Advantages of the fixed wing UAV with respect to the rotating wing UAV:
The UAV present huge potentiality as far as concern both precision and efficiency, allowing not only to bring down operating costs with respect to traditional planes or helicopters, but also to intervene in environments where it couldn’t be possible to operate by an aircraft with pilot on board. Also between the aircrafts there are differences that make them more or less suited for a given activity.
The modality of flight of the fixed wing UAV in fact are optimized in particular for the professional use of the data and for their topographic restitution with high quality and precision in the three dimensions.
Briefly, the main advantages can be summarized in this way:
- longer flight autonomy: the fixed wing UAV are able to flight for about 45 minutes consecutively, while the multi-copters UAV have normally an autonomy much more limited (usually about 10-15 minutes, taking off and landing operations included);
- larger areas covered in less time: the fixed wing UAV allow to survey surfaces up to 10 km2 with a single flight, reaching fast the operating height and keeping high their efficiency; a multi-copter UAV needs on the contrary continuous pit-stop and longer times to recuperate the working-point from which the mission can be restarted;
- better quality of the photographic result: the quality of the images for the professional and technical use depends strongly on the lighting conditions which obviously con change also during a single flight; the possibility of the fixed wing UAV to survey in a short time and with continuity large areas, allows to keep a better uniformity of the taken images and consequently an high quality of the final result;
- better control of flight parameters: the fixed wings UAV allow to keep constant and controlled the main parameters which can influence the flight (for example the cruise velocity): this fact allows to control also the accuracy of the shooting; the multi-copters UAV, since they cannot normally coordinate the shooting modality with flight parameters, don’t allow to guarantee images analogous with each other in typology and quality; for this reason, it is necessary to post process the images in a way that can modify significantly the final quality of the restitution;
- elimination of the noise in the taken images: the fixed wing UAV can flight also without propeller propulsion (as a glider): this potentiality, that is not available for multi-copters drones, guarantees an higher safety of the flight and moreover it is exploited during the shooting moment: the engine is turned down and in this way the possible physical and electromagnetic noises, that can influence the quality of the taken image, are minimized;
- better aerodynamic performance and minor influence of environmental conditions: the fixed wing UAV can fly with wind velocity up to 45 km/h; in these conditions are guaranteed in any way the flight stability and the keeping of the correct azimutal balance, which is necessary to obtain correct ortophotos;
- higher control of image quality: the fixed wing UAV allow to monitor automatically and in real time the image quality, making possible, if necessary, to interrupt the flight and then restart it from the precise shooting point of the image that has not the required quality;
- higher flight safety: the fixed wing UAV has a weight much lower with respect to rotating wing drones having the same payload, and in case of technical problems to the engine the fixed wing drones don’t lose completely their ability to flight in a controlled way;
- possibility to offer single shoots: the fixed wing UAV allow to take single photos in predefined positions, making possible in this way to obtain spectacular framing of single objects, buildings or landscapes with high resolution.