Introducing the Lynx


Greetings all. I'd like to introduce Lynx, a fixed-wing sUAS developed by Swift Radioplanes. 


Lynx is a small UAS inspired by military systems because of their extreme durability and practicality (not price). Swappable payloads make Lynx a great choice for photomapping or research. The aircraft is easily launched by hand and can land conventionally or vertically with a deep-stall. The takeoff and landing method – along with its rugged construction – make the system runway independent and ideal for rough terrain or confined areas. Lynx autonomously navigates itself through fight plans or loiter points. Plans can be pre-programmed before takeoff or uploaded during flight. Manual control is possible with the use of a handheld controller. The entire system packs down into two transport cases.

Lynx is not a mass produced product or a modified RC airplane. It is a handcrafted system and built from top quality materials. Each aircraft is flight tested before completion.


  • Propulsion: electric
  • Construction: Kevlar, carbon fiber, foam
  • Endurance: 90 min w/ mapping payload (demonstrated @ 5174 ft MSL)
  • Cruise: 35 knots
  • Wind Limit: 15 knots continuous – gusting 25
  • Autopilot: APM 2.6
  • Wing Span: 8.25′
  • Weight: 10 lbs
  • Takeoff: auto or manual hand-launch
  • Landing: auto or manual belly land, manual deep-stall
  • Payload Bay: 8.25″ x 4″ x 4.75″
  • Payload Weight: up to 2 lbs
  • Battery Bay: 4.75″ x 4″ x 3″
  • Autopilot Bay: 6″ x 2.5″ x 2.5″



A quick look at the Lynx: 

  • Tool-less assembly
  • Hand launched
  • Vertical landing
  • Waypoint navigation & mapping
  • Return home failsafe
  • Manual control override
  • Throttle safety key
  • Swappable payloads
  • 90 minute endurance
  • Rugged construction
  • Transport Cases
  • Zero maintenance
  • Quiet, electric propulsion
  • Spare parts included



Mapping: A professional, ready-to-fly Lynx with integrated autopilot and a dedicated mapping payload backed by Swift RP’s imagery processing and hosting.

R & D: An autopilot agnostic research platform with plenty of room for systems integration and testing. Take advantage of Lynx’s large payload space and removable autopilot tray. Perfect for researchers, academics, hobbyists, and student competition teams.



Lynx can belly land or deep-stall. A deep-stall is an extremely steep, yet stable landing method used when operating from confined areas. The deep-stall is activated by a safety switch on the transmitter. The descent can be hands-off or the operator can continue to steer Lynx for pinpoint landings. Unlike a parachute, higher winds are preferred because they steepen and slow down the approach. Also, no extra gear is needed, no parachute folding, no parachute malfunctions, no wind drift, and the deep-stall can be aborted during its descent. The aircraft is designed to break apart upon impact to minimize damage.


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  • @Rob, Brandin, Hughes: payload survivability is a valid concern, and one that we are keenly interested in quantifying. The stress concentrations that we've seen thus far have been in the airframe and camera stabilizer, which we have diligently redesigned and retested many times over. We've logged nearly 100 deep-stall landings, but not continuously with one airframe with one camera.

    In regards to protecting the payload, there are some key damage mitigation factors: The foam pads on the bottom of the fuselage compact almost completely on impact, absorbing a great deal of the stress. The camera is mounted to a sturdy carbon fiber bracket with cork padding. We use mirrorless cameras, keeping the moving parts to a minimum. The camera gets stowed to the side, which protects the lens. 

    We log all of our flights, and if a camera failure were to happen, we would promulgate that endurance figure enthusiastically. We also carry insurance on the cameras, which we (fortunately) haven't yet had to collect on! ;)

  • im curious if you can still do this kind of landing with a full payload??

  • Nice looking setup, I particularly like the gimballed camera mount.  But I'm also pretty concerned about the camera surviving those landings.  You say you haven't had one fail, but that doesn't really tell us much if you haven't said how many times you've tested this?  Have you had a single camera survive more than 100 of those landings?

  • Great! I like this robust concept but prefer the VTOL anyways.

  • Developer

    Great stuff.. Have you experimented with prop hanging during the deep stall? Something akin to the harrier maneuver?

    Doing this it is possible to greatly reduce the decent speed even on normal (non 3D) airplanes without leaving the stall. I have landed 60 size high wing trainers at walking pace, using this technique and a little bit of head wind.

  • Moderator

    Shout the loudest about the price of those who themselves can not build anything...Is not a yet another copter, it's great :)

  • Moderator

    Great. Wonderful plane !

  • @ Hugues, I realize that a deep-stall landing is a bit shocking at first, but believe me that a great deal of time and effort has gone into durability. You bring up a good point and its definitely a concern for any unconventional recovery method. While I cannot quantify your question I can say that to date we have never destroyed a camera because of a deep-stall (to include the NEX 7 and other models). 

    Also, the camera mounts in a roll stabilized gimbal that stows for landing adding a bit protection for the camera, mainly the lens.

    Of course if you're carrying something extremely fragile you could always belly land ;)

  • Moderator

    Looks perfect well done!

  • MR60

    Did you do endurance tests to verify a Sony nex camera will live through repeated landings? I have my doubts...

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