Recently we have been conducting test flights using the sensors that will be contained in our portable mapping pods. To test the ability of our mapping pod to capture medium sized orthophoto projects, the town of Mudgee in NSW was flown at 6 cm GSD. The image below shows the extent of the orthophoto overlaid in Google Earth. It only took a smidgen over two hours to capture the entire town and area of 11 square kilometres. We used a Nikon D800E flying 70/50 overlaps and a Cessna 172. Try doing that with a UAV!
To hire a Cessna 172 with a pilot averages around $350 per flight hour. So if we simulate a commercial project and had hired a local aircraft from Mudgee then it would have cost us about $875.00 AUD to collect the data. This equates to around $0.80C per hectare to collect 6 cm GSD imagery over an 11 sqkm site.