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Multi Mission Surveillance Capability

Pipistrel’s special mission platform (Surveyor) is trusted across the world by defence, surveillance, and civil authorities in multiple configurations. Fully customizable the Surveyor can be deployed as manned, UAV or Optionally piloted and offers an effective low cost solution to the most demanding of requirements.

Mission Advantage

Through innovative design characteristics Surveyor offers significant mission advantages. Fuel efficient low drag design provides the ability for long distance, extreme endurance, and high altitude operations together with flexible payload configurations.

  • High Wing offers superior field of view and multiple payload configuration.
  • Extremely low noise signature
  • Short, unimproved runway capability
  • Available as Manned, UAV or Optionally Piloted

why surveyor?

Built by Design

Pipistrel offer fully customised surveyor platforms to meet customers specific needs covering 6 models either as standalone surveillance platforms or turnkey UAV system. Typical mission options include:

  • Integrated EO/IR sensors
  • Aerial Survey LIDAR Pod
  • Wing Hard points
  • UAV Cargo compartment
Technical Data Pipistrel Surveyor


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Pipistrel aircraft, despite having an engine, were originally designed as gliders; this means they are able to perform many tasks with the engine switched off, completely silent over the target, with a very low IR signature and radar reflection. Because of very low drag and power requirements, they can fly very long distances, have extreme endurances and can reach extreme altitudes.

These advantages have made the Pipistrel Aircraft also a perfect Surveyor Platform, a leading choice all over the world by civil authorities, special agencies, surveillance services and military operations. and anywhere a specially designed, individually customized platform is needed. The Pipistrel Surveyor family is based on the very successful SW airframe, the very same aircraft that NASA awarded first prize in both at the Personal Air Vehicle challenge in 2007 and at the General Aviation Technology challenge in 2008 and the foundation for EASA Type certified SW 121.

The Pipistrel Surveyor can be supplied as manned surveillance aircraft, UAV baseline platform, or an optionally piloted aircraft.


Pipistrel Surveyors are ideal for a wide variety of aerial tasks because of their specific design characteristics and they have many advantages:

  • They are much less expensive to operate and use unleaded automotive fuel or Avgas
  • They can take-off and land on grass or unprepared surfaces, not just hard runways
  • They are very quiet, more than 50% quieter than a normal small aircraft
  • In the air, they look like an inconspicuous sport/recreational aircraft and they are not treated suspiciously
  • When piloted their high wing offer ideal views of the ground through enormous transparent doors
  • They can be flown without the doors fitted, making them ideal so for visual aerial survey and hand photography
  • They can be equipped with tundra wheels that allow take-off and landing from unprepared surfaces, no airport is needed
  • They can be equipped with a ballistic rescue system, which saves the whole aircraft together with the crew if ever needed
  • They can carry many different payloads, sensors and surveillance systems
  • They can be easily dismantled in less than 15 minutes and stored in a dedicated trailer. Therefore, a hangar is not needed, and a regular vehicle can tow the aircraft in the trailer, no special transport is needed
  • Because of the specific design philosophy, they need much less power than other comparable aircraft and consequentially provide extreme flight range even in the standard, basic configuration.

The Pipistrel Surveyor services can be used for all the following missions, and more:

  • Day and Night operations
  • Border Surveillance and Control
  • Locating poachers and unauthorised activity in National Parks and other wildlife areas
  • Homeland Security
  • Special Events Security
  • All kinds of Surveillance including communications interception
  • Moving target detection and tracking
  • Traffic Observation
  • Convoy protection
  • Power/Oil/Pipeline Monitoring
  • Fire/ Natural Disaster Management
  • Disaster Help – Civilian Support
  • Airborne Data Acquisition
  • Pollution Control
  • Crime prevention
  • Wildlife Management
  • Forest Protection and Management
  • Seaport monitoring
  • Maritime/Coastal Patrol
  • SAR Operation and Victim discovery
  • All kind of aerial photography
  • Aerial cartography, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional
  • 3D terrain scanning, mining surveys, excavation quantity calculations etc
  • 3D terrain modelling for future development, buildings, roads, railways etc

Pipistrel Platforms are highly efficient low-drag, high-wing composite construction monoplanes with a front-mounted engine, and enhanced aerodynamics, which permit also for unpowered gliding flight with high performance. The high cantilever wing makes the platforms ideal for surveillance. They are proven in the hardest operating conditions all over the world with permitted temperature from -20°C to + 50 °C.

Any Pipistrel platform manned aircraft can be configured as an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV), meaning that the aircraft can be flown by an onboard pilot, should this be desired, or as a pure unmanned aerial system (UAV) i.e. never having a provision for a pilot/person on board. This decision must be made early in the process, as it heavily influences the design of the platform and its features.

Pipistrel can offer further specialised Surveyor customized platforms, adapted to customers special needs with aircraft capable of:

  • Flying at extreme altitudes (up to 30,000 feet)
  • With extra-long range (up to 4500 km) and
  • With endurance at cruise speed up to 30 hours
  • Capable of take-off and landing from airfields higher than 4.500 meters
  • MTOM up to 900 kg (special designed platforms for even higher requests can be designed and produced for our customers)
To be able to design the Platform according to the most suitable customer’s needs, we may require the following information
  • the requested aircraft certification in the target country for such aircraft and aerial work (type of certification)
  • preferred range
  • desired cruise speed
  • desired top speed
  • preferred endurance and at what speed
  • desired ceiling
  • planned highest landing altitude
  • expected highest and lowest temperature for operation (in Celsius)
  • Single pilot & operator crew (one set of flight controls) or twin crew (two sets of flight controls) if not UAV
  • Preferred placement of the sensors, weights, sizes and required energy consumption.
  • Any requested structural modifications and supports (SAR multiband sensors, GSM and satellite tracking systems, lidars and magnetometers)
  • Requested modifications of the controls, servos and antennas position, additional power supply if UAV
  • Requested modifications of the electric system and if additional power supply needed
  • Cockpit avionics requirements IFR, VFR etc
  • Special avionics requests (weather radar, lighting radar, long-wave radio, what redundancy is requested etc.)
  • Integration of the payloads, flight control system, servos, etc done by Pipistrel or customer
Fleet experience and references

Almost 200 of our Surveyors are already flying as OPV or UAV in different parts of the world, including:
Amazilia Aerospace GmbH – Germany
ARGUS Aviation Technologies AG – Switzerland
Beijing HXHD Science & Technology Co., Ltd – China
Brigata Folgore Esercito Italiano – Italia
Danish Armed Forces – Denmark
Government of Jharkhand – India
IIT Kampur – India
Indian Airforce – India
Indian Navy – India
King Abdullaziz KACST – Saudi Arabia
Military University of Technology -Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna – Poland
Ministry of Defense – China
Ministry of Defense – Slovenia
Ministry of Interior – Slovakia
Quing An – China
Tata Airspace – India
Technology Service Corp. – USA
US Airforce – USA
Weizhen Aviation Technology – China
Wings For Aid Foundation – Netherlands

Pipistrel has a valid Consent for Production and Trade of Military Weapons and Equipment from the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Slovenia.

Standard Surveyor models Inclusions

To make the choice easier Pipistrel offer 6 basic models of Surveyor Platforms which all feature:

  • Exterior surfaces partially painted in matte grey acrylic paint, partially in white, cabin interior composite surfaces in grey
  • Automatic connection of wing and tail mechanical controls
  • Flaperons, elevator & rudder gaps sealed
  • Airbrakes (if rapid descent is needed)
  • Wingtip navigation lights, strobes and landing LED lights
  • Electric elevator trim
  • Modified engine cowling upper parts prepared for additional electric generators
  • Camloc fasteners on the engine covers
  • Ballistic Parachute for complete aircraft recovery
  • Structural provisions for belly-mounted gimbals in the fuselage
  • Side door for payload access behind the cockpit
  • Sliding window on the right door
  • Cabin ventilation adjustable intake on left door
  • Noise-reducing & stainless-steel protected firewall
  • Oil check door on top of the engine cover
  • UV protected, slightly tinted, scratch-free Lexan windshield or opaque painted in grey (customer choice)
  • Three-point door fixation points
  • Doors locks on both doors
  • Drag reducing fairings on main wheels
  • Integrated fuel tanks in the wings with filler neck. Fuel valves in the cockpit for fuel management.
  • Fuel gascolator with drain sump
  • Oil thermostat
  • Electric starter
  • High capacity LI-FE 12.4 Ah 12V battery
  • 12 VDC (40A) payload bus, 12 V aircraft bus
  • All throttle control cable Bowdens made from polyamide
  • 12 VDC plug
  • Wing heated Dynon pitot tube with integrated AOA measurement capability and necessary wing modification
  • Tailor-developed propeller & spinner
  • Wings, tail and fuselage cover made from light cloth
  • Ground tie-down kit with anchors, ropes and tie-down rings in the wing
  • Rotax toolkit
  • Removable wingtips on LAME, MALE & HALE models to reduce the hangaring wingspan to 12.15 m (39′ 10.3″) to fit in classic American-size T hangar
  • Nose wheel undercarriage (Except HALE model): Steerable nose wheel type, oil/spring suspension, front-wheel size 4.00 x 4, main landing gear, wheels size 4.00 x 6 mounted on a single composite strut equipped with Pipistrel type disk brake
  • Tail wheel undercarriage (HALE model): Steerable tail wheel type, main landing gear, wheels size 6.00 x 6 mounted on a single composite strut equipped with Beringer type disk brake, steerable tail wheel size 200 x 50
  • Rotax Engine: four-cylinder, four-stroke, dual ignition, integrated gearbox version with 2 oil coolers and customized engine cowlings optimal for extra hot climate conditions, engine overload clutch, Titanium high-performance “Akrapovic” exhaust.
  • Reinforced wings with sizable hardpoints on each wing up to 30 kg payload capability at each wing (size and shape TBD) with the wing inner tubes from the cockpit to the hardpoint for the needed power supply
  • Structural provisions for belly-mounted gimbals in the fuselage (1 central fuselage-mounted gimbal, turret diameter up to 400 mm)

Manned and optionally piloted platforms include also:

  • Instrument panel with, Battery Master switch, Generator master switch and alternator master switch Key magneto switch, 1 switch with automatic fuse for 12 V socket, Automatic fuse for Efis
  • Transponder Funke TRT800 mode S, ADS-B out with antenna Radio Funke ATR 833 with 2 headsets HD-1000 and intercom
  • SkyView HDX 1100 – Single Screen multifunction engine & flight instrument with all flight and engine instruments functions, Inc. EMS, OAT, F.P., MAP, F.P.,
  • GPS with perpetual GPS license, fuel flow control, electronic logbook, fuel, and all engine values, hour meter, clock, flight data recorder, slip indicator, magnetic compass, etc.

Further presented is a choice of platforms with their main characteristics and capabilities. Depending on the actual payload and the type of flight-control system (OP, fully unmanned) and its capabilities, additional performance adjustments and/or limitations may be introduced.

Maximum Zero Fuel Weight explanation

The difference between aircraft empty weight (for example 370 kg) and MZFW is the payload than can be carried in the fuselage (for example Autopilot, gimbals, additional fuel etc).

If you wish to carry out the mission with the complete amount of fuel, the effective payload carried in the fuselage is MTOM minus weight of fuel, minus aircraft empty weight.

This is to give flexibility to the user to choose to fly with either more payload or more fuel (long mission time).
Weight above MZFW value must be carried in/on the wings.

Technical Data Pipistrel Surveyor
MODELLASE (Low Altitude, Short Endurance)LAME (Low Altitude, Medium Endurance)MASE (Medium Altitude, Short Endurance)MAME (Medium Altitude, Medium Endurance)MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance)HALE (High Altitude, Long Endurance)
Wingspan12.4 m15 m10.7 m10.7 m15 m15 m
Removable wingtipsNOYESNONOYESYES
MTOM600 kg @ 4.0 g600 kg @ 4.0 g600 kg @ 4.0 g750 kg @ 3.8 gUp to 850 kg @ 3.0 gUp to 900 kg @ 2.5 g
MZFW530 kg530 kg555 kg600 kg650 kg770 kg
Fuel capacity2 x 30 litres each tank2 x 50 litres each tank2 x 50 litres each tank300 litres, carried in 4 tanks370 litres, carried in 4 tanks370 litres, carried in 4 tanks
Undercarriagenose wheel typenose wheel typenose wheel typenose wheel typenose wheel typetail wheel type
Certified engineRotax 912 A2,
80 hp, 2 Carb,
V3 engine gearbox and governor
Rotax 912 A2,
80 hp, 2 Carb,
V3 engine gearbox and governor
Rotax 912 S3, 100 hp,
2 Carb,
V3 engine gearbox and governo
Rotax 912 iSc,
100 hp, fuel injection,
V3 engine gearbox and governor
Rotax 912 iSc,
100 hp, fuel injection,
V3 engine gearbox and governor
Rotax 914,
115 hp, turbocharged,
intercooler for extreme altitude
PropellerPipistrel 2-blade, non-certified carbon fibre mechanical variable pitch & featheredPipistrel 2-blade, non-certified carbon fibre mechanical variable pitch & featheredMTV-33-1-A/170-200, 2-blade, EASA certified hydraulic constant speedMTV-33-1-A/170-200, 2-blade, EASA certified hydraulic constant speedMTV-33-1-A/170-200, 2-blade, EASA certified hydraulic constant speedMTV-34, 3-blade, EASA certified hydraulic constant speed
Baseline certificationStructure and system according to ASTM F2564.Structure and system according to ASTM F2564.Structure and systems EASA CS-LSA, modifications delta from baseline according to ASTM F2245Structure and systems according to ASTM F2245 with elements of CS-VLA.Structure and systems based on ASTM F2564.Structure and systems based on ASTM F2564.
Max altitude12,000 ft12,000 ft18,000 ft18,000 ft18,000 ft30,000 ft capable, most mission time 18.000 ft
Typical operating altitudes2,000 – 12,000 ft2,000 – 12,000 ft2,000 – 12,000 ft2,000 – 12,000 ft2,000 – 15,000 ft10,000 – 22,000 ft
Speed in transfer to/from work area110 KTAS100 – 110 KTAS120 – 130 KTAS120 – 130 KTAS100 – 110 KTAS100 – 110 KTAS
Loitering speed70 – 90 KIAS50 – 75 KIAS70 – 90 KIAS70 – 90 KIAS55 – 75 KIAS65 – 80 KIAS
Endurance at transfer speedsUp to 4 hoursUp to 6 hoursUp to 5 hoursUp to 15 hoursUp to 24 hoursUp to 20 hours
Endurance at loitering speedsUp to 6 hoursUp to 8 hoursUp to 8 hours24+ hoursUp to 33 hoursUp to 25 hours
Gust load speed (turbulence penetration)90 KCAS86 KIAS120 KCAS120 KCAS90 KCAS87 KCAS
Airspeed limitation with equipment carried on external pods*108 KCAS108 KCAS108 KCAS108 KCAS108 KCAS108 KCAS

*before the GVT and flight tests are performed

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