Surveyor Military

The Pipistrel Surveyor Program is broken into Civil and Military categories.

The Civil category aircraft are predominantly modified versions of the Pipistrel Virus SW aircraft with different modifications for photography/cartography and photogrammetry applications.

The Military category aircraft are custom made to suit individual government or military contractors with widely different requirements. These aircraft can be supplied as turnkey UAV/OPV aircraft with more than 24 hours flight duration and MTOW’s up to 800 kgs.

Pipistrel Surveillance Aircraft Manned, Optionally Piloted or Unmanned Platforms

Introduction

The purpose of this information is to give a brief overview of the development process for a quicker convergence towards the final configuration of a Pipistrel Manned, OPV / UAV Platform. The page will also validate Pipistrel’s capabilities as a government and supplier to US Prime Military Contractors.

This Guide will also establish the possibilities and performance/capability limits of the platform. In the final stages of the configuration process, the chosen high-level platform solution will be described much more in detail, with aircraft dimensional and performance figures, including an equipment.

Military Category Aircraft

Pipistrel Platforms are 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 make the platforms ideal for surveillance.

Any Pipistrel platform manned aircraft can be configured as an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV), meaning that the aircraft can be flown by an on-board 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.

OPV versus UAV

Pipistrel Platforms are low-drag, high-wing composite construction monoplanes with a front mounted engine and enhanced aerodynamics which also permit unpowered gliding flight with high performance.  The high cantilever wing makes the Surveyor platforms ideal for surveillance.

Any Pipistrel Surveyor manned platform can also be configured as an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV).  This means that the aircraft can be flown with an on-board pilot should this be desired, or if no person should be onboard due to a number of mission requirements then the aircraft can be flown as a pure unmanned aerial system (UAV) without a pilot/person on board.

This decision must be made early in the process because it heavily influences the design of the platform and its features.

Standard Inclusions

All platforms features:

  • Exterior surfaces completely painted in matte grey acrylic paint, cabin interior composite surfaces in grey
  • Reinforced wings with sizable hard points on each wing with the wing inner tubes from the cockpit to the hard point for the needed power supply
  • Automatic connection of wing and tail mechanical controls
  • Flaperons, elevator & rudder gaps sealed
  • Airbrakes
  • Wingtip navigation lights, strobes and landing LED lights
  • Electric elevator trim
  • Modified cowling upper parts for extra electric generators
  • Fast screws on the engine covers
  • Ballistic Parachute for complete aircraft recovery
  • Structural provisions for belly mounted gimbals in the fuselage
  • Left 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 engine cover
  • UV protected, tinted, scratch free Lexan windshield painted in grey
  • 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 the fuel management.
  • Fuel dump capability via electrically controlled valve on fuel return line, also to be used for single point refuelling capability
  • Fuel gascolator with drain sump
  • Oil thermostat
  • Electric starter
  • High capacity LI_FE 11 Ah 12V battery
  • 24-28 VDC payload bus, 12 V aircraft bus
  • On-board Generators to handle A) upgrade of 12 V circuit from 40 A to 100 A, B) additional 12 V 100 A alternator, C) additional 24 V 100 A alternator, D) upgrade of 12 V circuit to 100 A with variant B or C.
  • All throttle control cables with Teflon inner
  • 12V plug
  • Transponder Class 2 S-mode with encoder, antenna and installation
  • Wing heated Dynon pitot tube with integrated AOA measurement capability, and necessary wing modification
  • Tailor-developed propeller spinner
  • Wings, tail and fuselage cover in light cloth
  • Ground tie-down kit with anchors, ropes and tie down rings in the wing
  • Rotax toolkit

LASE Configuration Low Altitude, Short Endurance

This configuration combines elevated speed to/from target and above-average loitering endurance.

 

Wing Span12,4 m with removable wingtips to reduce hangar wingspan to 12.15 m (39' 10.3") to fit in classic American-size T hangar
MTOWUp to 600 kg @ 4,0 g, when 30 kg carried on the wings max load becomes 3.0 g. Structure and composite parts (e.g. undercarriage, braces, etc) designed and built for 600 kg, 4 G envelope.
Fuel tank capacity2 x 30 liters each, integrated in the wings
Undercarriage typeSteerable 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 struts equipped with Pipistrel type disk brake
Ballistic Parachute For MTOM up to 600 kg
EngineRotax 912 A2 certified JAR 22 80 hp four cylinder four stroke engine, integrated gearbox, dual ignition, with 2 carburettors, version with 2 oil coolers and modified engine cowlings optimal for extra hot climate conditions, engine overload clutch, Titanium high performance exhaust "Akrapovic"
Propeller2 blade Pipistrel carbon fiber variable and feathering propeller
Baseline CertificationStructure and system according to ASTM F2245
Payload ConfigurationUp to 1 hard point (30 kg) per wing
Up to 1 aft-fuselage mounted gimbal (typically max turret diameter 280 mm)
Optional payload in UAS configuration only1 central fuselage mounted gimbal, turret diameter 400 mm instead of 280 mm
Performance
Max Altitude12,000 feet
Typical operating altitudes2,000 - 12,000 feet
Speed in transit to/from mission area125 KIAS
Loitering speed70-90 KIAS
Endurance at transfer speedsUp to 4 hours
Endurance at loitering speedsUp to 5 hours
Gust load speed (turbulence penetration)90 KIAS

LAME Configuration Low Altitude, Medium Endurance

This configuration combines significant speed to/from target and superior loitering endurance.

 

Wing Span15 m with removable wingtips to reduce hangar wingspan to 12.15 m (39' 10.3") to fit in classic American-size T hangar
MTOWUp to 600 kg @ 4,0 g, when 30 kg carried on the wings max load becomes 3.0 g. Structure and composite parts (e.g. undercarriage, braces, etc) designed and built for 600 kg, 4 G envelope.
Fuel tank capacity2 x 50 liters each, integrated in the wings
Undercarriage typeSteerable 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 struts equipped with Pipistrel type disk brake
Ballistic Parachute For MTOM up to 600 kg
EngineRotax 912 A2 certified JAR 22 80 hp four cylinder four stroke engine, integrated gearbox, dual ignition, with 2 carburettors, version with 2 oil coolers and modified engine cowlings optimal for extra hot climate conditions, engine overload clutch, Titanium high performance exhaust "Akrapovic"
Propeller2 blade Pipistrel carbon fiber variable and feathering propeller
Baseline CertificationStructure and system according to ASTM F2245
Payload ConfigurationUp to 1 hard point (30 kg) per wing
Up to 1 aft-fuselage mounted gimbal (typically max turret diameter 280 mm)
Optional payload in UAS configuration only1 central fuselage mounted gimbal, turret diameter 400 mm instead of 280 mm
Performance
Max Altitude12,000 feet
Typical operating altitudes2,000 - 12,000 feet
Speed in transit to/from mission area100-110 KIAS
Loitering speed50-75 KIAS
Endurance at transfer speedsUp to 4 hours
Endurance at loitering speedsUp to 7 hours
Gust load speed (turbulence penetration)90 KIAS

MASE Configuration Medium Altitude, Short Endurance

This configuration combines high speed to/from target and above-average loitering endurance.

 

Wing Span10.7 m
MTOWUp to 600 kg @ 4,0 g, when 30 kg carried on the wings max load becomes 3.0 g. Structure and composite parts (e.g. undercarriage, braces, etc) designed and built for 600 kg, 4 G envelope.
Fuel tank capacity2 x 50 liters each, integrated in the wings
Undercarriage typeSteerable 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 struts equipped with Pipistrel type disk brake
Ballistic Parachute For MTOM up to 600 kg
EngineRotax 912 S3 certified 100 hp four cylinder four stroke engine, integrated gearbox, dual ignition, with 2 carburettors, version with 2 oil coolers and modified engine cowlings optimal for extra hot climate conditions, engine overload clutch, Titanium high performance exhaust "Akrapovic"
Propeller2 blade Hydraulic Constant speed propeller MTV-33-1-A/170-200 EASA certified with V3 engine gearbox and governor
Baseline CertificationStructure and systems EASA CS-LSA, modifications delta from baseline according to ASTM F2245
Payload ConfigurationUp to 1 hard point (30 kg) per wing
Up to 1 aft-fuselage mounted gimbal (typically max turret diameter 280 mm)
Optional payload in UAS configuration only1 central fuselage mounted gimbal, turret diameter 400 mm instead of 280 mm
Performance
Max Altitude15,000 feet
Typical operating altitudes2,000 - 12,000 feet
Speed in transit to/from mission area120-130 KIAS
Loitering speed70-90 KIAS
Endurance at transfer speedsUp to 4 hours
Endurance at loitering speedsUp to 7 hours
Gust load speed (turbulence penetration)120 KIAS

MAME Configuration Medium Altitude, Medium Endurance

This compact configuration is suited for most missions that require a duration-of-daylight to be spent in loitering regime.

 

Wing Span10.7 m
MTOWUp to 700 kg @ 4,0 g, when 30 kg carried on the wings max load becomes 3.0 g. Structure and composite parts (e.g. undercarriage, braces, etc) designed and built for 700 kg, 4 G envelope.
Fuel tank capacity300 liters, carried in 4 tanks integrated in the wings
Undercarriage typeSteerable 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 struts equipped with Pipistrel type disk brake
Ballistic Parachute For MTOM up to 700 kg
EngineRotax 912 iSc certified 100 hp four cylinder four stroke engine, integrated gearbox, dual ignition, with fuel injection, version with 2 oil coolers and modified engine cowlings optimal for extra hot climate conditions, engine overload clutch, Titanium high performance exhaust "Akrapovic"
Propeller2 blade Hydraulic Constant speed propeller MTV-33-1-A/170-200 EASA certified with V3 engine gearbox and governor
Baseline CertificationStructure and systems according to ASTM F2245
Payload ConfigurationUp to 1 hard point (30 kg) per wing
Up to 1 aft-fuselage mounted gimbal (typically max turret diameter 280 mm)
Optional payload in UAS configuration only1 central fuselage mounted gimbal, turret diameter 400 mm instead of 280 mm
Performance
Max Altitude14,000 feet
Typical operating altitudes2,000 - 12,000 feet
Speed in transit to/from mission area120-130 KIAS
Loitering speed70-90 KIAS
Endurance at transfer speedsUp to 9 hours
Endurance at loitering speedsUp to 14 hours
Gust load speed (turbulence penetration)120 KIAS

MALE Configuration Medium Altitude, Long Endurance

More than 24-hour missions at medium altitudes, combined with low loitering speed capability for stable on-station surveillance.

 

Wing Span15 m with removable wingtips to reduce hangaring wingspan to 12.15 m (39' 10.3") to fit in classic American-size T hangar
MTOWUp to 850 kg @ 3,0 g, when 30 kg carried on the wings max load becomes 2.5 g. Structure and composite parts (e.g. undercarriage, braces, etc) designed and built for 850 kg, 3,0 G envelope
Fuel tank capacity370 liters, carried in 4 tanks integrated in the wings
Undercarriage typeSteerable 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 struts equipped with Pipistrel type disk brake
Ballistic Parachute For MTOM up to 850 kg
EngineRotax 912 iSc certified 100 hp four cylinder four stroke engine, integrated gearbox, dual ignition, with fuel injection, version with 2 oil coolers and modified engine cowlings optimal for extra hot climate conditions, engine overload clutch, Titanium high performance exhaust "Akrapovic"
Propeller2 blade Hydraulic Constant speed propeller MTV-33-1-A/170-200 EASA certified with V3 engine gearbox and governor
Baseline CertificationStructure and systems according to ASTM F2245
Payload ConfigurationUp to 1 hard point (30 kg) per wing
Up to 1 aft-fuselage mounted gimbal (typically max turret diameter 280 mm)
Optional payload in UAS configuration only1 central fuselage mounted gimbal, turret diameter 400 mm instead of 280 mm
Performance
Max Altitude18,000 feet
Typical operating altitudes2,000 - 15,000 feet
Speed in transit to/from mission area100-110 KIAS
Loitering speed50-75 KIAS
Endurance at transfer speedsUp to 24 hours
Endurance at loitering speedsUp to 33 hours
Gust load speed (turbulence penetration)90 KIAS

HALE Configuration High Altitude, Long Endurance

More than 24-hour missions at high-altitudes, combined with low loitering speed capability for stable on-station surveillance.

 

Wing Span15 m with removable wingtips to reduce hangaring wingspan to 12.15 m (39' 10.3") to fit in classic American-size T hangar
MTOWUp to 900 kg @ 2,5 g. Structure and composite parts (e.g. undercarriage, braces, etc) designed and built for 900 kg, 2.5 G envelope.
Fuel tank capacity370 liters, carried in 4 tanks integrated in the wings
Undercarriage typeSteerable 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 struts equipped with Pipistrel type disk brake
Ballistic Parachute For MTOM up to 900 kg
EngineRotax 914 115 hp four cylinder four stroke engine, integrated gearbox, dual ignition, turbo charged with intercooler for extreme altitude, version with 2 oil coolers and modified engine cowlings optimal for extra hot climate conditions, engine overload clutch, Titanium high performance exhaust "Akrapovic"
Propeller3 blade Hydraulic Constant speed propeller MTV-34 with V3 engine gearbox and governor
Baseline CertificationStructure and systems according to ASTM F2245
Payload ConfigurationUp to 1 hard point (30 kg) per wing
Up to 1 aft-fuselage mounted gimbal (typically max turret diameter 280 mm)
Optional payload in UAS configuration only1 central fuselage mounted gimbal, turret diameter 400 mm instead of 280 mm
Performance
Max Altitude30,000 ft capable, most mission time 22,000 ft
Typical operating altitudes10,000 - 22,000 feet
Speed in transit to/from mission area100-110 KIAS
Loitering speed55-80 KIAS
Endurance at transfer speedsUp to 20 hours
Endurance at loitering speedsUp to 25 hours
Gust load speed (turbulence penetration)90 KIAS
Large openings for a retractable FLIR 380 HDC or similar equipment

Standalone UAV operations including Pilot and Payloads Operator

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