Russian Drone Can Lift 142 Phantom 3 Drones

Russia has long been known for making large machines. They hold the current record for the largest helicopter ever made – the MiL V12. Same goes for the world’s largest airplane, the Antonov An-225. Largest submarine? Yep, they made that too – the Typhoon class. It would appear they’ve thrown their hat in the drone business as well.

While the SKYF drone is made by a private Russian company, it is one of the largest drones we’ve ever seen. Able to lift 400 pounds (a Phantom 3 weighs 2.8 pounds) and can fly for eight hours, the SKYF drone is a nice piece of aeronautical engineering. Quad-copter style drones provide lift by brute force, and are typically plagued with low lift capacities and short flight times. The SKYF triumphs over these limitations by using gasoline powered engines for lift and electric motors for navigation.

It’s still in the prototype stage and being advertised for use in natural disasters and the agriculture industry. Check out the video in the link above to see the SKYF in action.

What’s the largest drone you’ve seen?

Thanks to [Itay] for the tip!

58 thoughts on “Russian Drone Can Lift 142 Phantom 3 Drones

        1. I thought drones were male bees.

          However, calling little worker helicopters “drones” is kind of an insult, considering that drone bee is a metaphor for a lazy do-nothing gluttons.

          1. Lazy do-nothing? That’s the opposite of a drone bee. Drone bees are constantly busy, they work like they have no desire to do anything else. The metaphor to me means about the same as calling someone a robot or automaton. Someone who acts like they’re behavior is programmed.

          2. Serves me right. I post, THEN look up drone bees. First hit, “they’re maybe not so busy as you’d think”. And second. And third. Anyway, the drone bee metaphor as far as I’ve ever heard it builds on that apparently mistaken stereotype.

  1. Not wanting to provide any clicks to the dailywail, I looked up the manufacturers directly ( )
    So, it’s strictly a hex-copter with two petrol rotors providing the bulk thrust and an outer ‘quad’ electric rotor arrangement providing more manoeuvring control/instantaneous thrust.
    I like that they’ve even designed it to fold (slightly) so you can fit it into a standard shipping container.

    1. It was transferred to separatist Ukraine after the USSR split up, it still doesn’t give it the merit of designing and manufacturing the plane. Not to mention that design bureaus had nothing to do with Ukrainian ideas of national identity.

    2. There is only single plane exists that was built in 1988, so wikipedia says that An-255 National origin: Soviet Union
      as well as
      “Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991, Russia was internationally recognized[55] as its legal successor on the international stage”

  2. Don’t expect any US (or allied) “critical infrastructure” related, or national security related concern to be purchasing any of these anytime soon. The fact it’s manufacturer is a frenemy (Russia) is a significant barrier to it’s usage in those mentioned areas. Similar to DJI products being banned by the US military (and DHS putting out warnings). Evidently the DJI ‘drones’ persist in “phoning home” to relay all sorts of information (photographs, geotags, etc) – and it’s well known DJI shares this information with the Chinese authorities (translation: they are spying for them).

    1. Why would they? The USA has advanced unmanned aircraft, including load carriers such as this, that have been in testing and real-world use for years now. Stupid idiot, no one cares about your late news trying to mansplain the rest of us on shit you have no idea about other than reading some wired article.

    1. “energy dense liquid fuels > electric.” There. fixed it.

      It’s incidental that most liquid fuels are currently derived from fossil fuel. If a vehicle devotes a third of its mass to energy storage, like a Tesla S, you should expect it to get across a whole continent, not a measly few hundred km.

      Heck, even Elon Musk heavily promotes dense liquid fuels (for SpaceX).

  3. “What’s the largest drone you’ve seen?” By which you mean “remotely piloted aircraft”?

    That would be Dave McEwen’s fleet of converted Canadian Sabre fighter jets, starting back in the mid 1970’s. I saw the last of the 20 or so he built when I was flying out of his airport in the early 80’s. Yes, genuine full-size remotely-piloted jet fighters, but stripped of armament. More info: Kids, these days, piddling around with those puny electric things. :-)

    He sold them for target practice…

    1. Biggest I know of were B-17s converted for RPV drones, and they had TV cameras for FPV.. stripped out of everything else they had a 25,000lb plus payload. Designations were BQ-17 when used as guided munitions and QB-17 when used as targets.

  4. I’m having trouble finding any reference to the one the British Army had in the 1980s, it had contra rotating rotors, and a mast mounted sensor package, possibly similar to those mounted on Lynx and other service helis at the time. It’s was quite large because it was hauling probably 1970s designed sensors, like maybe tube based thermal cameras. Anyway, that thing should have had payload in the 100s of pounds area. It was for battlefield recon for armored units… tactical recon drone.

    The “drones” in military service thing was quite fragmented in most nations up to the 2000s, navy and army would have their own, then airforces would be all “all ur drones are belong to us” because of fear of being replaced etc.. So with services keeping their projects low key from each other even, it doesn’t seem to be a very well documented area/time for them. There’s a couple more types I can remember that don’t appear on wikipedias lists. Also designations were all over the place, RPV, UAV, drone, URV and many variations.

  5. What a bizzare definition of large. Poke around the US Air & Space museum outside DC sometime, they’ve got a nice “little” nuclear capable unmanned helicopter on display. (apparently overkill does not apply to depth charges)

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.