A comparison of mapping drones

Choosing the right UAV takes a lot of time and effort. To help companies and organizations make informed decisions, we aim to provide you with a guide on what numbers matter and how to interpret them. Learn what are the main differentiators in mapping performance and experience, and read on to discover a complete technical specification comparison.

The platforms included are:

  • The DeltaQuad Pro #MAP by DeltaQuad
  • The WingtraOne Gen II by Wingtra
  • The Trinity F90+ by Quantum Systems
  • The Marlyn by AtmosUAV
  • The eBee X by SenseFly

Key differentiators in mapping

The most relevant technical aspects of any mapping drone are those that make your missions more efficient and of greater quality. After researching freely available information, we aim to provide an objective overview of such aspects to make your life easier.

Maximum image resolution

The maximum image resolution is an essential factor for a fixed-wing mapping UAV. Resolution refers to the level of detail that can be seen in the image. A higher resolution allows:

– Producing higher resolution results. High-resolution images provide more detail, allowing for a more accurate analysis of the subject matter. Detailed images that go into post-processing can be beneficial for a range of tasks, such as image analysis, object recognition, and 3D reconstruction. In fields such as geography, surveying, and engineering, accuracy is critical.

– Better post-processing and accuracy. Flying a drone at higher altitudes can allow you to cover more ground in a single flight. Yet, it can result in a decrease in spatial resolution. To maintain efficiency and a certain level of detail in your images, you need to increase the resolution of the camera, which will allow you to capture more detail in each pixel.

Maximum flight time

Maximum flight time is a critical consideration for mapping drones, as it directly impacts the efficiency and effectiveness of the mapping process. Longer flight times mean that the drone can cover more ground in a single flight, reducing the need for multiple flights and potentially decreasing the total time required to complete the project. In addition, longer flight times enable the drone to operate in remote or hard-to-reach areas where it may not be possible to recharge or swap batteries easily, providing greater flexibility and adaptability in the field.

It is important to note that the maximum flight time for fixed-wing drones depends on various factors, including altitude, wind conditions, payload, and battery capacity.

Maximum surveying area

The ability of a mapping drone to cover a larger area in a single flight can significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of the mapping process. By covering larger areas in a single flight, mapping drones can reduce the need for multiple flights, saving time and resources. In addition, the ability to cover a larger area can also provide more comprehensive data and insights, which can be valuable for decision-making.

However, surveying area is not a predetermined value. It is determined by many factors, such as camera resolution, cruise speed, endurance, and lens options. To provide a rough estimate of the potential coverage area for any drone we suggest focusing on resolution and maximum fligh distance – two of the biggest factors.

Using simple calculations, we can estimate the performance of some of the fixed-wing drones. The values presented here are based on certain assumptions, including a 3 cm per pixel resolution and a 50% image overlap, which are commonly used in mapping applications. However, the actual coverage area achieved in a given project may vary depending on a range of factors, including weather conditions, terrain, and the project’s specific requirements. (1 hectare = 2.47 acres).

DeltaQuad Pro #MAP 1200Ha
Trinity F90+ 700Ha
Marlyn 600Ha
eBee X 500Ha
WingtraOne Gen II 400Ha

All necessary details in one place

Here are the critical technical aspects of fixed-wing drones that influence your mapping experience.

DeltaQuad Pro #MAP WingtraOne Gen II Trinity F90+ Marlyn eBee X
Product image
Platform type VTOL UAVs take off and land vertically. To do so and to cruise, redundant VTOLs use two propultion systems, ensuring safe operation. Tailsitters and tiltrotors use only one propultion system. Redundant VTOL Tailsitter VTOL Tiltrotor VTOL Tailsitter VTOL Fixed-wing
Max. flight time At sea level with camera payload. 110 minutes 59 minutes 90 minutes 50 minutes 60/90 minutes
Coverage at 3cm/px The coverage is calculated by multiplying the maximum flight distance by the maximum camera resolution. It is based on 3CM per pixel with an overlap of 50%. 1200HA 400HA 700HA 600HA 220HA/500HA
Precision <1CM <1CM <2CM <1CM >3CM
Wingspan Greater wingspans contribute to increased stability during flight and can generate more lift, which allows to carry heavier payloads. However, they might also decrease maneuverability and portability. 235CM 125CM 239CM 160CM 116CM
Control range 10KM/30KM/50KM/Unlimited 10KM 7.5KM 7KM/20KM 8KM
Max resolution 61 Megapixel 42 Megapixel 42 Megapixel 61 Megapixel 24 Megapixel
Live video Displays a live HD video stream of the mapping camera during flight on the Ground Control Station.

This feature is usefull to verify the camera payload is functioning and set correctly.
Swappable payloads
Comparative package price To compare pricing, a package was selected for each model that most closely resembles:

- 42MP camera
- 1CM PPK (if available)
- 2 Batteries
- Standard radio solution
- Ground Control Station (if available)

Prices of the comparative packages were last updated in May 2021. Prices of competing fixed-wing mapping drone suppliers are subject to change and we can not guarantee the validity of the prices listed here. When in doubt, make sure to double check pricing with the listed suppliers.
42MP: € 19.593,00
61MP: € 20.993,00
42MP: € 29.600,00 42MP: € 21.990,00 42MP: € 29.450,00 24MP: € 22.550,00

Need assistance?

Do you have any questions about mapping with a fixed-wing drone? We’re happy to help you and assist you in this process!


The data in this comparison has been carefully verified across multiple sources. Should you find any inconsistency, please feel free to contact us.
No rights can be derived from this data.

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