For most of us, Yuneec is best known as the manufacturer behind consumer drones like the Breeze, a 4K selfie drone, and the Typhoon H, a competitor to DJI’s Phantom range. But the Intel-backed company is now looking towards the commercial market. The aim is to compete on a second front with the new Yuneec H520.
Designed with Inspection in Mind
Yuneec’s H520 looks pretty similar to the Typhoon H: It’s got 6 rotors and a very familiar design. The H520 has a slightly lower take-off weight, which gives it a few extra minutes from the same battery. One major aesthetic difference is the coloring, which has been adapted to a bright orange to fit in on construction sites, infrastructure inspections and search and rescue missions.
Interestingly, the Yuneec H520 can be ground-tethered for constant power. This could allow it to stay up in the sky for an unlimited amount of time, whether flying for an inspection, mapping, surveillance or time-lapse aerial photography.
Just like the Typhoon H, the H520 has six-rotor systems that allow for better stability and offer a fail-safe system should one rotor fail. It also has sonar-based collision avoidance.
On board data storage comes in the form of an SD card offering space for 4K/2K/HD video or 12Mp still images – the media can also be transmitted to the ST16S Ground Station in 720p video link resolution.
H520 Offers Modularity for Multiple Operations
There aren’t many drones on the market that claim to be able to perform aerial photography, mapping, inspection and search and rescue all to a professional standard. The H520 is compatible with Yuneec’s E90, E50 and CGOET cameras. These options are easily interchangeable to offer convenience and flexibility for commercial operators.
The E50 camera is a medium focal length, high-resolution imaging system designed for use in inspection or broadcast applications. It utilizes a high aperture 1/2.3 inch CMOS imager that captures 12MP still images.
The E90 camera is a wide-angle, high-resolution imaging system designed for use in applications that require the highest quality photo and video.
The CGOET offers thermal imaging for Solar Inspections, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting, Search & Rescue and Construction.
Yuneec’s commercial cameras are all capable of 360-degree motion, providing an unobstructed view when paired with the H520’s retractable landing gear.
A System Targeted Towards DJI’s Weakness?
Yuneec is also rolling out a powerful-looking software package, DataPilot, that can handle waypoints, mapping, flight planning and more.
“Our team of engineers and product managers have conducted extensive field testing to refine the H520 software and create a best-in-class commercial-grade UAV,” said Dr. Michael Jiang, CEO of Yuneec International.
“We’re confident operators will discover the H520 is a versatile tool for a variety of enterprise applications thanks to its suite of dependable, reliable and advanced features including DataPilot, Yuneec’s integrated mission planning software.”
One interesting point mentioned by Jiang was on data security. In a period when DJI has been repeatedly under fire for having security flaws in its software, it appears as though Yuneec is looking to take advantage. Yuneec’s complete system integration allows any UAV operation to be operated within closed architecture.
Jiang said: “Yuneec’s customers recognize the importance of keeping data and images secure. The Yuneec data ecosystem empowers users and organizations to control their data at all times. Yuneec commercial sUAS do not collect and do not share telemetry or visual data to internal or external parties.”
For more details on the Yuneec H520, take a look at the specs below:
Depending on which cameras you buy with it, the H520 is available in a variety of configurations from $1,999 to $4,699.