Drones come in all shapes and sizes, making the task of purchasing the right one for a regular Joe quite demanding. But luckily, they can be divided into 2 main categories: rotary wing drones and fixed-wing drone. Both of these categories have their unique advantages and disadvantages, making them suitable for a lot of different usage scenarios.
For instance, rotary-wing drones are most popular due to their ability to land and take off vertically, allowing their users to operating in a small area. On the other hand, they require lots of complex circuitry and are pretty costly to repair if something breaks.
On the other hand, drones with fixed wings requires a takeoff and landing runways due to their inability to take off vertically (there are models capable of doing this, but they cost more and are quite rare to find). But, their greatest advantages are better power efficiency, longer air times due to gliding capabilities and higher payload weight.
Today, we are going to take a closer look and we’ll find out what’s the best-fixed wing drone available on the market. Below, you’ll find 5 of them which are currently the most popular ones on the market. With that being said, we will stop with the introduction here and jump straight to the list.
Table: Best Fixed Wing Drones
5. KKmoon F949
The first drone on this list is made by KKmoon, an unknown company on the drone market. That comes as no surprise since this drone cannot really be put in the same sentence as any of the below-listed ones.
It’s basically an extremely cheap (we believe the word for this nowadays is “budget-friendly”) drone with fixed wing that doesn’t have a lot to offer to its users. It’s designed to match the Cessna-182 which is a real plane still used in some places.
Even though it costs less than a meal for 2 in a good restaurant, this little fella actually has a pretty decent specs sheet, but unfortunately, that’s the only thing good about it. Its maximum range (long range drones) goes somewhere around 200 meters which is not that bad, especially at this price range. The flight duration is solid too since you can expect to have it roughly 25 minutes in the air.
Unfortunately, that’s where the good things come to a close since the build quality is nowhere near the standards of the drones listed below. It is made out of cheap materials which is something you will notice as soon as you lay your hands on it… but then again, for such a low price you can’t exactly expect to purchase a carbon fiber drone.
4. Parrot Swing
As we already mentioned above, Swing is the budget-friendly fixed-winged drone model coming from Parrot. Considering its fairly low price tag, people tend to overlook it think it is not that good.
But, little do they know that this model actually supports dual flight modes. Yes, it can work effectively as a quadcopter and as a plane, making it extremely versatile. Moreover, it is designed for all sorts of aerial acrobatics due to its high agility and maneuverability in the air.
It’s not slow either. Specs sheet states that it can go as fast as 20 mph in the plane mode which is, at least considering its low price, quite spectacular. Unfortunately, the folks over at Parrot had to cut their manufacturing cost somewhere in order to provide us with such a low-price tag to this model. Of all places, they’ve decided to cut it with the battery, putting in a rather weak one that can endure roughly 7 minutes of flight time (check out these 10 drones with the best flight time). Come to think of it, that’s pretty much the only drawback of what seems to be a pretty good drone.
3. Xcraft X Plus One Hybrid
X Plus One Hybrid is another premium static wing drone with plenty of aces up its sleeves. As its name suggests, it is a hybrid drone with features similar to those of Parrot’s Swing. In other words, it can act as a quadcopter and as a plane, allowing you to choose in midair what particular mode you’d like to fly in.
The best thing about this drone is its ability to vertically take off and land, eliminating the need for huge runways. Keep in mind that flying such a hybrid monstrosity can be quite demanding and generally has a rather steep learning curve to it. Luckily, Xcraft has uploaded several tutorials on Youtube that give you some in-depth controlling tutorials which will certainly help you master this beast.
Specifications-wise, X Plus One Hybrid is a stellar player nonetheless. With its battery being nothing spectacular (you can expect approximately 20 minutes of flight time on a single charge), the speed is where this baby shines the most. Believe it or not, this little guy can achieve an amazing top speed of up to 60 miles per hour (equivalent to 100km/h), making it the fastest drone on this list.
Keep in mind that flying it at such high speed is extremely dangerous and you should definitely watch through all of Xcraft’s controlling tutorials on Youtube before attempting such an endeavor. All in all, there’s no doubt that Xcraft has hit the sweet sport with this drone, making it an extremely versatile UAV that definitely has a bright future ahead of itself.
2. Hubsan H301S Spy Hawk
Hubsan is a well-known company in the drone industry, and as such, it is not surprising to see their name behind a static wing drone. Their H301S Spy Hawk is not a hybrid. It is a fully-fledged drone with flexed wings that will surely provide you with a ton of fun for just a fraction of the price you would have to pay for a premium model.
It sports a good battery that can last up to 30 minutes in the air and is equipped with safety features such as automatic return to home, position hold and GPS Stability System. Another great thing about the H301S is its ability to provide you with a live FPV stream through its built-in full HD camera.
The learning curve is not that steep as was the case with some other models from this list, but you will still need a couple of flying session to fully grasp on the controls. All things in mind, H301S seems like a proper refreshment in the fixed wing drones category. With its relatively low price and solid performance, we dare to say that Hubsan did a pretty good job.
1. Parrot Disco
Parrot has just recently announced two new static wing drone models, both of which have found their way onto our list. Disco and Swing are their respective names, and, believe it or not, both of them have great features that will leave you amazed. There’s one more thing that will leave you amazed and that’s the price gap between the two. Parrot Disco is considered as a premium drone with a premium price to its name, while the Swing is considered more as a budget-friendly option for people who are looking for a high-quality drone to start their piloting hobby with.
It is made out of Hardside EPP foam bonded together with a carbon tube for the drone frame. It provides the drone with an extremely lightweight platform, allowing it to maintain its altitude with minimal power consumption. Within the package, you will also get a VR headset along with the new sky controller for improved steering precision and pinpoint accuracy. Of course, this little fella has a built-in full HD camera with a 3-axis digital stabilization system. You don’t have to worry about running out of space for your photos and videos since it possesses 32GB of internal memory.
When it comes to the specifications of this beast of a drone, it’s pretty clear that the folks over at Parrot labs didn’t agree on any compromises. Its top speed clocks in at around 50 mph, making it extremely fast. As we already mentioned above, drones with fixed wings have a much better flight durations due to their low power consumption allowed by their gliding capabilities. With that being said, it comes as no surprise that Parrot Disco can be in air for up to 45 minutes. All things considered, we believe that its relatively high price is completely justifiable with its great performance and amazing build quality, making it by far the best-fixed wing drone currently available on the market.
If you are not yet sure whether you should go for fixed wing or rotary drones, perhaps these next few sections will help you make up your mind.
Probably the biggest (and most known) difference between these 2 types of UAVs is their respective takeoff and landing process. Just a heads up – it’s a huge difference in this department and as such, you should thoroughly examine your needs before purchasing a quad or fixed wing model.
Quadcopters, hexacopters, octocopters… heck, even single rotor (AKA helicopters) UAVs use an extremely simple process of taking off and landing. You see, due to the fact all of them work with an uplifting force from their rotors, their takeoff is vertical.
In other words, this means you don’t need any sort of takeoff clearance or anything like that – simply turn your multirotor on and push the throttle… Viola, it will quickly rise up in a vertical manner and shoot up in the sky.
On the other hand, fixed wing models rely on (usually) only one propeller that isn’t producing direct vertical liftoff force. While this is a trait of hybrid models (they have better power efficiency due to their gliding capability and the ability to take off vertically, making them extremely versatile options), fixed wing UAVs require huge open spaces to takeoff.
So yeah, you basically need a runway, especially for bigger, commercial models. Even though people claim you need roughly 50 to 150 meters for takeoff… in reality, those numbers are much smaller… unless you have a gigantic $50K model at your disposal.
In terms of range, it would be unfair to say all rotary models have significantly less range than all fixed wing models. That’s not true since DJI keeps pushing the boundaries with their newest flagship bearing their OcuSync technology. Believe it or not – it gives around 7 kilometers of range… Still, on average – fixed wing UAVs indeed do have longer operating ranges which allows them to be more useful for larger-scale geographical purposes.
In terms of power consumption, fixed wing UAVs stand much better than quadcopters. This is mainly due to their ability to glide. Yup, that’s right. Even though they come with a powerful motor used for forwarding propulsion, fixed wing UAVs don’t use it all the time. Once they are on a high altitude, their wings allow them to glide through the air, saving a ton of battery juice. This is why they are much more power-efficient than their rotary counterparts who have 4 or 6 (or even 8) miniature motors running at all times.
Best Fixed wing drones for commercial use
Believe it or not, there’s a wide array of static wing drones that are made especially for commercial purposes. These drones possess unique traits and are often equipped with state of the art cameras or thermal imaging solution to ensure their work efficacy. They are faster, more powerful and cost significantly more than those models listed down below. For those of you interested in which particular industries are taking the most advantage out of fixed wing drones, here’s a shortlist:
With all that said, if you would like us to make a list of best fixed wing models for commercial use please let us know in the comments section.
Now that we are finished with our top 5 top drones with fixed wing list, it is time to say a few words for the conclusion. We’ll start off by expressing our gratitude for reading our list. It was handpicked by our staff who have tested these drones by themselves so you’d have a much easier task of picking the right one. With that in mind, we sincerely hope this list was somewhat useful to you and that it, at least in some way, helped you make your final decision. Until next time, happy flights!
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