Starting a drone business? Some perspective may be required.

drone business

I do not consider myself a drone business expert, and might not be a drone business oracle either. But that does not stop others professing knowledge so why should it stop me!

Having followed and written about the unmanned aircraft world for almost ten years, I feel I have a finer tuned sense of what works, and what is pure bovine output.

Flying robots are not new!

Drones almost made it into the end of the first world war, but they are only now emerging as serious business tools. Moore’s Law and miniaturisation have driven down cost and have created advanced UAV’s. This history is often forgotten. Therefore do not believe every world’s first claim that you read.

Where are we now?

It is convenient to suggest that the modern drone industry is akin to 1920’s aviation. A big war and technological advances had just created reliable aircraft. This then incubated an environment in which to make money. To stop barnstorming and begin building airlines, delivering post and mapping the Empire.

Drones were a British invention; another British invention made it’s way across the pond after the first world war, motivational posters. Spearheaded by a fictional character, Bill Jones who was created by publishers Parker-Holladay to promote correct work ethics.

To me, it seems fitting to frame 2017 drone business in a jazz age way. The impact RPAS will have across multiple industries is only starting to be understood. Nineteen Twenty will soon be one hundred years ago, what will our world look like in 2120?


If you have time to spare, go by air. A term used by private pilots that find themselves sat at airfields miles from home in weather.

Should you want to be successful in aviation, a weather obsession is especially relevant.

I see complaints from Part 107 applicants because why on earth should they have to understand weather messages? Consider it while waiting for the fog to clear.

Don’t plan on a Monday to Friday nine to five lifestyle. You are going to have to be flexible.


The next one speaks for itself. In our world batteries or radios left at home might cancel a flight. Of course incurring a cost.

Just like Santa, make a list and check it twice. Things to take with you, aircraft flight checklist and a pack up list.

Creating order will make your business scalable.

I use it has a free tier and not only runs checklists but also, displays weather and logs your flight hours.


I am detecting a trend. The first post, I bought a drone. Second post I have a Part 107. Then several how to:-

Charge for jobs
Take real estate images
Make maps
Inspect things

It seems people are diving in without any plan at all. Find a niche that you understand and stick with it.

Rather than being the cheapest drone for hire in town.


The best of luck with your aerial data collection service, it is an exciting and most noteworthy thing to tell people you do down the pub. Especially relevant in the digital age.

However it is still a business, and a business needs to fulfil a need not a marketing promise.