Y6 Payload Capacity

We are considering using the Y6 for a science project but need to know the payload capacity first. We used the QAV500 in a previous project and were carrying a 1.1lb payload; we are hoping for closer to 2lbs with the Y6.

Thanks for any input you can give.


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  • Moderator

    I found it ironic that this post was created when we were planning to do a weight lift test with the Y6 just this weekend.

    Below is the video.

    A couple of things:

    • The wind was crazy.  Blowing at 33-35kmh with gusts upto 50kmh.  Look at the back of my tshirt.
    • There was very little difference between 75% and 100% throttle, but I could certainly feel that the wind was impacting the lift.
    • We lifted more with the quad last year (video below and excuse the video quality - only in SD)
    • This was with a 3s battery - as was our quad test.  If you really want to lift something, go 4s or 6s.
    • We'll be doing the test again in still conditions to compare against the quad test.

    Happy to answer any other questions.

    • You know, in all of the discussion going on here, I forgot about my very first Y6 flight.  

      When I got the machine, and finally got the "RTF" fixed so it really might actualy fly (GPS in the wrong port, and so on), I decided I needed to test it somehow before I dove into a full flight.  Mainly, I didn't want it getting away from me before I could figure out if the radio was even set up right.  

      So, I tied a piece of wood to it.  It was a healthy chunk of 4x4 post.  I was sure that would keep it from lifting off.  

      Nope.  It hauled that sucker right up in the air with it.  I  set it back down after it got about 6 to 8 ft up and considered myself very lucky.  I later weighed the block of wood.  3.4lb.

      That was on a new stock Y6B with no GoPro and no gimbal, but a 4s6000mAh batt.  I'm certainly not suggesting you do that, but mine got it up in the air, at least.  

    • David,

      You are my new hero, thank you so much for posting this. This seems to show that the over/under motor config is much less efficient than a multirotor with one motor per arm; ie... hexa with 6 arms/ 6 motors seems to be much more efficient than a Y-frame with 3 arms/ 6 motors.

      Based off your results, we may just go with a hexa / 6 arm frame such as the Tarot 690. We are not looking so much for video quality as we are lift capability.

      Thanks again,


    • Moderator

      No problem at all.  If you're after just pure lift, go the standard Hex.  That's what we do.  The Y6 looks cool, and the redundancy thing is a nice to have, but you do lose too much lift in my books.

      The Tarot 690 or Quanum 680 would be fine.  Go some low KV motors, larger cf props and at least a 4s (pref 6s) battery and you'll be laughing.

      We will be doing a lift test on our Hex too, but that won't be for a little while as we've got a bit on atm.

      Haygood, sure, i'll do a speed test too - just no point in those winds.  Although going with the wind could have been interesting. (;

    • It would be kind of fun to set up some tests comparing a Y6 and Hex configuration setup using exactly the same electronics and hardware.  I'm sure the Hex would outperform the Y6 in all of the performance metrics, but seeing how much would be interesting.  

    • Moderator

      Indeed it would be interesting and I suspect you're spot on with the performance point. 

      And that's what we're going to do. (:

    • Hi Elvis

      Coaxial motor configuration is recognised to be roughly 24% less efficient (see lots of posts - or should I say arguements on DIYDRONES about this).

      The Y6 configuration is popular as there is a wide angle between forward-facing arms which is favourable for forward-facing cameras (like goPro / FPV fans etc.). It is also a lighter frame (3 arms as opposed to 6 which naturally increases your payload capacity) Whether that is enough to sway you one way or another is up to the nuances of the outcomes you are looking to achieve.

    • Nice.  I would be interested to see a Y6 speed test.

  • It depends what Y6 you are talking about, and what else is onboard.

    Are you asking about a 3DR Y6, or one of the others?

    Which motors would you plan to use on it?

    What size props would you use?

    What kind and size of battery?

    How long do you need each flight to be (time and/or distance)?

    Will the Y6 need to carry anything else, such as a basic FPV camera, a GoPro, or a GoPro on a gimbal?

    Answer those and we will be more able to help.

    A basic 3DR Y6 with no FPV or other camera, and in default motor and prop configuration might get close to 2 pounds, particularly with a smaller battery pack.  The 4s6000mAh pack mine came with weighs 600 grams.  If you had a battery pack half that size, for example, you would have the 600gram payload capacity plus 300 more from the smaller battery weight saving.  That puts you right about 2 lb.    Flight time would be really short at that point.  If you list your ideal anwers to the questions above, we can probably help you determine how to get there. 

    • Thanks for the answers Nigel and Haygood.


      I'm very surprised that the Y6 would attain less than 5 mins of flight time with only 350g of payload. We flew our QAV500 quadrotors with 500 - 550 grams of payload (in addition to an FPV cam, Vtx, MinimOSD, and 4S 4500mAh battery) and were getting 11-13 mins of flight time ending with 10-20% battery remaining. I'd expect 6 motors to do better than 4. We were running APC 10 x 3.8 Slow Fly props with MT4006-740 motors at sea level.

      Haygood, you pretty much answered what I was looking for but to list our goals:

      We are looking at the 3DR Y6 stock config (batteries are still undecided but considering staying with our 4S 4500mAh packs). We are running an FPV setup; cam and Vtx.

      Flight time: minimum 10 minutes

      Payload Capacity: minimum 2 lbs

      We may have to go with the X8 if the Y6 can't fill these requirements.


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