How Much Weight Can A Drone Lift? – 4 Factors That You Must Know

There are plenty of drones available in the market with a variety specifications. They offer a range of weight lifting capacities.
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The answer to the question “How much weight a Drone can lift?” is,

“It depends”.

Sounds crazy! Yes, we know. But, it depends on few factors,

  1. Type of Drone (according to the purpose)
  2. Battery capacity
  3. Size and number of propellers
  4. Motors used in Drone

There are plenty of drones available in the market with a variety of mix-match of the above specifications. They offer a range of weight lifting capacities.

In this article, I will tell you about how the above specification affects drone weight lifting capacity and approximate weight lifting capacities for each class of drones.

Table of Content

Let us start with the few fundamental concepts associated with drone weight lifting,

What is Payload?

Drone’s weight lifting capacity is known as “Payload” in UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) community.

The payload is measured in terms of additional weight on Drones, such as the camera, GPS, sensors, and other additionally mounted accessories.

Note that the weight of the frame, battery, propellers, and motors is not included in the payload because these are the constructional components of a drone.

Types of Drone (according to the purpose)

2 Types of Drone Depending on the Purpose - How Much Weight Can A Drone Lift - ULTRAdvice

Drones can be classified in various ways according to the purpose and construction. For this article’s sake, we are going to consider the types of Drone depending upon their purpose.

The drones can be used for hobby or professional purposes.

Hobby drones are for learning drone flying, sports, photography, FPV, etc. and professional drones are machines specially designed for carrying loads, drop shipping, military, cinematography, mapping, farming, etc.

How much weight can a Drone lift? (Payload Capacity)

The weight lifting capacity or payload for each class of Drone varies drastically and depends upon many constructional features, including battery and number of the propeller.

For hobby drones, the weight lifting capacity ranges from 200 gm to 2 kg. This much weight is good to go for them, as in most cases, these drones are meant to carry small cameras, extra batteries, GPS, etc.

At the same time, for the professional drones, the payload capacity is 3 kg to 200 kg. You might wonder after hearing this much payload capacity, but the design of a professional drone is focused on only two things,

  1. Payload
  2. Maximum flying time

Few drones are smaller than the size of the palm of your hands. They are not capable of carrying any weight at all. Also known as Toy Drones.

The Mavic Mini 2 like hobby drone has the weight lifting capacity of 200 gm to 300 gm.

Drone’s payload capacity got a significant breakthrough after the launch of Griff 300. This Drone is capable of lifting 235 kg and can fly for 45 minutes. This Drone from Griff Aviation is capable of carrying humans from one place to another. That is an insane performance by a drone to this date!

Factors affecting Weight Lifting capacity of a Drone

With the increase in payload, drone designers face the challenge of decreased performance.

Because with added weight,

  • Flying time decrease
  • Flying range decrease

So to improve this decrease in performance, designers have to,

  1. Increase battery capacity
  2. Increase size and number of the propellers
  3. Use big and efficient motors
  4. Use a more sturdy and robust frame

It is clear from the above points that the use of efficient and quality components in a drone can massively improve the Payload capacity.

Let’s discuss the above factors in details,

1. Battery Capacity

Drones use LiPo batteries to deliver excellent performance. The flying time of a drone is the feature of battery capacity.

But with added payload, the flying time is drastically decreased. So to overcome this problem, professional drones use batteries with more capacity.

2. Propeller – Size and Number

Depending on the propellers, the drones can be classified into several categories,

  1. Quadcopter
  2. Hexacopter
  3. Octocopter

The Griff 300 is an Octocopter Drone meaning that it has eight propellers.

Griff 300 - How Much Weight Can A Drone Lift - ULTRAdvice

Increased propeller number and size improve the thrust of a drone, which let it lift more weight.

3. Motors

Mostly BLDC (Brushless DC) motors are used in drone making. They are efficient and more powerful than brushed motors.

The quality motors improve the thrust capability of drones.

Without motors and propellers, a drone cannot get off the ground [fly]. Both motors and propellers largely contribute to increasing the payload capacity of a drone.

4. Frame

With increased payload, it becomes vital to use a robust frame.

Generally, Carbon Fiber-reinforced Composites, Thermoplastics (polyester, nylon, polystyrene), and aluminum is used to make a drone.

Conclusion

I hope this article helped you to understand drone weight lifting capacity in detail. For more doubts, you can comment below. I would love to help.

If you are about to buy a drone for hobby purpose, then check out our following articles,

  1. Best Drones under $200
  2. Best Drones under $500

Still here, then let us know how much weight you want your Drone/UAV to lift by commenting below. Maybe we can suggest you a drone for that!

Pia Jacobson
Pia is a tech enthusiast and software developer. She is a DIY geek who loves 3D Printing and Drones. Passionate about travelling the world and designing and 3D printing her stuff. Recently started sharing her experience and knowledge about Drones and 3D Printers at ULTRAdvice. Lives in Austin.