As drone innovations progress, their ability to remain in the sky at a clip extends longer and longer.
DJI, the leader in drones, has always set the example for what a drone’s flight time should look like.
So, how long can a DJI drone fly?
The flight time of DJI drones varies depending on their size and other factors but most can remain in the air for about 30 minutes. The Mavic Pro’s flight time of 27 minutes is on the shorter side, while the Mavic 3 Classic’s 46-minute flight time is on the longer side.
If you’ve got questions about DJI drone flight times, I’ve got the answers.
I will reveal the flight time of every DJI drone in existence, even the discontinued models, so if you’re contemplating purchasing a drone, new or used, you know what you’re in for!
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
How long can a DJI drone fly?
In 2024, the average drone flight time is 30 minutes. More drone manufacturers, from Holy Stone to Yuneec, are building this flight time standard into their drones.
You should expect at least that amount of advertised flight time from an average DJI drone.
For example, the Mavic Pro can fly for 27 minutes, just under the 30-minute standard. The Mavic 3 Pro, which usurped the Mavic 3 Classic, has a flight time of about that as well.
Speaking of the Mavic 3 Classic, it remains one of DJI’s longest-flying drones, with an impressively longer 46-minute flight time. Few drones can touch that from any other manufacturer.
I’d be remiss not to mention DJI’s FPV drones, of which it has two: DJI FPV and Avata. These drones have the shortest flight times. Avata can fly for only 18 minutes, while the DJI FPV can remain airborne for 20 minutes.
However, FPV drones are a different beast. They’re not designed for long flights. I must mention them because they’re part of the DJI lineup, but to compare their flight times to those of a standard drone feels a tad unfair.
Here’s another point I must mention. There is a very real difference between the advertised and actual flight time.
DJI and other manufacturers test the drones in ambient conditions. You’d need to match those conditions exactly to maximize the battery life of your drone, and even then, it will always be a few minutes shorter than advertised.
In addition, in a real flight you never want to run the battery all the way down to zero, as that will damage the battery. This factor will also shorten the actual time you get to have the drone up in the air.
For example, you might get closer to 12 or 14 minutes from Avata than 18, and that’s normal.
How to improve a DJI drone flight time
Your drone flight time ultimately comes down to battery life, so when asking if you can make your DJI drone fly longer, what you’re actually asking is if you can extend its battery.
And the answer to that question is yes. Here’s how.
Fly in ambient conditions
Although you can’t avoid wind entirely, flying your drone closer to the ambient conditions DJI used when testing the model will replicate longer flight times.
Remember that you won’t get as long as advertised, but close enough.
Charge the battery before flying
A drone battery can only last as long as it has juice, even an advanced one like the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus.
You should always charge your batteries as close to 100 percent before launching your DJI drone.
The more accessories you have attached to your drone, the longer it will take to lift into the air and the more it will struggle to do basic maneuvers.
This strains the battery, draining it faster than if you reduced payload or flew the drone at its OG weight out of the box.
Use power-saving modes
DJI drones come with all the bells and whistles, but did you know some of these features can put an unnecessarily high drain on your battery?
Before each flight, consider checking which modes you can turn off.
If you feel like there are none, at least use the power-saving mode for as many features as possible. It will make a difference in your drone battery life.
DJI drones have the leading obstacle detection capabilities with features like the Advanced Pilot Assistance System or APAS, multi-directional obstacle avoidance sensors, and multi-directional visual assistance.
However, these features require battery power to work.
By avoiding obstacles as best you can on your flights, you’ll spare your battery for longer.
No temperature extremes
Today’s drone batteries may be awesome at withstanding more extreme temperatures on both ends of the spectrum, but testing the outer temperature tolerance of your drone will slash its battery life.
It’s one thing if you can’t help the extreme conditions, but if you have your choice, fly in tamer temperatures.
Don’t stray far from the controller
Your DJI drone has a remarkable advertised distance from its controller, but allowing it to fly too freely will put a damper on battery life.
Staying within range of the controller ensures stronger signals for more control and that you meet VLOS rules.
Keeping your altitude consistent goes a long way toward prolonging your time in the sky.
Even DJI drones succumb to a faster battery drain at higher altitudes.
The air thins, so the motors have a harder time keeping you in the sky.
Calibrate your batteries
Calibrating drone batteries is a fast, simple task that helps tremendously when extending your battery life.
You’ll know the battery’s capacity and voltage, and if it’s underperforming, you can make the call on whether to use those batteries or different ones.
Once you’re up in the air and realize your batteries aren’t performing optimally, there’s less you can do about it.
Another benefit of calibrating is that you can check for firmware and software updates, getting your DJI drone up to speed accordingly.
Bring spare batteries
You know the saying: it’s always better to have than have not. Keeping a few extra batteries on your person or stashed in your drone bag can come in handy if yours die faster than expected.
You should especially get into the habit of carrying additional batteries if you’re working commercially.
In those scenarios, it’s more than disappointing if your drone can’t fly for as long as anticipated. It could cost you a project or job!
Pick the right type of battery
Always use batteries designed for your DJI drone make and model. Don’t interchange batteries between models or use third-party options.
What factors can impact a DJI drone flight time?
Being aware of the factors that affect your drone’s flight time can also help you make smarter decisions about when, where, and how you fly.
The following factors can reduce flight time to well under advertised.
Flight packs include several batteries used at once, sometimes of varying types.
If the batteries in the pack have good chemistry, you can often increase your drone flight time beyond the advertised limit.
For example, solid-state batteries have excellent power and chemistry, increasing your DJI drone flight time.
Lithium polymer batteries also have decent chemistry and are another choice for flight packs.
One of the most common factors drone pilots encounter that can slash their battery life left and right is wind. I’ve already discussed how drone batteries are tested under ambient temperatures.
The closer you fly to those conditions, the better your drone battery will fare.
High winds are dangerous from more than a battery-draining perspective. It’s easier to lose control of your drone, often leading to disastrous consequences.
For example, you could cause property damage, injure somebody else, crash your drone, or lose it in the sea.
Most DJI drones are designed to be the lightest in their class or thereabouts. If your drone weighs under 250 grams, it will fly much further and longer than one that weighs 600 grams.
While heavier drones lack long battery lives, they are more wind-resistant and durable.
This goes back to my point from the last section, that extreme temperatures will hamper your drone battery.
Check your owner manual or visit the DJI website to learn more about the ambient temperatures your drone battery can handle.
Do your best to stick within those temperatures when operating and charging your battery. Keep in mind that where you store your battery when not using it is important.
You should always keep the battery in a cool, dry place away from direct sun and heat.
You know already that a drone that maintains a consistent altitude can fly longer than one operating higher, then lower, then higher again.
You can change your altitude as need be (and within legal limits, of course), but try not to do so erratically.
A power-to-weight ratio, also known as a thrust-to-weight ratio, determines your degree of drone control when doing acrobatic moves.
The general ratio most pilots use is 2:1, but this can vary depending on your drone.
Barometric pressure or density altitude affects the way your drone handles in temperature variations outside of the norm.
The greater the density altitude, the poorer the drone performance, which means a reduced battery life.
Rotor and propeller condition
The condition of your drone components is another major factor influencing battery life.
DJI produces top-notch parts, including props and rotors, but if these degrade, get them repaired or replaced sooner rather than later. They will reduce battery life.
Like all components of a drone, the battery can degrade with age.
As its condition worsens, so does its performance, leaving you with a drone battery that lasts less and less time for each subsequent flight. The only choice at that point is replacement.
DJI drone flight times – All models
How long will your DJI drone fly? To help you answer that question, I’ve compiled this handy list.
- Phantom 1 – Under 10 minutes
- Phantom 2 – 25 minutes
- Phantom 3 – 25 minutes
- Phantom 4 – 28 minutes
- Mavic Pro – 27 minutes
- Mavic Air – 21 minutes
- Mavic Air 2 – 34 minutes
- Air 2S – 31 minutes
- Air 3 – 46 minutes
- Mavic 2 Zoom – 31 minutes
- Mavic Pro – 27 minutes
- Mavic 3 Classic – 46 minutes
- Mavic 3 Pro – 43 minutes
- Mavic Mini – 30 minutes
- Spark – 16 minutes
- Tello – 13 minutes
- Inspire – 27 minutes
- Inspire 2 – 27 minutes
- Inspire 3 – 28 minutes
- Mini 2 – 31 minutes
- Mini 2 SE – 31 minutes
- Mini 3 – 34 minutes
- Mini 3 Pro – 38 minutes
- Mini 4 Pro – 34 minutes
- DJI FPV – 20 minutes
- Avata – 18 minutes