When Vision Aerial created the SwitchBlade-Elite, they took an objective look at what makes a great drone. In a market full of quadcopters they found a design similar to a traditional aircraft was easier to fly. Forward orientation is evident, even over long distances, and controls are more intuitive. Additionally, three rotors allow for larger props, which result in more efficient operation and longer flight times.
Quick to Deploy
Many drone applications using drones involve accessing hard to reach locations in rugged terrain. That is why the Vision Aerial SwitchBlade-Elite was engineered with portability in mind. The design enables quick, intuitive collapse for stowing and comes in a waterproof Pelican case that can easily fit in a car or truck.
Pivoting Rear Yaw-Mechanism
In many drones, changing direction means reducing the speed of half of the rotors, which can lead to poor flight handling characteristics. The Vision Aerial SwitchBlade-Elite features a mechanism that allows a crisp and powerful yaw authority. This results in ultra-smooth motion and the ability to perform better than quadcopters in windy conditions and high-speed flight maneuvering.
Due to its small size, portability, long flight times, and versatile payloads, the Vision Aerial SwitchBlade-Elite can be used for many applications. From surveying and mapping to inspection and aerial photography, this UAV is perfect for industries such as forestry, construction, energy, mining, agriculture, and more. Furthermore, it can be customized for many specialized applications.
The Vision Aerial SwitchBlade-Elite comes equipped with many impressive features that make this model a great option for pilots flying commercial jobs.
- 40-minute flight time
- Less than 2 minute easy set up
- 2.3kg payload capacity
- 62 mph (100 kph) flight speed
- Stable in high wind environments
- Designed for surveying, mapping, infrastructure inspections, public safety and more
- Build your own bundle with the features you need
Using mission planning software, you can pre-program flight waypoints from start to finish on a smartphone, tablet, or PC. Make quick changes or trace new routes in a matter of seconds. New missions can also be added during flight.
This is a ‘park it in the sky’ mode. The SwitchBlade-Elite will maintain a consistent altitude and position regardless of external forces like wind. This station-keeping ability is ideal for single operator missions where the pilot is also operating the camera. It can also be useful if you just need a break from flying for a moment.
Manual Mode (Loiter):
Manual is the most commonly used flight mode. The SwitchBlade-Elite will use an array of on-board sensors, including GPS, to move to any position the pilot desires. Then it will hold its position in three-dimensional space when the joysticks are released.
Return to Launch:
What happens if the battery reaches critical levels mid-flight? What if you lose sight of the drone while flying manually? Press the Return to Launch button and the SwitchBlade-Elite will come back to the launch location automatically.
Lost Link Protection:
In the event that connection is lost with the controller, the SwitchBlade-Elite will fly back to the launch location, deploy its landing gear, and execute a controlled landing. If the controller happens to re-establish a connection, the pilot can immediately retake control.
Low Battery Protection:
Before the SwitchBlade-Elite becomes critically low on power, it will automatically return to launch. If it is too far from launch and becomes critically low on power, it will land at its current location. If desired, the pilot can retake manual control at any point.
What's Included in the Base Price?
- One Flight battery (one used per flight)
- Waterproof Pelican transport case with custom foam insert
- Mission planning software (no subscription fee)
- High-capacity AC dual battery charger (charges 2 batteries in one hour)
- Ground controller with internal battery (6-hour battery life, can be changed when in use)
- Video training series
Vision Aerial offers three different levels of training for new users. This includes video training for independent learners, in-person training at the Vision Aerial flight center, or on-site training customized for your operation(s).
Vision Aerial platforms are very easy to maintain, and with proper maintenance Vision Aerial drones are made to last for years. Instructions are made available to the end user if you would like tp perform maintenance yourself, and service packages are available to anyone else who requests that level of service.
Vision Aerial systems are built to withstand daily use in challenging environments. Vision Aerial is an American company dedicated to defining excellence in the professional drone industry. They stand behind their products and take pride in providing exceptional service.
Build Your Own Drone Options
Manual Retracts - the SwitchBlade-Elite comes with 148 mm manual retractable landing gear, which are light weight for mapping and surveying.
Powered Retracts - for an additional $975.00, upgrade to the 221 mm powered landing gear (required for payloads with gimbal).
Flight Controller Options
Orange H7 Cube Flight Controller - a powerful H7 processor, strong performance, fast built-in triple-redundant sensor, temperature control shock absorption IMU.
Blue H7 Cube Flight Controller - for an additional $550.00, add the powerful next-generation H7 processor, which offers even better performance, faster processing, and more built-in security. The Cube also boasts triple redundant, temperature-controlled, and shock-absorbing IMUs.
Upgrades & Accessories
SB-E Solid State Indefinite Flight Package - comes equipped with (2) Additional solid state lithium-ion batteries required for 30% longer flight times (1 used per flight).
Precision RTK Package - Vision Aerial’s RTK GNSS package includes everything you need for precision aerial surveying. The RTK GNSS receiver is a small, light, and energy efficient RTK GNSS module that can provide up to 2.5 centimeter-level accuracy, significantly improving from the standard ±250 cm accuracy provided by the standard GNSS system. Not only is the data precision & accuracy improved, the positioning of the aircraft is also greatly improved, making for impressively precise landings. With communication routed through a standard telemetry connection, you can count on solid RTK positioning throughout the entire flight. The RTK GNSS package RTK base station setup is easy. The drone is not dependant on RTK base station to fly. If you do not need RTK precision, simply do not set up the base station.
Additional Camera Options
FPV GoPro HERO9 ($763.49) - Optional first person view (FPV) pilot camera includes a GoPro HERO9 mounted in a forward, fixed position. In-camera horizon leveling provides all the benefits of a gimbal, without all the moving parts. Price includes camera, media mod, integration, mounting hardware and labor.
- 5K video
- 14.7 MP video frame grabs
- Records in 4K, 2.7K, 1440p and 1080p
- 20 MP photos – HyperSmooth 3.0—now featuring in-camera horizon leveling
- HERO9 Black captures up to 240 frames per second for astonishing 8x slo-mo.
- TimeWarp 3.0 time-lapse video recording
SONY a6400 Nadir Mounted ($2,428.00)
The SONY a6400 with the SONY E-mount 16mm f/2.8 lens features superior image quality. It is perfect for aerial missions including surveying or mapping. The rugged design was created to withstand the rigors of shooting in the field. The body is composed of a strong, rigid magnesium alloy. The shutter unit has been proven to endure about 200,000 shutter releases for long-lasting shooting performance. The design allows high resolution, continuous shooting at high frame rates. The SONY a6400 enables continuous shooting at impressive speeds up to 11fps with continuous autofocus and auto-exposure tracking at full 24.2MP resolution. The a6400 offers internal 4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) recording in Super 35mm format with full pixel readout and no pixel binning at 2.4x oversampling (6K equivalent) for the ultimate 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.
- Swappable lenses
- 24.2 Megapixel
- ISO 100 to 102,400
- 4K Video (70 minutes)
- .02 second real-time autofocus
SONY RX1R II Nadir Mounted ($4,523.99)
The SONY RX1R ii delivers extraordinary image quality. Combined with a lightweight camera body, it is perfect for aerial missions like mapping and surveying. This professional-grade camera is outfitted with an optical variable low-pass filter for cutting-edge performance.
Superior Image Quality
A 42.4 megapixel, 35 mm full-frame Exmor R® CMOS sensor, advanced BIONZ X™ image processing engine, and fixed-lens design deliver unrivaled resolution and enhanced sensitivity. These technological advances keep images exquisitely detailed, natural, and well exposed. Exposure is consistent all the way from the center to the edges, regardless of shooting conditions.
Greater Autofocus Speed, Precision, and Coverage
This camera features advanced phase-detection and contrast-detection capabilities. The Fast Hybrid AF system uses 399 focal plane phase-detection points to provide speedy, accurate autofocus coverage and tracking performance. You will be able to shoot better, clearer stills.
- 42.4 MP sensor
- Zeiss Sonnar T 35 mm F2 lens
- Full HD 1080p video at 50 Mbps at frame rates up to 60 fps
- 2x clear image zoom (still image and movie)
- ISO 100-25,600
- Geotag logging
Workswell WIRIS Pro Gimbal Mounted Thermal Payload ($15,793.00)
The Workswell WIRIS® Pro with 13 mm lens is a thermal camera designed for use with drones for inspection applications. It features a rugged frame to withstand harsh environments. The thermal cameras are calibrated for precise metrological tasks. A wide range of connections enable the WIRIS to interface with drones, controllers, GPS sensors, and other devices. Finally, an SDK allows for custom application development. The 45 degree field of view lens provides a wider view for a broader range of applications.
- Thermal and RGB camera for visual comparison
- RGB camera comes with Full HD (1920 x 1080 px) resolution
- 10x optical zoom
- Thermal camera can measure up to 1,500º C (2,732º F)
- Internal SSD disc with 256 GB memory for recording
- Picture-merge feature allows you to merge a thermal image with an RGB camera image in real-time, even with 10x optical zoom.
- Rugged construction to stand up to the elements
MicaSense RedEdge-MX Nadir Mounted Multispectral Payload ($6,249.00)
The MicaSense RedEdge-MX™ is a professional multispectral sensor that is rugged for outdoor use and built to last and is lightweight for use with sUAS. It provides accurate data that can be used to generate plant health indexes from one flight.
- Irradiance and sun angle measurements
- 5 high-resolution spectral bands captured in one flight
- Ground sample distance: 8 cm/px (per band) at 122 m (400 ft) AGL
- Calibrated for precise, repeatable measurements
- Chlorophyll mapping
MicaSense RedEdge-P Nadir Mounted Multispectral Payload ($8,744.00)
The RedEdge-P™ captures twice the resolution of the RedEdge-MX™. It supports plant counting, phenotyping, plant health mapping, disease identification, species differentiation, crop scouting, fertilizer management, and high-resolution 3D point clouds. It seamlessly integrates a high-resolution all-color imager with synchronized multispectral imagers to enable pan-sharpened RGB and multispectral outputs at 2cm ground sample distance (GSD) from 60 m, unlocking extensive analysis capabilities. Pan-sharpening fuses a high-resolution panochromatic image with a multispectral image to increase spatial resolution without sacrificing a narrower field of view or increasing the size of the camera or data. Increased capture speed allows for faster flights and larger coverage areas per flight.
- Simultaneous six band capture
- Higher-resolution, 2 cm resolution when flying at 60 m AGL
- Flight planning integrated seamlessly into Vision Aerial Flight Deck software
- Data processing can be done with industry standard tools like Pix4D, Agisoft, etc.
- Rugged design withstands dust and splashes
- Multiple high-resolution outputs such as RGB, crop vigor indices (NDVI, NDRE, etc), and high resolution panchromatic
- Removable storage allows two captures per second
MicaSense Dual Camera System Nadir Mounted Multispectral Payload ($10,384.00)
The MicaSense Dual Camera Imaging System integrates two, five-band cameras, the RedEdge-MX™ and the new RedEdge-MX™ Blue, enabling the most advanced remote sensing and vegetation research applications. The performance you rely on from RedEdge-MX™ with a new coastal blue band, a new green band, and three new bands in the red to red-edge region of the spectrum. Combined with the bands in RedEdge-MX™, the 10 bands in the Dual Camera System enable direct comparison between satellite and drone data.
- Synchronized capture of all 10 bands for pixel aligned imagery
- 12 bit TIFF file outputs with embedded metadata for full access to raw data
- Radiometrically calibrated spectral imagers for precise, repeatable measurements
- Global shutters on all 10 lenses for distortion-free results on every platform
- Monitor shallow water environments with the new coastal blue aerosol band
- Data processing can be done with industry standard tools like Pix4D, Agisoft, etc.