Typical flight time and tips to extend it?

Hello, I have built an f450 quadcopter to film the beautiful places where I live and I like it, but I don’t understand it only flies for 7-10 and then I get a low battery warning! Is it good for a drone of 1.8kg and a battery of 5000mah 50c?

  • What is your typical flight time?
  • Do you have some tips on how to extend it?

Normal flight times. Weight is your enemy. Lose weight. Use a lighter lower c battery. For a camera drone you only need 10-15c. Higher c batteries are heavier for the same watt-hours.

Let me guess, 3S power?

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Yes, 3s, is that bad? Is 4s any better?

I’ve got an F450 on 4S. I don’t have a camera on it so mine will be lighter than yours.

On a 1300mah 4S I can get 9 minutes. These are high C packs I’m using from my 5" FPV quads.

On a 5200mah 4S I’ve had 25 minutes but only in ideal conditions. My 5200 packs are a few years old and it’s fair to say they don’t owe me anything.

As was pointed out, weight is killer. So your times will be lower than mine just because of the weight.

Switch to a 4s battery. More bang for the buck. 2200 or 3000mah would probably be a good middle ground of power vs weight. Your milage may vary.

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If your goal is longer flight time, sure it is. Or 6S. But the components, which usually go along with a cheap F450 build, typically are not capable.

I agree with dkemxr, you cannot just replace a 3S battery with a 6S without taking care about the other components. Normally that would destroy some components.

To be able to help you we nee at least to know:
-What is the weight without battery?
-Did you use original DJI components or other ones?
-Which propellers do you use?
-Which motors do you use?
-Which ESCs?
-What is the mass of your camera incl gimbal?
-Which battery is it exactly? A 50C rated battery do not need to be so heavy because some batteries are just much higher rated than they really are.

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  • The weight without the battery is approximately 1.2kg
  • I use other components / non-DJI (bought from Aliexpress in a kit)
  • 1045 propellers (cheap ones)
  • 15$ each motor, A2212 / 13T 1000KV motors
  • Noname ESC’s which came in the kit with the motors and fc
  • I ordered a gimbal, still waiting, the weight of camera + gimbal is approx 260g
  • The battery is this one

What battery do you recommend me to buy? I would like a gensace tattu battery, I think they are pretty good!

With this weight plus 374g for that battery it’s already too heavy for 3S power and you want to add 260g? Re-build for 4S power.

Is this similar to the kit of parts you bought?

Yes, other ESC’s but same motors! But in the kit there was also the apm and other stuff. I think it was this kit!
All my components support 4s power, rebuild because of weight?

You made the wrong motor choice and an obsolete APM? But anyway yes the weight. Don’t choose a 4S battery much heavier than that 3S you have.

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Yes, I have an obsolete APM, but that’s because I didn’t know what to buy and went with links from online drone building tutorials. I made a custom locking mechanism for the motors and they work fine, the ESC’s support 4S, at least it says that. So what do I do know? Maybe I can find a 4s lipo that weights less than 400g and has 2000-3000mah capacity and at least 100A max current! Is that possible?

There are 4S 3700mah batteries in that range. You won’t get much if any increased flight time but at least the thrust/weight will be right if you mount that gimbal and camera.

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But why the flight time will not be increased? What is the problem? Motors, ESC’s or Weight?

Purchase a license to eCalc, it’s cheap insurance that the craft you build will meet expectations.


So still, I don’t want to reubild my current quad, it flies fine! Just want to increase flight time, any tips on that? But please answer, is that the weight that is keeping me from longer flight times? And how to reduce weight?

For some basic flight time calculations with common components you don’t need a eCalc licence. BTW it is not as accurate as when you work with the tables from the motor manufacturer.

I have built a dozen or more multirotors from 3" to 16" and it has always predicted fairly close.


Before you follow all these recommendations about changes to 4S, I tell you about my 3S quad.
It also flies with 2212 (T-Motor 2212 980kV) motors but 11x5 props (just a small difference to yours) and 3S 5000 or (new) 3S 6500 at 1,7kg TOM. Hover power is about 60% and flight time now around 12-15min with 3S 5000 or 15-18min with 6500 so not a problem with 3S and it also flies well. So it is possible with 3S. I don’t know why you have such a short flight time.

So first I would check the following three things:

  • How is your battery warning set? Which Voltage? Maybe it starts much too early
  • How many milliamps do you load into the battery after a flight?
  • The reason why many suggest to change to 4S battery is because they think the thrust would not be enough with 3S. So can you check the logs and see what is your motor PWM for hovering? Or also check current and voltage if you have the APM power module installed when you hover. Then we know if there is a possiblitly to increase flight time with your setup or if it is already at its limit.

Then you can start thinking about which component you have to change to increase flight time.

  • Your battery is not too heavy because of it’s 50C rating. My Hacker topfuel 3S 5000 weights exactly the same and has only 20C rating. But there are already better batteries on the market.
  • In my case, a 6500 3S battery increased the flight time without reaching a critical hover power.
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