DJI Mavic mini was an impressive piece of engineering that brought the drone weight down to just 249 grams without compromising much on its flight capabilities. Further improved on it, DJI introduced the Mavic mini 2 a year on. Despite their smaller sizes, they have all the flight features found in high-end DJI drones. But people often wonder about the DJI mini 2 max altitude and ask how high can it really go with that small size.
Technically, the DJI mini 2 max altitude can be as high as 4500 meters (14763 feet) above sea level. It has a maximum take-off height of 4000 meters (13123 feet) and can fly as high as 500 meters (1640 feet) from that point.
Let’s explore things in a bit more detail and see how high can we fly the DJI mini 2 still resisting wind and be able to take good photos.
DJI Mini 2 max altitude limit
By default, your Mavic mini will be limited to flying up to the max altitude of 120 meters (394 feet). The reason behind this is that most countries around the world including the US and Canada limit the max permissible height for drones to be 400 feet from above the ground limit. I have a detailed blog on how high can drones fly if you want to read further details.
As soon as you reach 394 feet or 120 meters, you will start seeing a warning on your screen about the max altitude limit (see photo below)
But you can change this limit inside the DJI Fly app and can set it to as high as 500 meters. While doing that, make sure you are not putting any air traffic in danger and are not in violation of your local laws.
Technically speaking, you can go much much higher with your Mavic mini 2. Apart from the software blocking your ascend, there is nothing stopping you from gaining further altitude. Your Mavic mini can generate enough lift to go as high as 4500 meters or around 14,000 feet. That’s very high. That’s the altitude where helicopters normally fly.
How to get to max 4,500m altitude?
Now that we know our mini 2 can fly as high as 4,500 meters from sea level but is limited by software, how can we go around this limitation and test the mini to its full capacity?
There are two ways you can go about this. One is a legal way and the other is well not exactly illegal but – a hack.
The drone measures its altitude from the point it takes off. That take-off point is marked as zero meters and the drone will fly to maximum altitude set in the Fly App. If you take off from the top of a building that is 60 meters high, you can fly to a maximum of 560 meters (500 + 60). But what if you take off from 4,000 meters height above sea level?
If you go to any mountain resort, you can easily gain a few thousand meters altitude from sea level. The DJI Mini 2 can take off from a maximum altitude of 4,000 meters. So, if you find a mountain resort that is 4,000 meters in altitude from sea level, you can take off from there and go as high as 500 meters making your total altitude from sea level an astounding 4,500 meters. See a video from a user that attempts this at the Loveland Pass in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado.
Another way of doing this is hacking the DJI firmware and removing the altitude limit but for obvious reasons, I am not going to tell you how to do this. If you are feeling adventurous and have some computer knowledge, I am sure you will find a way. BUT, DON’T DO IT unless you can make absolutely sure you won’t put yourself or anyone else in any danger.
Why can’t Mavic mini 2 go above 4,500 meters?
4,500 meters is what the manufacture states it can go. In practice, you might be able to go above that on a good day. But what are the factors that technically limit the DJI Mini 2 from going above and beyond?
The very first limitation is air density. As you go high, the air gets thinner and thinner. That’s why, to generate more lift to keep climbing, the motors have to spin faster and faster drawing more current from the battery. At a certain height, the air gets so much thin that no matter how fast your motors and propellers spin, the drone won’t be able to generate enough lift to climb further.
Another reason is the temperature at high altitudes. When you go high, the air gets colder (thin air retains less heat hence low temperature). This cold temperature negatively affects the drone’s batteries as they cannot discharge fully when cold. This limits how much power is available to your drone motors.
Why altitude limit on Mavic Mini 2 software?
At this point, you must be wondering why DJI has put an altitude limit on your Mavic mini 2 if it can go as high as 4,500 meters? Why not unlock the full potential of the drone and let users fly it to its fullest? There are a few good reasons for that.
- LEGAL LIMITATION: In almost all countries, there is a certain altitude limit on commercial and hobby drones to make sure they don’t intrude on manned aircraft flight zone. In US, you can fly your drone as high as 400 feet but not higher. Similar restrictions are in other countries as well. So, to be compliant, DJI has put a software lock on how high can you fly.
- SAFETY: As discussed, the higher you go, the more you are putting manned flights at risk of collision. Manned flights operate above 500 feet by law (apart from the immediate surroundings of an airport). That means, if you are flying above that hight, you are trespassing into manned flight zone and risking a collision.
- HIGH WIND: Wind velocity increases as you go higher. Although most drones are highly wind resistant including your mavic mini 2 (it offers level 5 wind resistance), it still can take so much. High wind can destabilise your drone and can risk a crash.
- ALL THE GOOD STUFF ARE BELOW 400 FEET: Well that’s true. As you higher and higher, you view of the world below gets dimmer. All the good views can be recorded from below 400 feet so there is no point going above that height (apart from the fact that you can so you have to)