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Drone technology has been ‘flying high’ in the past few years when it comes to market performance. With more and more people purchasing them for both recreation and business purposes, it doesn’t seem like this trend will die anytime soon.
While Quadcopters have dominated the drone market for quite some time now, there seems to be a new model on the block capturing the attention of pilots – the Octocopter drone.
In this guide, we are going to walk you through what octocopter drones are, describe their advantages, and review some of the best octocopter drones currently on the market.
What Are Octocopter Drones
There is a general rule that can be applied to drone technology – the bigger the engine, the more power the drone has.
In order to provide power to the bigger motors, drones need additional battery energy, but only if it doesn’t come at the cost of flight time.
While the term ‘octocopter drone’ may sound a bit overwhelming, it’s actually quite simple to explain – it’s a drone that comes with eight motors and propellers. They might seem a bit weird at first glance, but they operate in the same way as normal drones.
Octocopter drones are typically used for some complex operations since they provide pilots with extreme stability and control.
They are mostly used for mapping areas, agriculture operations, surveillance, rescue missions, and filmmaking.
Also, a great thing about octocopters is that they can fly even if one of their motors dies.
The Pros and Cons of Octocopters
Before you choose whether or not you should purchase an octocopter, it’s best to weigh out the pros and cons of this drone type.
- Great speed
- Extremely agile
- Can fly higher than consumer drones
- Powerful engine
- Easily supports camera equipment
- Provides users with safety and stability
- Huge size
- Not easily portable
- High price compared to hexacopters and quadcopters
- Battery life is a bit lower on the heavy-lifters
3 Best Octocopter Drones for Sale
Now that you know what an octocopter is and the benefits that it can bring to the table, let’s move on to specific models that you should check out.
Best Budget: Tarot X8 8-Axis Octocopter
If you are a total beginner and are looking for a portable octocopter that doesn’t cost a fortune, you should definitely consider the Tarot X8.
This innovative drone has a very minimalistic look, and you won’t find any unnecessary parts on it that make it heavier than it needs to be. There are two versions – a black-colored and a red-colored Tarot X8.
It’s a great choice for travelers since you can fold it like an umbrella and easily carry it around anywhere you go.
Even though it can’t carry some extremely heavy payloads, it’s more than capable of sustaining a DSLR camera or any other similar camera type.
While the Tarot X8 isn’t exactly the most aesthetically pleasing drone out there, it has all the specs and features you need to get the job done.
Plus, it is one of the most affordable octocopter drones in the industry.
DJI S1000 Spread Wings
The DJI S1000 is a great octocopter drone if you have a bigger budget.
This robust model is mostly used by professional photographers and filmmakers since the stability and power it can offer are unparalleled.
You can fly it at the speed of 70 km/h, which will allow you to even track moving objects without any issues.
Unlike most other octocopters, this model can easily be carried around when traveling since the arms can be folded from the inside.
You can carry up to 10kg of weight, which is great for photographers that want to attach a professional DSLR onto it. With the help of the low-mount gimbal, you will be able to capture spectacular photos from every angle.
xFold SPY X8
This industrial octocopter drone is another great solution for photographers that frequently travel to different locations and take shots for a living.
The xFold SPY X8 is extremely light-weight compared to other octocopters, it weighs around 1.5kg, and it comes in three different sizes. Also, you can fold it up to 30% of its normal size because of the carbon fiber build.
It comes with a 3-axis gimbal and a robust anti-vibration feature that guarantees breathtaking footage for professional photographers.
Additionally, it can carry a reasonable amount of weight, and you can attach a GoPro camera or a DSLR onto it.
While it may not be as powerful as some other octocopters, it is still able to provide pilots with numerous benefits at a decent price.
Octocopters vs. Quadcopter
There are plenty of drone enthusiasts that wonder whether getting an octocopter is even worth it, considering that you can achieve everything you need with a quadcopter.
After all, why choose eight motors if four will do the trick just fine?
Well, this isn’t always the case.
While some professional pilots claim that the additional motors draw more battery life, even they can’t argue that octocopters are more dominant in certain areas than quadcopters.
For example, in situations when some type of malfunction occurs, it’s much better to have an octocopter up in the sky, considering its large payload capacities.
You won’t have to worry about your camera or gimbal dropping to the ground since the octocopter will provide you with more stability and control.
Also, in case one of the motors shuts down for some reason, an octocopter will be able to fly without it, while a quadcopter will most likely come falling to the ground.
How Much Does an Octocopter Cost?
There is no fixed octocopter price, as with any other drone, it will depend on its specific features and specifications.
Considering that these drones are most commonly used for industrial purposes, some reasonable price range is around $1000 to $10,000. This is because it’s pretty much expected for the octocopter to come with a variety of advanced features.
The most expensive octocopters are the ones that have small motors that don’t weigh much. They produce the least amount of vibrations, hence the increase in price.
One of the priciest octocopter drones is the Faucon’s Drone Lifter Series V1 Octocopter. This robust model costs around $10,000, but it can offer pretty much anything you’d want in a drone.
What’s the Battery Life of an Octocopter?
The battery life of an octocopter pretty much depends on the weight of the drone and the payload it carries.
Also, other important factors are the flight actions you use and the flight conditions under which you fly it.
The average battery life is around 20 minutes, but this can increase depending on the factors we mentioned above.
With that said, if you plan on buying a drone that you can fly in windy conditions and still carry a heavy payload, an octocopter is probably the best choice.
There are plenty of advantages to buying an octocopter, especially if you are a professional photographer.
First of all, when it comes to any other type of drone, a simple motor failure can easily lead to a crash, and there is practically no chance of recovering from malfunction.
While it may be less expensive to buy a consumer drone or a quadcopter, the extra money you will spend on an octocopter can turn out to be a much cheaper investment than replacing pieces of other drones in case of motor failure.
Due to the advanced motor system incorporated in octocopters, you won’t ever have to experience seeing your camera or gimbal shatter into a thousand pieces when they hit the ground.
The next advantage of octocopter drones is the safety level. Not only can a malfunctioning motor system cause damage to your equipment, but it can also be a safety hazard for other people in the area.
Having ten pounds of gear crashing down can do some serious damage in case it lands on an innocent bystander. So you are better off paying for an extra set of motors than a lawsuit.
Additionally, octocopters are capable of lifting a lot more weight compared to other drones. Because they have the extra motors, they will also have the necessary thrust to carry heavier payloads. This means that you will be able to attach bigger and better cameras or lenses onto it.
With that said, we should note that there are also some disadvantages to flying an octocopter, the main one being its size.
These drones are incredibly big, and they are often not easy to travel with and carry around in different countries.
Professional pilots deal with this by disassembling the drone when traveling and then reassembling it once they arrive at the destination.
This is a good practice, but if you need a drone for filmmaking, you might end up spending too much time on the assembling process. Plus, there is the risk of making a mistake during the reassembling.