We are constantly adding to and revising our resource information based on suggestions from our community.  We welcome your feedback!

If you are serious about getting starting with drones as a hobby, a great place to start is by signing up for our Tiny Whoop Drone Build & Fly Workshop.

Basic Components of a Drone

Examples of Drone Parts, Kits & FPV Gear

Suggested Beginner Videos

Simulators 

Learn before you fly by utilizing a downloadable simulator program.  Here are some suggestions.  Please note that these may require a purchase.

Considerations When Buying Your First Drone

  • Price – Do you want to get a toy or a serious drone?
  • Indoor or outdoor flying?
  • Piloting ability & age – Is this for a child to play with briefly or for an adult to use for recreational flying?
  • Use – Do you want a drone that will follow you around, fly indoors, outdoors, take photos/video, or race?
  • Durability – All drones crash at some point – even the experts crash – Do do you want something that will bounce off the walls or will you be able to fix or replace a broken part?

Drones & Kits For Beginners

  • Syma X5C – cheap, easy to learn, toy drone for beginners/kids at a extremely low cost
  • FPV Drone Racing for under $300
  • Our suggestion for the serious beginner – Tiny Whoop!  We do not offer “kit” suggestions as components and prices change extremely often.  Our choices for our build workshops change based a variety of factors including current prices and availability.

Best Practices

  • Pictures & Privacy
  • Where to Fly and Where Not to Fly
    • No Fly Zones – be aware of where flying is allowed and not allowed.  Know your proximity to local airports and FAA No Fly Zones before attempting to fly.
    • Flying in local parks –  We suggest you take the utmost care when flying in any public park.  Most parks do not have drone specific postings – YET.  As drone use continues to grow – we predict any posting will likely be due to an incident, complaint or series of either.   Parks typically post rule changes after they have had an issue.   Be courteous, fly safe & obey all postings, local laws, and directions given by park department employees. Be courteous to others enjoying the park and have a spotter at all times!
    • Know Before You Fly (a very important link!)

Commonly Used Online Retailers

Whether you wish to purchase a complete drone, a kit, or parts, here are some online sources used by some of our volunteers and friends.

  • GetFPV
  • Amazon
  • Banggood

Drone & Flyer/Pilot Registration Info

3D Printing Parts

Many drone parts and accessories are 3D-printable.  Whether you choose an online design or design your own, 3D Printing is readily available at MakerSpaces, FabLabs, Public Libraries as well as through a variety of online sources.  Locally, Utica3D.com, prints for a fee.  Some area makers, STEM groups, robotics teams, colleges and schools have 3D Printers where services or use can be negotiated.