It does not matter whether you are a drone enthusiast or you just started flying drones, I am sure all of us have had the brief thought of, can my drone actually carry a human? Well, I did some research…
Drones are capable of carrying a human, but not your everyday drones such as the DJI’s that can only carry around 3 pounds. Drones capable of lifting a human are usually a lot larger than your typical drone such as the Volocopter GmbH that can carry 440 pounds over 16 miles!
Now that you know that there is drone out there that can carry humans, you probably want to know what that drone is and how much it can carry. Read more to find out.
Drones That Can Lift Humans
If you are like me then you might be finding that you spend quite a bit of time scrolling through Youtube trying to find a cool drone video. I happened to come across one such video that really piqued my interest in many ways.
The video was of Casey Neistat, a well known Youtuber, who posted a video of him flying through the sky in a Santa suit while being lifted up by none other than a drone.
Since this video went viral a few years ago of Casey being lifted into the air by a homemade quadcopter, he has since flown a drone that was named the first flying car by the team that made it, Kitty Hawk.
But what kind of drone would you have to have to be able to carry a human being into the sky without any hassle? I’ve taken the time to compile a list of all the drone types and models that are able to carry a human being.
The Volocopter Drone
Volocopter GmbH, formerly known as E-Volo GmbH, is a German aircraft manufacturer. This company specializes in the design of electric multirotor helicopters in the form of personal air vehicles.
The Volocopter 2X is a German two-seat, optionally-piloted multirotor electric helicopter.
- Range: It has a range of 16.5 miles.
- Endurance: The Volocopter can last for about 27 minutes of consistent flight. This is obviously not taking into account different weather changes, the weight it carrying and other factors so the flight time may vary.
- Top Speed: you should not be planning to be flying to fast but the Volocopter has a top speed of about 62mph(100km/h).
- Engine Type: Brushless electric motor
- Carry Limit: The Volocopter 2X can carry up to 440 pounds( 199kg) which is around the weight of 3 human beings of average weight. But it is only allowed to carry one human at a time.
- Cost: With the basic specs, the Volocopter 2X would cost you about $250,000 which is not just a are change for most people, but considering that you would have to be worried about traffic anymore you might just consider it.
Ehang 184 Drone
The Ehang 184 drone was designed to carry one person from one point to another. It has 8 propellers and since July 2018, 30 to 40 single pilot Ehang 184 drones have been built.
The Ehang 184 is a fully automated drone that will transport its passengers from point A to point B without the passenger needing to control anything. Plans are being made to try and allow for manual piloting to be an option with the drone but at the moment it is not possible.
- Range: The Ehang 184 has a range of about 9.5 miles.
- Capacity: This drone was only designed to carry one person.
- Cost: The Ehang 184 drone will cost you between $200,000 and $300,000.
- Cruise Speed: 81 mph(130 km/h)
One interesting fact about the Ehang 184 drone is that it only takes 2 to 4 hours to fully charge its batteries so that it is ready for another run.
The Griff 300
Griff Aviation is the drone company that is behind the making of the Griff 300.
- Range: The range for this drone is 9 miles.
- Endurance: The Griff 300 has about 45 minutes of airtime depending on what it is carrying.
- Capacity: The Griff 300 carry about 500 pounds(226kg) of payload weight.
- Cost: The UAV will be priced at around $250,000 but this price is not the final price, the final price depends on the client’s requirements.
- Speed: The Griff 300 has a maximum speed of 37mph
Is Lifting a Human With a Drone Legal?
Legally there is no law against a human being lifted into the air by a drone. The only law applies to the drone itself.
Drones are bound by different aviation laws depending on how big the drone is, where it is flying and what its purpose is.
Because the type of drone that needs to be able to carry a human being needs to be fairly large in size and with more motors than the average drone, the person flying the drone also needs to be a skilled pilot.
That is why in order to fly large drones known as heavy-lifting drones or professional drones, you need to have the right qualifications in order to do it legally and safely.
In order to begin your journey of flying large drones, you need to have an FAA-approved license. Visit the FAA site to learn more about how you can get this license.
How Long Until Human Flight Using Drones is Common
Drones have quickly become a very common piece of tech that people have tried to get their hands on over the years and the activity of flying a drone has left the world wanting more. It left the world wondering, when are we gonna be able to do more with drones?
The Chinese drone company Ehang have taken the tech community by storm by releasing footage of their quadcopter that they have named the Ehang 184.
The company has conducted over 1,000 test flights using the Ehang 184 with human passengers. The company has also put the Ehang 184 through many brutal tests in order to fully test this machine.
Ehang has proven that soon we will be able to travel using drones to reach our destinations. Their drone is also fully electric which will also be a big bonus for the environment. The company wants the drone to be used as an air taxi, helping people reach their destinations.
Pretty soon we will be using drones in our every day lives for everything from transport to delivery. Everything we use cars for, we will be able to replace with drones which will reduce the effect we have on the environment but also if you are like me you should be looking forward to not having to sit behind a bad driver in traffic.
At the moment the drones that have proven themselves of being fully capable of transporting human beings from point to point are all automated with a destination set before take-off. But soon there will be hopes for drones that are able to carry human beings large distances to be able to switch to manual piloting.
The drone industry is only going to get better. Companies will continue to compete and make advancements in the industry and if it continues to grow like this we can leave tasks that are too dangerous and risky to be done by drones.
In some cases, people are trapped in areas where it impossible to fit a helicopter. So it usually takes hours even days for preparations to be made in order for the person to be rescued.
With the application of drones that are able to lift up human beings the same person who is stuck in a place or area unreachable by helicopter or motor vehicle.
Now it will be possible for the person to be rescued using a drone that can fit into areas helicopters can not and that is able to lift the person. Not only will large heavy-lifting drones be able to be used for lifting supplies and heavy camera rigs but now they can be used to actually help people as well.
This does not put an end to the use of smaller drones. Smaller drones will continue to be used for recreational purposes as well as for assisting these larger drones.