WingtraOne vs. DJI Phantom RTK

DJI is a Chinese tech giant dominating the consumer drone market. The Phantom 4 RTK multicopter is their answer to the professional mapping drone segment. Wingtra is a Swiss-based professional drone company that is focused solely on its high-accuracy survey and mapping drone WingtraOne. Here is your summary followed by the ultimate long-read comparison of the drones.

The summary: Multirotor vs. VTOL

Although they are both marketed as survey and mapping drones, WingtraOne and Phantom 4 RTK have little in common. As a VTOL drone, the WingtraOne is a hybrid between a fixed-wing and a multirotor. It lifts off and lands vertically, but for flight it transitions into a fixed-wing mode. Phantom 4 RTK is a typical multirotor, which behaves in the air like a helicopter. Because of this fundamental difference, WingtraOne delivers much broader coverage required by the majority of mapping projects, while multirotors like Phantom 4 RTK can only cover limited areas.

In fact, according to our test flights for coverage, on a full battery, WingtraOne can cover almost 14 times more than Phantom 4 RTK at the same 1.2 cm (0.5 in)/px GSD. Phantom 4 RTK covered 8 ha (20 ac) and the WingtraOne covered 110 ha (272 ac) in one flight.

1 flight coverage at 1.2 cm (0.5 in)/px GSD

WingtraOne + Sony RX1R II Coverage: 110 ha (272 ac) Altitude: 93 m (305 ft)

eBee X + Aeria / Delair UX11 Coverage: 70 ha (173 ac) Altitude: 57 m (187 ft)

DJI Phantom 4 RTK Coverage: 8 ha (20 ac) Altitude: 44 m (144 ft)

Results from our test flights at 1.2 cm (0.5 in)/px GSD reveal almost 14x the coverage for WingtraOne with its RX1R II payload option, vs. DJI’s Phantom 4 RTK with its built in payload.

Beyond coverage, WingtraOne outranks the Phantom 4 RTK in terms of image resolution that later determines absolute accuracy measures as well. With its flagship Sony RX1R II 42 MP payload, WingtraOne can achieve more than twice the image resolution as the Phantom 4 RTK. Higher image resolution equals better map quality, which defines the quality of the entire project.

Here is the test image comparison of the best possible GSD for WingtraOne’s RX1R II payload and Phantom 4 RTK’s fixed payload:

WingtraOne + Sony RX1R II GSD: 0.8 cm (0.3 in)/px Altitude: 65 m (213 ft) Real resolution: 0.9 cm (0.4 in)/px Coverage: 110 ha (272 ac)

Phantom 4 RTK GSD: 1.8 cm (0.7 in)/px* Altitude: 65 m (213 ft) Real resolution: 2.4 cm (0.9 in)/px Coverage: 35 ha (86 ac)

Test images at the lowest possible GSD of each drone. The 42MP full-frame sensor of the WingtraOne pays off with more than three times lower GSD and striking resolution lines** for the RX1R II. You can easily compare these lines by looking at the center of the Siemens Stars, which show the degree of clarity or blur. More test images at the same altitude and same GSD are below in the test image section. Note: all coverage figures in this report are theoretical and calculated based on listed coverage unless we list them as tested. *In theory, Phantom 4 RTK would be able to achieve lower GSDs, however, at the location we conducted the tests, the environment did not allow us to fly lower than 65 m (213 ft), hence the “best GSD” in this situation is 1.8 cm (0.7 in)px. **Real resolution for all images is based on measurements of the fine-lined Siemens Star, which reduces measurement errors.

WingtraOne pros:

  • Almost 14x tested broader coverage for same GSD—WingtraOne covered 110 ha (272 ac) vs. Phantom 4 RTK’s 8 ha (20 ac), both set at 1.2 cm (0.47 in)/px GSD

  • Twice the flight time

  • Subcentimeter level GSD

  • Swappable high-end payloads covering RGB and multispectral—one drone, many applications

  • Absolute accuracy down to 1 cm (0.4 in)/ px

  • Terrain following feature allows mapping different altitudes with the same GSD in one flight

  • Composite airframe

  • The color, if you like orange

WingtraOne cons:

  • Larger to transport—hard case fits in the back or trunk of a small car

  • Costs more for higher-quality frame, payloads and results

  • Telemetry is not integrated in tablet of ground station

Phantom 4 RTK pros:

  • Lightweight, easy-to-transport

  • Real-time in-flight view on the app

  • Obstacle detection feature helps to avoid collisions

  • Remote control over camera position in-flight

  • Telemetry integrated into ground station

  • Good flight controls—user-friendly

  • RTK receiver and redundant GNSS module enable real-time location correction in ideal conditions

Phantom 4 RTK cons:

  • Half the flight time and coverage only suitable for small scale projects (35 ha (86 ac) in a flight at 1.8 cm (0.7 in) GSD)

  • 20MP 1” sensor limits resolution and prevents good images above 100 m (328 ft)

  • Fixed payload for RGB and video

  • No terrain following

  • RTK option depends on several working signals that can fail if blocked or dropped

The Verdict

If you need reliably high image quality and accuracy on medium to large-scale survey and mapping projects across industries, go for the WingtraOne. If you are on a tight budget and need an entry-level drone for smaller projects with reasonable resolution and absolute accuracy, the Phantom 4 RTK is worth a closer look. If you are new to drones, you can do what many people do and get this entry-level solution as a proof-of-concept for basic project needs. When you need to cover more area with better-quality images, you can switch to a more expensive system.

Source: Wingtra

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