The following is a guest post from John Saginario: FPV flyer, writer and host of the Wild Flyers podcast.
It’s that time of year – when retailers hope to lure in eager shoppers with promises of door busting deals on tech. And drone shoppers are no exception! This year, dozens of big name retailers and drone companies are offering some deep discounts.
Here’s a guide of some of the best deals, organized by the type of pilot most likely to have these items on their wish list!
The Drone Newbie
If you’re looking to pick up your first drone, or getting a gift for somebody who’s itching to fly… just know the internet is littered with lousy products and bad deals. It’s important to pick something that flies well and won’t give a novice user a lot of headaches — that’s a surefire way to get a budding pilot to give up for good.
DJI makes a great series of learning drones in the Tello, which is down to $79 ($20 off) at most retailers.
On the cheaper end, Walmart has a Vivitar Video Drone for $69, but be warned parts will be hard to come by if you suffer some bad crashes.
A better bet for the new pilot would be the Sky Viper series of drones, by a California company called Skyrocket. The quads themselves are virtually indestructible, they have altitude hold (which is a vital feature when you’re learning to fly,) auto-takeoff and landing, and parts are readily available and very inexpensive.
Target has the Sky Viper Scout for $29 on Black Friday. The company also offers more expensive drones that can connect to your cell phone and beam back live video, or can follow a predefined course via GPS. They’re available at major retailers.
The Drone Enthusiast
If you’re already flying and ready to take it to the next level, there are some great options and discounts out there.
Emax USA has a great promotion offering steep discounts on some very popular Bind-and-Fly and Ready-to-Fly drones. The super popular Emax Hawk 5 is down to $200. Just remember it requires a separate transmitter by FrSky (but you can add your own receiver if you fly a different radio brand, like Spektrum or Flysky.)
If you’re looking for something a bit smaller, the Babyhawk R 3” racer is also on sale for $140, slashing $15 off the usual price. Despite the name, both quadcopters are a great option for all pilots looking to fly something with a bit more punch.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, consider options from Parrot. On the low end, the Parrot Mambo will be available for under $60 on Amazon. It’s a great flyer for indoors or outdoors, and can be controller via your smartphone.
If you’re looking for something bigger, the Parrot Anafi is a direct competitor to the DJI Mavic, but at a lower cost. It’s been making waves in the industry, and is down to $549 on Amazon.
The Drone Racer
Most drone racers are looking for parts, not necessarily fully assembled quadcopters. As we mentioned, Emax USA is offering deep discounts on everything from their legendary ESCs and motors, to full stacks.
GetFPV and ReadyMadeRC, two other titans of the hobby, are offering discounts of 5 to 15% off orders. Race Day Quads is offering 10% off with the code “MOVINGSUCKS.” And Heli-Nation is offering 10% off on Black Friday, as well.
For smaller drones, BetaFPV is offering a 20% discount sitewide, on their widely popular 65x and 75x brushless micros (perfect timing as winter descends on the better part of the United States.) Newbeedrone, which makes some of the best “whoop” class drones on the market, is also offering discounts running now through Cyber Monday.
The Pro (or Semi-Pro) Photographer
Last but certainly far from least, drone-maker DJI is kicking off a serious round of discounts on everything from the Tello and Spark to the Mavic Pro, with deep price cuts.
You can score any of the Mavic line for $100 off, bringing the base Mavic Air to $699 and the Mavic Pro Platinum Fly More Bundle to $1299.
Best Buy is offering similar deals on the Mavic Air and Spark, if you’d prefer to shop in store or use those points you’ve been saving up.
eBay is also offering a good deal on Mavic Pro with 4K camera, down 24% to $599.
With no shortage of options, there is a good deal to be had for any kind of drone pilot this week. Happy hunting!
John Saginario is the host of the Wild Flyers Podcast (www.soundcloud.com/wild-