Wingtra is the developer and manufacturer of the world’s leading VTOL commercial survey and mapping drone. Powered by a team of engineers, many of whom are from the elite ETH schools of engineering and robotics, the WingtraOne drone, now in its second generation, helps professionals across industries map with speed and precision.

Interview with Emily Loosli, Content Manager at WingtraOne.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Emily Loosli: Professionals in the survey, construction, mining, agriculture and environmental research sectors benefit from the high-quality and extremely cost-effective results available through WingtraOne. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

E.L: Wingtra stays on top of best-in-class camera trends and recently rolled out the MicaSense RedEdge Panchromatic (RE-P) payload for agriculture and environmental applications. This sensor acts as a two-in-one entry-level RGB and cutting-edge multispectral payload that delivers a range of insights on plant health before they are available to the naked eye.

Additionally, this summer, WingtraOne made it onto the Blue UAS 2.0 Cleared List in the United States, which means that, when the drone is purchased as part of the complete BLU Wingtra bundle—with secure software, etc.—it is a pre-approved drone for sensitive and infrastructural government and Department of Defense projects. A suite of BLU Wingtra products is now available to US government customers, which anticipates their specific needs.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

E.L: The WingtraOne GEN II drone maps challenging, mixed elevation areas at normal and high altitudes, quickly, reliably and at a high resolution. All camera options on the current, second-generation WingtraOne model work with a built-in high-precision PPK unit for location accuracies many times better than satellite data.

Beyond that, it’s available in several bundle variations depending on a project needs. From a best-in-class Sony a6100 24 MP payload, to a high-resolution Sony RX1R II 42 MP RGB, to an oblique Sony a6100 camera configuration that provides 3D results without cross-hatch flying, we help professionals tackle a range of projects that benefit from true-to-life, locationally-accurate imagery. As mentioned, our RE-P payload is a major asset for those in need of precision plant data within a life-like visual context.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

E.L: We see that the early majority of tech adopters are definitely on board with the benefits of commercial drones and are now in their second or third rounds of refining what platforms they want to use as the field develops. Wingtra has emerged through this trial and error as a reliable, high-performance workhorse. That said, the early majority are beginning to trust the word-of-mouth of many satisfied customers and invest in fleets of our drone. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

E.L: In many markets we see the transition from early adopter use to the early majority. Two or three years ago, teams at large industry players started to try out the work with drones. Now they have figured out how to integrate them into workflows and have adjusted their teams. They are expanding their drone fleets quite organically—from two to three units to 10-plus. Some early joiners already have 100+ systems in use. This trend can be seen across many industries from construction and land surveying, to environmental monitoring and agriculture. It is a bottom-up approach by many teams/companies all around the world.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

E.L: The drone itself is a high-quality airframe VTOL, which provides unprecedented data-capture stability in the midst of its upper wind limits. It’s also extremely easy to train on and use with confidence, due to an intuitive user interface and high degree of automation. For example, take off depends on the completion of a sleek pre-flight checklist to ensure you are in the best position for safe and flawless data capture, and once you tap the tablet to fly, everything else is hands-off. 

Beyond this, our oblique payload configuration is a game-changer for creating life-like and high-accuracy 3D maps over large areas in single flights, vs. double cross-hatched flights.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2022?

E.L: We will continue to raise awareness about our Blue UAS list status in the states so that government and infrastructure projects can benefit. And we’ll do the same about an exciting recent regulations breakthrough in Europe, whereby we proved that the WingtraOne GEN II platform is reliable to the point of being approved to fly over people. Our goal over all for the rest of the year is to get more drones to more customers who get them up in the air, because we know our platform will not only impress them but will also revolutionize whatever projects they take on with it!