Drone colours - why?

Hello All,
A question has been bothering me since I first got interested in drones. The overwhelming vast majority of them are shades of grey / black / carbon fibre coloured - Why? Surely, if we are to maintain VLOS a brightly coloured drone would be better? Hi-Vis yellow, orange, red, pink, green and even blue can all be seen against trees and buildings and are no worse in the sky than what we have now.
All the brightly coloured drones that I have seen are aimed at the “toy” market.
And in the case of a downed drone, a colourful one would be easier to find.
So, is there a good aeronautical reason why drab colours are preferred, or is it a case of “we can only buy what they sell us”?

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That’s a really obvious, but interesting question. As you say, all of the popular drones are grey or black (look at the name of this community!!).

Brighter colours make a lot of sense but I wonder if the various manufacturers can’t agree on what is the best colour to make, and don’t want the complexity of stocking multiple different colours.

Maybe one of the manufacturers will launch some interesting colours soon :slight_smile:

Colours are subjective - they’d be the wrong colour for most people whichever colour they made them. So grey makes it easy.

For instance .:


It’s only since the Mavics DJI have gone Grey

And to be honest it’s a lot easier to see further away than the white phantoms were

I think it is so other companies can make colourful skins etc and make money, bit like ps5 skins, mobile phone cases. etc, Most companies are out to make as much money as possible, even though people at the top could not spend it in a life time, sorry off topic

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I don’t mind other vendors making money. I have an HS 720e and all I can find are skins for DJIs.

Will be the same reason most cars on the road are white, grey, or black even though a bright yellow car would be safest.

It’s the least offensive colour, and producing one colour is easier for stock management and keeping costs down.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if that particular shade of grey is the cheapest to produce probably requiring less dyes.

I imagine that even if they offered multiple colours, grey would be the most popular as it’s a ‘cool’ or modern colour plus for anyone wishing to discretely fly their drone it’s the easiest to hide :man_shrugging:

Being a bright colour wouldn’t help as much as you think, as you tend to be looking at a silhouette of the drone against a bright (although grey) sky HiVis tends to work on the ground or in water as you are looking at it against a dull or multi coloured background. This is why a strobe works on the drone as you are creating a light brighter than the background light.

As a side note research has shown that at sea in water HiVis pink is the most effective for being seen. Go figure.

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You keep telling yourself that if it helps you justify your pink purchase Steve :kissing_heart: :wink:

Anyone remember the Spark? That came in different colours. So did the OG Air, that had swappable top covers in different colours when it was launched.

@Kiltpin if you’ve not seen it, this might also be of interest: Have you wrapped your bird?

There may be a good reason for the bland colours.
When colours are added to plastic mouldings they often become harder and more brittle. It also increases manufacturing costs.
A drone is subject to a lot of stresses in flight, and the body needs to be able to flex constantly, prior to being dumped on the ground at the end of a flight, which can be enormously stressful on the drone and pilot! Being able to absorb some of the energy also helps to protect the sensitive electronics.

This is why RAF trainer aircraft are now painted black, instead of the earlier red & white scheme


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You can enrich your drone’s colour scheme with fluorescent sticky tape in various colours, as I did with my E58, because it is greeny-grey and difficult to see against trees.

I used Red for Port, Green for Starboard (in line with marine and aviation practice), Yellow on the Front, Blue on the Backside.

I also opened it up and fitted the same colours of LED as navigation lights (replacing the original rear red LED with blue) (it already has two good white headlights). The LEDs work very well for evening or night flying, as the drone’s orientation is always clearly visible.

Autel are made in 3 or 4 colours. But drone sized vinyl wrap is cheap enough.

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Free if you work for a company that makes it.


No pink there Steve mate? :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

With the thoughts of colours against the sky, as opposed to colours against the ground, maybe drones should have a dark underside skin and a bright top skin?

I think I’ll see if I can make a skin template for my Mini 3 Pro

:grin: there is it’s just out of shot. And it’s HiVis pink cos I wrapped a couple of Sach’s LiPos in it incase they come off in a crash.

Thanks All, for your answers and suggestions. I think that I am going to go with the Bannerman Idea -

In WW2, some reconaissance Spitfires were painted a very pale “Camoutint Pink”, which was an ideal colour against cloud cover.

Yes, “Stealth Pink” !

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In case it is useful: