X8 foam wing with APM + accesories for +$7K USD? interesting...

Just found this website:


Same Autopilot and accessories but with a Skywalker platform is +$5K (!).

I found it insteresting, since the Aeromapper UAV (fully made in carbon fiber, ready to fly, with APM, geotagging camera, accessories, same payload than X8, ...etc) is at +$4K, almost half the price of their X8 foam version.


Not criticizing, just would interesting what community thinks.




[Moderators Comments: This so called "seeing what the community thinks" thread "comparing" the blog originators product with a competitors does not constitute being informative, and seems like a question for the discussion forums. The purpose of a blog post should be contributing to the community information not to obtain opinions. It also boarders on defamation which is against the terms of service.]

Views: 4711

Comment by Craig Burden on November 14, 2012 at 9:33pm

In case you haven't read the feature list, it comes with a FULL ground station (Laptop included). Also there is a Hi-Tec Aurora 9 with UHF. Plus here in South Africa things are about double what you guys pay due to our stupidly high import tax. That is why I never buy RC gear here, I always order online. WOW, just saw now that if you order the "build kit" ie a DIY kit it is -R15000 (about $1683). If you choose that option then it is around the same. That build price is rather steep!

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 14, 2012 at 9:50pm

Price is an interesting thing, lots of people believe paying more gets you more. 

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 14, 2012 at 9:51pm

Good luck to them ;-)

Comment by Hai Tran on November 14, 2012 at 11:03pm

Which is still $70,000 cheaper than some commercial UAV mapping wings.

Comment by Duran - ALTI on November 14, 2012 at 11:47pm

Thanks for the post Mauricio, very interesting. I am the owner of SteadiDrone, who make these +$7k ?! rigs ;)

As I'm sure other will point out, you've overlooked a few things, our RTF kit realy is RTF and includes a lot of extras that the Aeromapper does not, things most client will eventually need to purchase to do this properly.

To list just a few difference:

If you purchase the Aeromapper outside the US you need to setup the APM yourself (how long will that take for a noob??) Ours comes READY TO FLY and tested and tweaked and tuned for the airframe

Our kit includes a much nicer radio + Dragon link system, again fully paired set up and tested.

Our kit also includes a custom carry bag for the entire unit

Oh, it also includes a full ground station with live telemtry link and pelican carry case

Additional battery (again something all clients will purchase more of, so the Aeromapper just sounds cheaper)

Charger + lipo checker

ALSO included full wireless video system + goggles, user manual and once more, EVERYTHING is already setup, configured and READY TO FLY, not ready to, oh wait I need this..and this...oh crap and this...

Also keep in mind the X8 can fly a wider range of speeds, looks better ;) is foam so replacing a wing is no big deal, (real carbon fibre is pricey) the X8 can also carry larger payload etc etc.

So after having a look at it all, do you still think it's too pricey (go and compare it to other units like Sensefly..)

:) I do apreciate the post, it's great exposure, please let me know if you have any other questions.

Comment by Daniel Dirksen on November 14, 2012 at 11:50pm

Honestly, I think its priced low.  When you consider the risk, time, technology, and commitment it takes to sell someone a UAS.  Yeah sure its expensive, and something a hobbyist can produce in a 6 month span. Most people think its all available and its just COTS.  

To be honest, I believe most techies and engineering types sell themselves short.  Wedding planners charge thousands of dollars for three or four days worth of work.  Not 6 months of every free weekend and evening tinkering and tuning to the nth degree.  And admit, it consumes any free moment you have, what can I do next?!?

You have to look at it from a business/capability perspective and not a Hobbyist perspective.  I can build my own full size 4 seater airplane in my garage in 5 years for $90,000 (RV-10).  That doesn't mean a new Cessna 172 for $300,000 is overpriced.  Honestly the heartbreak and disappointment alone is worth an easy $300,000 and that doesn't guarantee it'll ever fly.  And sure there are those out there they enjoy the mental and physical punishment and accomplishment of DIY.

Bottomline:  If small UAS are going to take off and progress, regardless of how cheap they are to build, in order for the industry to grow, the capability and ability to deliver on time everytime is whats going to make someone pay 8k for 1.2k worth of COTS parts.   Whats the value of: Finding a lost hiker with an 8k UAS?  Protecting the environment for illegal industrial dumping?  Providing immediate situational awareness during times of crisis?

I believe its priceless.  And the skills and talent needed to produce a product that meets those needs are easily justified by taking a bunch of COTS products and putting them together, providing engineering support and calling it a business.  People never question if a value meal from a fast food joint is worth the 7 dollars you pay for it.  It doesn't cost anywhere near $7 dollars, but because you have a need and it fulfills it you are perfectly happy paying.

Sorry, you got a little more than my 2cents.

Cheers, and interesting.

Comment by Duran - ALTI on November 14, 2012 at 11:52pm

Hey again, just wanted to mention as well, the same applies to our multi-rotor units, they SOUNDS and LOOK more expensive than other comparable units if you quickly browse, but OFFER so much more and the features we have make it very well worth looking into. The biggest thing for us is delivering a top quality fully featred unit that has been professionaly assembled, configured, tested to a min amount of 10 full flights before they ship out, not just 'RTF' but then you still need to get all the extras, setup your code, struggle with this and that..


Comment by James on November 15, 2012 at 4:03am

-Complete ground control station, laptop + pelican carry case, i think that only, is enough to make the price difference

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 15, 2012 at 8:55am

I think that is actually pretty cheap if this is a fuly-functioning, turn-key solution complete with a long range ground station.

Sure, the hardware cost is maybe only $2-3000, but until you've done it, you are maybe underestimating the amount of work required to ACTUALLY get all of this working together.

Comment by Me109 on November 15, 2012 at 12:14pm

Interesting. What about support? I do like that AeroMapper a lot more based on the details on the sites between them. 


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