Anyone have experience with Hybrid Drones?

I have been looking at hybrid drones for awhile now but it doesn’t seem like there are too many reviews out there. We fly transmission and distribution power lines that are miles long so I want to be able to stay in the air longer. The DJI M300RTK has worked well with the P1 but the little extra weight of the R3Pro and flying half the speed has cut our distance we cover in half.

We use a version of the R2A in a fixed wing VTOL drone perfectly fine. Recently completed a 80 000ha survey in Gabon with it.

You Might try Kaizen. A US Drone Company. Ask For Ziv tell him John Mosher Sent ya. I have known them for years they were a vendor for me when I worked at Google. Their website is

Thanks @laserboy, I’m curious how you would mount the LiDAR to a fixed wing. Does it have landing gear or a compartment where the LiDAR sits?

I will check them out for sure @jmosher, thanks for the recommendation.

The scale of the drone in the picture is deceptively small as it has a 3.8m wingspan with 3 hours endurance. There is more than enough space in the fuselage to accommodate the LiDAR and it uses a similar mount that you would use on a M300. Just that it has a cover to keep it aerodynamic. We also replaced the typical 24MP camera with a 108MP one and log images separately.

currently we fly a couple M300s with the R360 but due to the state DOT laws regarding US Drones we have had to make some changes. we just purchased the Harris Aerial H6 EFI. we look to receive it in +/-8 weeks. some colleagues in the community that fly it have said good things about it. I’ll let you know in several months how its working out.

@laserboy Thanks for posting. I’ve only seen a few fixed-wing LiDAR setups before. What is the make and model of the VTOL you are using there?

Its a custom build, built only for LiDAR surveys of large areas. We have a division in our company that builds and maintains these workhorses. We have a smaller 2m VTOL version for smaller areas (<250ha) that we use too but its only suitable for open areas as the sensor moves much faster than a multirotor and can’t get the penetration in dense vegetation. We believe that its better to do a single deployment than multiple shorter ones.

Really cool! Thanks for sharing, and safe flying.

Just wanted to give an update in case anyone else was looking for a hybrid drone.

I ended up going with a Skyfront Perimeter 8+ that should be here in a couple of weeks.

The main reason I went with it was because it was capable of flying to high altitudes using the gas motor. The Harris H6 was good up to 6500ft in elevation but we mostly work in the range of 5000-11,500. The H6 Hydrone was capable of those altitudes but since we’re out in the middle of nowhere, I think refueling would have been an issue.

I also looked at some fixed wings but after reading up on them they aren’t the greatest for mountain regions where elevation changes rapidly so I crossed those off the list.