Can Drone Lift A Person?

Wondering can drone lift a person? Check out this blog for all the latest drone news and reviews and find out how drones can be used to lift people.

Drones have changed how we do many things. Their versatile capabilities are making them find robust applications in different industry sectors.

Whether you want to record big programs, deliver packages or accomplish some challenging military tasks, drones can do all of them and much more.

Drones help do tedious and dangerous tasks easily and efficiently. Many people have questioned if a drone can lift a person. Well, the answer to this question cannot be said in a line. Though not all drones are capable of lifting a person, there are some drone models that can do so.

In this write-up, we will cover this topic in detail, also understanding the subject with regard to different variables. Before closing, we will also look at some drone models that can lift a person. In the end, we will learn if it is legal to lift humans with drones.

Can Drone Lift A Person?

Some drone models can lift and even carry a person. A drone’s ability to lift a person depends on many factors including the drone’s power, dead weight, propeller type and a number of motors.

Drones that can lift a person are known as ‘heavy-lifting drones’ or ‘professional drones’. When a drone lifts a person, its position also plays an important role.    

You will find drones in different shapes and sizes. While some smaller drone models can even fit into your palm, some bigger ones look like a small plane. Drones are also made for different purposes and accordingly they sport different shapes and specifications.

Manufacturers of our times are making drones for a galaxy of purposes. It is interesting to know if a drone can lift and carry a person.

Can Drone Lift A Person

How Much Weight Can a Drone Lift?

The carrying capacity of a drone is technically known as ‘payload’. Drones are very useful and adaptable gadgets. Nevertheless, their payload capacity is an important limiting factor. This is especially the truth about the micro aerial vehicles that are used for search and rescue operations. 

The manufacturers design the payload capacity of a drone depending on what it is going to be used for.

The carrying capacity of hobby drones is in the range of 0.6 to 4 lbs. Heavier, professional drone models can carry as much as 44 to 485 lbs.

A drone’s payload is the cumulative weight of the drone including the GPS, equipment, radar, sensor, and camera that the drone carries. The integrated parts of drones like motors, propellers and batteries are not included in the payload.    

Drone functions and specifications differ between different models of drones. These two factors highly impact the maximum weight a drone can lift. 

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A drone’s payload capacity is decided by several factors. The most important factors are the size of propellers, number of propellers, drone’s weight and the type of battery.

The propeller’s thrust must be two times the drone’s total weight and its payload. The other factors that influence the drone’s lifting capacity are the wind, air pressure and moisture.

Drones made for the purpose of lifting heavy loads need to come with a bigger power capacity. Also, heavy-lift drones must have heavier drone frames than the standard type of frames usually found in hobby drones. 

drone that can lift a person

The other aspect to note here is the take-off weight a drone can manage. Take-off weight can be described as the heaviest capacity that a drone can handle during its flight without resulting in any complications.

The single big goal in front of every drone maker is to increase the flight range and flight time of their drone model as much as possible. Most of them do not pay attention to the payload capacity.

Hobby drones are not meant to carry additional loads. They are made with the goals of taking pictures and helping beginners learn the basics of flying. Small drones of this kind can lift payloads that correspond to their size. For example, these drones can carry a gift or a letter. 

Bigger drones can carry a load weighing between 0.44 to 0.66 lbs of extra weight with no problems. Heavy lift drones have the capacity to lift up to 661 lbs which is good enough to lift a person. Here are a few heavy-lift drone models that can lift a person. 

Drone Models That Can Lift A Person

  • Ehang 184

Ehang, the Chinese drone maker has manufactured a drone that is big enough in size and specifications to carry a person. The fly machine maker displayed the drone model Ehang 184 during an event in Las Vegas.

The drone’s design looks like a quadcopter. The additional cabin can seat one person. The main feature of this drone’s construction is the composite material with epoxy, carbon fiber, and aerial aluminum alloy. With two motors in each of its four arms, there are eight motors in total. 

Ehang 184 is powered by a lithium-ion battery which is perhaps the heaviest component in the machine. Nevertheless, the battery provides enough power to carry a load of 220lb for around 23 minutes at sea level. This drone’s average cruising speed is 62 mph and the maximum height it can reach is 500 meters. 

Incorporating a complete redundancy system, the manufacturer claims this is a safe fly machine. Even if one of its power systems fails, the drone can operate a normal flight plan. If any malfunctioning is detected in the machine, this drone will land in the nearest suitable area in order to ensure the safety of the passenger.

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The communication to and from the drone is encrypted and each of the drone’s units has an independent key for the sake of preventing any hijacking of its remote signal. 

This drone is fully pre-programmed to fly to the specified destination and hence the passenger inside the drone can’t have control over its route. In case of emergency, the passenger can choose to halt the drone.

The price of this drone is between $200,000 and $300,000.

  • Griff 300

The next heavy-lift drone we will discuss now is Griff 300, the Norwegian drone, which can lift 496 lbs and can fly between 30 and 45 minutes on a single charge. This is an octocopter having eight motors. 

This drone can be operated with the remote control from the ground. It is also possible to fly the drone from first-person view with the help of a custom helicopter cabin like a mobile control station.

You can add different features to this drone-like cargo, sensors, and other gears you may want. There are specific payload options for the use of this drone across challenging scenarios like armed forces, rescue operations, and firefighting.  

This Norwegian drone maker is also planning to make a drone that can lift up to 1,746 lbs. 

The price of this drone could be around $250,000.

  • VoloDrone

VoloDrone, the German-made drone can carry a payload of 440 lbs at a distance of 25 miles. The maximum speed of this drone is 68 miles per hour. This drone can be charged by swapping the battery. This is a fully electric drone that is capable of accomplishing some challenging tasks. 

VoloDrone is made with the purpose of fulfilling different tasks across different industries. This drone can help with daily operations like building sites and agriculture. This drone has amazing abilities across tasks like sowing and frost control which can help enhance productivity in agriculture.  

One another version in this drone model is Volocopter 2X, which is a two-seat vehicle. This drone can reach up to a speed of 62 mph and can fly up to a distance of 27 km.

Is It Legal To Lift Humans With Drones?

Most people cannot afford to buy these heavy-lifting drones. Their prices might become affordable in some years from now. In a number of countries like Moracco, Algeria and Cuba, drone flying is prohibited.

You do not need any training or license to fly Ehang 184 drone. Since a pilot’s license is an expensive subject today, the good news is that this drone can operate autonomously and without needing a pilot’s license.

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Though this model has successfully passed the tests after several autonomous flights, the authorities have not guaranteed anything about the license for this model.  

Ehang is the first drone maker to successfully get through the UAS fence tests in 2019 to qualify for a certificate of unmanned aircraft system safety level II related to autonomous aerial vehicles.

GRIFF Aviation is already approved by the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority as the company’s systems comply with the European UAS safety regulations. For more such uses in the U.S., the firm needs to pass through the regulatory procedures in the U.S.

how to build a drone that can lift a person

VoloDrone has not got its certification for air taxi operation, but the company has plans to get one in the near future. This company uses its flights only for the purpose of demonstration and not for any commercial services.

By the end of 2022, this company hopes to get the full certification. Sooner in the future, we may be able to apply for permits to operate the VoloDrone for different specific applications.

Heavy lifting drones come with more serious purposes than just shooting videos and pictures. There are stricter regulations to fly big drones unlike the case of smaller drones that people use on a daily basis. 

If you plan to use your drone for commercial purposes including video shoots and others, you will have to get Part 107 certification after passing an FAA test. You must also register your drone to get an identification number issued by FAA.

Take Away

The drone models we have discussed above have got some certifications. However, they are yet waiting for approval for a full acceptance.

To become fully legal and to serve people, these drone makers may require some more years. Bigger drones need some changes in the rules regulating them due to their heavier build. 

Earlier, there were no drones that can carry a person. Therefore, regulations about passenger safety were out of the question.

Therefore, these drones had to wait for about two years until some regulations were introduced. This is a kind of process that these drones need to go through, which might change in the future once such drone models become a popular subject. 

We have learned in this write-up that drones can lift a person. This feature talks about the impressive capability of drones. These drones are the future of the drone industry.

Drones can be successfully employed to put out fires and rescue people. There are a whole lot of things they can achieve. Drones are becoming big enough to carry a person and in the days to come, we can see more interesting applications for drones.

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