Article courtesy of Nathan Hays, UAS Customer Service Rep.

Drones are becoming more accepted and widespread as industrial tools. Like all tools, there is a right tool for the right job. Recently, Gresco partnered with the fixed-wing manufacturer Wingtra. Wingtra is one of the leading fixed-wing solution providers in the drone market and the bright orange drone is likely the most recognizable fixed-wing platform in the industry. 

A Mapping Tool

As with any tool, the WingtraOne has a specific function, with the first and foremost being a mapping instrument. There are many reasons to use the Wingtra instead of other drones, such as quadcopters and other fixed-wing aircraft, when it comes to mapping. 

The WingtraOne is ideal for mapping because of its flight time and efficiency. With nearly an hour of flight time and a 48MP sensor, WingtraOne can map up to 900 acres (400 ha) in a single flight. To put that in perspective, that is up to 14 times more coverage than a quadcopter and 30 times faster than a standard terrestrial survey. A case study by the Idaho Forest Group saw an 80 percent reduction in time for surveying and stockpile measurement. What makes this even more impressive, is that by utilizing the PPK option, the data collected can reach down to one cm (0.4 in) absolute accuracy for survey grade results. 


A VTOL Aircraft

Another standout feature of the WingtraOne is that it is a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft. This allows the aircraft to take off and land safely in areas that may be confined by trees, buildings, utility poles, and other overhead obstructions. This simply is not possible with the BTOL (Belly Take-Off and Landing) competitors. This type of take-off and landing also reduces the risk of damaging the aircraft during operations which further reduces operating and maintenance costs and extends the lifetime of the aircraft. WingtraOne is also surprisingly simple to use. Wingtra boasts that a pilot can successfully learn how to operate their system in one hour. 

Use Cases

In the electrical utility industry, there are several use cases where a platform such as the WingtraOne would be an ideal tool. During a construction project, Wingtra makes it simple to collect site information for accurate preconstruction planning and easily repeatable site progression maps to ensure accuracy, efficiency, and safety throughout the project. As BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) waivers become more common, WingtraOne, with its one-hour flight time, will enable the inspection of long stretches of line in transmission and distribution. In addition, the multispectral payload option can be used to monitor plant health and encroachment along rights-of-way. One such mapping mission conducted in Europe covered over a four mile stretch of roadway in a single flight. 

Overall, the WingtraOne is a high-quality mapping tool that increases efficiency, safety, reliability, and repeatability for industrial users. The multiple payload options allow it to be used in a way that best fits the users’ mapping needs and budget. Whether you are collecting single images, 2D or 3D orthomosaic maps, or multispectral imagery, the WingtraOne is an ideal tool to consider for the job.