VTOL Drone

There are a heap, and I mean a HEAP of companies doing this sort of drone.
Picked one almost at random (the wing was designed by an Aussie mob) to give an example of what I am looking at a lot of these days….

4 lift props, just like the quad-copter we are all pretty used to seeing, a fixed wing and some sort of pusher (or pull, or both in some cases) prop, powered by either gas or batteries.
Transition to and from forward flight is taken care of by software and a little help from the pilot on the ground (flicking the switch when its safe to land or move forward)
The big attraction to this sort of mashup or hybrid is the long endurance. As soon as you start flying forward, you can switch off the power hungry lift props and just use the wing to provide the lift.
We are probably going to see more and more of these as the cost and size comes down. I expect them to pop up first in agriculture…. The long flight time is perfect for mapping large areas of land. Right now, you have to have a ton of batteries and you lose a lot of time coming back to base to swap them out.

Since my (drone) interest is in radio tower, power-line and wind turbine inspection, I don’t see one in my future just yet….. But, as you know, I like to try and be a little informed as to whats out there in pretty much everything… which means, you lot get dragged into it as well.

Oh, and VTOL stands for Vertical Take Off and Landing.

Very cool.