10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

As professional and industrial drone applications continue to expand, so does the need for models capable of lifting heavier camera, sensor, and accessory payloads. Drones that can safely handle weights exceeding 2 kilograms allow the mounting of professional mirrorless and DSLR camera setups to capture high-end aerial imagery and video. Innovations in multi-rotor designs, motors, and materials now enable UAVs to lift a level of heft that was once only possible with helicopters. In this buyer’s guide, we showcase the top heavy lift drones that can truly take your aerial capabilities to the next level.

In this article I will recommend this drones for you:

1.DJI Matrice 600 Pro 

2.YUNEEC Tornado H920

3.DJI AGRAS T16

4. Airborne Vanguard

5. Spreading Wings S1000

6. Freefly Systems Alta 8

7.Vulcan Airlift

8.Scorpion 3

9. Ehang 184

10.Walkera TALI

Let’s started!

What is Heavy Lift Drones?

Heavy lift drones are a category of drones designed to carry larger and heavier payloads than typical consumer quadcopters. While standard camera drones may be limited to payloads of 0.5kg or less, heavy lift drones can lift camera gear, sensors, and other equipment weighing 2kg or more. They achieve the ability to handle heavier weights through modifications like more powerful motors, higher capacity batteries, sturdy carbon fiber or composite airframes, and specialized propellers. Most heavy lift drones are hexacopters or octocopters, using 6 or 8 propeller arms respectively to generate sufficient lift. The primary applications of heavy lift drones include professional aerial photography, videography, mapping, surveillance, industrial inspections, delivery services, military uses, and more. Companies are continually pushing the boundaries of how much weight can be borne by heavy lift drone technology. But they require expert pilots and greater overhead to operate safely and effectively compared to lighter consumer drones.

What are the main features of Heavy Lift Drones?

  • Multiple high-torque motors – Needed to provide enough power and redundancy for heavy loads. Often 6, 8, or more motors.
  • Carbon fiber frames – Lightweight yet strong carbon fiber material can handle heavy payloads. Improves stability.
  • Large propellers – Larger propeller diameter generates greater lift for heavy weights.
  • Advanced flight controllers – Sophisticated electronics provide stable flight under heavy loads.
  • High capacity batteries – Longer flight times needed to carry weight, often 6000mAh or more.
  • Retractable landing gear – Allows stable takeoffs and landings while carrying underslung payloads.

What should you pay attention to when buying a Heavy Lift Drones?

  • Max payload capacity – Ensure it meets your intended equipment weights.
  • Flight time estimates – Will be reduced with heavier payloads.
  • Safety features and redundancy – Critical when flying costly equipment.
  • Reputation of manufacturer – Look for reliability and support.
  • Failsafe functions – Return home helps recover heavy investment if issues occur.
  • Propeller guards – Provide protection for equipment under the drone.
  • Stability in wind – Heavier drones get pushed around more when windy.
  • Piloting skill required – Heaviest drones demand experienced pilots.
  • Price – Heavy lift drones cost significantly more than consumer models.

10Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

Drone ModelMax PayloadFlight TimeRangePriceRecommendation ★
DJI Matrice 600 Pro6kg16 min5km$4,999★★★★
YUNEEC Tornado H9206kg28 min1km$7,000★★★
DJI AGRAS T1610kg24 min3km$15,000★★★★★
Airborne Vanguard9kg25 min1km$12,000★★★★
Spreading Wings S10008kg15 minNA$1,599★★
Freefly Systems Alta 88kg20 min1km$8,500★★★★
Vulcan Airlift65kg15 min1km$35,000★★★★★
Scorpion 37kg25 min1km$13,500★★★
Ehang 184100kg21 min10km$200,000★★★★★
Walkera TALI5kg40 min5km$999★★

1.DJI Matrice 600 Pro 

image-952 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The DJI Matrice 600 Pro is a professional hexacopter drone designed for demanding aerial photography, inspection, and industrial applications. With six rotors and dual battery systems, it can carry payloads up to 6 kilograms with a flight time up to 16 minutes. The Matrice 600 Pro has a range of 5 kilometers using Lightbridge 2 transmission. GPS, compass, and visual sensors allow for precision hovering and position hold.

Pros:

  • Can carry heavy camera and sensor payloads up to 6 kg
  • Powerful lifting capacity for industrial uses
  • Dual batteries provide failsafe redundancy
  • 5 km transmission range with Lightbridge 2
  • Precise GPS hover and position hold capabilities

Cons:

  • Very large and not portable like consumer drones
  • Expensive commercial/industrial drone
  • Short 16 minute maximum flight time
  • Needs professional pilot skills and training
  • Overkill for casual users and aerial photography hobbyists

2.YUNEEC Tornado H920

image-1040 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The Yuneec Tornado H920 is a professional hexacopter drone designed for aerial photography and industrial applications. It can carry payloads up to 6kg with a maximum flight time of 28 minutes. The H920 has retractable landing gear and six rotors driven by brushless motors to provide stable lift for heavy camera rigs and sensors.

Pros:

  • Lifts up to 6kg payload capacity for pro camera gear
  • 28 minute maximum flight time with heavy loads
  • Retractable landing gear allows underslung payloads
  • Advanced 6-rotor design for stability with weight
  • Automated flight modes and failsafe functions
  • Dual control options with controller or tablet

Cons:

  • Short 1km transmission range limits use
  • High price tag around $7,000 just for airframe
  • Piloting skill required to fly heavy payloads
  • Large size can be tricky transporting to sites
  • Set up/breakdown time slightly lengthy
  • Yuneec support not as robust as DJI

In summary, the Yuneec Tornado H920 is a high-end hexacopter able to lift professional photography loads with long flight time, but has a short range and very high price point. Its automated features make access easier for skilled pilots.

3.DJI AGRAS T16

image-1039 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The DJI AGRAS T16 is an octocopter drone designed specifically for agricultural use cases like spraying and spreading granular fertilizer. It can carry a max payload of 10kg and has a modular system to mount different dispersal devices. Flight time is up to 24 minutes.

Pros:

  • Huge 10kg payload capacity for ag equipment
  • Modular dispersal mounts for spray/spreader tools
  • Optimized for precision agriculture operations
  • 24 minute flight time with full payload
  • Automated terrain following and mapping
  • DJI reputation for reliability and support

Cons:

  • Extremely high price point around $15,000
  • Limited use cases outside of ag industry
  • Pilots need Part 107 certification
  • Specialized knowledge required for operation
  • Large size makes transport and storage difficult
  • Night flight waiver needed for some tasks

In summary, the DJI AGRAS T16 is the leading heavy lift drone for commercial agriculture, but its specialized nature and very high cost limit wider adoption. It excels at precise spraying and spreading functionality with advanced precision ag technology.

4. Airborne Vanguard

image-1038 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The Airborne Vanguard is a commercial hexacopter drone designed to lift heavy camera payloads up to 9kg. With six rotors powered by T-motors, it provides stable flight for professional aerial photography and videography needs. The Vanguard has a foldable carbon fiber frame and retractable landing gear.

Pros:

  • 9kg max payload lifts pro mirrorless/DSLR rigs
  • 25 minutes of flight time with full payload
  • Foldable carbon fiber frame for portability
  • Retractable landing gear enables underslung gear
  • Advanced hexacopter design provides stability
  • Automated flight modes and safety features

Cons:

  • Very high price around $12,000 just for airframe
  • Short max 1km transmission range
  • Requires experienced piloting skills
  • Larger size can be difficult to transport
  • Minimal visual obstacle avoidance
  • Aftermarket gimbal/camera add bulk and cost

In summary, the Airborne Vanguard allows pro photographers to capture stunning aerial imagery by lifting heavy camera setups, but its high price and skill required limit widespread adoption. Its automated features make flying more accessible.

5. Spreading Wings S1000

image-1041 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The Spreading Wings S1000 is a hexacopter drone made by DJI able to carry payloads up to 8kg. It features a foldable carbon fiber frame for easy transport and six 3510 motors with 15 inch props for stable lifting power. Flight time is approximately 15 minutes with a full load.

Pros:

  • Lifts up to 8kg for professional camera gear
  • Foldable carbon fiber frame for portability
  • Customizable with various gimbals and cameras
  • Advanced hexacopter design provides stability
  • DJI reputation for quality and reliability
  • Relatively affordable heavy lift platform

Cons:

  • Short 15 minute flight time with full payload
  • Requires separate gimbal purchase adding cost
  • No built-in camera or intelligent flight modes
  • Piloting heavy loads demands skill
  • Minimal automated safety features
  • Aging design compared to newer models

In summary, the Spreading Wings S1000 offers an affordable way to get into professional aerial photography with heavy gear, but has limited automated features. Its foldable frame makes transportation easier, but flight time is short with full camera rigs.

6. Freefly Systems Alta 8

image-1042 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The Freefly Alta 8 is a high-end professional octocopter built specifically to carry cinema cameras and accessories. With 8 rotors, it can lift payloads up to 20 pounds (8kg). Maximum flight time is around 20 minutes.

Pros:

  • Lifts up to 8kg cinema camera packages
  • 20 minutes flight time with full payload
  • Optimized for film/TV production use
  • Multiple mounting options for large cameras
  • Automated camera control features
  • Freefly known for reliability and support

Cons:

  • Extremely high price over $8,000 just for frame
  • Does not include camera or gimbal
  • Requires Freefly flight controller and software
  • Piloting skill needed to fly heavy gear
  • Large size not easily portable
  • Short max 1km transmission range

In summary, the Freefly Alta 8 is the leading cinema drone for flying pro cameras but its specialized nature and very high cost make it inaccessible for most users. It excels at stable automated camera control suited to film/TV shoots.

7.Vulcan Airlift

image-1044 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The Vulcan Airlift is an ultra-heavy lift octocopter drone designed for industrial inspections, surveillance, and payload delivery. It has an incredible max payload capacity of 65kg with a flight time of 15 minutes when fully loaded.

Pros:

  • Massive 65kg max payload capacity
  • Can lift extremely heavy industrial tools
  • 15 minutes of flight time even at max load
  • Rugged carbon fiber and aluminum design
  • Customizable payload mounting options
  • Automated flight and safety features

Cons:

  • Extremely high cost around $35,000
  • Requires experienced commercial pilots
  • Bulky and heavy, difficult to transport
  • Payload weight reduces agility
  • Short max 1km operational range
  • Significant noise from extreme lift power

In summary, the Vulcan Airlift is an ultra-heavy lifting drone suited to specialized industrial tasks, but its extremely high price and capability requirements limit adoption mainly to enterprise customers. Lack of agility can also be a tradeoff.

8.Scorpion 3

image-1045 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The Scorpion 3 is a commercial hexacopter drone built to carry camera payloads up to 7kg. It has a folding carbon fiber frame and retractable landing gear for stabilized flight with heavy loads. Maximum flight time is approximately 25 minutes.

Pros:

  • Lifts camera rigs up to 7kg
  • 25 minutes of flight time with full load
  • Foldable frame and retractable legs for portability
  • Scorpion known for durability and performance
  • Automated flight modes and safety features
  • Dual operator options with controller or tablet

Cons:

  • High price around $13,500 just for drone
  • Requires added gimbal and camera cost
  • Piloting skill needed for heavy payloads
  • Some reliability concerns reported
  • Max 1km transmission range
  • Does not offer payload drop/release

In summary, the Scorpion 3 provides an advanced hexacopter solution for lifting pro camera gear with extended flight time, but has a reputation for some quality control issues. Its high total system cost also limits adoption compared to competitors.

9. Ehang 184

image-1046 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The Ehang 184 is a revolutionary electric autonomous aerial vehicle designed to transport a single passenger. With 8 rotors, it can lift payloads up to 100kg and fly for up to 21 minutes per charge.

Pros:

  • Pioneering manned passenger drone design
  • Incredible 100kg payload capacity
  • 21 minutes of flight time per charge
  • Fully automated flight and navigation
  • Advanced safety redundancy features
  • Requires no piloting skill to operate

Cons:

  • Extremely high price around $200,000
  • Limited to one passenger capacity
  • Regulatory hurdles for widespread use
  • Large size makes storage and transport difficult
  • Short 10km operational range
  • Safety concerns about passenger drones

In summary, the Ehang 184 points to a pioneering future of passenger drones, but current adoption is extremely limited due to regulatory constraints and safety concerns. Its high cost and large size also limit accessibility for most consumers. But its automated flight capabilities are technologically impressive.

10.Walkera TALI

image-1047 10 Best Heavy Lift Drones in 2024

The Walkera TALI is a hexacopter designed to lift stable camera payloads up to 5kg. It has a durable aluminum frame and features six 2212 motors with 16 inch propellers to generate lifting power. Maximum flight time is around 40 minutes.

Pros:

  • Lifts camera loads up to 5kg
  • Long 40 minute flight time
  • Durable aluminum frame and design
  • Customizable gimbal and camera options
  • Intelligent orientation control system
  • Affordable price under $1000

Cons:

  • Limited to 5kg payload capacity
  • Basic control system lacking waypoints
  • No built-in camera or gimbal
  • Minimal automated flight modes
  • Walkera reliability concerns
  • Shorter parts/service lifespan

In summary, the Walkera TALI provides an affordable heavy lift drone solution to mount pro cameras, but limited payload capacity and intelligent features. Reliability of Walkera products can also be hit or miss. But its long flight time and low price point appeal to some buyers.

Final words about Best Heavy Lift Drones

When your airborne missions demand the power to lift equipment loads beyond what consumer drones can handle, turning to a specialized heavy lift UAV is the solution. The options we have covered represent the cutting edge of stability, robustness, and lifting capacity that the drone industry currently has on offer. Just be ready to make the larger investment required to own and operate these high-performance multi-rotors compared to more recreational models. But for certain professional industries like filmmaking, construction, mining, and more, a heavy lift drone quickly proves its value.

Know more about the Heavy Lift Drones, please check the following video out:

FAQs about Best Heavy Lift Drones

What is considered a heavy lift drone?

Heavy lift drones are designed to carry larger camera equipment and other heavy payloads typically over 2 kilograms or 4.5 pounds.

What are the main benefits of a heavy lift drone?

Ability to carry large mirrorless or DSLR cameras for professional aerial photography and videography. More versatile payloads.

What kind of flight times can I expect with a heavy payload?

Flight times will be reduced carrying heavier weights, usually 10-15 minutes with professional camera setups.

What safety precautions should I take when operating heavy lift drones?

Take extra care in pre-flight checks. Use tethers or drop protection. Start in open areas away from people or property.

How much weight can consumer level heavy lift drones carry?

Consumer models generally max out around 5 kg or 10 lb payload capacities. Industrial drones can lift much heavier loads.

What drone features provide the power needed to lift heavy weights?

Multiple high torque motors, carbon fiber frames and propellers are used. May require 6+ rotors for sufficient lift.

Are heavy lift drones more expensive than camera drones?

Yes, heavy lifting capacity requires specialized designs and robust components which makes them more costly.

What are the primary uses for heavy lift drone technology?

Aerial photography/videography, infrastructure inspection, agriculture uses like spraying, delivery services, military/public safety applications.

What are the FAA rules regarding operating heavy lift drones?

Pilots need Part 107 certification. Must keep drone within visual line of sight. Require LAANC airspace authorization if needed.

What happens if I overload a drone past its max capacity?

Excess weight can cause motor failure or make the drone unstable and crash. Follow manufacturer limits carefully.

Eliza

Hello, I'm Eliza. an expert in drone technology, I provide in-depth analysis on the evolution and impact of drones from various perspectives - technical capabilities, policy considerations, societal implications. Through balanced and nuanced reporting, I aim to advance thoughtful discussions on this rapidly changing field. I look forward to exchanging ideas on the promise and perils of drones.