Asked what makes the Dragon 50V2 better than any other similar systems on the market, Menick says that with the intermeshing rotor system SwissDrones has on its unmanned helicopters, a tail rotor is no longer required. This results in a higher empty-weight-to-payload ratio compared to other helicopter systems.
“So, the Dragon 50V2 is actually able to lift a higher weight than the empty weight of the aircraft itself,” he says, “making it a unique product for this market.”
With a maximum take-off weight below 150 kilograms (330 pounds), it can be operated within or beyond visual line of sight. And its integrated autopilot system allows autonomous take-off and landing procedures as well as autonomous flight patterns following preset trajectories. The Dragon 50V2 is ready to fly in 15 minutes, it needs only a two-person crew, it can be transported easily in the back of an SUV, and sensor integration is simple and straightforward.
With all that going for it, Menick says, the Dragon 50V2 has managed to corner a significant part of the medium-lift drone market, with few other systems able to compete in terms of hauling power, speed or versatility at its price point.
The Dragon Dragon 50V2 is ideally suited to a number of survey-related applications, all of which are critically dependent on accurate and robust GNSS based positioning. These include LiDAR, multispectral and hyperspectral surveying. The machine has also proven equally useful in surveillance applications such as border control, pipeline surveillance and wildlife observation.
The Dragon 50V2 is also making inroads in the search-and-rescue and disaster-management domains, illustrated by the recent adoption of the unit for search and rescue operations by the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency, Basarnas SAR.
Menick says SwissDrones puts its focus squarely on customer needs, and it has deliberately chosen to equip the Dragon 50V2 with the highest-end sensors on the market, working in cooperation with a number of impressive partners. For example, Dragon 50V2s are equipped with Leica’s RCD30 multispectral sensor, with Geo-Info’s GL70 LiDAR solution (Riegl Vux), and with the AsiaKestrel hyperspectral system developed by Specim. The NovAtel OEM615 fits in well with this approach, as a top-of-the-line GNSS engine for vital navigation and positioning.