capture video on my DU recorder app to show how well it flies at high altitudes.
  10. Orange Crush: Your information was exactly what I was/am looking for. Thank you so much!! Did you notice if any more effort (lift) was required at the higher altitude? I will be very interested to hear how it does around 10k feet. Thank you again. I appreciate your reply.
  11. Kroorda: Your welcome, i actually became a member to answer your question knowing not many people can access this altitude like few of us can. I would say the rate of climb probably wasn't quite as fast as it is at 4200 ft. but i did not notice really any difference between 4200 ft. & 9600 ft as far the way the ship handles horizontal speed, it was very stable & had plenty of lift. I even have extra weight with a Marco Polo transmitter, a Trakimo transmitter & a polar pro gimble guard on the landing gear. So in essence, i was flying at 10600 ft with no problems!
  12. Kroorda: I almost forgot, here is a picture at 10400 ft. i took while up there. If you notice in the back mountains that pine trees do not grow on them due to the altitude, they won't grow much above 10000 ft. I think you will be really impressed with the autel x-star premium. If you get it i can't stress enough to practice with it & get to know everything about the controls & app. Happy flying man!

    Attached Files:

  13. That is an impressive shot, and I can tell that you must be close to 11,000 ft to get that shot. You are at the same latitude as us (I am right nest to Rky Mtn National Park), so your tree-line would be the same as ours'. I'm stoked now and will definitely take your advice on learning and practicing :)
    Thanks again!
  14. Your welcome, looking forward to some pictures of Colorado high in the sky!!
  15. Orange: With the information you provided, I will be ordering an Autel Drone this coming week. I wish I had it now as the Aspen are in their changing peak. The Elk and the Moose are also in their rut. While I can't fly a drone over the National Park, there are many areas outside of the park where one can fly. I'm sure that I won't have the necessary training and practice in time to get this fall's colors. But, if all goes well, I should still be able to get some great pictures.
    Thanks again for your help! :)
  16. #18 ORANGE CRUSH, Sep 23, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
    You will be surprised how easy it is to fly & take pictures. It pretty much flies its self, keep it in beginner mode for a while until you learn & have fun man :)
  17. As a licensed private and remote pilot I’m going to jump in here to help a little with phraseology. The terms elevation and altitude aren’t really what is used in aviation. AGL (above ground level) and MSL (mean sea level)

    So as the FAA states for proper sUAV flight you need to stay under 400’ AGL (excluding any waiver) that height only equals MSL if you were to take off at sea level.

    As for performance, density altitude is the term for describing how at what altitude does the atmosphere tend to perform like for nonstandard temperature and pressure. This is key component in determine airplane performance in manned flight but have not run across any performance charts for sUAV where this is addressed. Just knowing the fundamentals of flight, DA must play a role in a sUAV performance but unless someone where to do some actual performance tests at various DA values, I think it may be difficult to quantify otherwise.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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