Pipistrel aircraft are ideal for a wide variety of aerial tasks because of their specific design characteristics. They have many advantages; despite having an engine, they were originally designed as gliders and are able to perform many tasks with the engine switched off, completely silent over target, without any IR trail and with a very low radar reflection. It is no wonder that they are the leading choice as the most economic substitute for very expensive platforms by civil authorities, special agencies and military organizations for surveillance missions all around the world.

1.) We ourselves were the first to realize the “man controlled Pipistrel aircraft into UAV” with our project Pipistrel SURVEYOR , which shows why the Pipistrel aircraft are the best for such task. Click on the link to see all the characteristics.

Apart from that (and different past modifications of our aircraft) two new information went public in the last months:
2.) Saudi KACST converted 3 Sinus into UAV
3.) American company UAVOS converted Sinus into UAV

In Saudi Arabia, the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) announced that their specialists successfully converted three Pipistrel aircraft into UAVs. His Highness the President of the city, Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al Saud, said this achievement has many strategic advantages.

(source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfJDYTDo2Y0)

In the statement (summarized from the official Saudi Press Agency press release on 17. Jul 2017) His Highness the President of the city said that a system of three drones (drone squadron) has been successfully tested and lead from a single control room. Such a group can  perform joint tasks, which has important advantages.The aircraft are of the strategic type with a flight duration of up to 30 hours and can be used as air stations to transfer “a high amount of information among aircraft to the ground operations room to cover large distances,” the public statement said. They are satellite-controlled, can carry different loads and can be equipped with day and night high resolution cameras for surveillance missions.

(source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfJDYTDo2Y0)I

HH the President of the city also confirmed that the experience of such aircraft system can be utilized in the military field, since it allows operational flexibility: one drone conducts aerial photography, another can conduct jamming operations, while a third can carry out tactical missions. The squadron is capable of automatic take-off and landing, can fly along a pre-determined route and land even on unprepared grass surfaces.
The drones are part of KACST’s projects aimed at catering to Saudi’s National Transformation Program 2020 and Vision 2030 programme.

News in the media:
http://www.aviationanalysis.net/2017/07/saudi-unveil-pipistrel-virus-based-drone.html
http://gulfbusiness.com/saudi-arabias-kacst-converts-manned-aircraft-drone/
http://weaponews.com/news/11397-the-saudis-have-created-a-drone-based-aircraft-pipistrel-sinus.html

American company UAVOS is a Silicon Valley-based company offering unmanned aerial, terrestrial and aquatic vehicles solutions. They published a news on their website about how they converted three Pipistrel Sinus aircraft into unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

Vadim Tarasov, UAVOS investor and Board member, says:
“We’ve converted 3 Pipistrel Sinus aircraft into UAVs. We’ve modified wings of the original aircraft for the installation of hangers for payload, the wiring has been changed, and we’ve integrated the UAVOS automatic control system.”

(source: http://www.auvsi.org)

Vadim Tarasov explains their decision:
“Due to the nature of the project, the mission requires a well-coordinated work of the payloads of the aerial robotic complex consisting of 3 UAVs. The customer has opted for an unmanned complex, since installation of such payloads on manned vehicles is dangerous due to the high level of electromagnetic interference that affects the operation of the regular radio navigation equipment. Why did we decide to utilize serially produced manned aircraft? Because conversion of a manned aircraft into a UAV is the simplest, fastest, most efficient and cost effective method at the initial stage of the creation of specialized heavy UAVs. The development and production of a heavy UAV from scratch, including a prototype, testing without a pilot, the preparation of all operating documents, and training of technical personnel requires a huge amount of time and resources. Additionally, there is a major risk to lose a prototype during the tests. At the same time, we had an invaluable opportunity to test the operation of all the units and equipment of the automatic control system, make the ACS settings on board together with the test pilot, especially during automatic take-off and landing.”

News in the media: