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How to calculate quadcopter flight times

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If you have a quadcopter and want to know how to calculate quadcopter flight time, here will be explained with a formula about Quadcopter battery calculator, which is a resultant experience of several factors like the lipo battery capacity, the wind speed, flight load, average amperage draw, weather conditions, etc.

Quadcopter battery calculator

Quadcopter battery calculator formula

Quadcopter flight time =(Battery Capacity * Battery Discharge /Average Amp Draw)*60

Flight Time Calculator


Battery Capacity: mAh


Average Amp Draw: A

Flying time in minutes 80% rule:%

Flight Time: Minutes

Introduction calculator formula

For calculate your quadcopter flight time, you have to know three factors: Battery Capacity , Battery Discharge and Average Amp Draw as below.

Choose the right battery is good for increasing your quadcopter flight time, Please check out Best Drone Battery Choosing Guide

Battery Capacity:

As we know, Bigger lipo battery can be powered more energy. In fact As the battery gets larger, the increase in flight time becomes ineffective, because of the weight of battery. But today we are not to discuss the matter. For calculator you have to take the battery’s capacity in amp hours, to convert from mAh to Ah, battery capacity divide by 1000. For instance, 1800mAh/1000=1.8Ah.
quadcopter flight times

Battery Discharge:

From lipo battery warnig will let you know that be too dangerous and be permanently damaged when voltage levels become lower then 20% and fully discharged. In respect of this, it’s common practice to not discharge your LiPo batteries below 20% mAh during flight; In other words, the effective capacity is only 80% that can be used during flight time. For instance, 1.8Ah*0.8=1.44A (effective capacity).

By the way, quadcopter flight times calculator base on the true battery Capacity or the non-oversized in capacity.

How to work out Average Amp Draw?

Before quadcopter battery calculator you work out the average amp draw, you have to know two things, one is about your carrying weight of your quadcopter which include battery weight. An other thing is the parameters of quadcopter motor, Read your motor instructions, you have to know how many amps one motor will be draw to produce 100g of thrust? This is the key points in the calculation of Average Amp Draw.

For example,
If you know each motor draws 1 amps to produce 100g of thrust. if your quadcopter take 2000g to flight, each motor will have to produce 500g (500g = 2000g / 4 motors) of thrust in order to hover. Then your quadcopter Average Amp Draw is 20AMPS ( 20AMPS =4motors * 500g/100g per 1amps);

An other way to work out the average amp draw, buy a smart lipo battery which will record lipo Amp Draw when quadcopter move on or steady hover in the sky, this calculator much more accurate than the frist one.

Quadcopter battery calculator

Make a conclusion for quadcopter flight time

For instance, I have a lipo battery 3s 3300mAh, I calculated the average amp draw of quadcopter to be around 20 amps, and I am making an assumption that 80% of battery capacity will is used, then the quadcopter flight time is 7,92 minutes.

Quadcopter flight times = (3300/1000mAh) * 80% / 20 amps *60 minutes = 7.92  minutes

Obviously this quadcopter battery calculator is a very simplistic calculator base on steady hover. For aerial photography work or FPV flying which the motors will have to spin faster, and thus pull more current. This higher current draw will reduce flight time and your flight times will degrade dramatically with about 75% or up to 50% of the calculated quadcopter flight time.

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12 Comments

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    March 30, 2016 at 1:36 pm

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    […] the high altitude locations. This would do great harm to your battery when you still having a same flight time as what you always done in a normal temperature. The voltage of the battery would drop very quickly […]

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    July 20, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    […] few months ago, I posted the article about How to calculate quadcopter flight times.The calculator formula is Quadcopter flight times =(Battery Capacity * Battery Discharge /Average […]

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  11. Flight Calculator

    May 24, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Hey nice post. I hope it’s alright that I shared
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    • Jack

      May 24, 2017 at 11:25 am

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