Start with a Micro Quadcopter; Graduate to a Large Quadcopter

How Small Is a Micro Quadcopter?

Quadcopters sort of come in all shapes and sizes. Mostly sizes. From the mini or micro quadcopter to the largest quadcopter made, you have much from which to choose.

There is no definitive size limit as to what constitutes a micro or nano or pico or other small quadcopter, so I’m going to give you a new rule of thumb. I’m going to divide a group of quadcopters I’ve researched for size into three categories: micro, mid-sized, and large quadcopter.

Not everyone will agree with my groupings, but that’s not the point. The point is that there do seem to be three categories and that most quadcopters you’d be interested in owning will fall into one of those three.

You’ll have to take these categories with a grain of salt because unfortunately not all measurements are equal. Sometimes I could only find a diagonal measurement. Other times the length and width are given. Sometimes the length included propeller guards. Occasionally the quadcopter’s length was greater than its width.

In general though, you’ll find (unless I made a big mistake, in which case, let me know) that the length of a micro quadcopter is between 4.5cm (1.77 in.) and 20.5cm (8 in.). A mid-sized machine goes from 26cm (10.2 in.) to 38cm (15 in.). And the large quadcopters start at 45cm (17.75 in.) and go up from there.

What Are Some Small Quadcopters?

The table showing small quadcopters below is by no means an exhaustive list. It does show some of the more popular models to give you an idea of what’s available and to show you that, even among these micro quadcopters, there is quite a variety in sizes.

The smallest quadcopters are, as you might expect, also among the least expensive. The X12 Nano, U389, and Syncro can each fit in the palm of your hand. The Estes Proto-X aircraft are only a tad larger. The Hubsan X4 H107C is currently the smallest quadcopter with a camera in this group.

Hubsan X4 H107C
Hubsan X4 H107C

Micro Quadcopters

MakerModelSize (cm)Size (in.)
SymaX12 Nano4.51.77
EstesProto-X SLT52
Ares RCEthos PQ6.352.5
HubsanX4 H107L83.15
BladePico QX9.23.62
Ares RCEthos QX 759.53.74
Ares RCSpectre X103.9
EstesProto-X FPV11.34.45
HubsanX4 H107D11.44.5
WalkeraQR Ladybird V212.54.92
BladeNano QX 3D135.1
SymaX4 Assault144.7
BladeNano QX144.7
ParrotRolling Spider144.7
BladeNano QX FPV144.7
Blade200 QX14.25.6
SymaX11 Hornet15.26
SymaX11C air-cam15.26
TraxxasLaTrax Alias16.66.5
SymaX3 Pioneer207.87
Ares RCEthos QX 13020.58

Which Quadcopters Fall into the Mid-Sized Category?

It seems that, as you increase the size of a quadcopter, there are fewer from which to choose. This makes sense considering that larger machines are generally more expensive.

The mid-sized group includes some very popular quadcopters with cameras or camera capabilities. Here you’ll see the DJI Phantom 2 (and related models) and the UDI U818A.

Phantom 2 Vision with GoPro on gimbal
Phantom 2 Vision

Mid-Sized Quadcopters

MakerModelSize (cm)Size (in.)
HubsanX4 Pro2610.2
WalkeraQR X350PRO2911.4
DJIPhantom 2 Vision2911.4
DJIPhantom 2 Vision+2911.4
DJIPhantom 22911.4
Ares RCEthos HD29.211.5
Blade180 QX HD29.211.5
Ares RCEthos FPV29.211.5
WalkeraQR X350 Premium30.312
World Tech ToysMicro Supernova30.512.1
SymaX5 Explorers3112.2
SymaX5C Explorers3112.2
WalkeraScout X433.513.2
DJIPhantom 13513.8

How Big Does a Big Quadcopter Get?

The large quadcopter group starts at 45cm. The largest quadcopter in this category is almost twice that size at a whopping 87cm which is over 34 inches!

In this range is another classic – if you can call something currently less than 5 years old a classic  – the Parrot AR.Drone.

Parrot AR.Drone
Parrot AR.Drone

Large Quadcopters

MakerModelSize (cm)Size (in.)
DJIInspire 145.117.75
Blade350 QX346.518.3
WalkeraVoyager 347.318.5
ParrotAR.Drone 2.051.720.3
3D RoboticsIris+5521.6
SymaX6 Super Ship5622
WalkeraQR X8006224.4

Is There a Size That Is the Future of Quadcopter Flight?

Quadcopters of all sizes are currently popular. The size you want depends on how you intend to use it. It’s too early to say that one of these three arbitrary sizes is going to dominate the field of quadcopters. They all have their uses, and all categories will likely see improvements made in future models.

I rather doubt that quadcopters for hobbyists will get much smaller than those listed above though. Anything smaller than those would be pretty difficult to see. Those tiny machines are already approaching hummingbird size. How much smaller would you really want to go?

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