Lynx M: 3 Hour Mapping Endurance

Greetings all. About a year ago, we introduced you to the Lynx. Lynx was our first system developed as an affordable, fixed-wing UAV for mapping. The Lynx design was inspired by military UAS, and we sought to make our own system that was equally durable and practical for field use.

Fast forward a year, and we are proud to announce the Lynx M. Our new design is approximately 20% lighter and 20% smaller than the original but with doubled endurance (3 hours with payload!), sideways camera placement (top facing forward), and more camera options.

Lynx M is an incredibly rugged, long endurance mapping UAS equipped with interchangeable sensors. The design is simple and assembly is quick, requiring no tools. A removable wing and tail simply slide into place on the fuselage and ‘shed’ on hard landings. Takeoff is accomplished with a hand launch, and landing is done with a vertical deep-stall or conventional belly land. The deep-stall enables users to operate from confined areas, such as a forest clearing.


  • Weight: 3.6 kg (8.0 lbs)
  • Wing Span: 2.3 m (7.5 ft)
  • Endurance: 3 hours
  • Propulsion: Electric
  • Construction: Kevlar, carbon, foam
  • Takeoff: Hand launch
  • Landing: Deep-stall or belly land
  • Payload: .7 kg (1.5 lbs)
  • Autopilot: Pixhawk


  • Tool-less assembly
  • Three piece wing & removable tail
  • Swappable payloads
  • Throttle safety key
  • Silent operation

The airframe is constructed to be as strong and as light as possible by utilizing a composite/foam core structure. A single airframe can withstand in excess of 100 vertical landings. Tests were conducted from a variety of terrain with camera onboard.  This makes Lynx M is one of the most rugged systems available.

Lynx M achieves three hour flight times with the standard 24 MP Sony a5100 APS-C payload. By combining long flight times with quality sensors, Lynx M can cover 8 square kilometers (almost 2,000 acres) at 2.3 cm/pix resolution. With the optional Sony a7R 36 MP full frame sensor, ground resolutions of 1.3 cm/pix are possible.

Payloads are located at the aircraft’s center of gravity and are thoroughly protected by removable foam mounts. Custom mounts can be made to carry additional sensors.

Autonomous takeoff, navigation, and mapping are done with the Pixhawk flight controller. SwiftTag post flight software is used to easily and accurately geo-tag and filter images based on aircraft position and attitude.

Lynx M packs down into two transport cases - one case for the aircraft and a second case for the battery charger kit.

Sample Flight Log

A Lynx M flight log can be found here:

  • Flight time: 186:57 minutes
  • Total distance traveled: 162.65 km
  • Payload: Sony a5100
  • Flight plan: survey grid & loiter


For more information on the Lynx M, please visit For pricing and availability, please contact

The DIY post about SwiftTag can be found here if you missed it:


About Swift Radioplanes

Swift Radioplanes was founded in the summer of 2013 and based in mile-high Prescott, Arizona. The company designs and manufactures unmanned aircraft systems and performs photomapping services for research, simulator, agriculture, and survey applications. Swift Radioplanes emphasizes simplicity, durability, and performance in their aircraft. This design philosophy is easily seen with their flagship UAS, the Lynx M. Lynx is capable of three hour flights, a vertical landing method that requires incredible durability, tool-less assembly, and only three moving parts on the entire aircraft.

In December of 2013, a team from Swift Radioplanes volunteered to aid the Philippine disaster relief in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The team flew a Lynx UAS and collected and donated over 20 square kilometers of high resolution aerial imagery.


Views: 6777

Comment by Rana on May 21, 2015 at 8:17pm
Wow, TT hat's really great airframe, what is your power source?
Comment by frederic reblewski on May 21, 2015 at 10:10pm

what is the spec of your battery?

Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 21, 2015 at 10:13pm

Nicely done, I am tempted to say the smartest set up out there at the minute. On paper as I've not seen it flying though. The flight cases and camera mounts are very often the missing link in such things.

Comment by Giovanni Esposito on May 21, 2015 at 10:59pm

Only rudder and elevator? No ailerons?

You ditched the camera gimbal in favor of a fixed foam mount?

What's the cruise speed?

Comment by Vladimir "Lazy" Khudyakov on May 22, 2015 at 12:16am

Nice plane

Comment by James masterman on May 22, 2015 at 12:40am

Really nice looking aircraft and professional package with the rugged box and all. 

I like the simplicity of the foam camera mount. For mapping, the complexity of a gimbal is overkill most of the time. Robustness and ease of use should be the name of the game in that market. Other successful platforms, like the eBee use the same idea.

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on May 22, 2015 at 2:31am

It is also worth mentioning that Michael from SwiftRadioPlanes makes a lot of really good contributions to ArduPilot. It is so nice having companies using ArduPilot contributing back so well.

Thanks Michael!

Comment by James Slizewski on May 22, 2015 at 6:28am

Sweet setup. 

Comment by Jason Franciosa on May 22, 2015 at 7:22am
Very cool! The landing is impressive!
Comment by Eli Cohen on May 22, 2015 at 9:32am

you must be getting fantastic efficiency out of your prop... in the 70% range? very, very impressive flight time for something this size.


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