The Aeromapper 300 is the latest UAV offer from Aeromao Inc. Canada.

The Aeromapper 300 is one of the most complete UAV for general mappping applications, at the most competitve price on the market. Powerful yet very easy & friendly to use, with 1.5 hour endurance, currently more than two dozen different sensors or combination of sensors supported via swappable mounts, safe parachute landing capability, hand or catapult launch supported, long range data link and control and of course, fully automatic flight.

Despite its size it also has a small turning radius (about 30 m turning radius), making it also ideal for those low altitude–high ground resolution flights in which the flight lines are pretty close to each other.

The standard package of the Aeromapper 300 includes the Sony Nex 7 (24 MP) with a survey grade wide angle rectilinear lens. The UAV is also conceived to carry the mighty Sony Alpha a7r with 36 MP.

Customers can also choose from a large variety of payloads and sensors with swappable mounts, even combination of them (like Sony Nex 5 + tetracam ADC Micro, with simultaneous trigger). Information on the list of sensors and payloads for the Aeromapper family of UAVs is found here:

The Aeromapper 300 also comes with a detailed User Manual well supported for first time users with no previous experience using drones, and trainings are also available in Ontario, Canada. Included in the package are all the accessories required as well as quality carrying cases.

Similarly to its smaller brother Aeromapper EV2, the Aeromapper 300 uses the concept of a highly engineered payload bay module attached to a high performance carbon fiber glider aircraft. Using this approach the company is able to offer high end UAVs at the fraction of the cost of other similar drones.

Most UAV manufacturers design and fabricate the fuselage and wings of their drones from scratch, leading to high pre and post production costs. The pod concept used by Aeromao reduces production costs immensely and provides additional advantages:

1. Modularity: since most of the electronics, payload and parachute system are contained in the payload module the fuselage can be easily exchanged for a new one, if required. This process usually takes two hours or less and can be done by the user. In other UAVs if the fuselage is not usable all the electronics and key components need to be migrated to a new fuselage, basically reassembling a new UAV (which leads to high costs and longer lead times)

2.  Cost Savings:  leveraging on an existing glider airframe produces immense savings, which are passed on to UAV customers. The Aeromapper 300 can match the specifications of other drones that cost $50,000 - $70,000 dollars.

3.  Customization: pods can be easily customized for special applications, again, thanks to not having to modify an entire airframe. Customizations are usually affordable and fast.

4.  Speed of adaptation: probably one of the most important advantages in the UAV market is the speed at which UAVs can adapt to new applications. If required, only the pod needs to be modified, not the entire fuselage.

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  • @Mark,

    None of those airframes you linked do the same thing as the Aeromapper. The research and development of the modifications are what make up that extra cost. I've been building out my own Skywalker, and yes I only spent $1,000 on all of my parts, but it's been a complete PITA. The kit parts are low quality, nothing is streamlined to work together, connectors must be replaced, settings must be changed. This is an offering of a streamlined solution so I don't have to spend 40+ hours tweaking, crashing, fixing, and replacing. If I could go back, I would buy an off-the-shelf solution, because I believe I've spent more money in time than those solutions cost. I'm even thinking of picking up an eBee. Yes, you can look at it as just a foam plane, but I'm beginning to realize that it's so much more.

  • Maybe there is a lesson to learn here... don't post a professional solution on a DIY forum. DIYers never take kindly to professional turn-key pricing. I get it and almost everyone here is correct coming from their point of view. It's just two different worlds/markets (that look very similar) colliding. 

  • You asked for it:

    prices will be different for bulk orders. Those a proven airframes in World class soaring competitions. Dependable and very strong.3701880902?profile=original

  • Show us Mark - the proof is in the pudding.

  • Antonie Kruger

    It is not us complaining about prices, I assume it is this statement: "I challenge you to make the list of the parts/costs involved!  :-)"

    Challenge is such a thing that makes people think. There is no perfect solution. All I was trying to say is better airframes available Today.

    I questioned market target. Airframe is not durable enough for big Government contracts and overpriced for general public.

    We'll see what market will bear. Although it is nice to see someone trying and creating!

    I an not sure half the price will be 1/10th of the quality. I can name a few airframe solutions for less than 1/2 the price and 10 times better. When it comes to dependability and flight time - it counts toward final project profits.

  • Hi fellas,

    I'm the first person who complains about profiteering and have a hissy fit about seemingly excessive pricing.

    The bottom line - Mauricio based his products on proven airframes. Installed and refined the parachute landing, had pelican boxes for his kit and placed it in the market at his price.

    If you're not happy with the price, go somewhere else and find a mapping solution within your budget. Buying from a supplier, like Mauricio, gives extra members on the team that can help sort issues and get the best possible results.

    Sure, you can do the airframe, servos, APM and all the bits and bobs for half the price and 1/10th the quality, but it will take you many hours and heartbreaks to get the product these guys sells out of the box. 

    Still comes in at less than 30% of the Trimble solution before those taxes ect.

  • Great points Andrew. I sometimes wonder if companies are doing themselves a disservice by posting these UAV's on a hobbyist site, though. There is a fundamental difference between a commercial UAV and a hobby one that the detractors seem to miss. 

    A commercial UAV is a tool like any other business tool. When you are doing something for a living, the tool has to "just work", time is money. When you are a hobbyist, you don't mind spending hours soldering, gluing and taping it back together when it crashes - you are doing it for fun. (Low) price is what matters.

    I'm a drone hobbyist, but work in heavy industry (not UAV's). The value of good after sales support and reliable tools cannot be underestimated when you have a job to do. Hobbyking service is non-existent! That is what the commercial UAV makers are offering (or should be). The purchase price is very small in the scheme of things.

  • Yes Mark, there are a zillion ways to skin this cat.  The Aeromapper300 is just one way.  I think it's great that people are creating commercial products from an open-source basis.  After all, this is what Android is, effectively, and noone's bitching about that (much).

    If you think it's too expensive, the market is always open to compete, although competing on price is a mug's game.

    The moaning and whining about the price of these things always leaves me nonplussed.  No-one's forcing you to buy it!

  • Andrew Rabbitt

    gotta think outloud here.. and not necessarily my thoughts are correct

    If you have a multi million dollar project you may want to use your own platform or some well-established firm for dependable hardware. As I have mentioned before - price is too low for a Government contract, read: "multi-million dollar project".

    One reason to use your own platform is to avoid data leaks and who knows, open a sales department to sell well established platform in the future.

    After reviewing the video I have noticed that glider on landing did not use airbrakes while descent was sufficient to land on quite a small field. Is it me or a glider has very low L/D ratio? On my 3.1 meter Graphite I'd have to use full brakes to land on that field. Which leads me to believe if I attach the pod with a camera to it, I'll have a close to 3 hours of flight time instead of 1.5 hours claimed. My guess is they do not use airfoils as good as Graphite has.

    As far as Hobby King goes I personally don't like their products very much but to know where to buy - it's an art of knowledge. One could buy the same product for $10 and $100 without knowing a true origin of it.

    once again, it's just me

  • People are seeming to forget that for many projects that require orthomapping, spunking $10k on a system is firstly, only a small part of the operating cost - it probably only represents a week or two of a professional's time - and secondly, the cost savings the technology might deliver on a multi-million dollar project can potentially make an ROI of many times the original cost.  

    When you're spending millions on a tight timeline, the last thing you should do is place your order for parts with Hobby King!

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