• Matrice
    More Info

    DJI Matrice 200 series: 200/210/RTK

    (9.5)
    $6500.00 BUY
    • 38 - MIN
    • 6K - 24 FPS
    • 50 - MPH
    • 5 - MILES
    DJI designed the Matrice 200 series to offer a versatile set of inspection capabilities. Choose from various payloads and mounting points to look up, down...
  • Tornado
    More Info

    Yuneec H520

    (9.1)
    $1999.00 BUY
    • 28 - Minutes
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 38 - MPH
    • 1 - MILE
    Yuneec's reliable hexacopter hardened for the commercial market, the Yuneec H520 is ready for your inspection tasks and more.
  • Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus

    (7.8)
    $2800.00 BUY
    • 24 - Minutes
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 25 - MPH
    • 1 - MILE
    The Yuneec H920 Plus is a large, powerful hexacopter, made to haul larger cameras. A reliable machine that masters the basics for your commercial drone...
  • Enterprise
    More Info

    DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise

    (9.6)
    $1999.00 BUY
    • 31 - MIN
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 44 - MPH
    • 4.3 - MILES
    Building off of the Mavic 2 platform, the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise offers new cameras and new accessories such as lights, speakers and beacons.

There are many sizes and styles of drones on the market, some are toys for flying in the backyard, some are a little more advanced, and some are targeted toward the commercial community. These are the types of machines that deliver goods and carry infrared cameras for inspections. As with near any drone segment, there are also a great bunch of drones here for search and rescue teams to save lives. These are the best commercial drones. Fair warning, these are largely off-the-shelf commercial drones, the majority of rigs out there are custom built and most cost a little bit more than this list offers.

If you are looking for a professional drone, a machine for tasks like film making, we recommend checking out our Best professional drones list instead. You don’t have to fly a drone for work to enjoy these machines, but most do come with a hefty price. Join us for a list of some of the best commercial drones.

Best commercial drones


Best professional drones instead?

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The scope of commercial drones is very wide. Small drones with infrared cameras can perform inspection tasks, a basic consumer drone can scan a farmer’s fence line, all the way up to the helicopter sized passenger drones. We will discuss larger drones as we go, but we will try to stick to machines that weigh less than 55 lbs for this list.

You can fly these drones at home for fun, but please remember that if you are being paid to fly, you need to have your Part 107 license in the United States. We’re working on our content, our drone pilot training, or you can hit up our preferred training provider, Drone Pilot Ground School.

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Matrice

DJI Matrice 200 series: 200/210/RTK

February 2017

Release Date

When DJI re-imagined their commercial drone platform, they had inspection services in mind. Previous drones struggled with looking up, so DJI added a mount to point a camera up. Previous drones struggled with only having room for one payload, so DJI put three mount points, and thus the DJI Matrice 200 series was born. The Matrice 200 is the started machine, a quadcopter that accepts two bottom mounted payloads. The Matrice 210 adds a third mount on top of the drone, for an upward facing camera. The Matrice 210 RTK adds in that crucial GPS performance for demanding environments and precision operations.

These are powerful, fast and weather resistant drones that are almost custom order from DJI. Budget about $6,500 to get started, with a full flight package of the 210 RTK running north of $10,000.

Enterprise

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise

October 2018

Release Date

After finding success with the second version of the Mavic Pro, along came the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise, using the same platform as the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom, but adding mounting points for accessories. The accessories are designed for tasks such as search and rescue, with a spotlight, loud speaker, beacon and more. Available in two versions, the Zoom Edition uses the same camera as the Mavic 2 Zoom, and the Dual Edition adds a thermal camera to the mix, but removes zooming from the visual camera.

DJI did not initially display the purchase price for the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise, we understand it has a starting price of $1999, the accessories are added from there.

Hex

Yuneec H520

September 2017

Release Date

After some success with the hexacopter design, Yuneec decided to head over to the commercial drone market with the Yuneec H520. A commercial-grade, folding machine that ships in construction orange. A range of payloads are available, mostly allowing the H520 to serve your inspection, surveying, mapping and search and rescue needs. Retractable landing gear allow 360 degree rotation of the camera, and the platform promises stability, even in high winds.

The Yuneec H520 alone costs less than $2000, but you should expect to pay around $4000 for a full flight package with multiple batteries and a camera or two.

Commercial

Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus

February 2017

Release Date

If you are looking for the largest off-the-shelf drone that Yuneec produces, you'll be looking at the Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus. This is a sizable hexacopter made to haul a fair sized camera. By default, you'll launch with the CGO4, which compares nicely to the Panasonic GH4. Was that a collaboration? Well, go ahead and install the camera gimbal to launch with the GH4 itself. In the end, the H920 Plus is an older drone, it's still reliable and masters the basics, but runs Yuneec's older in-house software. Their software is not bad, but their newer drones use PX4 and Dronecode software, which is more robust.

Bottom line, if you need a powerful drone for your more basic Hollywood camera flight needs, the Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus is a solid consideration.

The Yuneec Tornado H920 Plus starts at around $2800.

 
 

UVify IFO & UVify IFO-S

UVify IFO S drone top

Accepting our award for the best commercial drone at CES 2019, the UVify IFO is a well-equipped quadcopter with advanced connectivity and navigation systems. This machine is made for about 25 minutes of flight and packs a large LED light. That’s right, it’s made for drone light shows! Large scale drone swarm light shows keep making the news with Intel, who offer the experience, but not the drones. UVify is offering you the drones, their program puts as many IFO drones in your hands as you want, then you head out and host a cool drone light show.

Taking things to the next level, the UVify IFO-S utilizes the same frame, but adds a super computer and additional navigation sensors to make a versatile and customize-able machine for whatever need you may have. One of the leading use-cases would be for a fleet of search and rescue drones, blanket an area with dozens of IFO-S to speed up a rescue.

Start your own drone entertainment business with UVify today.


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FreeFly Alta 8

Introduced on this list, also on our Best camera drones list

Best Camera DroneThe FreeFly Alta 8 is a massive drone with a huge payload. Measuring almost 4 feet across, the Alta 8 can pack up to 26 lbs of gear, including the batteries and such – so only about 20 lbs of camera. While FreeFly promotes themselves as film enthusiasts, the Alta packs an optional top mount for your camera. We introduced this idea with the DJI M200 series recently, but FreeFly has had it for a time already. Commercial drone pilots will be able to inspect the underbelly of bridges with either of these options.

If you are looking for a little less payload and a smaller drone, the FreeFly Alta 6 is a hexacopter take on the same air frame.

There is a lighter Alta 6 as well, if this is too much, but drones of this caliber come at a price, look to spend about $17,495.00 on the FreeFly Alta 8 on Amazon today. The FreeFly Alta 6 is $11,995 on Amazon.


DJI AGRAS MG-1S

Introduced on this list

DJI Drones guideNot a friendly name for a drone, but this friend to farmers wasn’t really made to be flashy. The DJI AGRAS MG-1S hauls around a 10L tank, the attached precision spray system puts the drone to work flying a pattern over crops to deliver the necessary fluids to grow our food. Aside from minimizing trauma to the plants from foot traffic or tractors running over top, the farmer can get a new perspective of the health of their field while the drone does all the hard work.

The benefit to the DJI AGRAS MG-1S for any user is the advanced RTK GPS. Most of us are comfortable with GPS tracking our mobile phones or camera drones to within a foot or two, the AGRAS MG-1S is accurate to within a few centimeters. DJI also provides ground station software to best create routes and programs for your flight. If autonomous flight is your goal, this is a difficult drone to beat for ease and precision.

The AGRAS MG-1S will not fit in your backpack, however, as it measures nearly 5 feet across when fully deployed. The DJI AGRAS MG-1S is a custom order type of machine, you’ll need to contact them for specific pricing, but expect a starting point of around $15,000.


Parrot Disco-Pro AG

Parrot-DiscoPro-AG-at-AUVSI-Xponential-2018

Built with crop inspection needs in mind, the Parrot Disco-Pro AG is an updated Disco for longer flights, greater range and higher end cameras. Able to put multiple cameras over 200 acres on a charge with the same 1.2 mile operational range, the Disco-Pro AG also uses Pix4D or Airinov First+ for mapping solutions of your crops.

Higher and faster flying, grab the Parrot Disco-Pro AG for $4,800


Atlas Pro

The folks at Atlas Dynamics have a take on your commercial drone needs, they want you to buy their mostly autonomous tricopter, the Atlas Pro. Combined with a fully powered and self-managed dock, Atlas Pro can be set to fly itself, land itself and dock in out of the weather until it’s time to fly again. This hands-off autonomous approach is a little early for most markets, but at least we know that they’re ready to rock once the FAA releases them.

Related: Best drones of InterDrone

High-speed flight, great battery life and a planned selection of camera options to satisfy your agriculture or infrastructure inspection, security and other needs. This well-built machine is one to watch out for.


Intel Falcon 8+

Intel’s Falcon 8 and Falcon 8+ have been flying the skies for some fun inspection projects around the globe. These are not the sort of drones you pick up cheap and fly in your backyard, but if you are serious about inspection services, or other high flying, high-end camera needs, the Falcon 8+ could be the drone for you. More than just a drone, Intel Insight is a powerful software package that takes your images from the sky and performs magic on them. Well, maybe not magic, but creating a full 3D map out of stills is fairly slick.

3D mapping is only the start, Intel Insight is designed to assist in the inspection process. The software is able to identify and highlight any changes of an object after you collect subsequent scans. At InterDrone 2017 we watched as the drone scanned the facade of a building, changes were then made, removing screws and lights, etc. The second scan was able to identify these changes. The idea is to automate much of the menial work, place that info in front of a human who can then decide to repair or ignore the real world object.

We do not have a price tag for the Intel Falcon 8+ drone, but we’ve heard the number $42,000.00 floating around. A small price to pay if you need these sorts of tools.

We love to see price drops, you can order the Intel Falcon 8+ base drone for $16,359 from B&H Photo.


Military drones

We’re not saying that being in the military makes you a professional, but, it sort of does, doesn’t it? If you are looking for something more than your standard camera rig or quadcopter, maybe one of our list of military drones can help.


Passenger drones

Workhorse Surefly passenger drone

The average drone pilot cannot take to the sky in the large passenger drones, but can certainly be a passenger alongside a higher licensed pilot. Check out some of the best passenger drones over on our dedicated list for the topic.


Commercial drones Wrap-up

That’s all we have for today, I hope you can see the value in the various drone options presented. If nothing else, I hope we’ve given you a sense of the types of industries and workloads that drones are supporting today. We did not discuss passenger drones, nor did we get into law enforcement and military equipment – we tried to stick to drones that you can actually go to a store and purchase, even the ones that the average pilot can’t afford.

Is there a commercial or professional drone that you think should have been on this list? Which of these pro drones would you like to play with for a non-pro flight?