Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
There is so much fun that comes with being outside flying a drone, whether it is a commercial one or a recreational one.
However, the weather factor should be considered when flying drones. Many people don’t know if flying a drone in the rain is wise or not.
However, there are many reasons why one would have their drone in the skies amid a downpour. This is more so for avid drone flyers, and this brings us to the question: Can drones fly in the rain?
The only drones that can fly in the rain are the industrial ones. This is because they are waterproof and can withstand adverse weather conditions. The case is different for consumer drones because they are not water-resistant, but some of them have a higher level of water resistance than others.
If you want to fly your drone in the rain, there are several factors you should put into consideration before launching your drone into the skies. This detailed article discusses if drones can fly in the rain.
Table of contents
Can Drones Be Flown in The Rain?
Drones are best-flown when the weather is clear. Nevertheless, not all days will be the same, and the conditions will not always favor you.
As much as it is risky for any electronic to come into contact with water, you have the option of flying your drone in the rain.
However, if you must be flying it in the rain, you must be prepared and aware that the drone battery will not last as expected since it will fly at an extra effort.
There is also a risk of the aircraft getting lost or crashing. Additionally, you also have to understand your drone and its features well.
The other thing that you should consider is the moisture of the landing pad, more so if you will be flying your drone when the weather is sunny.
What Happens When You Fly a Drone in the Rain?
Several things will happen when your drone comes into contact with rainwater. We have mentioned that it will crash or get lost. How does the crashing happen? Drones are made of electrical components, more so in the interior.
There are very high chances of a short circuit when the parts come into contact with rainwater, especially for the ones that have air vents.
The short-circuiting might happen on the power distribution board, motor, or controller. If this happens, there might be several consequences, including burning and melting of the wires, loss of signals, or loss of drone control leading to a crash.
However, as we mentioned earlier, most industrial drones have housing that protects them from water. The housing is designed with a tight case, and you can only know if your drone is in this category by looking at the International Protection Marking (IP) code.
How To Tell if a Drone Is Waterproof?
As already mentioned, the International Protection Marking or the IP will tell you if your drone is waterproof or water-resistant and the level of water resistance.
IP is indicated in 2 numbers. For instance, IP36. The first number shows the level of resistance against solid particles, and the second one shows the level of resistance against liquid.
The higher the number, the more resistant the drone is to water.
Is it Possible to Waterproof a Drone?
Waterproofing a drone is not only possible but easy. This is more so if your drone is not so advanced, but you will have to be technically skilled to waterproof it if it is advanced. T
Here are two methods through which you can do waterproofing. You can use silicone or acrylic.
However, the silicone coating is the best and easily available. Here is a tutorial on how you should go about it.
- Remove the drone battery.
- Open the drone up for easy accessibility to its electrical parts
- Thoroughly clean the circuit board using alcohol. This is to ensure that all dirt is removed and that the board will be well covered with a silicone coating.
- Apply the silicone coating using a brush but be keen, so the connectors may not contact the coating. If that happens, there will be an obstruction, thus hindering performance.
- Leave the drone for a day to dry properly.
- Check the areas where you might not have applied the silicone coating well and reapply.
- Once you are certain that all parts have been coated, spray the drone with the rust preventer on all the areas you didn’t coat.
- These areas include the image sensor, channel button, flight controller, USB port, and barometer.
Here is also a great video with good advice from Drone Mood:
What to do if your drone gets wet?
It is obvious that your drone will get wet if you fly it in the rain unless it is built waterproof or you have silicone-coated it. You also don’t have to fly your drone in the rain for it to get wet; sometimes, it may fall into the water by accident.
- Remove the aircraft from the water, but the first thing is to try other alternatives before jumping into the water. You can get it using a net since your safety is paramount.
- Remove the battery to ensure that it doesn’t get more damages. However, some drone models will go off automatically when they come into contact with water.
- Rinse it with lots of distilled water. This is important if your drone comes into contact with salty water. This is because distilled water neutralizes the effects of salt on your drone.
- Give the drone time to dry, maybe a week.
- Turn it on carefully and gently before putting back the top. Put the drone off immediately if you notice any short circuits, smell, or smoke.
- Contact your drone dealer or a technician if it fails to work. Remember to update them on how you tried fixing the issue.
Best Waterproof Drones:
Owning a waterproof drone is great since the weather won’t limit you. However, since the market has several models, it might not be easy to know which is the best.
I understand this well, and that’s why I must mention a few waterproof drones before concluding the article.
DJI Matrice 200 Series:
The DJI Matrice 200 Series drones are drones manufactured for serious drone users. For starters, they feature the M210RTK for surveying tasks, and they work with the Zenmuse Z30 XT camera for some of the best footage.
In addition, these drones have an IP rating of IP43. That means they are protected from particles or wires larger than 1 MM and water splashing at a vertical angle of 60 degrees.
This makes the Matrice suitable for complex tasks like windmill inspection, precision agriculture, firefighting, and other areas where they may encounter wetness.
SwellPro SplashDrone 3+:
With a waterproof rating of IP67, SwellPro is all you need for rainy weather. Although it is highly priced, this unit has a lot to offer thanks to its various features. Do you have any underwater pictorial missions? This drone is the best for that, and it won’t even brick.
Its sensors are out of this world, and you can be sure to have a smooth and safe drone flight.
If there’s one drone that had to feature on this list, it’s the DJI Agras. This is a drone designed to spray crops. As a result, it features a 30-liter tank, six powerful propellers, digital radar, visual monitoring system, and an AI Agricultural Engine.
Featuring an IP rating of IP67, this drone is protected against solid objects, dust ingress, and immersion of up to 1 meter. This drone could crash into a shallow water body, and the internal parts will remain intact.
Interested in more waterproof drones? Here are more options.
And there you have it. You can fly your drone in the rain so long as it’s waterproof. If you have already purchased one, you can coat it with silicon and make it waterproof.
You also know what to expect when you fly the drone in the rain and what to do if it gets wet. I hope this article has been helpful and instructive and that your drone flying moments will be an experience to cherish.