The popularity of piloting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), drones, is growing increasingly popular for commercial, artistic, and exploratory purposes, and for the enjoyment of amateur hobbyists. As is the case with so many other pieces of mechanical equipment, the more devoted you are to the care and maintenance of your drone, the more consistently, efficiently, and dependably it will operate for you.
For the most part, the maintenance of a drone is pretty basic. They should be given a pre-flight check before use and a post-flight cleaning and examination. Doing so generally doesn’t take all that much time but proves to be an excellent investment of time. The following is an overview of basic drone cleaning and maintenance tips that don’t require any specialized technical knowledge of the drone motor or its function, but will keep your drone in the air longer and performing better when it’s up there. It will also almost certainly save you a good bit of money in the long run.
- Begin by checking the drone itself. Ensure that you have all of the necessary equipment and that the home point is set.
- If you’ve got a camera on your UAV, be sure the lens cap is removed and that the SD card is present.
- Make sure the onboard compass is calibrated and that the appropriate flight mode is selected; check signal and satellite strength, if applicable.
- Check the drone propellers. Be sure that they spin freely but are appropriately tightened.
- Check that the batteries are properly fitted and that they are an appropriate temperature.
Do environmental checks too. Let anyone near you know that you’re going to be flying a drone, and be aware of all possible obstacles, including trees and power lines, etc. Definitely be sure that you are in a safe, legal flight zone. If you’re flying your drone in an area shared by commercial, private, or passenger aircraft, you’re not only risking considerable legal jeopardy, but more importantly, risking the lives of those in the aircraft. Fly your drone only where it’s appropriate and always exercise reasonable caution.
Perhaps the most important feature of post-flight drone maintenance is propeller care.
- Propellers should be cleaned after every flight. A good toothbrush or comparable small cleaning brush is great for propellers. As accompaniment to the toothbrush, some drone pilots swear by toothpaste as a cleaning medium. They brush the propellers free of any dirt or grime with the toothpaste and wipe it off with a lightly-moistened microfiber cloth, ensuring that the propellers are totally dry afterward. Others prefer isopropyl alcohol.
- After the props are removed, clean the gears as well. Obviously you don’t want to get any toothpaste on any gears or any moving parts. Those can be cleaned with another (toothpaste-free) toothbrush or other small brush. Cans of compressed air can be helpful as well. Although be careful not to spray those too close to or too long at the gears. They can damage delicate mechanisms by freezing them.
- Before returning the propellers to their housing, check them for any warping or hairline cracks, particularly near the hub. The easiest way to do this is to lightly bend them. If you note any cracks, warping or any other issues, throw the propellers away and get new ones. Investing in some new propellers, even the most expensive ones, is literally a very small price to pay when compared to a crashed drone that was worth many hundreds of dollars.
For over 40 years, XOAR has been recognized as an industry leader for their innovation and the fantastic quality, efficiency, and precision of their RC propellers and the rest of their UAV accessories. Their use of leading-edge technology and the best material, engineering, and manufacturing has further established that reputation. Their specialization includes propellers for LSA, ultralight aircraft, industrial UAVs, Civilian Aviation, commercial applications, mid-to-large size UAVs, RC Airplanes, and more. XOAR’s propellers are noted for their quietness in flight, superior agility, low air friction, and excellent performance overall in flight.
Soar to greater heights with your drone hobby or business, at www.xoarintl.com