Published February 14, 2017
Exploring the hobby of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be difficult to do without support. Fortunately, plenty of sites online can keep users connected to a larger global community. Through specialist news sites, meetups, and forums, pilots can exchange ideas and help each other troubleshoot common issues.
Keeping a pulse on developments in the industry can be a great investment of time. Learning about the latest drone innovations and developments can help users make future decisions in regards to modifications or upgrades. It also makes users informed and valuable assets to the community. Here are a few sites where readers can learn about the latest drone news:
- sUAS News: This site is frequently updated with the latest drone news. It also is home to the sUAS Guide — an attractive quarterly digital magazine that features hundreds of pages of useful information. Best of all, it is available at no cost. They also have a daily email subscription service that summarizes the latest news in an easy-to-digest format.
- Popular Mechanics: While the site for this classic magazine does not exclusively cover news about UAVs, PM does a great job of posting thought provoking pieces about the future of drones. They also post articles discussing the ways that drones are being used for commercial purposes.
- Droneality: This site offers a wide variety of content. It features drone reviews, how-to videos, and some breathtaking aerial photos and videos. Droneality also covers the latest safety regulations and requirements by the FAA, which is an important topic to stay up-to-date on.
- Drone Racing League: Here, drone racing enthusiasts can check out professional competitions. Racing events from around the world can be found here. Furthermore, the site has some useful introductory videos to the fundamentals of drone racing.
In order to be a part of the global conversation, it is necessary to learn a bit about the drone industry. Getting a grasp on current events in the industry is a great way for new users to acclimate themselves. It also helps pilots make informed decisions.
Conventions & Meetups
For a hobbyist, few events can be more exciting than a drone convention. The latest UAV innovations and applications are revealed at expos. It is also an opportunity to connect with other pilots who share a passion for drones. Meetups are a less formal way to be a part of the community, but they can also be enriching experiences. Here are a few sites to keep an eye on conventions and meetups:
- Interdrone: Over 3,500 attendees make the trip to Las Vegas to attend InterDrone. Perhaps the largest commercial drone show in the world, exciting products and announcements often make their debut here, Each year, an impressive roster of key players in the industry give addresses on upcoming innovations and regulations.
- International Drone Expo (IDE): Every year, the most talented members of the international drone community come together in Los Angeles to share news and ideas about commercial drone applications. While IDE might be an opportunity for businesses to investigate new opportunities, it is also an exciting glimpse into the future for UAV hobbyists.
- Meetup: This site is used for a variety of interests, but it has an especially active community of UAV enthusiasts. It boasts over 60,000 members have had already held hundreds of meetups. This is a great way of getting involved with a local community of drone enthusiasts.
- DJI Store App (iOS) (Android): Thanks to DJI, users can take advantage of an innovative feature on the DJI Store app called “Discover”. The app allows users to locate other pilots using GPS technology. While this app is designed for DJI drone users, other pilots might want to check out the feature to simply find local hotspots.
Forums can be an invaluable resource to drone hobbyists. These communities allow users to create a personal profile and connect with other pilots online. They allow pilots to share ideas and get feedback on technical issues, as well as ideas for drone uses and modifications. Each of the following forums have at least 5,000 members, which means there are always experts online to talk with. Check them out — and be sure to follow posting guidelines!
General Drone Enthusiast Forums:
- DroneVibes: This site has a highly active community of drone experts, and the site covers a broad range of topics. Whether a user’s interest lies in aerial photography, racing, or simply learning the basics, there are members here eager to have others join the conversation.
- Quadcopter Forum: A community for quadcopter users. There are sections for users of all experience levels. For beginners, there are sections for troubleshooting, guides, and tips on building your first quadcopter. Advanced users often discuss different builds and review various models.
- FPVLAB: A forum for first person view (FPV) enthusiasts. Users discuss applications for FPV, plan meetups, and even share recordings or live streams of flights. This site has a friendly community of pilots.
Forums for Specific Brands/UAVs:
Below are forums for users of certain brands or specific models of drones. Most discussion revolves around troubleshooting or modifications. Forums that are operated and moderated by the manufacturer are noted as “Official”.
- DJI forums (Official)
- DJI Phantom Pilots
- HeliFreak — Blade Helis Support Forum
- Traxxas Aton forum (Official)
- Yuneec Pilots
However, keep in mind that information from forums are not usually from qualified experts, and should be taken with caution. It is important for users to remain compliant with the law in regards to how they use their UAVs, as well as how they choose to modify the vehicle. If possible, seek advice from the manufacturer’s website before consulting a forum. Information from the manufacturer’s website will contain more authoritative information regarding technical issues.
Manufacturer Support Sites
If pilots have questions about how to use certain functions, how to replace faulty components, or warranty info, the most accurate information is on the manufacturer’s site. Answers to common questions, troubleshooting, manuals, and more can be found on the official support page for most brands. Here are manufacturer support pages for the most popular drone brands at AMain Hobbies:
- Ares RC drone support
- Blade Helis drone support
- DJI drone support
- Traxxas drone support
- Yuneec drone support
These resources are among the best sites to learn about drone developments, engage with the community, and get information on the subject. Innovations in drone technology and applications are changing the way the world works — and there is no better time to become an active part of the discussion.