Fixed-wing drones

  • One of the best ways to extend the range of a VTOL aircraft is to add wings for horizontal flight, and Drone Volt's Heliplane brings this kind of thinking to the industrial drone market, offering long flight endurance times, 1.6-kg (3.5-lb) payload capacity and VTOL/hover capabilities.
  • ​Lately we've been seeing an increasing number of VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) drones, that combine the best qualities of fixed-wing aircraft and quadcopters. So, what do you do if you already manufacture a standard fixed-wing model? In the case of FlyTech, you offer a VTOL upgrade module.
  • ​We've already heard how batteries that are built into the structure of items – such as cars or satellites – could help extend run times without increasing bulk. Now, the flight time of a drone has been almost doubled, thanks to such "structural batteries."
  • ​Because fixed-wing drones are more energy-efficient than multicopters, they're often used for tasks such as mapping the ocean. Many of them require landing strips, however, which there isn't always room for on ships. A new technique gets around that problem, using copters to catch them.
  • We’re increasingly seeing drones that cross over between sea and sky. Now engineers from North Carolina State University have developed the EagleRay XAV, an amphibious fixed-wing drone that can fly above or dive below the waves as needed.
  • Yuneec has turned up to this year's CES setting its sights on two niche areas of hobbyist flight it is yet to really explore. Its refreshed lineup Includes an aircraft designed for aspiring drone racers, one for long-range first-person flight and a successor to the six-rotor Typhoon H.
  • We have seen fixed-wing drones pull off some impressive maneuvers, with versions that dive like a seabird, land like a perching bird and even using shape-shifting wings to soar through the air like one. But landing on and taking off from vertical surfaces?