Types of UAVs#
There are multiple types of UAVs in the market, covering different sizes and capabilities. Different types of UAVs are used for various purposes, and you need to define the best one for your specific needs.
We have categorized UAVs into different groups based on their wing types. However, they could also be categorized based on their size, range, power source or payload capacity.
Multi-rotor UAVs are the most widely used for recreational and professional use. Their small size and excellent control make multi-rotor UAVs the best choice for aerial photography.
They are perfect for photogrammetry because of their versatility, which allows different types of cameras to be installed for various tasks. These drones offer great flexibility as they can easily hover and take off vertically. However, one downside of multi-rotor drones is their limited flight autonomy. If you plan to perform long flights, you will need multiple batteries, which can add extra costs.
Fixed-wing UAVs using the air’s force against their wings to fly. They look similar to radio-controlled planes and are great for mapping big areas because of their long-lasting battery life. Their design and aerodynamics keep them flying, making them faster and last longer in the air.
However, fixed-wing drones are usually more expensive than multi-rotor drones. They need a lot of space to take off and land, like airplanes. Some bigger models even require special equipment on the ground to help them take off and land. Plus, they can only go straight and don’t have the same flexibility as multi-rotor drones.
Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL)#
Vertical Take-Off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (VTOL UAVs) are fixed-wing aircraft that can take off and land vertically, making them the newest drone technology available. With the ability to combine the long-range and flight time of fixed-wing UAVs and the vertical take-off capability of rotary-wing devices, they eliminate the need for large spaces for takeoff and landing. These drones are perfect for tasks such as mapping, power line inspection, surveillance, agriculture, and rescue operations.
VTOL UAVs are not recommended for beginners due to their advanced technology, which makes them more complex and expensive than other options of fixed-wing UAVs in the market.
WingtraOne is a VTOL UAV made for high-resolution mapping and surveying of large areas.
Single-rotor (helicopter type)#
Single-rotor drones are sturdy and efficient, resembling actual helicopters with a single rotor for power and a tail for stability and direction control. They offer the benefits of both tiny multi-rotor drones and single-rotor drones, making them ideal for carrying larger payloads and flying more efficiently. Unlike other UAVs, these drones use gas engines, resulting in longer flight times. However, they are larger and more intricate, making them much more expensive and challenging to operate. Additionally, their bigger blades can pose a potential danger.