Early drones, and current toy drones, did not come with a GPS module installed. You only needed a remote controller and receiver to fly your drone, and this required a lot of skill, often more skill than the average drone pilot could master. Today, almost all drones come with GPS built-in. Along with GPS comes advanced and smart control features that make flying drones a breeze.
If you own a Yuneec drone, then you probably know how to fly it well already, and are enjoying the ease that comes with GPS and the associated intelligent features. But maybe you want to take things further and are wondering how you can fly your drone with the GPS turned off. How can you go about it?
You can fly a Yuneec drone without GPS using the Altitude Hold Mode, Stabilize Mode, or Manual Mode. With the GPS off, stand behind the drone so that you are facing the same direction as the drone. You will need to give the drone constant input to hold its position or fly where you want it to go.
In this article, we will explore everything related to flying your Yuneec drone with the GPS turned off.
Can my Yuneec drone fly with GPS off?
In the early days of the current drone age, most drones didn’t have GPS modules built in. Today, however, almost all the drones you’ll find in the market have GPS built-in, and for the most part, this has made flying a drone simpler than it used to be in the past.
The introduction of a GPS module on drones has made for steadier flights and better navigation. GPS is how most drones are able to hover in place – once they lock onto a GPS position, they use those GPS coordinates to stay positioned on the spot. GPS also prevents drones from exceeding the 400ft height due to the aerial routes of airplanes, thus keeping them out of danger.
» MORE: What Are GPS Drones?
So as you can already see, your drone’s GPS is extremely helpful in flying your drone more safely and easily. But, say you want to fly your drone with the GPS turned off. Is this even possible?
Yes, drones can definitely fly without GPS. This statement also holds for your Yuneec drone. If you turn off the GPS, you should be able to fly your drone. However, we should mention that flying your drone without GPS is much more difficult and requires a lot of practice. So, if you are just a beginner pilot, maybe hold off on flying your drone without GPS until you become more accustomed to drone flying.
Generally, flying your drone without GPS shouldn’t be a problem, but you should remember that your drone won’t be as stable as you are used to it being when the GPS is on. This means that you will have to actively control the drone yourself, which requires a lot of concentration and much more input from you on the control sticks.
This is a big challenge for beginners, but with sufficient practice, you can actively fly the drone, and no one will be able to tell the difference from a GPS-controlled drone. You must, however, have fast reflexes because the drone will move unexpectedly, as the wind will also affect the drone’s flight.
Flying your drone with the GPS turned off also means some features such as Return To Home will be inactive. This means you’ll have to keep an eye on your drone at all times.
If you are looking forward to flying your Yuneec drone with the GPS turned off, make sure you have practiced flying your drone a lot beforehand, or you may end up crashing your drone.
How to turn my Yuneec GPS off?
It isn’t typically recommended to disable GPS for any reason, especially if you are a first-time or inexperienced pilot. However, if you are an experienced pilot and can properly control your Yuneec drone in Angle Mode and don’t exceed any altitude/distance limits, you can disable GPS. Don’t turn off GPS unless you accept all the responsibility and liability for any crashes or flyaways that may happen.
So, with all that said, how do you turn off the GPS on your Yuneec drone?
- While your drone’s controller and the drone are powered on and connected (and the motors aren’t spinning), move the Proportional Control Rate Slider on the right side of the controller to the uppermost position.
- Move the right-hand stick all the way to the right and make sure it stays in that position until step 3 is completed.
- Move the Flight Mode Selection Switch from Smart to Home and Home to Smart mode 4 times in 3 seconds.
The GPS will be disabled, and your drone will emit a sound to indicate this. The GPS status on your controller will show disabled.
How to fly my Yuneec drone with GPS off?
If it’s your first time flying your drone with the GPS off, I recommend doing so in a large open area where you have nothing nearby to prevent your drone from getting damaged. You can fly your Yuneec drone with the GPS turned off with several modes. These modes include Altitude Hold Mode, Stabilize Mode, and Manual Mode.
The simplest mode with GPS turned off is Altitude Hold Mode. In this mode, the drone uses an air pressure sensor to maintain its altitude automatically. The downside is that drones in this mode will be affected by wind movement and will therefore require adjustment.
You can also use the Stabilize mode. This mode lets you fly your drone manually on all axes (roll, pitch, yaw, and throttle). In this mode, your drone won’t hold any position. If you make a controlled movement and take your hands off the joysticks, your drone will automatically level out the roll and pitch. It’s sort of semi-manual flying; you make your flight directions and leave the joysticks and the drone levels to a horizontal position.
The Manual Mode is mostly used for acrobatics, and it requires a lot of experience. In this mode, the drone does nothing by itself.
So with that said, how do you fly your drone with GPS turned off? You can use either the Altitude Hold Mode, Stabilize Mode, or Manual Mode. Make sure you are in a wide-open flying area and stand behind the drone so that you are facing the same direction as the drone. If your drone drifts off, you’ll have to give inputs to constantly hold its position in the direction you want it to go.
If you’re flying fast, this may cause it to lose altitude, so keep an eye out for this. Also, pay attention to drift from the wind, and other weather conditions.