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How much does a drone weigh? (And DJI Weight Comparison Table)

Updated in 2024 by Paul Posea
drone weigh

A big part of drone development has been an increase in variety. In other words, the drone market isn’t dominated (any more) by a standard size. Instead, you’ll find categories of drones based on their weight classes.

And if you’re interested in getting yourself a drone, it’s important to familiarize yourself with how much they can weigh. Their size and shape obviously affects their portability.

But what’s more is that there are also direct correlations between drone weight and drone performance and drone weight and the number of registrations you’ll need.

This post is all about covering different types of drones and briefly expanding on why their weight is important in the first place. We’ll also be taking a summarized look at some of DJI’s popular drone models to see how they compare.

What is the weight of a micro drone?

Let’s start off with some of the smallest drones you can find on the market: micro drones. Here’s how much they typically weigh.

A micro drone generally weighs from 50 to 500 grams. Drones in the lower end of this range are only meant for indoor flying. However, from a broader perspective, all drones that weigh less than 2 kilograms can be considered to be micro drones.

So, the answer really depends on the context.

If you only have consumer drones in mind, micro drones can refer to the toy models that only weigh an ounce or two. These extremely lightweight drones are designed for the use of children or amateurs trying to learn the art of flying. Needless to say, they come with little wind resistance as well.

But if you’re considering the much larger, commercial drones as well, the “micro” class becomes a bit less narrow.

For instance, this research article categorizes micro drones as models that weigh less than 2 kilograms. This means the camera drones you’re likely most familiar with all fall under this category.

What is the max weight of a drone?

You might now be curious about the numbers on the other end of the spectrum. Just how heavy can drones get? Here’s the answer.

The max weight of a standard drone can be considered to be up to 25 kilograms. This is due to legal restrictions in the US. However, heavy-duty commercial drones are definitely manufactured, and they can surprisingly weigh much more than 200 kilograms.

Now, these drones aren’t available for just anyone to buy. They’re made of high-quality materials and feature large components connected to their massive frames. So, they’re designed for power-intensive tasks instead of your typical forms of recreation.

An example of such a drone is the Ehang 184. It weighs 260 kilograms and is designed to transport passengers.

Another similar drone is the Boeing Cargo Air Vehicle. It has a maximum takeoff weight of a whopping 499 kilograms!

Since these types of drones have demanding (and relatively important) applications, they expectedly feature large payload capacities as well. You may want to check out my separate, in-depth post on the best heavy lift drones if you’d like to learn more about them.

How much does a DJI drone weigh?

Let’s bring things to familiar territory. DJI is the most popular drone manufacturer in the world, and a key part of their success can be attributed to their ability to innovate in terms of design. Here’s the weight range DJI likes to keep their drones in.

A DJI drone can weigh anywhere from 248 grams to over 4000 grams based on its model. The DJI Inspire 2, for example, weighs 4250 grams. However, most of DJI’s best-selling models weigh under 1400 grams, including the Mavic 3, Mini 3, and Phantom 4.

Each of DJI’s drones is targeted toward a specific audience. Since they have fairly unique functionalities, they also have different weights.

You might be curious where exactly DJI drones stand compared to each other. Below is a table that lists their recently released camera drones along with their subsequent weights and other relevant properties.

DroneWeightRangeFlight TimeFAA Registration
DJI Mavic 3895 g30 km46 minRequired
DJI Mini 3<249 g18 km38 minNot Required
DJI Mini 3 Pro<249 g18 km34 minNot Required
DJI Air 2S595 g18.5 km31 minRequired
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.01375 g10 km30 minRequired
DJI FPV795 g16.8 km16 minRequired

One important thing to note here is that these figures are directly stated by DJI themselves.

So, while the numbers do come from a place of reliability, they’re a result of ideal conditions. In other words, you may find the maximum ranges and flight times to be overstated if you carry out your own tests.

The purpose of including additional properties is to showcase how a drone’s weight may affect its overall performance.

Let’s consider one particular relationship.

A heavier drone likely houses a larger battery, which may give it a better maximum flight time. This can be seen with the Mavic 3 being able to fly longer than the Mini 3.

However, a heavier drone doesn’t always equal better battery life. A more recently released model may be lighter and have a longer flight time. The Mini 3, for example, can fly longer than its heavier counterpart in the Air 2S, simply because it’s more technologically advanced.

This section only considered DJI’s lightweight camera drones. But don’t get me wrong, DJI has a lot more things going for them.

The company also has multiple series of commercial drones. They’re less popular as they don’t appeal to the wider drone community but come with very powerful features, which makes them heavier. For example, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK has a maximum takeoff weight of 9 kilograms.

How much does a military drone weigh?

One “genre” of drones we haven’t considered yet are military drones. You may even be inclined to not consider military drones as drones at all. Perhaps you have a perception of drones as fun devices used for creativity, recreation, or light transport.

But some military aircraft definitely match the description of a drone. So, here’s how much they can weigh.

A military drone can weigh around or over 2000 kilograms. Examples are the RQ-3 DarkStar, the RQ-4 Global Hawk, and the MQ-9 Reaper, which reportedly weigh 1980 kilograms, 6781 kilograms, and 2223 kilograms respectively.

These drones typically operate out of general sight and are used for surveillance purposes.

This doesn’t go to say all military drones are incredibly large. The large ones are simply more in the limelight.

A much smaller category of military drones also exists. For example, the Fulmar X has been used for military missions and only weighs 19 kilograms.

What is the heaviest military drone?

Let’s see what military drone topples the rest in terms of weight.

The heaviest military drone can be considered to be the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B, which potentially weighs around 20000 kilograms. The Mantis from BAE Systems and RQ-4 Global Hawk are amongst the drones that fall short of the top spot.

Of course, it’s very much possible that a military drone even heavier than the S-70 Okhotnik-B is already in use. According to public reports, however, the Russian drone is currently considered the heaviest of its type.

Why are drones under 250 grams?

Drone manufacturers ensure some of their models are explicitly under 250 grams. A prime example is the Mini series from DJI. Why is this the case? Take a look.

Manufacturers keep the weight of specific drones under 250 grams to target customers that seek convenience.  Besides portability and ease-of-use, this is primarily to do with flying regulations in countries like the US and Canada, where drones under that limit do not need to be registered.

If you went through the table that provided an overview on DJI drones, you may have noticed that the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro were the only drones free from a registration requirement.

This had everything to do with their weight.

In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows drones under 250 grams to be flown under their Exception for Recreational Flyers.

What if your drone is over 250 grams?

Here’s what you do if you’ve got yourself a drone that’s over 250 grams.

If your drone is over 250 grams, you should check with your local regulations authority for drone flying. Know that rules can even differ from state to state. As a pilot living in the US, you would have to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

So, it completely depends on where you’re flying from. You may possibly need to apply for a certification and/or license as well.

What is the weight limit for FAA Part 107?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also has a weight limit set in place for the Small UAS Rule (Part 107).

The weight limit for FAA Part 107 is 24.95 kilograms (or 55 pounds). Drones that are heavier are considered to be “traditional aircraft” and need to be registered through a more strenuous process.

I’ve written a separate article on drone laws in the US, which dives deeper into the specifics. I recommend checking it out if you’re looking to familiarize yourself with relevant terminologies and registration processes.

Conclusion - What is a good weight for a drone?

We’ve seen that there is an extraordinarily wide range of drones in terms of their weight.

A good weight for a drone entirely depends on the pilot and how they intend to use it. A safe range for a hobbyist can be considered to be from around 250 to 1000 grams. However, a drone weighing a few kilograms may be a better fit for a pilot looking for professional-grade performance.

It’s ultimately important to outline your needs because in today’s drone climate, there’s a perfectly sized drone for nearly every purpose and every person!

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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