VTOL hybrid remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) have become increasingly popular over the past few years. For the past decade or so the majority of aerial platforms (drones) have been the ubiquitous quadcopters such as the DJI Phantom and Mavic series, Yuneec hexacopters and other similar setups.
Quadcopters are great in that they can takeoff and land almost anywhere but are not so great in that they are horribly inefficient at flying long distances.
VTOL hybrid systems aim to change that by combining the advantages of a quadcopter with the flight efficiencies inherent to fixed wing systems.
Here is our recently updated list of 14 VTOL hybrid drone systems on the market today:
List of 14 VTOL Hybrid Drone System Currently Available (Updated December 2019)
Pricing: $20,000 and up
The WingtraOne is built by Swiss company Wingtra AG and is arguably one of the most popular hybrid VTOL systems on the market today. It has a very streamlined designed, looks much more rugged than many of the other options on the market and has one of the smoothest vertical/horizontal flight transitions that we have seen.
It claims to be able to map close to 1000 acres in a single flight and maintain a 2.5cm GSD (Ground Sampling Distance).
(We also discuss this drone in further depth on our Drones for Mapping blog post)
Pricing: $12,000 and up
The DeltaQuad is a delta wing VTOL system and gives users the option to fly via standard radio control or to fly long distances using a 3G cell network.
The platform can fly 100km distances autonomously and can carry up to 1.2 kg of payload. It cruises at about 60km/h and can reach speeds of up to 100km/h.
It also offers secure features such as encrypted control and video links, built in fail safe and fallback procedures and automated terrain following.
3. ATMOS Marlyn
The Marlyn’s claim to fame is the fact that it can withstand up to 45km/h winds on takeoff and landing. It also includes a smart dual battery system that provides redundancy and extended flights.
The Marlyn ships with in-house built custom ground control software and has a wide variety of sensors available as payloads.
The HeliPlane is built using kevlar and carbon, making it one of the more durable airframes on the market. It can fly for about 60 minutes and has a range of approximately 10KM.
It is one of the more unique looking VTOL hybrids on the market, and, like many of the others has an extensive array of payload options available. Some payload options include LIDAR, a Colibri 2 zoom camera, and standard RGB cameras.
The MMC Griflion has a flight capacity of up to 200km and is built of sturdy composite materials. It can carry orthographic cameras, an oblique camera, and electro-optical pod to run a high precision surveying, mapping or patrol missions.
The system autonomously switches from vertical to horizontal flying and is capable of remaining airborne for up to 2 hours, reaching speeds of up to 80MPH.
The FlyTech Birdie is technically a fixed wing UAV. It is unique however in that FlyTech however offers the option to add “VTOL Modules” to the system to instantly transform the fixed wing into a VTOL system.
This gives users the option to main the high efficiency of a fixed wing (when using it on projects that have sufficient landing/take-off space) and to switch to a VTOL system when necessary.
7. ALTI Ascend
Pricing: Starting at $35,000
The ALTI Ascend has a 2 meter wingspan and a very long flight time of up to 6 hours! It can cover about 450KM in a single flight and costs around $3/hour to run (compare this to the thousands of dollars an hour that some full-size helicopters cost and the system quickly seems reasonably affordable).
Pricing: $ N/A
The ZeroTech ZT-3V system has a 30km range, a takeoff weight of about 18 pounds, and a payload capacity of about 2 pounds. It also boasts a triple autopilot system that work together to detect failure in one or more systems.
It is capable of withstanding moderate to high winds and rain and includes a built in 3 axis gimballed payload. Onboard software is also able to recognize and detect vehicles and personnel. It also has a rather unique feature in that it can return to it’s home point without the use of GPS/Navigation (should that fail) by tracking every movement and inertia of the airframe to calculate how to return to it’s home point!
9. Threod EOS-C
The Threod EOS-C is a VTOL hybrid designed for military and surveillance operations. It can fly for up to 3 hours and is one of the quietest VTOL systems on the market.
It includes the Shark EO/IR gimbal system that provides geopositioning, geolock and fully stabilized video with metadata overlay. The camera will lock onto and track targets from great distances and can pan 360 degrees continuously.
Pricing: $3299 and up
The FoxTech Nimbus has the capability to fly for up to 80 minutes and has a payload capability of around 800g. It has built in waypoint flight capabilities and is based on the very popular Pixhawk flight controller.
Unlike many of the other options on this list the FoxTech Nimbus can be readily purchased online and pricing is publically displayed. View all the options at https://www.foxtechfpv.com/foxtech-nimbus-vtol-v2.html.
Pricing: $16,000 and up
The Trinity F90 has a flight time of around 90 minutes and has a relatively short 7.5km command and control range (it does have a 100km flight distance range however).
It includes Q-Base 3D mapping software and has many optional payloads including multispectral cameras, high resolution RGB cameras and more.
Pricing: $ N/A
The WingCopter is a German engineered hybrid VTOL that has smoothly rotating motors that help transition from vertical to horizontal flight.
The system has a range of up to 100km and can travel at some of the highest speeds of any VTOL, 240km/h! The WingCopter heavy lift has a payload capacity of 6 kilograms which is one of the higher payloads on this list.
It can also handle wind gust of up to 20m/s. Like some of the other VTOL systems on this list it has an optional 3G/4G control link that allows for nearly unlimited range (wherever cell towers are present).
13. Xcraft X2Q
The X2Q has a telemetry control link of 30km and a relatively small payload capacity of 250g. It will cover 16 square km in a single flight and has easily swappable batteries for continuous flight.
FoxTech has a long history of innovation in flying technology (for example, the continuous power tethering system) and the BabyShark system is one of their most innovative products to date.
The FoxTech BabyShark is a relatively affordable VTOL hybrid and has a wide range of payload options. It also has a surprisingly long flight time of 2.5 hours and a payload of up to 3kg. They also have a respectable top speed of about 100km/h.
Some of the payload options include a megaphone system and a high zoom camera.
It is readily available for purchase at https://www.foxtechfpv.com/foxtech-baby-shark-vtol.html
There are an ever increasing number of hybrid Vertical Take-Off and Landing systems available on the market today, each with their own strengths and weaknesses as well as a wide range of pricing.
Is there one you would like to see added to the list? Email us at info @ dronetrader .com and we’ll add it to the list!
To learn about drones with hybrid gas-electric systems please visit our post at http://blog.dronetrader.com/list-of-the-top-hybrid-gas-electric-drones-available-today/ or if you’d like to learn more about drones for humans (yes, you read that right!) then please visit our other post List of Manned Passenger Drones and Drone Taxis (Updated May 2021)