If you are new to the world of unmanned aircraft, you may wonder how big can drones be. Some of the best drones, after all, are fairly large, but is there a size cap for this technology? Keep reading to find out all about popular drone sizes.
- Drones come in various shapes and sizes, from mini-sized nano drones to larger drones meant for commercial use.
- The biggest drone, as of this writing, is a prototype designed by Boeing that weighs 750 pounds and is the size of a truck, though other large autonomous drones are out there.
- The largest drone available for purchase is the Matrice 600, which boasts a wingspan of 45 feet and is made for professional photography.
How Big are Drones?
Drones come in many shapes and sizes, depending on how the drones fly and other considerations. There are mini, or nano, drones for beginners, medium-sized leisure drones for regular consumers, and large commercial drones, if you are wondering how drones deliver packages.
No matter the size, drones must abide by the laws of physics, and battery life is always a consideration.
Boeing’s Flying Truck
Aviation giant Boeing recently manufactured a drone so large and illustrious that it is more of a flying truck than a drone. This beastly prototype is 15 feet long, 18 feet wide, and weighs a massive 747 pounds. Custom batteries power eight counter-rotating engines, each featuring six-foot-long blades. It can reach heights of several hundred feet and boasts a theoretical top speed of 70 miles per hour. The company is hoping to use this technology to rethink cross-country shipping, as it can transport up to 500 pounds, which is a huge departure from the sorts of delivery drones that Amazon and others employ.
Largest Retail Drone
Obviously, you can’t go out and buy Boeing’s prototype drone, but you can purchase a Matrice 600. This beast-sized drone has a wingspan of nearly 45 feet, can fly at heights of over 8,200 feet, and can fly at speeds over 40 miles per hour. The Matrice can carry 13 pounds of cargo and the robust battery system allows for nearly 20 minutes of flight time per charge. The Matrice 600’s range is also astounding, allowing for remote operation over 16,000 feet away from the operator. This drone is designed for high-end photography and has a high-end price tag to match, costing $4,000.
China’s Divine Eagle
China recently manufactured a prototype drone called The Divine Eagle, which boasts a wingspan of 50 meters, the ability to operate at high altitudes up to 79,000 feet, and reaches top speeds rivaling military fighters. The Divine Eagle was designed to detect stealth fighters and bombers.
How big can a solar-powered drone be?
This depends on the space available for solar panels on the chassis. Solar power is still in its infancy for powering drones, even commercial drones, though this technology is constantly improving.
What makes large drones appealing?
Large commercial drones are fun to look at and operate, as drone technology allows for some massive models to please drone hobbyists. In other words, a huge drone by a reputable drone company is just cool.
How big can a drone get?
It really depends on materials and the drone technology used in during the manufacturing process. There is no reason, however, that drone size cannot rival manned aircraft.
STAT: China’s Divine Eagle is likely able to soar as high as 79,000 feet, while the largest US UAV can fly only 57,000 feet high. (source)