As drones explode (not literally) in popularity, it’s not surprising that the high end of the market is seeing a ton of activity. We have ridable drones for billionaires, spy drones for the military, extra-fancy drones for filmmakers and other models that push traditional prices sky high. If you’ve been taken aback at how much consumer drones cost online, these examples of the most expensive drones should definitely make you feel better.
EHang 184 – $300,000
The Ehang 184 is a drivable drone project from the Chinese startup Ehang, which showed off the concept at CES, along with its incredible $300,000 price tag. The prototype model includes AC, futuristic chairs, and a built-in tablet for controls. According to company claims, it takes two hours to charge and can fly you around for about 23 minutes. Look, there’s a chance that this thing isn’t ever going to make it past the prototype phase (although Dubai seems convinced), and even if it does, it’ll probably illegal to fly around your city. But we want to believe.
Augmented Aerigon Drone + Phantom Flex4K – $250,000
If you’re looking for the most expensive camera drone in the world, look no further. This beast was created by Brain Farm, which partnered with dronemaker Aerigon to get an augmented version of their drone that could carry the large Phantom Flex4K camera. The result was some incredible 4K footage, but the entire package costs around $250,000, which is a little more than the average GoPro.
Scorpion 3 Hoverbike – $150,000
Nope, we just can’t stop trying to ride our drones. The Scorpion 3 Hoverbike, however, is a down-to-earth product that has gone through multiple iterations to make it safer, more powerful, and easier to use. You can check out the video to learn more, but this drone really does fly, and it really can carry you around. Of course, since a strong gust of wind could cause a terrifying crash, most of the tests have been inside a big warehouse–but if you can drop $150,000 on a hoverbike you can probably afford to rent out a warehouse, too.
XactSense Titan – $120,000
XactSense specializes in all-purpose drones for professional purposes like scouting and disaster relief: One of its latest models is the Titan/HDL32E project, which is designed to be particularly powerful. It can carry up to 50 pounds, has an incredible operating range of 9.9 miles, and boasts a flight time of 30 minutes. It’s also one of the more consumer-friendly drones on our list if you’re used to the controller/app combination that the Titan and similar drones use. Of course, that $120,000 price tag isn’t so common.
AEE F100 – $58,000
The F100 is an identification and tracking drone designed primarily for law enforcement and military use. Unlike all-purpose models, this drone comes equipped with its own specialized cameras, including 20x zooming, 3D image capture, and a navigation light that can reach one kilometer. It also has “multi-target visual identification and tracking” which can identify people, cars and buildings. With all that gadgetry, maybe it’s a good thing the price is in the Bruce Wayne range of $60,000.
Airborne Drones: Vanguard – $45,000
The Vanguard, a long-range surveillance drone, gets plenty of attention for its sleek design, but it’s also one of the most expensive consumer drones in the world. It sports a dual camera that includes a thermal detection mode. Where the AEE F100 is more suited toward urban environments and security, the Vanguard has a broader purview and is skilled at long-range surveillance of friendlier targets like wildlife and game in spacious reserves. In addition to shooting 4K footage, the Vanguard can stay up for an impressive 94 minutes and offers a 1080p visual feed via a dual-antenna setup.
Sci.Aero cyberQuad – $37,000
As the sturdy design implies, the cyberQuad is made primarily for industrial purposes — specifically reliable survey/agricultural scans where other survey tools can’t quite do the job. That includes multispectral camera abilities with automatic geotagging of all data, allowing users to study everything from vegetation cover to the topographical features of an area. However, the high-tech camera and extra-durable design push the cyberQuad’s price up to $37,000, which may be a bit much for the average farm.
Multirotor G4 Eagle V2 Cargo – $35,000
Yeah, that’s a lot of rotors. Of course, the G4 Eagle needs them: this popular drone boasts high wind stability and autonomic flight controls that allow you to set up to 50 waypoints for complex mapping. The result is an all-purpose drone that is particularly friendly to photographers. Depending on the package and add-ons, this model can cost you up to $35,000.
Lockheed Martin Indago – $25,000
The Indago treads an interesting line between military and civilian drone. It has a durable, minimalistic design and a ruggedized controller with a built-in screen (based on a Windows platform), so you don’t need many extra accessories to get it up in the air. It’s also particularly quiet and has great stabilization, which makes it ideal for surveillance and exploration (as long as you don’t fly it near any planes). However, features like integrated GPS and LTE connectivity don’t come cheap.
Freefly Systems ALTA 8 – $17,500
The minimalistic design of the Alta 8 belies its focus on stability. This is a drone designed for photographers and filmographers who want only the best drone performance for their high-demand shots. It includes swan-neck carbon booms, plus both a top and bottom tray for securing all types of cameras. Expect to see more of these around Hollywood in the coming years.
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