5 Best Fixed Wing Drones in 2019 – Buying Guide for Beginners

5 Best Fixed Wing Drones in 2019 – Buying Guide for Beginners

Are you looking for the best fixed wing drone? Want to know what’s best to buy in the market?

A lot of people are not aware of fixed wing drones and how they are different from the multi-rotor type quadcopters. If you just heard about fixed wing drones and want to know more about this UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles), then you are just on the right page.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my top pick fixed wing drones in the market. That’s not all, I’ll also give you an overview of its benefits and how to pick the best one.

Best Fixed Wing Drones

Fixed wing drones are great quads because they tend to have long range control and flight time. They also have greater altitude and are easier to maintain because they have a simple structure compared to multi-rotor drones.

If this is the type of drone that you are looking for, look no further, here are the best fixed wing drone that you should buy.

1. Parrot Disco

Specs

Dimensions: 4.7 x 45.2 x 22.8in
Weight: 4lbs
Max speed: 50mph
Control range: 1.2mi
Flight time: 45min
Camera: 14mp full HD 1080p

Parrot Disco is the first fixed wing drone that can fly up to 50mph. With this, you can immerse yourself in flight and see the world from a whole new perspective with Parrot Cockpitglasses.

This drone is fast and can last up in the air up to 45 minutes, far longer than most quadcopters you will find in the market. The Parrot Skycontroller 2 enables intuitive piloting, so you can play with altitude, direction and speed. Stability is guaranteed with its anti-stall system, so feel free to experiment.

This drone has an aerodynamic design, streamlined look, fixed wings and light carbon and EPP (expanded polypropylene) body that enable it to soar through the air like a plane.

I had a very fun experience with Parrot Disco! This drone lets you experience FPV (first person view) and the thrill of extreme flight while you glide and enjoy the view or speed up, dive down and climb back up.

PROS

  • Nice design
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Easy to fly
  • Supports FPV
  • Not noisy
  • Long flight time
  • Excellent range
  • Impressive camera

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Lacks GPS
  • Skills required to use FPV headset
  • Difficult to operate with many obstacles

2. Parrot Swing

Specs

Dimensions: 13 x 5 x 5in
Weight: 2.57oz
Control range: 200m
Flight time: 7-8min

Parrot Swing is one of the most popular fixed wing drones in the market because it is affordable, high-quality and high-performance. If you get this drone, in less than a $100 you’ll be able to fly a fixed wing quadcopter without breaking the bank.

Swing is the first mini drone that takes off and lands like a drone and flies like a plane. It has dual piloting mode. It also comes with autopilot, vertical take-off and landing mode. You can fly this using Parrot Flypad controller and it can speed up to 19mph.

This drone is simple and intuitive. The autopilot ensures that the drone is stable and it hovers even if you let go of the controls. Using, the Plane Mode enables you to race with high speed and perform flips, dives, loops and more for limitless thrills.

Swing is highly recommended for beginners who want to experience flying a fixed wing drone but do not want to spend too much for a quadcopter. This drone ticks all the boxes in terms of price, quality, and performance.

PROS

  • High-quality
  • Affordable
  • Dual flight mode
  • Fun and easy to fly
  • One press takeoff/landing
  • Performs acrobatic stunts well

CONS

  • Camera is not the best
  • Lacks light for night flying
  • No instructions for replacing the propellers

3. Hubsan H301S Spy Hawk

Specs

Dimensions: 40.5 x 7.1 x 14.3in
Weight: 5.8lb
Control range: 0.62mi
Flight time: 30min
Camera: 1080p ultra-wide angle

Hubsan Spy Hawk is another great fixed wing drone in the market. It has a simple and very cool design, but more importantly, it is very durable. It can withstand several crashes and still works normally. Also, it can fly up to 30 minutes in the air which is long enough for you to maximize the fun when piloting the drone.

For beginners, this is very easy to fly because it is equipped with an automatic Return to Home function and GPS flight control system for a more accurate flight and position hold capabilities. I’m very happy with the inclusion of GPS because it guarantees you that you can just hit the Return to Home function when you lose sight of your drone and expect the quadcopter to fly back to you.

The manual is also very detailed and easy to follow from the assembly, getting the drone ready for flight, battery charging, radio stick calibration, camera functions and more. You won’t have a hard time getting started with this quadcopter.

Overall, this drone is very good. I had fun flying this and I’m very impressed with its performance. So, I highly recommend this.

PROS

  • Has GPS
  • Supports FPV
  • Long flight time
  • Has automatic Return to Home function
  • Accurate flight and position hold capabilities

CONS

  • Pricey

4. E-flite Opterra

Specs

Weight: 53.3 – 59.8oz
Assembly time: 1-3hr
Flight time: 4min
Aileron: Dual servo control
Airfoil shape: Fully symmetrical
Spinner size: 2in
Wing Area: 572sq in

E-flite Extra 300 is a full-scale drone that is capable of performing incredible acrobatics and has 3D capabilities. This drone is a game-changer for nearly three decades.

It is lightweight but durable with a vivid paint scheme and bold graphics. It has magnetically-secured hatches making it easy and convenient to access the battery and electronics.

It has rugged landing gear with scale covers and wheel pants. It also includes two-piece plug-in wings with a carbon fiber wing tube that make the drone even more durable.

Extra 300 3D also comes with fast and precise factory-installed digital, metal-geared servos with ball-link equipped linkages. That’s not all, this is compatible with 3S and 4S power system. This is also very easy to fly when equipped with AS3X and SAFE technology.

In addition, it has an oversized control surface for maximum 3D aerobatics capability. It can perform flat spins, harriers, and rolls easily. You will surely enjoy flying this very powerful drone alone or with friends.

PROS

  • Fast
  • Solid and durable
  • Supports FPV
  • Stable camera
  • Three camera locations
  • Has preprogrammed AS3 and launch modes

CONS

  • Pricey

5. Skywalker FPV

Specs

  • Skywalker 1900 FPV glider airframe kit 
  • Eagle Tree Systems Vector flight controller/OSD 
  • Eagle Tree Systems micro temperature sensor
  • Eagle Tree Systems Vector airspeed expander with Pitot tube
  • Eagle Tree Systems Vector brushless motor RPM Sensor V2
  • MultiStar 4S 10000mAh 10C battery
  • Turnigy Plush 60A ESC 
  • 4-Max PPPO-3536 910 KV motor (470 watt) 
  • TGS Precision Sport 9×6 propeller 
  • FatShark 700 TVL CCD PAL camera
  • 6x Hitec HS-65HB Karbonite micro servos
  • ReadyMadeRC Skywalker pan and tilt camera platform

Skywalker 1900 is another great fixed wing drone. This is very popular for its performance, design and value. However, this is only sold in a kit, so you have to purchase all the electronics like motor and servos separately.

The first thing I noticed in this drone is its design. I must say that Skywalker did a good job because it was very well thought. The assembly of the split fuselage design works well and makes equipment or wiring installation easier than normal even if it looks very complicated.

This drone has excellent airframe and is perfect for long endurance FPV flying. If you use a 10000mAh battery, you can fly this drone for over 1 hour or 50 kilometers in total distance.

Perhaps, the downside with this drone is its size because it is very large so it is difficult to transport and store. Also, the T-tail is fragile, so it’s worth reinforcing with diagonal fiberglass spars or servo rods to make the transport safer.

However, if you need a large FPV plane with plenty of equipment space and long flight endurance, then this is the drone for you.

PROS

  • High-quality and durable
  • Smart design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Long flight time
  • Supports FPV
  • Has plenty of equipment space

CONS

  • Too big
  • Difficult to store and transport
  • Sold in kits (electronics need to be bought separately)

What is a Fixed Wing Drone?

Fixed wing drones come in many shapes and sizes and they can’t take off vertically into the air, so they require a runway to launch and land. However, the more advanced fixed wing drone can do so. In general, fixed wing drones utilize the lift generated by the aircraft’s forward motion and the shape of its wings to take off.

They can be self-propelled, pure gliders or a mixture of two. Self-propelled fixed wing drones rely on forward thrust generated by a propeller turned by an internal combustion engine or electric motor. On the other hand, gliders are launched either a winch launcher or by being towed by another aircraft. In both cases, the ailerons, elevator and rudder control the drone’s roll, pitch and yaw.

Small fixed wing drones can be hand-launched by the operators by simply throwing them into the air. Meanwhile, larger and heavier drones require a more complex method of getting airborne such as a catapult or a runway, or it can be launched from a larger aircraft.

Why Buy a Fixed Wing Drone?

Fixed wing drones offer a set of benefits that you will not find in other types of drone. For those who wonder what the advantages UAV quads offer, check out the list below.

Longer flight time

Fixed wing drone can stay in the air a lot longer due to their ability to glide. If you will be using the drone for construction, maintenance, agriculture or public safety, this type of drone is recommended because it will save you a lot of time compare to multi-rotor drones that you have to land to change the battery every half hour.

Fixed wing drones can fly up to 10 times longer than multi-rotor drones. It can complete a whole survey between 250 to 1000+ acre on a single flight.

Greater Altitude

Fixed wing drones can fly at a higher altitude making survey projects and agriculture tasks easier due to the large plot of ground and geography that can be covered. So, if you are plotting or mapping, fixed wing quads are more efficient than multi-rotor drones.

Can stand severe weather

When it comes to weather conditions, fixed wing drones can handle much more than multi-rotors. Severe wind rains multi-rotor batteries quickly, so you need a backup battery to finish a job. A multi-rotor battery can last approximately 15-20 minutes but fixed-wing batteries can double this because it can exceed 45 minutes to cover more kilometers while up in the air.

Maintenance

Fixed wing aircraft have simpler structure and tend to be less complicated to maintain. On the other hand, multi-rotor drones have a more complex mechanical and electronic structure which make them longer and more costly to repair.

How to Buy the Best Fixed Wing Drone

There are a number of factors that you should consider to buy the best fixed wing drone for yourself. To give you an overview in choosing a fixed wing drone, you should check out these factors.

Range

A small range is fine for beginners. However, experienced pilots who want to maximize their flying experience are better off with drones with extended maximum range.

Flight Time

Most fixed wing drones have a long flight time. However, some have longer flight time compared to the others. You have to decide how long you want your drone to fly up in the air. A longer flight time saves you more time and money. It also gives you a better flying experience.

Payload

Each quadcopter has different payload capabilities and it is very important that you consider this when choosing a drone. If you want your drone to carry a camera, gimbal and other weight, you need to make sure that the drone can take these extra payloads because if it’s too heavy it can damage the drone.

Application

Fixed wing drones are designed not only for personal use but for commercial purposes, too. Whether you use this for inspecting pipelines, aerial mapping or agriculture, get a drone that is designed for that particular purpose.

Conclusion

Fixed wing drones can fly with higher altitude and longer flight time. They can also withstand severe weather conditions and are simpler to maintain than multi-rotor drones. If these factors are important to you, then get a fixed wing drone.

What’s the best fixed wing drone for you? Do you have any other recommendations? Feel free to share your experiences and ideas with us to help other readers decide what drone to buy.

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