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Fixed Wing UAV / Drone Manufacturers

Fixed Wing UAV & Fixed Wing Drone Guide

A Fixed-wing UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), otherwise referred to as a fixed wing UAS, Fixed wing RPAS or Fixed wing drone, is an aircraft that operates without a human pilot onboard. Fixed wing UAVs are controlled either remotely by a human operator or autonomously via onboard computers.

Fixed-Wing-UAV-Drone
Applied Aeronautics Albatross Fixed Wing UAV

Fixed Wing UAV Propulsion Types

Fixed-wing UAVs fly by utilising the lift generated by the aircraft’s forward motion and the shape of its wings. Fixed-wing UAVs can be self-propelled, pure gliders (vehicles whose free flight does not rely on a method of propulsion) or a mixture of the two.

Self-propelled fixed-wing UAVs typically rely on forward thrust generated by a propeller turned by an internal combustion engine or electric motor, and gliders are launched either by a winch launcher or by being towed by another aircraft. In both cases, the ailerons, elevator and rudder control the roll, pitch and yaw of the drone.

In addition to batteries and conventional petrol or diesel engines, powered fixed-wing UAVs can operate on other energy sources such as solar power and wireless power delivery using lasers.

Launching a Fixed Wing Drone

Smaller fixed-wing UAVs (sUAS) can be hand-launched by the operator simply throwing them into the air. Larger and heavier drones require a more complex method of getting airborne, such as a catapult or a runway, or being launched from a larger aircraft.

Fixed Wing UAV vs VTOL UAV

Fixed-wing UAVs can usually carry heavier payloads for longer distances and flight times than VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) UAVs, while using less power. This makes them well-suited for long distance missions, such as mapping, surveillance and defense, where long endurance can be an important