Calculate Flight Time of LiPo Battery

Before we can calculate flight time, we need to know the average amperage the quadcopter will draw.  Once we have the average amperage draw we can then calculate flight.

To calculate flight time, take the battery’s capacity in amp hours, then divide that into the average amp draw of the quadcopter and then multiply it by 60.  The total is the flight time in minutes.

For Scout, I chose a 11.1 volt 30C 3000 mAh LiPo battery.  I calculated the average amp draw of Scout to be around 20 amps.  This will give me a flight time of 9 minutes.

Flight Time Calculator

Battery Capacity: mAh
Average Amp Draw: A
Flight Time: Minutes

28 Responses to “Calculate Flight Time of LiPo Battery”

  1. Rich says:

    Using your calculator at what level does that leave the battery.

    • Russell says:

      The calculation is based on the batteries capacity. The estimate time will leave the battery at 0mAh and the minimal cell voltage of 3.0 volts.
      Realistically you would want to have maybe 200mAh left on the battery to avoid premature failure of the battery.

    • Mitch says:

      So before you plug the numbers in, take off 20% to 30% of the batteries mah rating. For instance for a 2650 mah lipo, you would plug in 2650 X 80% or 70%, which would give you 2120 or 1855 mah.

  2. Omar says:

    How did you calculated the average current draw to be 20Amp? only the motors(Turnigy 2213) takes from 24Amp to 60Amp? Am i missing something here?

    • Russell says:

      The average current draw was calculated by having Scout hover and in the air and measuring the current draw. It take around 20 amps for Scout to hover. That means each motor was drew 5 amps. The Turnigy 2213 have an operating current range of 6-15 amps.

  3. John says:

    To preserve Lipos and prolong their life you should only discharge 80% of the available amps

  4. sam says:

    how you calculate average amp draw?

  5. Richard Stuart says:

    First your Calculator does the math correctly.
    For Example for a 5500 Mah battery and an Average Draw of 30 Amps

    It calculates: (6000 but leaving 500 Mah margin(left-over)

    5500/1000 = 5.5 Amp Hours

    5.5 X 60 = 330 Amp Minutes

    330 / 30 = 11 Minutes

    However, In your opening explaination you say:

    take the battery’s capacity in amp hours, then divide that into the average amp draw.

    What you actually need to do is:

    take the battery’s capacity in amp hours, then divide that by the average amp draw.

    Above, I converted to Amp Minutes and then divided by the Average Draw, you can also first divide by the Average Draw and then convert to minutes.

    Hope this helps all understand what is actually being computed/calculated.

  6. Anil says:


    What is the practically achievable highest flying time ever designed? Is there any ways or anyone has designed a copter which could fly more than 40-50mins. I would appreciate if you could tell me what are the hurdles for this.


  7. anand kjha says:

    is there any relation with propeller length?

    • Gairik Biswas says:

      Yes. Your propeller size will determine current draw, which will affect flight time. For long flight times, use a low KV motor with a 4s or 6s battery and 12-13 inch propellers.

  8. harsh says:

    can i used the 1800 kv motor with battery of 2700mah with 2c.

  9. ketan tejani says:

    Dear sir,
    We are use 8, 1300 kv bldc motor for multi copter and its maximum current rating is 50~60 amp and produce thrust is 1860~2400 grams, so how many mah battry is suitable for long flight time?
    Pleas riply on

  10. Jameel says:

    Hi there,

    I am a mechanical engineering student. I have compiled an entire report in drone component selection for my project and I am at the stage where I have selected the components based on my research.

    If possible I would like to get the combination of components checked or reviewed by someone in the field as I am unsure about the spec sheet I have generated. If anyone is able to assist I will put forward the specs or the contact details.

    Kind regards


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