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.


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  • Looks a lot like and flies like an AeroVironment Puma ... what is the cost for a complete system?

  • Hi Guys, great job - not only in the endurance, but in the manufacturing process. I have an affinity for hand crafted 'stuff'. I do not have experience with rudder and elevator only aircraft outside Phoenix flight sim, but it makes a lot of sense. What is the max wind speed that you can operate in with this configuration and your all up weight with the camera and battery.

    Love your work - simple and efficient.


  • @Kyumo Jung

    Where are you seeing this? Roll values are logged and used for image tagging.


    What is your reasoning? There are so many factors to image quality. It certainly has not been the case for us. We're out there using our systems for mapping and seeing the results.

  • Not having ailerons means great percentage of blurry pictures, unless flow in cero wind.

  • Great plane!

    Is the gimbal needed? It seems like you don't include roll values from cam log while images are processing?

  • I'd like to thanks everyone for the comments and kind words!

    @Rana, federic reblewski, Morli

    The battery is a 11Ah 6S LiPo

    @Giovanni Esposito

    Yes rudder & elevator only. Wings have polyhedral to help the rudder roll the aircraft. No ailerons saves weight, power, and makes assembly easier.

    We ditched the camera gimbal (roll stabilizer) in favor of mounting the camera sideways to increase ground coverage. The stabilizer was ok but its simply a matter of space when mounting the camera width-wise. Again we also saved weight and reduced complexity. Post flight we can filter images by attitude with SwiftTag or in most processing software.

    Cruise speed is 16 m/s.


    Damaging the camera was certainly a concern when we decided to use a deep-stall landing; we just had to test it. Have not broken a camera in our two years of testing and mapping. Now I can't say this applies to all sensors, but anything we offer is tested not just in flight but for landing as well. If it still a concern, Lynx can be landed normally as well.

  • Admin

    me wondering abt batt for such  endurance  or  is this 3 hour  a performance ratio  magnified of distance covered/ batt size?

    And even if it looks sweet landing but I wouldn't have a happy heart looking at pretty/expensive camera coming in at such steep angle !!

  • MR60

    Don't you damage the camera payload in your deep stall landing method ? It looks awfully violent and I'm sure it would kill the lens on my NEX5 ! What foam are you using around the camera ? (EPP ?)

  • Great job guys. I want one. :)

  • 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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