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Fixed Wing Drones

Heygeorge

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Recently had the opportunity to "map" a 1000 acre farm. It took 3 days using my Inspire 1. Batteries were the main problem and couldn't recharge them fast enough (I have 10 batteries for the I1).

Since this is an ongoing contract, I decided to look at a fixed-wing drone and got sticker shock! After much research, I decided to try my hand at building what I needed. I purchased both the Skyhunter FPV and the Skywalker x8 and the Ardupilot processor. Build cost should be around $1000 each, so they are affordable. I should easily get 1+ hour out of each of these aircraft and cover more distance on each flight. The X8 is a monster (7ft wingspan) and when painted orange I should be able to see it at longer distances from the base station.

Since this is an experiment, any advice or ideas are welcomed.
 
Hello and welcome to the forum. We are glad to have you on board. I'm confident you'll find lots of helpful and enlightening information throughout this forum.

Allen
 
Recently had the opportunity to "map" a 1000 acre farm. It took 3 days using my Inspire 1. Batteries were the main problem and couldn't recharge them fast enough (I have 10 batteries for the I1).

Since this is an ongoing contract, I decided to look at a fixed-wing drone and got sticker shock! After much research, I decided to try my hand at building what I needed. I purchased both the Skyhunter FPV and the Skywalker x8 and the Ardupilot processor. Build cost should be around $1000 each, so they are affordable. I should easily get 1+ hour out of each of these aircraft and cover more distance on each flight. The X8 is a monster (7ft wingspan) and when painted orange I should be able to see it at longer distances from the base station.

Since this is an experiment, any advice or ideas are welcomed.

Parrot Disco-Pro Ag $4499. Includes $3500 Parrot Sequoia Sensor?
Parrot Disco-Pro AG
 
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timely as I am also considering a fixed wing to add to my fleet.
Flying a fixed wing versus a multirotor is a completely different skill set.

Wonder if we could get the board creators to consider a fixed wing and multirotor section
 
Most likely I will just build one, since I already have a spare set of Flight controller and sensors to put in it
 
I use fixed wings for almost all our flights. its very rare i break out a multi rotor, but I specialize in turf grass and ag data gathering work and usually fly large fields. your mileage may vary. three days to scan 1000 is alot of time! but, hey, you got it done and that's the bottom line!

I wouldn't really call it a different skillset, but more of having the appropriate field to scan. It's tener cojones until the first fight is done, then it's quite easy every flight after. i've scanned as little as 14 acres with our big RX and did more work to preplan and launch and recover (not to mention the wasted images taken), so a multirotor would have been much more appropriate.

of importance before a first fixed wing flight is countless preflight practice to seamlessly perform the workflow leading to launch (hand or launcher) cause once it's out of your hand or off the rails, it's gone, never launch with a tailwind and selecting your land site. understanding your command and control capabilities (and shortcomings) is very important.

in my opinion, for a fixed wing, the knowing AP command and control and mission planning is everything.
 
The Quantix has been out for over a year. Any feedback from the field on this? Definitely like the VTOL feature. MSRP $16,500 Link


Here's another product from Precionhawk (Lancaster) Link

 
Last edited:
Recently had the opportunity to "map" a 1000 acre farm. It took 3 days using my Inspire 1. Batteries were the main problem and couldn't recharge them fast enough (I have 10 batteries for the I1).

Since this is an ongoing contract, I decided to look at a fixed-wing drone and got sticker shock! After much research, I decided to try my hand at building what I needed. I purchased both the Skyhunter FPV and the Skywalker x8 and the Ardupilot processor. Build cost should be around $1000 each, so they are affordable. I should easily get 1+ hour out of each of these aircraft and cover more distance on each flight. The X8 is a monster (7ft wingspan) and when painted orange I should be able to see it at longer distances from the base station.

Since this is an experiment, any advice or ideas are welcomed.
When using a fixed wing on a 1,000 acre farm, I am curious how you are dealing with beyond visual line of sight?
Do you have a waiver for that or are you just ignoring it?
The reason I ask, I find it hard to keep line of sight on my Inspire when mapping areas bigger than 120ish acres without having multiple takeoff points and I am assuming that a fixed wing would travel farther than you typically would with an Inspire, and you would have less take off and landing... [emoji848]
 
The sky hunter is larger than the inspire and with the wings wrapped in red and orange monocoat, it is more visible than a standard drone. I also launch from the middle of the farm. VLOS is much easier than with the inspire.
 
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