How Fast Can a Drone Fly: 10 Different Types of Drone Explained

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Drones have captured our imagination with their aerial capabilities, but how fast can a drone fly? Well, the speed of the drone actually depends on the type of drone. But, on average, the normal drone can fly at a speed of 25 to 50 km/h.

This article is a complete guide to how fast a drone can fly and how far it can go, depending on the type of drone. 

Let’s quickly get into the details. 

How fast can a Drone Fly?

The speed of a drone really depends on what it’s built for. The average speed of a drone that is designed for photography, recreational use, and aerial exploration is 25 to 50 km/h.

But some of the higher-end consumer models can hit over 100 km/h (62 mph) when conditions are just right

Now, if you really want to see some serious speed, you’ve got to check out the world of racing drones. These purpose-built speed demons regularly clock over 150 km/h (93 mph) as they whip around complex courses. 

In actuality, a specially constructed racing quad called the XLR V3 Red holds the world record for the fastest remote-controlled drone at a blistering 224 mph (360 km/h).

But the crown for the overall fastest drone has to go to the military. While surveillance drones typically stick to a more modest 200–350 km/h (124–217 mph) for stealth and endurance, the armed combat variants can hit supersonic speeds over 500 km/h (310 mph) when they need to get somewhere fast

Of course, there are a bunch of factors that impact how fast a drone can fly. 

The drone’s weight, motor power, propeller size, and battery life all play a role. Aerodynamics is also key – a sleek, streamlined design cuts through the air way better than a clunky box. 

Environmental conditions like wind, altitude, and temperature can dampen speed, too.

And let’s not forget the legal side of things. In most places, drones are limited to under 160 km/h (100 mph) by aviation authorities unless you have special permissions. 

In Europe, the smallest class of drones is capped at 68.4 km/h (42.5 mph).

Types of Drones and Their Speed Ranges

First up, we’ve got the tiny tots of the drone world: nano and microdrones. These little guys are so small, they could practically perch on your finger! 

They usually weigh less than 250 grams and are used for fun indoor flying or short-range outdoor missions. With their petite size, they typically cruise at a leisurely pace of 10–20 km/h.

Next in line are the small and mini drones, weighing in at a featherweight of 2–25 kg. They’re the go-to for beginner pilots and can stay airborne for 20–45 minutes. These pint-sized flyers can hit speeds of 30–60 km/h, perfect for zipping around your local park.

[Video Credits @TomsTechTime]

Moving up the size scale, we have the medium drones. These mid-sized drones can weigh up to 150 kg and are often used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and collecting weather data

And finally, the large drones. These drones weigh over 150 kg. They can reach speeds of over 100–120 km/hour. 

Let’s not forget about the racing drones. These agile acrobats are built for one thing: speed. Stripped down to their bare bones, they can hit breathtaking velocities.

Check out this table of some popular racing drones and their top speeds:

Racing Drone

Top Speed (km/h)

Walkera F210


Eachine Falcon 250


ImmersionRC Vortex


Eachine Wizard X220S


Blade Mach 25


The XLR V3 Red set a mind-blowing 288 km/h as the current world record for the fastest racing drone in 2022.

Of course, speed isn’t everything. Your average consumer drone, like the popular DJI Mavic series, is designed more for stability, ease of use, and capturing stunning aerial footage. They typically max out at a respectable 65–70 km/h.

Here’s a quick comparison table of some popular consumer drones and their specs:


Max Speed (km/h)

Range (km)

Flight Time (min)

DJI Mini 4 Pro




DJI Air 3




DJI Mavic 3




Autel EVO II




What is the Fastest Drone Record?

The current world record for the fastest remote-controlled drone is a mind-boggling 224 mph (360 km/h)! That’s right, 224 miles per hour. 

To put that in perspective, that’s faster than a cheetah at full sprint, a Formula 1 race car, and even some small airplanes. It’s a speed that would make even the most seasoned adrenaline junkie weak in the knees.

Ryan Lademann’s expert hands piloted the custom-built racing drone known as the XLR V3 Red, which set the record in 2022.

How Fast Do Military Drones Fly?

Military drones are the eyes in the sky, keeping a watchful gaze over potential hotspots and gathering intel. 

They are designed for endurance and stealth, so they typically cruise at more modest speeds of around 200–350 km/h (124–217 mph).

These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are packing some serious heat, and they need the speed to match. Many of them can hit top speeds over 500 km/h (310 mph), with some even pushing past the 700 km/h (435 mph) mark!

Take the MQ-9 Reaper, for example. This hunter-killer drone can reach a top speed of 482 km/h (300 mph), making it one of the fastest military drones in the world. If you want, you can also read Drone Technology.

How Fast Do Racing Drones Fly?

Your average racing drone can easily hit speeds between 80-100 mph (130-160 km/h) when pushed to the limit. But we’re not talking about average here, are we? The real speed freaks in the racing world have taken things to a whole new level.

The current Guinness World Record for the fastest battery-powered drone is a blistering 224 mph (360 km/h)!

What modes should you fly your drone to reach top speed?

For most consumer drones, like the DJI Mavic series, you’ll want to engage Sport mode. This mode optimizes the drone’s responsiveness and agility, allowing it to reach its maximum velocity. On the Mavic 3, for example, Sport mode lets you hit a zippy 47 mph (75.6 km/h)

But sport mode is just the beginning. If you really want to go full throttle, you’ll need to take things to the next level with manual mode. This disables all the automated flight assistance and stabilization, giving you complete control over the drone’s movements.

Now, manual mode is not for the faint of heart. It requires some serious piloting skills to keep the drone from going haywire at those extreme speeds. But if you’ve got the chops, this mode unlocks the drone’s true top-speed potential.

Take the DJI FPV drone in manual mode; skilled pilots have managed to push it all the way up to 99 mph (160 km/h)!

What Makes a Drone Faster?

There are a bunch of factors that come into play when we’re talking about drone speed. It’s not just about strapping a rocket to the thing and calling it a day.

  1. Weight: This one’s a no-brainer. The lighter the drone, the less energy it needs to get moving and stay in the air. That’s why racing drones are stripped down to the bare essentials, shedding every gram possible to maximize their speed.
  2. Motor: The motors and propellers are the heart and soul of a drone’s speed. High-performance brushless motors can spin those props at insane RPMs.
  3. Battery: A high-voltage, high-discharge battery can provide the juice needed to keep those motors spinning at peak performance. But it’s a double-edged sword—a bigger battery means more weight, which can slow the drone down.
  4. Aerodynamics: Just like a sleek sports car, a drone’s shape and design play a huge role in its speed. A streamlined, low-drag body allows the drone to slice through the air with minimal resistance. 
  5. Flight Controller: The brain of the operation, a high-quality flight controller with advanced algorithms, can make split-second adjustments to keep the drone stable and on course, even at high speeds. 

Final Thoughts 

The speed of a drone comes down to what it’s built for. Consumer models top out at around 70 mph, while specialized racing drones have shattered records by exceeding 200 mph. Military drones balance speed and endurance, with some combat UAVs surpassing 300 mph for rapid strikes. 

Finally, a drone’s velocity hinges on optimizing factors like weight, aerodynamics, and motor power to achieve blistering speeds that defy expectations and push technological boundaries. 

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