Top 10 Drones That Can Reach High Altitudes

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Ever wondered how high can a drone fly? Or what are the highest flying drones? We’ve got an answer for you.

A drone is allowed to fly up to 400 feet per FAA regulations. However, drones can reach much higher altitude in praxis with Autel Evo 2 having a theoretical max altitude of 7km. That is the highest flying altitude for a commercial drone.

Acquiring and using a drone has become easier than ever before because they are becoming cheaper by the day. The day is close when altitude mode will become a standard feature on every drone because low end drones receive features comparable to high end drones. You have come to the right place if you are looking on purchasing a drone and you want a drone that can reach high altitude.

The urge of drone enthusiasts to know the drone that can reach the maximum altitude is a sure thing. Many people confuse max flying altitude with maximum control range, but these features are not the same at all. To help you, we decided to compile a list, in no particular order, of the top 10 drones that can reach big heights. In the list down below, you’ll find how high you can fly your drone.

The maximum allowable altitude in the US is 400 feet above the ground, higher if your drone remains within 400 feet of a structure.

Many people disobey this regulatory directive but it is good to know if you are breaking laws or not while having fun. If you fly above 120m or 400 feet in the air, then you are on the wrong side of the law, at least in the USA.

You will also find some of the highest flying and max altitude drones currently available on the market.

Here is a quick overview of high altitude drones:

NameCameraAltitudeFlight t.Price
Autel Evo 28k7km40 minSee best offer
DJI Mavic Air 24K5km34 minSee best offer
DJI Mini 24K4km31 minSee best offer
Autel Robotics
X-Star Pro
4K 2km 23 min See best offer
DJI Mavic Mini2.7K3 km30 minSee best offer
DJI Inspire 24K5km27 minSee best offer
DJI Phantom
3 Professional
4K 6km 23 min See best offer
DJI Spark 4K4km16 minSee best offer
DJI Mavic Pro4K6km26 minSee best offer
DJI Phantom 4P4K6km25 minSee best offer

High Altitude Drones and the Law Regulations

Under FAA laws in the USA you can’t fly your drone above 400 feet (about 120 meters) and you don’t need a special permission.

So, make sure to check the current laws and regulations in this regard before you set out to break a record in high drone flying. If you don’t have the permission and you went so high up to lose sight of your drone with a naked eye, you might be in trouble.

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DJI Mavic Air 2

This is a brand new DJI drone that was released in April 2020. The drone saw huge improvements over its predecessors, including the increased highest flying altitude of 5km. This machine is a real beast with impressive flight time of 34 minutes, 48 MP photos and HDR capabilities.

The Mavic Air 2 weighs 570g (1.3 pound) and feautres a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor capable of 12MP and 48MP photos (JPEG and RAW). When it comes to video, the Mavic Air 2 can shoot up to 4K 60fps at 120 Mpbs. Mavic Air 2 is also capable to shoot in the H.265 HVEC video codec to improve efficiency without any loss in quality.

It is a bit more expensive but also much more feature rich than the Mavic Mini as you can see in our comparison of Air 2 and Mini.

DJI also introduced some new smart camera features on the new Air 2, called Scene Recognition and Hyperlight.

  • Scene Recognition is made for detecting sunsets, blue skies, grass, snow, and trees. It then optimizes images with these objects for a stunning final photo.
  • Hyperlight is a feature that is drumming around mobile markets – it aims to increase the quality of night shots by taking multiple photos and merging them to reduce the amount of noise (graininess) that’s common in low-light images.
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DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo - Drone Quadcopter UAV with...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: February 24, 2021 20:22
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DJI Mini 2

New favorite in the drone circles – Mini 2. The drone easily reaches high altitudes even though it struggles to fly as high as DJI claims on paper – 4km.

This is another cracking little quad from DJI that is under the mandatory license weight, just like its older sibling Mini.

Mini 2 comes with a 12MP camera that can, impressively enough, do a 4k video at 30 fps while also featuring a 4x digital zoom so you can safely fly it above the trees and potential dangerous objects and still catch excellent panoramic shots. This is the biggest improvement over its predecessor Mavic Mini. Granted, if you up your rate, the quality drops from 4k to 1920p. Still, good enough for a huge majority of pilots. Just like all DJI drones, it has a 3-axis gimbal and an impressive video transmission distance of 10km.

Sadly, it lacks any obstacle detection sensors so you will need to be more careful while flying it, or letting it follow you in crowded places like forests. Bear that in mind while you are in your adventure. It can almost match Mavic Air 2 when it comes to flying time though, as the mini bird can do a 31-minute flight with a single battery charge. And it is also almost two times cheaper than Air 2 so that is another plus, especially if you are strapped for cash.

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DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo – Ultralight Foldable Drone, 3-Axis Gimbal...

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Last update was on: February 24, 2021 20:22
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Autel Evo 2

On paper, Evo 2 sounds impressive with the max altitude of 7km and incredible 8k and 6k cameras. A lot of people are still getting used to 4k and barely anyone has hardware to support 8k so releasing a drone with such camera capabilities is a real eyebrow raiser.

The three user-changeable gimbal modules for the Autel Evo 2 are:

  • 586 gimbal: provides an 8K video camera that will take still photos of up to 48MP and records 8K video at 25 fps, 6K at 30 fps, or 4K at 30 or 60 fps with a bit rate of up to 120 Mbps.
  • 383 gimbal: features an Ultra-HD camera with a 1-inch sensor for 6K video and still photos of up to 20MP. It will record video up to 5.5K at 60fps or 4K video at 120 fps and has an adjustable lens aperture from f/2.8 to f/11.
  • Dual-sensor gimbal: provides an infrared camera that takes infrared images of 640 x 512 or 320 x 256 and records video at 720p at 30 fps in dual image mode. It has the same 8K video camera as described above.
  • it features 8GB internal storage and 256 GB of external memory via microSD card.

The camera is swapable – one of a kind feature among premium drones. They made a removable payload so if you buy one frame, you can buy what ever camera you want to add to it later on. If you start off with the Evo 2 and you want upgrade to the 1 inch sensor for the Evo Pro, you buy the camera and mount it on your 8k model and you essentially have the Evo 2 6k model now.

All three camera modules on the New Autel Evo 2 support:

  • Single shot
  • Burts shooting
  • Auto exposure bracketing (AEB)
  • Time-lapse
  • High-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging
  • NIGHTBEAT (high signal-to-noise ratio

Photos can be saved as DNG or JPG formats, and video footage can be recorded either MOV or MP4 formats on the Autel Evo 2.

The films made with EVO 2 look very natural, not overly saturated, good dynamic range, solid pixel density making it a pleasing shot overall.

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DJI Spark, Fly More Combo, Alpine White

Last update was on: February 24, 2021 20:22
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DJI Spark

Spark is a powerful mini camera drone from DJI that reaches a max drone height of 4km.

Although it is a small drone in terms of dimensions, it is a real behemoth when it comes to performance. It can be flown at high altitudes with ease. One drone fan hacked Spark and sent the drone in the sky, way above its maximum altitude at 4,400 meters.

Sparks features an impressive 12MP camera with 2-axis gimbal for shake-free shots.

With Spark’s 1/2.3 inch sensor to shoot stabilized video at 1080p and still photos at 12mp, you will surely love its output.

Spark is smart, reliable and intuitive. It is very easy to use and comes with intelligent flight modes making it easy for everyone both pros and beginners to pilot this. So, I highly recommend this.

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DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Aircraft, 3-Axis Gimbal & 4K UHD Video...

Last update was on: February 24, 2021 20:22
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DJI Phantom 3 Professional

Product Specs

  • Maximum Altitude: 6000 meters (19685 feet)
  • Dimensions: 350 x 350 x 203 mm (13.8 x 13.8 x 8 inches)
  • Weight: 1280 grams (2.8 pounds)
  • Wingspan: 590 mm (23.2 inches)
  • Battery: 100V 4480mAh Li-Po 4S
  • Flight time: 23 minutes
  • Controller Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Operating Range: 2000 meters (6652 feet)
  • Payload Capacity: 300 grams (0.66 pounds)
  • Maximum Speed: 16 m/s (36 mph)
  • Camera: 12MP 4K

The DJI Phantom 3 can go up to 6000 meters in the air and it is considered to be one of the best highest flying drones.

However, it is important to note that distance is determined by the operating range, which is 2,000 meters for this drone so this isn’t the actual height above the ground you can fly. Also, the Phantom 3 has been software restricted to only 500 meters, but there are people who are able to bypass these restrictions.

But flying over 500 meters is considered extremely dangerous because the drone could crash into a plane or your drone could fall down and hurt or kill someone.

The package includes the drone, controller, 4K camera, spare battery and Hard-Shell Backpack.

The Phantom 3 sports a large battery capacity (4480mAh) and has a flight time of about 23 minutes. The built-in 12MP camera on the Phantom 3 Professional is able to shoot very high quality photos and the 4K resolution is perfect for recording professional-level video.

This drone is above average in size and weight and as far as color goes, it is only available in white.

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DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 20MP Camera...

Last update was on: February 24, 2021 20:22
$1,599.00
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DJI Phantom 4

Product Specs

  • Maximum Altitude: 6000 meters (19685 feet)
  • Dimensions: 660 x 508 x 457 mm (26 x 20 x 18 inches)
  • Weight: 1380 grams (3 pounds)
  • Wingspan: 350 mm (13.8 inches)
  • Battery: 15.2V 5350mAh Li-Po 4S
  • Flight Time: 28 minutes
  • Controller frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Operating Range: 5000 meters (16404 feet)
  • Camera: 12MP 4K
  • Payload Capacity: 462 grams (1 pound)
  • Maximum Speed: 20 m/s (45 mph)

The DJI Phantom 4 can fly up to 6,000 meters above sea level. However, that distance is determined by the operating range, which is 5,000 meters for this drone so this isn’t the actual height above the ground you can fly.

The Phantom 4 also has the software restriction that disables it from flying higher than 500 meters above sea level. In theory, these restrictions are possible to bypass. However, so far no one was able to do so.

The Phantom 4 is equipped with an amazing 4K UHD camera that is mounted on top of motorized gimbal. This feature allows you to get a perfectly smooth and stabilized aerial video and very high quality images.

The drone uses a powerful 15.2V 5350mAh Li-Po battery. The flight time is about 28 minutes per charging. The drone weighs 1380 grams and it is one of the heavier drones on the market. The Phantom 4 is also above average in size, with a wingspan of 350 mm.

The Phantom 4 is also one of the more expensive drones available on the market today and it is the most expensive drone on this list. As far as color goes, this drone is only available in white.

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DJI Mavic Pro 4K Quadcopter with Remote Controller, 2 Batteries, with 1-Year...

Last update was on: February 24, 2021 20:22
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Mavic Pro

Mavic Pro is the OG of the Mavic production line and it set the new standards for the industry back then. Its performances are still impressive to this day. How high can this drone go? A proud height of 6km.

This was the first folding drone that really took the world by storm and completely changed drones as we know it. 

Prior to this, most people had the really large phantom drones which required a bowpack all of their own. This was the first drone the size of a bottle of water and nearly 2 years later, it’s still a fantastic drone. It shoots 4k video and 12 megapixel RAW photographs. It’s got 25 minutes flight time and OcuSync transmission so you get really clear image to the

Controller and your phone. Mavic Pro also has built-in obstacle avoidance so you’re not gonna crash it. You can get it second hand for less money than Mini, especially if you consider that Mini bundle version would cost you $500 (regular version is $400).

Here is a full review of Mavic Pro drone. Additionally, if you are interested how this drone stocks up against its competition, check out our Mavic Pro vs Phantom 4 comparison.

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Summary

You have come to the end of this Top 10 Drones That Can Reach High Altitudes List and I hope that it helped you make up your mind. I truly hope that this article was interesting and informative and that you got yourself a nice drone for those sky-high flights.

It is very important to note that if you don’t want to end up paying a huge fine due to flying your drone on dangerous heights, you should check your country’s UAV regulations.

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