The DJI Air 2S payload [Maximum lift + battery times]

The DJI Air 2S is a fantastic all-rounder drone. It is a fantastic balance of form and function, making it great for most drone enthusiasts looking to capture some incredible aerial footage. However, some people want to use the DJI Air 2S to carry payloads.

According to independent testing, the maximum payload of the DJI Air 2S is 0.5 kg (18 ounces) for 10 minutes, and the maximum power output of the motors is reached at 0.6 kg (22 ounces).

DJI will not offer an official value of the maximum payload of the DJI Air 2S as it is not designed for lifting. To carry payloads, you will require third-party accessories or DIY options.

The heavier the item being carried, the more battery power is required for keeping the drone and payload in the air.

An online YouTube experiment performed by Dustin Dunnill verified the exact weight that can be carried by the DJI Mavic Air 2. Here is a summary of the weight carried and the amount of flight time you can achieve.

WeightKilogramsBattery life
No extra weight0 kgUp to 31 minutes
10 Ounce weight0.28 kgUp to 15 minutes
18 Ounce weight0.51 kgUp to 10 minutes
22 Ounce weight0.62 kgMax power output reached

You can see from the table that the battery life is significantly impacted by the addition of extra weight to the drone.

With only 0.28 kg of extra weight, the battery life is reduced by one-half.

Obviously, you want to ensure that you can deliver your payload and return safely. For example, if you are drone fishing, you do not want to have your drone stuck out over the water as it runs out of battery.

The fly app you are using to pilot your drone will not necessarily consider the extra weight you are carrying. You will have to be extra Conservative when estimating the battery life.

Here are some extra important considerations you need to factor in if you carry a significant amount of weight with your drone.

Important payload considerations

Carrying extra weight with your DJI Air 2S puts additional strain on the drone’s motors and batteries.

The extra strain reduces the battery time and can also mean that your drone doesn’t last as long before it dies, and you need to buy another one.

Battery life

The battery life is the first and most important consideration of carrying a payload with your drone. If you are using your drone regularly for payload delivery, I recommend purchasing multiple batteries and minimising the weight you carry.

The issues with extra weight and shorter battery life mean that you may be caught out in an undesirable situation such as overwater or over dense vegetation that you cannot land in.

Always be extra conservative with your estimates of battery life when carrying any extra weight.

Payload length

The length of the payload and how far it dangles from below the drone are very important.

Ensuring that the payload dangling below your drone cannot get wrapped up in the propellers during takeoff is an important part of flying safely.

On windy days near the coastline, your fishing line will become less easy to manage and control.

Also, ensure that the weight is attached firmly and securely to the drone’s release system. Any quick changes in the drone’s weight close to the ground can result in a crash.

It takes the drone a little moment to adjust the power output to the motors, and closer to the ground, the error bars are much smaller.

Pendulum effect

There is a substantial pendulum effect while the line is attached to the drone.

This effect’s size is determined by the payload length suspended underneath the drone and the weight you carry.

The payload should be as close to the drone as possible to minimise this effect.

Any big addition to your drone shifts the equilibrium and centre of balance.

When the payload is released from the drone, it modifies the upward thrust component of the aircraft. The drone requires substantially less power to stay in the air once the payload is released.

Momentum

Lastly, momentum plays a large role in determining the flying stability of the drone. For example, the heavier the drone is, the longer it takes to get up to speed and come to a complete stop.

You can see from the above gif that as the drone is descending, it takes a while for the extra momentum to be counteracted by the motors. The drone ends up clipping the ground.

The extra momentum that you build up during flying can cause you to overshoot your desired spot in the air and can mean that you end up moving further than you anticipate.

Things you can carry with the DJI Air 2S.

There are many things that you can carry with the drone including:

Wrapping up

In this article, we have been through everything you need to know about the DJI Mavic Air 2S payload maximum and how it impacts the drone’s flight and battery life.

Officially, DJI will not comment on how much the drone is able to carry as it has not been designed to carry any payloads and they probably do not want to encourage the use of this drone for that purpose.

However, thanks to YouTube, there are plenty of people who have been willing to test the maximum payload of different drones. We have discovered that the DJI Air 2 payload is up to a maximum of 500g and it can be carried for 10 minutes before the battery is fully depleted.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones. His favourite is still the DJI Mavic Air for the portability and functionality packed into a small and portable drone!