The EU-manufactured FIXAR drone has undergone testing as part of the firm’s mission to develop a commercial UAV that outperforms its competitors both payload capacity and distance coverage.
The design provides the take-off and landing manoeuvrability of multirotor drones and the increased payload and endurance of fixed-wing drones. A plug-and-play payload module design allows for various use cases, the firm said.
“Over the course of a decade of working in the commercial drone industry with mining, surveying, oil and gas, and energy clients, I was constantly facing the same issue – none of the existing solutions could fulfill all the clients’ needs,” said Vasily Lukashov, FIXAR founder and CEO.
“Professionals all over the world are forced to put up with functional limitations such as limited flight distance, the complexity of cumbersome configuration, small payload capacity, failure to work in low or high temperatures. FIXAR is designed to fill the gap in the industry by offering the all-in-one solution for multiple use cases.”
During testing, the FIXAR UAV was used in the Elbrus mountain range – Europe’s highest point at 4500m above sea level – to create an accurate map using orthophotography as part of geodesic surveys for the construction of a cable car in mountainous terrain.
At altitudes with increased windiness, as well as challenging terrain, the drone maintained stability, functionality, was able to land within two metre accuracy, and only required two minutes of flight prep time.
How FIXAR works
FIXAR said: “While most VTOL fixed-wing drones require that the angle of the motors change when transitioning from vertical to horizontal flight, the FIXAR 007 model uses a patented Fixed Angled Rotor system, meaning fewer moving parts or potential points of failure. Transitions are seamless, and all motors are in use throughout missions. Unlike designs that shut down motors during forward flight, the FIXAR model has no ‘dead weight’.
“The benefits of the FIXAR UAV ensure that drone operators can attach heavier payloads, including LiDAR or a combo of RGB and multispectral cameras. They are more versatile in terms of manoeuvrability and have longer airtime and distance – covering up to 400 hectares in a single flight or mapping 60 km of roads, railways, and pipelines.
“The combined benefits of the hybrid design means that FIXAR is able to replace drones with separate uses, and is able to complete in one flight what might otherwise require multiple flights. Field experience also has demonstrated that only two minutes are required for flight preparation, meaning that fewer operator hours are required per flight.”