How Much Weight Can A Drone Lift? – Hobby & Professional

In this article, we will discuss approximate payload capacity for Hobby & Professional Drones. Also, the 4 factors that affects weight lifting capacity.
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Drone weight lifting capacity depends upon few factors.

  1. Type of Drone
  2. Battery capacity
  3. Size and number of propellers
  4. Motors used in Drone

Each drone has mix-match of the specifications mentioned above.

So, for every drone, weight lifting capacity differs from another.

In this article, I will tell you about how above factors affects weight lifting capacity and approximate payload for each class of drones.

Table of Content

Now without any further ado, let’s start,

What is Payload?

Drone’s weight lifting capacity is known as “Payload”.

Payload doesn’t include the weight of the frame, battery, propellers, and motors because these are the constructional components of a drone.

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

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.

But for this article’s sake, we are going to consider the types of Drone depending upon their purpose.

  • Hobby
  • Professional

Hobby drones are for learning drone flying, sports, photography, FPV, etc. And, a professional drone is a machine specially designed for carrying weights, 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 constructional parts like battery and number of the propellers.

Few drones are smaller than the size of the palm of your hands. They are known as Toy Drones and can’t carry weight.

#1 – Hobby Drone

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.

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

#2 – Professional Drone

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

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. It can 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 manufacturers face the challenge of decreased performance.

Because with added weight, you will notice decrease in

  • Flying time
  • Flying range

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 above factors in details,

1. Battery Capacity

Drones use LiPo batteries to deliver excellent performance.

The battery capacity decides the flying time of the drone.

But as the payload capacity increases, the flying time decreases drastically.

So to overcome this problem, professional drones use batteries with more capacity.

2. Propeller (Size and Number)

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

  1. Quadcopter
  2. Hexacopter
  3. Octocopter

The Griff 300 is an Octocopter Drone with 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

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.

Mostly BLDC (Brushless DC) motors are used in making of a drone.

They are efficient and more powerful than brushed motors.

The quality motors improve the thrust capability of drones.

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 drone frames.

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 DIY geek graduated from Virginia Tech University. She recently started sharing her experience and knowledge about Drones and 3D Printers at ULTRAdvice. Based in North Carolina.