Surveyor Civil

The Pipistrel Surveyor Civil Program

The Civil category aircraft are predominantly modified versions of the Pipistrel Virus SW aircraft with different openings for photography/cartography and photogrammetry applications. They are basically broken down into several sub categories.

Surveyor Video for day and night video monitoring and recording
Surveyor ULTRA-HIGH RES PHOTO PLATFORM for automatic 3D terrain mapping and aerial photography
Surveyor LDC  for Look down camera for cartography
Surveyor CUSTOM  start with a basic aircraft and modify to suit your mission

The SURVEYOR Civil Airborne Surveillance platform combines several advanced sensory packages and control systems with a custom modified Pipistrel Virus SW 100.

The Pipistrel Virus SW 100 is the winner of two NASA competitions for excellence in aircraft technology, the PAV2007 and GAT2008 challenges.

It is known to be extremely fast during cruising and stable in the camera operating speed range. Using advanced composite technology, the airframe guarantees corrosion-free construction and extreme durability under the harshest conditions. More than 500 aircraft of this type fly worldwide over deserts, artic ice and impervious regions. The Virus SW 100 is a truly versatile aeroplane, with excellent handling characteristics and high capability sensors.

The SURVEYOR is available from the Pipistrel Special Operations Civil Program with several sensor configurations:

Surveyor VIDEO Platform – perfect for day and night video recording. The system is equipped with a HD camera with digital zoom and an infrared camera both mounted on a gyro-stabilized gimbal
Surveyor ULTRA HIGH RES PHOTO Platform – superb for 3D terrain mapping and aerial photography. The system is equipped with an ultra-high resolution (36 Mpixels) photographic camera on a gyro-stabilized gimbal
Surveyor LDC  – Look down camera for cartography using an automated image tracking and alignment gimble
Surveyor Custom  – start with our basic airframe and modify to suit your particular requirement and payloads.
Download the Surveyor Platform Information pack with pricing  >>Surveyor<<

Surveyor VIDEO Platform

Equipped with a High-Definition camera with 28x digital zoom for day surveillance and a 640×480 infrared camera, the VIDEO platform is the perfect solution for video surveillance and video recording. Typical missions include:

• Day and Night operations
• Border Surveillance and Control
• Homeland Security
• Traffic Observation
• Special Events Security
• Surveillance
• Moving target detection and tracking
• Convoy protection and following Fire/Disaster Management
• Airborne Data Acquisition
• Pollution Control
• Crime prevention
• Wildlife Management
• Forest Management
• Disaster support
• Seaport monitoring
• SAR operation and victim localization
• Maritime/Costal Patrol
• Power/Oil/Pipeline Monitoring

Surveyor VIDEO Platform Sensory Package

Suitable for day and night video recording

  • HD camera (1280×720) with integrated zoom (28x) high sensitive sensor
  • Gyro-stabilized gimbal with vibration damping mount
  • FLIR sensor 640×480
  • Video digitalization module
  • Rugged computer with 13′ touch screen interface, joystick and Windows OS
  • 1 Tbyte solid state HD for long endurance video recording – specifically designed for high operating altitudes
  • Vision Software
  • Stationary target tracking software
  • Moving target tracking software (OPTION – not included in basic configuration)
Infrared moving target tracking as an option

Underground Pipeline Infrared Signature

Property Surveillance

Surveyor ULTRA HIGH RES PHOTO Platform

Equipped with a 36 mega pixel camera and high vibration damping gimbal, the ultra-high resolution pictures are perfect to accomplish the following missions:

  • Excavation volume measurements
  • Real estate mapping for property management
  • Forest Management
  • Infrastructure Planning
  • Post-natural disaster damage assessment
  • Automatic 3D map generation
  • Power/Oil/Pipeline Mapping
  • Infrastructure planning
  • Aerial photography
  • Advertisement

Surveyor ULTRA HIGH RES PHOTO Platform

Suitable for terrain mapping and aerial photography

  • Ultra-high resolution camera with 36 Mpixels and low noise sensor
  • Extra bright lens F2.8 70 mm
  • Image acquisition module
  • Gyro-stabilized gimbal with vibration damping mount
  • Rugged computer with 13′ touch screen interface, joystick and Windows OS
  • Optional second display
  • 1 Tbyte solid state HD designed for high operating altitude
  • Vision Software
  • Stationary target tracking software
  • Automatic 3D Terrain Map Creation software (OPTION – not included in basic configuration)

Ultra High Resolution Photos

Terrain elevation measurements

Surveyor LDC (look down camera) Platform

Surveyor LDC (look down camera) Platform

• extremely light – 3kg without camera
• works with Nikon, Cannon, Hasselblad cameras (small and medium format cameras)
• tested on Pipistrel Surveyor 35 and Surveyor 50
• home pre-planning of aerial survey routes
• easy transferring navigation data into LDC via SD or USB
• automatic camera triggering above pre-planned spots
• screen confirmation of exposed pictures
• GNSS navigation
• electronic compensation of the camera direction for wind (crab angle)

Very fast development of digital high resolution sensors for small and medium format cameras
brought a whole new era into vertical aero photography. Using the Surveyor means ECO
attitude – professional results with low noise and gas pollution.

New GNSS and INS navigation systems enable to register precise location of each photograph
what make post-processing faster and more accurate.

Our fragile ecosystem is changing fast due to aggressive urbane development and due to
natural disasters like forest fires, earthquakes, land and snowslides, floods, hurricane winds.
For planning and rebuilding purposes we must do aerial monitoring, documenting changes
in natural and urban environment. The LDC is well suited for small and medium areas of aerial
survey and for low budget monitoring projects. Perfect for digital orthophoto map production,
suited also for photogrametric measurements.


• precision vertical aerial photography
• 24–60 MP digital camera sensors
• metric calibrated lenses and cameras
• resolution from 0.03 m.


The LDC system consists of on-board navigation computer, camera gimble and software for aerial survey.

Supported functions are:

• planning of aerial survey routes and exposition points
• GNSS navigation
• pilot guiding during aerial survey flight
• triggering of the camera
• correcting the camera orientation

Why is the Surveyor the perfect choice ?

Because the Pipistrel VIRUS SW 100 aircraft combines all these features in one aeroplane:

  • class-leading high cruise speed (264 km/h) to reach area-of-work in short time
  • over 1400 km of range at high cruising speed
  • over 7 hours of endurance in loitering/observation mode
  • class-leading low fuel consumption (18 liters/hour in high speed operation and 10 liters/hour in loitering operation)
  • superior payload and flexibility – even with a full fuel tank, two pilots can fly, carry out missions or train, thanks to all dual cockpit controls
  • extra-low operating costs combined with high dispatch rate
  • extra-low maintenance costs with maintenance parts-pack included in purchase price
  • strong undercarriage to operate from unpaved runway
  • full aircraft parachute – in case of emergency deployment protects crew and equipment from impact
  • fuselage mount for camera or wing pod mount for advanced sensor packs

Surveyor can do what others can’t

  • climb higher of same class competitor to avoid aircraft spotting from ground observers or to cross mountains (maximum operating altitude of 5800 meters)
  • ultra-long range – get there, work on mission then return home without refueling
  • observe targets at a very low orbiting speed (only 90 km/h), can replace helicopters
  • endurance in loitering mode of more than 7 hours!
  • high carrying capacity: with full fuel, the payload is 1 crew and 1 pilot, with a sensory pack of up to 50 kg
  • take-off and landing on very short (230 meter), also unprepared runways
  • available also for operation from rough runways using Tundra wheels (available only for tail-wheel configuration)
  • high glide ratio allows to fly safely the aircraft even in case of engine failure
  • aircraft dismounts for road transportation in trailer or truck
  • 7-minutes is deployment time from trailer to take-off using the special trailer
  • special airbrakes allow a fast on-target descent
  • wide temperature operating envelope (- 40C to + 55C)
  • airframe floats on surface in case of ditching during maritime surveillance mission
  • multi-fuel compatibility, including automotive fuel with up to 10% of ethanol. AVGAS or special fuel is NOT required.

Surveyor Technical Data


max power 100 hp at 5800 RPM
fuel type Automotive fuel and AVGAS, octanes between 91 and 130
wing span 10,71 m
length 6,5 m
height 1,85
wing area 9,51 m2
max take off weight (MTOW) 600 kg
fuel tanks capacity 2 x 50 l
min mission speed for camera work 90 km/h
max mission speed for camera work 250 km/h
cruising speed (75% power) 264 km/h
max. horizontal speed 275 km/h
turbulence penetration speed Vb 250 km/h
max climb rate 6.6 m/sec
take off run 140 m
take off over 15 m obstacle 230 m
max altitude 5800 m
fuel consumption at cruise speed 18.0 l/hour
endurance at cruise speed 5.3 h
max operating temperature 55 ° C
range distance 1415 km

Pipistrel reserves the right to revise the above data whenever occasioned by product improvement, government/authority regulations or other good cause.

The design conforms ASTM-LSA standards.

Ultralight certification is available for lower take-off weights upon request.