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The need for a heavy lift drone is fairly common because of the nature of many businesses worldwide. Luckily, technology has developed to a point which drones no longer are fragile aircrafts incapable of lifting high payload items. As you will see through our article, there is an ever increasing number of drones that can carry things, heavy things.
Right off the bat, there is no single answer to a question: how much can a drone lift.
This is a dynamic industry and records are being broken every day. At the bottom of the article, we made a current list of heavy lift drones, all of them can even carry a person (or couple of them). Of course, these are non-consumer drones and the list is comprised for fun and entertainment, rather than as purchasing advice.
Today drones are very useful tools in the arena of movie-making and search and rescue operations. Drones are now able to navigate through areas such as cities full of skyscrapers and sweeping landscapes like canyons and record in 4k.
Many people think that drones can’t carry a heavy photographing camera. However, they are wrong. UAVs of modern day are not limited only to GoPros and other action cameras and there is a strong drone out there capable of lifting the heavy camera.
This feature allows you to capture amazing aerial footage. Many professionals and even amateurs quickly found out that they want more than just a GoPro camera, and this is where a heavy lifting quadcopter can be very useful.
You can use any high-end photography and videography camera to capture the most amazing images and the most beautiful videos without any problem. It is important to note that such powerful drones have big lift capacity and are also capable of lifting other heavy objects and they are not only limited to cameras.
The flight time due to battery charge goes down as the weight that is carried increases. The flight time has been stuck at around 25-27 minutes for a standard consumer drone. That flight time for the most part is cut in half if you buy a large multicopter or heavy payload UAV.
However, this can play out to be a very necessary evil. Many flyers have discovered that you can do a lot within 13-minute window when you are looking to capture epic footage.
Here are five of the best heavy lift drones that we deemed worthy enough to feature. But how much can a drone carry?
Multicopters on our list can carry up to 20kg of weight. On the other hand, an average quadcopter can carry less than 1kg.
Table of best Heavy lifting drones :
|Model||Max Lifting Weight (kg)||Range (km)||Flight Time when Loaded (min)|
|Yuneec H920 Tornado||1.6||5||24|
|DJI Matrice 600||6||5||16|
|Freefly Systems Alta 8||9||2||16|
|DJI Agras MG-1||10||1||24|
As with any of our similar guides, we will do two types of lists: one is where we list largest commercial drones that semi-professional and hobby pilots are likely to buy; and the second list where we mention actual largest drones that are mostly used by professionals from certain industries (filmmakers, delivery companies, military, firefighters) and can’t be bought by regular citizens.
The second group is of less interest to our readers and it can be rather classified as entertainment and fun facts than useful tips.
- Dimensions: 797 x 920 x 461 mm (31.4 x 36.2 x 18.1 inches)
- Wingspan: 920 mm (36.2 inches)
- Weight: 5000 grams (11 pounds)
- Drone Lift Capacity: 1600 grams (3.53 pounds)
- Battery: 22.2V 8800mAh Li-Po 6S
- Flight Time: 24 minutes
- Controller Frequency: 2.4GHz
- Operating Range: 2000 meters (6561 feet)
- Camera Resolution: 2MP
- Video Resolution: 1080p
- Maximum Speed: 21 m/s (47 mph)
- Maximum Flying Altitude: 4000 meters (13123 feet)
When choosing the right drone, Yuneec is always a great brand choice. That’s the case with the Tornado H920, their new heavy lifting drone. Many users claim that this is one of the best aerial photography drone out there and with a catchy name, it has already captured the hearts of many pilots.
The heavy lifting drone is powered by a powerful 8800mAh Li-Po battery and has a flight time of about 24 minutes. The Tornado H920 weighs 5000 grams and it is one of the heavier drones on the market.
What’s most interesting about this octocopter is its transmitter. It features a 7-inch Android tablet on top that serves for live monitoring and OSD information among other functions. The drone can go up to 2000 meters away from its transmitter.
In addition to that, the Tornado H920 also comes pre bundled with the GB603 gimbal that supports the amazing Panasonic GH4 camera. This feature makes this drone perfect aerial platform for it.
The Tornado H920 also has a retractable landing gear and failsafe folding arms. Its frame and arms are made of carbon. This large drone also has a wide array of useful features like air pressure sensors, auto takeoff and landing and failsafe auto return to home.
The build quality is nothing of spectacular. However, we are already used to such perks from Yuneec’s drone models and that does not come as a big surprise. As far as color goes, the Tornado H920 is only available in black.
DJI Matrice 600
- Dimensions: 1668 x 1518 x 759 mm (65.7 x 59.8 x 29.9 inches)
- Weight: 9600 grams (21.2 pounds)
- Wingspan: 1133 mm (44.6 inches)
- Battery: 22.2V 4500mAh Li-Po 6S
- Flight Time: 16 minutes
- Controller Frequency: 2.4GHz
- Operating Range: 5000 meters (16404 feet)
- Payload Capacity: 6000 grams (13.23 pounds)
- Maximum Speed: 18 m/s (40 mph)
- Maximum Flying Altitude: 2500 meters (8202 feet)
The DJI Matrice 600 is another awesome product by DJI. DJI is one of the most renowned drone manufacturers. They have redesigned their old model after the success of Matrice 100 and designed a brand new heavy lifting drone.
The DJI Matrice 600 is DJI’s new heavy lift drone. It is designed for industrial applications and aerial photography. It is very important to note that the Matrice 600 modular design is very easy to assemble.
This drone will operate efficiently without any issues despite the conditions in which is being used because it is equipped with the dust proof propulsion system and actively cooled motors.
This drone also comes with a powerful 4500mAh battery and has a flight time of about 16 minutes. The Matrice 600 uses sine-wave driven intelligent ESCs to ensure it performs effectively, safely and accurately. On the other hand, A3’s self-adaptive flight systems adjust flight parameters based on different payloads.
The Matrice 600 is a large drone and is designed to be compatible to a wide host of powerful DJI technologies to increase its maximum performance. These technologies are the Lightbridge 2 transmission system, the A3 flight controller, battery management system and intelligent batteries.
If you are wondering about the DJI Matrice 600 control range you will be amazed by it. Depending on flight conditions, this quadcopter is capable of flying as far as 5000 meters.
As it was mentioned earlier, the DJI Matrice 600 is compatible with Lightbridge 2 software. You will be very pleased with this feature if you are a professional photographer or filmmaker. This drone has been built from the ground to meet the requirements of professional broadcasting. It offers high frame rates and High Definition live streaming (FPV).
Also, USB, 3G-SDI and mini-HDMI ports support video output at up to 1080p/60fps or a broadcast standard output of 720p/59.94fps and 1080i/50fps. The DJI’s Go app allows you to get flight data such as transmission strength, redundancy status, battery status, live HD view and much more.
The DJI Go is also the control centre for the camera. It gives access to ISO, shutter speed, photo and video capture on any Zenmuse X series camera and remote focus.
On top of all this amazing modern technology, the DJI Matrice 600 integrates a Zenmuse camera and gimbal. However, it is also compatible with Ronin-MX gimbal and many other professional cameras. Practically and professional camera and gimbal can be attached to the Matrice 600.
This feature together with the best and newest UAV technology makes the Matrice 600 the perfect camera drone for professional purposes. The DJI Matrice 600 maximum carrying weight is 6000 grams.
- Dimensions: 227 x 212 x 210 mm (8.9 x 8.3 x 8.2 inches)
- Weight: 1330 grams (2.9 pounds)
- Wingspan: 1045 mm (41.1 inches)
- Battery: 20000mAh Li-Po
- Flight Time: 15 minutes
- Operating Range: 2000 meters (6562 feet)
- Payload Capacity: 6800 grams (15 pounds)
DJI is synonym of high quality and innovation and they never cease to amaze us with their exceptionally wee-designed drones. The DJI S1000 is classified as an octocopter and represents a proper powerhouse in their lineup.
The S1000 is specially built for lifting extremely heavy objects and is one of the top heavy lift drones.
This feature makes it effective across a wide array of scenarios. This drone can carry 6,800 grams in addition to the weight of its built-in components. This drone payload makes it capable of carrying an average DSLR camera. On the other hand, this will definitely reduce its flight time.
The DJI S1000 is equipped with a very powerful 20000mAh battery and has a flight time of about 15 minutes. This drone can be flown up to 2,000 meters away from you. These features clearly justify its relatively high price.
The DJI S1000 looks amazing. AS far as the color goes, this drone is available in black. However, in addition to its awesome looks, this drone also has additional features, such as OSD and DJI Lightbridge digital video downlink feature, foldable wings and retractable landing gear.
The DJI S1000 does not come with a built-in camera. However, the drone is compatible with external cameras, which can simply be attached to the drone’s main body via a compatible stabilization gimbal.
You can mount plenty of motorized gimbals on it, including the Zenmuse Z15. These gimbals when combined with the Cannon 5D Mark III will give you the best aerial photography platform currently available on the market.
It works with a number of professional transmitters too. However, the DJI’s A2 is recommended for the best results. This transmitter is great because even if one of your rotors stops working in air, it is guaranteed to work perfectly.
All things considered, you simply cannot steer away from this drone if you are planning of running a successful aerial photography business.
Freefly Systems Alta 8
- Dimensions: 1000 x 1145 x 220 (39.4 x 45.1 x 8.7 inches)
- Weight: 6.2 kg (13.6 lb)
- Wingspan: 1145 mm (45.1 inches)
- Battery: 22V 48000mAh Li-Po 6S
- Maximum Flight Time: 10 minutes
- Maximum Gross for Takeoff: 18.1 kg (40 lbs)
- Maximum Payload: 9.1 kg
- Flying Altitude: 2000 meters
- Controller frequency: 2.4GHz
- Operating range: 2000 meters
Freefly systems have announced an 8-rotor UAV called the Alta 8.
They have designed and built an intelligent, dependable, innovative, and agile octocopter. The Alta 8 can fit in a backpack and it is one of the most foldable and easier to carry drones available on the market today. Many users claim that this is probably the most packable drone in its class because all its propellers and arms can be folded inside.
This drone is suitable for any professional camera, other devices and even heavy things. The Alta 8 is perfect for those people who are looking for a drone to easily carry around long distances, either for your videography and photography projects or to carry other objects beside camera.
The precise positioning is one future that any flyer will find very helpful on this drone. Even in extremely difficult weather conditions, the Alta 8 is able to hold position by using the latest in GPS technology and fusing that data with Freefly’s IMU and Barometer.
The SYNAPSE flight controller takes readings from GPS, barometer and accelerometers. After that it fusses them together to create a high-bandwidth height control flight mode. Other useful features include Autolanding and Return-to-Home.
It is very important to note that Alta 8 is capable of carrying up to 18kgs in weight. Also, it is powered by a very powerful 48000mAh and has a flight time of about 10 minutes with a 6kg payload.
The Alta 8 is the first octocopter capable of carrying camera on the top of the airframe and with SkyView technology you can explore a completely new world of photographing and filmmaking possibilities. Flyer is able to command up to a 45 degree angle, which allows smooth, dynamic and precise control of camera movement.
As it was said earlier, the Alta 8 is especially designed for video makers and photographers travelling long distances and are in need for easily foldable drone. With this drone, ground views and sky views will be easy and professional.
DJI Agras MG-1
- Dimensions: 1471 x 1471 x 482 mm (57.9 x 57.9 x 18.9 inches)
- Weight: 8800 grams (19.4 pounds)
- Wingspan: 1520 mm (59.8 inches)
- Battery: 12000mAh
- Flight Time: 24 minutes
- Controller Frequency: 2.4GHz
- Operating Range: 1000 meters (3281 feet)
- Payload Capacity: 10000 grams (22.05 pounds)
- Maximum Speed: 22 m/s (49mph)
The DJI Agras MG-1 is perfect for you if you are an innovative farmer who is turning to technology to lower their production costs.
This heavy lifting drone is capable of carrying up to 10kg of liquid payloads, such as fertilizers, pesticides and anything else you would like to spray your crops with. However, the thing that really sets this drone aside from its competitors is its work rate.
This drone is powered by a very powerful 12000mAh battery and it is very agile. The MG-1 can get the job done 50 times faster than manual spraying and has a flight time about 24 minutes. Also, the Agras MG-1 can be flown up to 1,000 meters away from you.
These features make this drone an excellent investment that will surely pay off in the years to come. The Agras MG-1 weighs about 8800 grams and it is one of the heavier drones available on the market today. Also, with a wingspan of 1520mm, it is on the bigger end. As far as the color goes, this drone is only available in white.
At a top speed of 22.0 m/s, the Agras MG-1 is pretty fast compared to most drones. As we said previously, this heavy lift quad is able to carry up to 10kg of liquid payloads and in a matter of 10 minutes it can spray an area of about 4000-6000 m2. That is some envy-causing lift capacity.
That’s about 7-10 acres per on hour. When compared to the traditional ways, that is absolutely unbelievable.back to menu ↑
So if you ever wondered how much weight can a drone carry – now you have your answer.
You probably didn’t think that that it is possible that drones are already able to carry so much weight. You probably didn’t know that you could take your favourite camera to the sky if this is your first time diving into professional aerial videography and photography.
As you can see, practically any camera can be adapted and carried on one of these high payload drones. This means that you are not limited to action cameras like GoPro. We hope that we could help you understand just what a high payload drone can accomplish. Enjoy flying!back to menu ↑
Top non-consumer drones that can carry heavy weight:
|Model||Size||Use||Flight time||Range||Weight capacity||Weight|
|Griff Aviation 350||265 cm long||cargo drone||45 minutes||several thousand km||440 lbs||unknown|
|AT200||38 ft. long||cargo drone (used in China)||several hours||2000km||1.5 tons||1.5 tons|
|K-Max||51 ft. long||military cargo drone (retrofitted helicopter)||several hours||several thousand km||7,000 lbs||5,000 lbs|
|Feihong 98||41 ft. long||commercial cargo drone||several hours||1200km||1.5 tons||7,000 lbs|
|Hermes 1500||31 ft. long||military surveillance drone||several hours||several thousand km||unknown||4,000 lbs|
|General Atomics Avenger||44 ft.g||military strike drone||several hours||several thousand km||unknown||60,000 lbs|
|Northrop Grumman RQ-4/MQ-4C||48 ft. long||military surveillance drone||several hours||several thousand km||unknown||33,000 lbs|
|Divine Eagle||59 ft. long||military surveillance drone||several hours||several thousand km||unknown||50,000 lbs|
Classic, popular commercial drones like DJI models can’t carry much weight. At most, they can hold the weight of an action camera and gimbal.
However, drones for professional use can often lift impressive weight with more than 10 or even 15 kilograms of lifting power. All those drones are outstanding machines built specifically for precise flight and heavy lifting.
The Griff 300 can carry incredible weight of 300kg but many would argue if it is a drone in traditional sense of the word. It actually gets its name from the number of kilos it can lift and carry. Converted to U.S. measurements, the drone can lift up to 660 pounds, including the drone’s own 165-pound weight. The drone can then fly with its cargo for 45 minutes, according to Griff Aviation.
On average, classic professional drones used for filming or in agriculture can carry 18kg of weight (40 lbs).
Yes, there are. The above mentioned Griff300 could theoretically carry 2 adults since its payload is 300kg. However, it costs $250k, not really something to buy as a gift for your friend.