Hitec Launches Xeno FX Fixed Wing Mapping Drone
Meet Hitec Commercial Solutions, the latest drone manufacturer offering a new fixed wing platform that’s designed to be innovative, easy to use and cost-effective: the HCS Xeno FX – Fixed Wing Mapping sUAS.
To be fair, Hitec is no stranger to drones. As the largest servo manufacturer in the world and leader in actuator design, the company boasts 40 years of experience making foam airplanes for drones, and for decades it’s offered unmanned platforms, mapping and data acquisition solutions, and off-the-shelf, purpose-built custom products with an array of innovative features.
It was only in recent years, however, that Hitec’s team started to engineer its servos for non-hobby UAS applications and realized they had everything needed to develop their own product.
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“We were already supplying servos, supplying foam aircraft and making transmitters, and we had all the engineering attributes to make our own complete drone—so there was nothing we had to reach outside for,” said Shawn Spiker, drone services sales and training manager at Hitec.
“While working with all these drone manufacturers, we thought, ‘We could do better than this,’” he added. “So, we decided, ‘You know what, we will do better.’ That’s when we decided to build our own from scratch.”
HCS XENO FX – FIXED WING MAPPING sUAS
That challenge to do better resulted in the Xeno FX, one of the latest drones to hit the survey and mapping market. Hitec soft-launched it in the Spring of 2019 and began shipping in earnest in July.
According to Spiker, the Xeno FX is competing directly with SenseFly’s eBee X, which has long been the proven vehicle on the market for a fixed-wing mapping type drone.
“We’re entering the market with this product that’s easier to use, easier to fly and about a third of the cost of what’s out there,” said Spiker. “It’s also going to be more efficient, easier to transport, can withstand high temperatures, flies smoother, has less battery consumption, is easier to launch, and is driven through our proprietary tablet-based app developed in-house.”
What’s more, customers don’t have to carry a laptop to the field, and don’t have to be an expert in complicated mission planning software. They can use an Android Tablet with Hitec’s app to plan and execute a survey mission quickly and easily.
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Both the Xeno FX and Hitec’s SUI Endurance – Multipurpose Professional Multirotor use a Pixhawk Cube flight controller and fly ArduPilot, an open source, unmanned vehicle Autopilot Software Suite and an i.MX6, which provides more advanced payload control and software management functions.
Among its many features, the Xeno FX supports interchangeable payload and sensor packages, can be launched with a simple hand toss and is capable of flying for up to an hour at a time. What’s more, they’re some of the few that are assembled in the U.S. Both the multi rotor and fixed wing are assembled in San Diego, Calif.
“We inject the foam in Germany, but we’re doing final assembly here,” boasted Spiker. “We’re doing just about every component on all the software and any other engineering here as well. For the multi-rotor, we’re probably the most U.S.-made commercial drone that’s in the survey market.”
For more information on Hitec’s Xeno FX, click here.