Retractable Landing Gear for Drones DIY

 

 

A controlled flight is important when flying a drone. In order to maintain stability, knowing how to land your drone properly is also essential. The small parts that drones are comprised of can be easily damaged if the landing is rough.

Drones can be modified with various add-ons, one of which being retractable landing gear. The gear comes out automatically, assisting the ease of your landing. The great thing about this type of additional feature is that it is compatible with multiple different drone models and sizes.

DIY

Most people don’t see drones as DIY-compatible devices, but they can be. If you plan on building your drone in a customizable way, make sure that you choose a base model that is compatible with these upgrades. Doing some research before you shop will be the smartest option.

One of the most common upgrades that people opt for is the retractable landing gear. With all of the benefits it provides, it is usually worth it to upgrade. Again, assuming that you have selected a base model that is compatible with landing gear.

The great thing is that, usually, all of the tools that you need to install your landing gear come with it already. The work that must be done to fasten the gear onto your drone is not very complicated.

Another benefit to customizing your own landing gear is that you will have a better understanding of how it operates. This way, if you begin to experience problems, you will know how to deconstruct it to find the root of the issue.

Features

Drones can be flown in many different situations, and sometimes, the weather can impact your flight. If you want to use retractable landing gear, a great feature that most come equipped with is weather-proofing. Even if there is a rainstorm, the landing gear should work with no problem.

Because retractable landing gear can work on many diverse drone models, it is usually compatible with drones of different weights as well. This is important, because the landing gear is what supports your drone during the impact of landing. You want to make sure that the landing can happen as safely as possible.

Conversion kits can be purchased to make your drone compatible for retractable landing gear. Because it is not a permanent fixture, you can remove it from your drone at any time. This provides you with the option to customize your drone to your liking.

The landing gear can normally be operated using your controller. It sends signals to the receiver in order to tell the gear when to unfold. It is generally easy to install and can be done by anyone.

Models

The DJI Inspire is a drone that comes with retractable landing gear and a high-quality camera. This is a high tech model that offers features such as live video transmission and it’s own remote to control the landing gear and camera.

Another device with lots of high tech specs, the Yuneec is made with a carbon fiber frame for durability. The camera that comes with it was made for capturing amazing aerial shots, by the brand Panasonic.

If you are only interested in the landing gear, the RC Logger Nova is a great option. You install it onto a drone of your choice, and it is made with the same durability as the other contenders. Installation is simple, and the device comes with the tools that you need to use.

For another landing gear the only option, the Tarot TL8X000 is similar to the RC Logger Nova, just with more durability. Its design is balanced, allowing for the smoothest landing and perfect center of gravity.

Costs

Customizing your drone does not come with a small price tag. Solitary landing gear upgrades usually cost around $50-$400 depending on the quality. With upgrades, you get what you pay for.

Deciding to spend more money upfront could end up saving you money in the future, though. The landing gear that is more pricey is also usually the gear that lasts the longest. This is just one factor to consider when choosing your device.

You should also decide if you are going to purchase a drone and then upgrade it with a separate landing device, or purchase a drone that comes equipped with the retractable landing gear already. Both options come with its advantages and disadvantages, and it depends on what you’d like to use your drone for.

If aerial photography/videography is your priority, selecting a drone that comes with its own camera built-in is probably the smartest option. For recreational use, it might be a fun challenge to purchase your drone as a base model and then add onto it as you go.

Drones that already come equipped with cameras and retractable landing gear usually fall in the $1,000+ price range. Of course, this depends on what kind of camera quality you decide on. It also depends on if you are going to be using your drone for fun or for more serious purposes.

Durability is something that you must consider, especially if you have any rough terrain where you will be flying. Even the most gentle landing could damage the base of your drone if the landing gear is not compatible for your terrain.

As a starter, it is recommended to purchase a basic drone, and then obtain any add-ons that you want in the future. As you get a feel for how your drone operates, you will be able which additional items would benefit the model.

Landing Pads

When flying a drone, having a landing pad isn’t a necessity, but it is extremely helpful. It provides an extra layer of safety, in addition to the landing gear. Even the smoothest landings still have the ability to rattle parts of your drone.

The more powerful that drones become over time, the higher the risk of them being damaged and leading to expensive repairs. Or, even worse, being broken beyond repair. A landing pad is meant to take the shock out of your landing; it absorbs the impact.

If you want to opt for a landing pad, consider the size of your drone. All models are made differently, so you will want to make sure that your landing pad will be able to encompass your drone fully. You might also want to make sure that it travels easily, just in case you need to bring it to various locations where you will be flying.

Also, make sure that your landing pad is waterproof. Even if you aren’t flying in the rain, muddy areas or slick areas can damage your drone just the same. Ensuring that you are making your landing onto the pad will keep your drone cleaner and lessen the risk of it becoming damaged by debris.

Your last choice also ties into your budget, and it basically requires you to differentiate between personal use and professional use. If you want to fly your drone for fun, as a hobby, you probably don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a landing pad. There are pads available for as low as $20 for basic use.

If you plan on flying professionally, this means that you will likely have a more expensive drone model. This ties back into making sure that you are purchasing a landing pad that is large enough and strong enough to take the size of your drone during landing. In this case, it would be worth it to spend a little bit of extra money on a high-quality pad.

Having years of experience with drones isn’t necessary if you want to install your own landing gear. The more that you work with the device, you will gain a better understanding of the anatomy of the drone, too. From flying a drone as a hobby to using it as a professional, getting your own retractable landing gear is a great investment towards the future of your device.

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