How Much Weight Can a Drone Carry?

Beth Huston Profile image

Written By:

Updated June 27, 2022

When you’re looking into the best drones on the market, you’ll often look at battery life and flight time. However, other capabilities come into play. Depending on what you’re looking to do with your drone, you might want to check and see the payload capacity. We’ll explain more below about how much weight can a drone carry.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The type of drone matters most when looking into how much additional weight it can carry.
  • Commercial drones and military models will have a vastly higher capacity for excess weight than smaller kinds of drones.
  • The factor that matters most is motor power since powerful motors can power a heavy payload drone.

Determining Drone Payload Capacity

The easiest way to determine how much additional weight your drone can handle is by figuring out what type of drone it is. The average weight a toy drone can carry will be vastly different from heavy lift drones’ impressive weight capabilities.

Insider Tip

Heavy-lifting drones can be used for all sorts of things, whether for drone delivery services or other professional purposes.

If you’re having trouble with your aerial vehicle after playing with the payload, you should read up on how to fix a drone that won’t fly.

The Maximum Weight Drones Can Carry

Some drones can carry an impressive weight, while those made with lightweight materials may not be able to carry extra weight at all.

How much extra weight they can carry depends entirely on what a drone is used for. Heavy lift drones are more likely to be professional drones used by those with special licensing.

Commercial Drones

This refers to professional drones, which can generally carry extra weight compared to beginner drones for mainstream usage.

Professional drones can carry upwards of 485 pounds, depending on their model and type. This staggering payload weight can come in handy in multiple areas, such as rescue operations.

If you’re looking into working with commercial drones, you’ll want to read up on how long it takes to get a drone license.

Mainstream Drones

The capacity for hobby drones is much smaller than for more powerful drones. While they won’t be able to carry heavier loads, on average these kinds of drones can hold around 4.4 pounds.

You don’t need a heavy payload when you’re not trying to perform things like rescue missions. Because of this, toy drones are far less equipped for loading capacity.

Other Drone Types

Since the type of drone matters so much, it’s worth mentioning that there are different types. For example, combat drones, which are used in military operations.

These will have wildly different payloads, but will generally have to carry missiles. For more information, read about how military drones work.

Warning

If you have a cheap drone, chances are it does not have the capabilities to carry heavy objects and you shouldn’t attempt doing so.

F.A.Q.S

What happens if you exceed the recommended weight?

If the take-off weight is too high, your drone simply won’t fly. However, if it’s light enough to commence flying, you’ll find that your flight time duration is severely impacted. You can also damage your drone.


Can drones carry delivery items?

A heavy payload drone won’t have an issue with providing drone deliveries. Unlike the average drone, they are made to carry a lot of weight.


Are there cons to drone deliveries?

There are a couple of cons to this service. For one thing, any drone company will tell you that modern technology does not come cheap. For another, batteries can run out quickly, causing issues with flight time duration.


Who can fly a delivery drone?

If you want to fly a consumer drone, you’ll have to get special licensing. Visiting a drone pilot ground school is a great way to begin earning your license.


STAT: In 2019, the retail goods delivery segment constituted the largest share in the drone package delivery system market in the United States, amounting to 101.7 million U.S. dollars. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image