10 Best Drones for Heavy Lifting in 2021 – Buying

When it comes to flight, weight is everything.

The less weight you’re trying to get airborne the easier it is to start and maintain flight.

When it comes to airplanes the same rules apply  Wood, canvas, aluminium and now light composite materials all improve flight dynamics and improves energy efficiency.

Modern electric UAVs are only possible because battery energy density has reached the point where the power-to-weight ratio is practical.

It’s still a long way off from the energy density of gas, but good enough for 30-minute missions.

Of course, we don’t just want these craft to fly.

We want them to do things that are useful in flight.

That’s what we call the payload of an aircraft.

The spare capacity it has to carry objects that are not strictly needed for flight itself.

While you´re here check out DroneGuru´s choice for the Best Drone of 2023:

DJI Air 2S

31 minutes flight time

In the case of camera drones that payload is obviously a camera, but people are coming up with new jobs for drones all the time.

Unfortunately most drones don’t have much power to spare for lifting anything but themselves.

The drones we’re looking at in this article are not like most drones.

They’ve been built to push the limit between lift-capacity and electric drone design.

In order to operate a drone for any business purposes (to make money) in the United States you will need a license.

The Prep Course by Drone Launch Academy is comprehensive and fairly priced.

If you want a drone that can literally pull its own weight and more,  these 8 large drones are the Best Heavy Lift Drones for Sale 2023 .

What Matters in a Heavy Lift Drone?

When you’re shopping for a heavy lifting drone, everything centers around two main questions:  what’s your payload and what do you need to do with it?

If you know exactly how much your payload will weigh then it’s easier to settle on a large drone that isn’t overkill for your use case.

Alternatively you can get longer flight times if the drone is under-loaded.

There’s more to it than just weight however.

It’s important to know how your payload will be attached to the drone itself.

Can it work with the standard connection or do you need to make a custom solution, which itself can add weight to the payload.

Finally it really matters how long your drone can stay airborne with a particular payload weight.

Drone Payload Comparison

I’ve arranged the eight large drones in our shortlist from smallest payload to largest.

To make things easy, here’s a table comparing the payload capacity of each.

So without further ado here are some of the biggest drones in the business.

The DJI Matrice 100 does not seem to be available anymore from the official DJI Shop – If you are interested in the Matrice I recommend that you get the 600 instead!

Most use drones just for fun while others use it for aerial photography.

However, these UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) can be used for additional purposes other than the aforementioned because some drones are capable of carrying heavy objects.

Drones can carry more than just a camera.

In search and rescue operations, drones can be used to carry antidote or another form of life-saving medicine in areas where it’s not safe to travel.

However, not all drones can do this.

Small and lightweight drone’s can’t take off with a heavy payload.

You need a heavy lift drone that’s capable of carrying several kilograms to get the job done.

In this article, I’ll give you an overview when heavy lift drones are very useful.

I’ll also give you a list of the best heavy lift drones in the market.

Best Heavy Lift Drones

If you are looking for a heavy lift drone that can get the job done for you, here is a short list of the drone that you need to buy.

Payload: 200kg (excluding drone weight)

If you are looking for heavy lift drones that can carry over a hundred kilos payload, I highly recommend that you check Griff Aviation fleet.

The company has several drones that can get a heavy job done for you.

For my list, I suggest that you check Griff Saviour.

This heavy lift drone has a payload of 200kg excluding the drone weight.

Aside from an impressive payload, this drone has a long flight time up to 45 minutes.

It also uses water-resistant motors and a state-of-the-art gimbal technology for extensive monitoring and full panning capability.

Griff Saviour as its name suggests is designed to be a formidable ally on Search and Rescue (SAR) missions.

It is equipped with class-leading flight time and detection technology and uses two platforms which are as follows:

Saviour S1 – A support UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) with state-of-the-art observation technology to provide information to operational HQ.

Saviour S2 – Rescue operation capable, life-saving equipment deployment ready.

You may also check Griff Guardian, Griff Rancher, and Griff Roughneck all of them have a payload capacity of over 150kg.

Read More: 5 Best Professional Drones: Buying Guide for Beginners

Impressive lifting capacity

High-quality and high-performance

Airlift series is Vulcan UAV’s heaviest lift system to date.

This heavy lift drone has a payload capacity of up to 25kg.

This drone is designed with an extremely tough and resilient airframe, cross-braced for ultimate strength and stiffness.

Its central core is a sealed transparent tube that allows visual checks of all the control systems while keeping them fully protected.

This is very helpful because you don’t need to open the aircraft to see what’s going on inside if you want to check it.

All of its key power electronics, communication and batteries are fitted on top of the aircraft and be quickly and easily covered with the shower cap waterproofing system.

The placement also makes it very accessible in case you want to check or replace any of the said parts.

Specs are not available

3. AZ 4K UHD Camera Drone Green Bee

Payload capacity: 20kg

Payload capacity: 20kg

AZ 4K UHD Camera Drone Green Bee 1200 has stepped up their game to fill the need for drones that can do a serious heavy lifting.

This quadcopter has a payload capacity of 20kg and a flight time of 20 minutes per battery which should be enough to get the job done.

If you are into photography or cinematography and you need a drone that can carry additional sensors and other accessories for your camera, this will be a good option for you.

This also performs well if you need to move your research and development technology around your working area whether indoors or outdoors.

AZ 4K UHD camera drone has a unique design.

For mobility and storage, this comes with foldable arms that are designed with strong duralumin that also contributes to the drone’s stability.

So, if you need a heavy lift drone for your photography needs, this is something that you should consider.

Material: high-grade pure carbon fiber and custom-manufactured 6061-grade aluminum

Raven is Vulcan UAV’s main workhorse heavy lift multicopter for aerial photography and camera works.

It can lift a 10kg payload while maintaining the drone’s high-level of speed and maneuverability.

You can bank on its quality and durability because this is made from high-grade pure carbon fiber and custom-manufactured 6061-grade aluminum.

This folding aircraft in X8 configuration is extremely tough and is designed with ultimate safety in mind.

I love this one, it is one of the best drones I’ve seen.

I love this one, it is one of the best drones I’ve seen.

I love this one, it is one of the best drones I’ve seen.

I love this one, it is one of the best drones I’ve seen.

Raven is the first aircraft to successfully go through CAAs (Civil Aviation Authority) and CAOSC (Congested Areas Operations Safety Case) assessment process and has the highest risk exemption ever granted in the U.K. This heavy lift drone has been used in the movie industry in the UK and abroad.

It was also the only multicopter that was allowed to fly at the Rio Olympics 2016 with three aircraft carrying out over 350 flights over the two weeks of the games.

Overall, Raven is a high-quality and high-performance heavy lift drone.

It has already proven its efficiency in the world as many are already using this in their business.

High-quality and durable

Useful for aerial photography and other camera works

Only a few specs about the drone are known

Freefly ALTA 8 is another great heavy lift drone if you need your quad to carry heavier loads.

This aircraft is optimized with a payload of up to 15 pounds.

It has Sky View and Ground View configurations that allow you to capture cinematic aerial shots like you’ve never experienced before.

This drone is great for aerial photography, filming and more.

I’m pleased to tell you that this has a decent flight time of about 16 minutes when weighted down with its full capacity.

ALTA 8 is easy to control and allows you to fly your payloads smoothly and confidently.

Easy to control

Decent flight time

Decent flight time

Flight time is less than 20min

Flight time is less than 20min

Flight time is less than 20min

Flight time is less than 20min

OnyxStar brings HYDRA-12 because the company sees the need for a drone to carry more payload due to technological requirements like the need to embed several sensors and central units that add weight to the drone.

HYDRA-12 has 12 motors and can carry up to 12kg of payload which makes it a very useful tool for conducting supersized operations.

Despite carrying a heavy payload, the drone remains precise, reliable and efficient.

This is widely used for measuring operations in demanding environments like academic research.

Also, this has already been successfully performing risky operations by lifting high-value sensors of many kinds.

HYDRA-12 is capable of carrying so many kind of sensors.

This heavy lift drone includes many features that make it easy and safe to fly.

For instance, it has Geo-fencing, failsafe mechanism, flight control redundancy, waypoint navigation, automatic takeoff and landing, and more.

OnyxStar did a great job in bringing HYDRA-12 in the market.

Easy to use

Packed with very useful features

Capable of carrying many kinds of sensors

You need to contact the manufacturer for price and more details

7. DJI Agras

7. DJI Agras

DJI Agras MG-1 Precision Spraying custom…


Dimensions: 780 x 780 x 482mm (arm folded)

Max Takeoff Weight: 24.5kg

Max Operating Speed: 8m/s

Max Flying Speed: 22 m/s

Hovering Time: 10min with 22.5kg takeoff weight

Hovering Time: 10min with 22.5kg takeoff weight

Agras is a heavy lifter drone from DJI.

This is designed for precision variable rate application of liquid pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides to bring new levels of efficiency and manageability to agriculture.

This includes three high-precision radars on the front slope, rear slope and the bottom of the spray tank.

The radars on the front and rear slopes detect the terrain and allow the aircraft to adjust its height approximately.

Meanwhile, the radar at the bottom provides high-precision height.

As the radars scan, the drone can perceive the change of terrain and adjust its altitude and maintain it above the crops.

The drone is agile and easy to control.

DJI Agras has three flight modes: Smart mode, Manual Plus mode, and Manual mode.

This is very helpful in spraying a farm which is a daunting process.

I must say Agras is worth it because it is durable, high-quality and high-performance.

So, if you need a drone to maintain or manage your farm, this is highly recommended.

Precision spraying

Three flight modes

High-precision radars

Very useful for spraying farm

Responsive and easy to control

Efficient and manageable

Short flight time compared to other brands

Hover Time: 15min

DSLR cameras are undeniably great at taking photos and it would be a pure pleasure if you can use it for aerial photography.

Unfortunately, it’s too big for camera drones to carry.

DJI manufactured Spreading Wings S1000+ to take your DSLR in flight.

You can now use your heavy DSLR without worries because S1000+ has a payload capacity of 11kg and its arms and landing gear are made of sturdy carbon fiber for remarkable stability and strength.

Your DSLR is safe in this drone, so you can fly it with confidence.

Another thing I love about this drone is its foldable arms which makes it highly portable.

This drone is ready to fly in 5 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about the time in setting up to make it work.

You’ll be able to capture professional-quality photos and videos using this drone because it has a wide range of shooting angles, is compatible with Zenmuse gimbals that provide unmatched stability during flights, and it comes with anti-vibration dampers that reduce vibrations for clearer footage.

If you have a DSLR and you need a drone for it, this is the one to buy!

Read More: 5 Best Fixed Wing Drones – Buying Guide for Beginners

Perfect drone for DSLR

Short flight time

DJI Matrice 600

DJI Matrice 600

DJI Matrice 600

DJI Matrice 600

DJI Matrice 600

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Check Latest Price

Check Latest Price

Check Latest Price

Check Latest Price

Check Latest Price

Dimensions: 1668 x 1518 x 759mm (Propellers, frame arms and GPS mount unfolded)

Dimensions: 640 x 582 x 623mm (Frame arms and GPS mount folded)

Max flight time: 35min

DJI Matrice 600 is designed for professional aerial photography and industrial applications.

It is built to closely integrate with a host of DJI technologies.

Since this is built for industrial purposes, Matrice 600 is tough and powerful.

It has a payload of 6kg which is enough to carry additional sensors or accessories.

Also, it has dust proof propulsion systems that simplify maintenance and actively cooled motors for reliable operation during extended periods of time.

One of the best things with Matrice 600 is its smart flight safety and intelligent ESCs that ensures the drone to perform accurately, safely and efficiently.

Its A3’s self-adaptive flight systems adjust flight parameters automatically based on different payloads.

This also comes with powerful app controls because M600 supports DJI GO app and the brand new DJI Assistant 2 app.

Through these app controls, you get a live HD view, battery status, redundancy status, transmission strength and so much more about the drone.

If you want to level up your drone and want to get one for industrial purposes, this is something that you should consider seriously.

Matrice 600 will surely be beneficial for your operations.

Modular design

Long flight time

Long flight time

Will not be able to carry heavy cameras

DJI Spreading Wings S900

DJI Spreading Wings S900

DJI Spreading Wings S900

DJI Spreading Wings S900

Payload: Almost 6.8kg

Payload: Almost 6.8kg

Payload: Almost 6.8kg

Payload: Almost 6.8kg

Payload: Almost 6.8kg

Payload: Almost 6.8kg

Payload: Almost 6.8kg

Payload: Almost 6.8kg

Takeoff Weight: 8.2kg

Takeoff Weight: 8.2kg

Takeoff Weight: 8.2kg

Takeoff Weight: 8.2kg

Total Weight: 3.3kg

Total Weight: 3.3kg

Hower Time: 18min

Hover Power Consumption: 1000W (@6.8Kg Takeoff Weight)

Power Battery: LiPo (6S, 10000mAh~15000mAh,15C(Min))

Spreading Wings S900 is a lightweight, strong and stable drone from DJI.

This is a highly portable, powerful aerial system that is designed for demanding filmmakers.

Its arms and landing gear are made of sturdy carbon fiber that reduces the drone’s weight but increases its stability and strength.

It also enables the aircraft to hover longer without sacrificing its performance.

DJI know how portable drones are more preferred, so they designed this drone with foldable arms to save space and to make it easier for you to carry when you are on the go.

Spreading Wings S900 can carry a maximum payload of 8.2kg and can last up in the air for 18 minutes.

You will surely enjoy using this because it has a wide range of shooting angles thanks to its retractable landing gear and a special low gimbal mounting bracket.

Just like Spreading Wings 1000+, this is compatible with Zenmuse gimbals that are known for their stability and smooth footage even in difficult situations.

Its dampers also help in reducing vibrations to achieve clearer footage.

Overall, Spreading Wings S900 is a great heavy lift drone.

It can lift enough weight to help you get your job done.

If you need extra sensor and accessories to capture amazing footage, no worries, you can bank on this drone to do it for you.

Great drone for DSLR

Professional-quality photos and videos

Professional-quality photos and videos

What is a Heavy Lift Drone?

What is a Heavy Lift Drone?

Heavy lift drones are quads that can carry over 10 lbs of payload.

Some of the best consumer-level heavy lift drones are capable of carrying items over 40 lbs.

If you need a drone that can carry more weight, Griff Aviation offers a fleet that you can choose from.

They offer high-quality and high-performance drones with a payload capacity of over 150kg.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Drone

Heavy lift drones are the same because all of them can carry several kilograms of weight.

However, if you are planning to buy one, you should consider these factors to get the best drone accordingly.

You have to decide how you will use the drone and what are the things that it needs to carry because that will affect the payload.

So, you should ask yourself, what are the things that the drone will carry?

Does it need to carry extra cameras or sensors?

Can this drone still accommodate those extra items?

Flight time

Since you will be using this type of drone to lift objects, it is important that you consider the flight time.

It wouldn’t be useful if the drone can carry 20 kilograms but can only stay up in the air for 5 minutes.

Of course, the longer it can fly and take that weight, the better.

Make sure that the drone can stay in the air for an extended period with a certain payload.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the drone has sufficient capacity to handle what it should do.

Read More: 10 Best Drones with Longest Flight Time

Type of Payload

Another thing that you need to be aware of is the mechanism that you will use to have the drone carry the payload.

Can it be carried with the conventional connection or do you need a solution tailored to your specific situation?

Keep in mind that any addition or customized solution will bear a weight of its own.

Drones are more than just for fun or a tool for aerial photography because it can do so much more.

Heavy lift drones can help you manage your farm or move your tools.

Most importantly, they are valuable tools for search and rescue operations.

So, if you need a drone that can carry loads of weight, don’t hesitate to pick any of the brands mentioned above.

What’s the best heavy lift drone for you?

Do you know any other great drone in this category that’s not on my list?

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