SongBird: fixed wing plane and multi-rotor combination drone

The Songbird UAS combines the efficiency, speed and long range of traditional aircraft with the vertical take-off and landing ability of modern multi-rotor drones. This combination does not only expand the scope of existing UAS usage but offers a completely new range of applications - with a maximum payload of 2 kg. This allows to carry specialized sensors such as LIDAR (light detection and ranging) or high-resolution multispectral cameras for surveying and mapping or precision agriculture.

Three pictures of the fixed-wing uav

Currently, the UAS is equipped with a 100 megapixel camera ixM-100 provided by PhaseOne Industrial as well as with a VLP-32 C UltraPuck provided by Velodyne (a 32-chanel LiDAR with up to 1,2 million pixels resolution).

Due to its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability no runway for take-off or landing is necessary while keeping all the benefits of a fixed wing aircraft. 

The Songbird allows for a payload of up to 2 kg, enabling operation with large battery packs, dual cameras or highly specialized sensors, such as LIDAR or real-time mapping solutions. The take-off weight (TOW) always remains below 10 kg. The Songbird has been designed by engineers with years of field experience and with knowledge about what your equipment must endure in the real world. It benefits from testing under extreme weather conditions, from the African desert to tropical jungles the Songbird can operate during wind speeds of up to 19 m/s as well extreme heat or cold and light rain.

The Songbird is equipped with a high-precision GNSS-IMU-inertia (Applanix APX 20). This allows for precise recording of angular velocities on all three axis (X, Y and Z in degree and second) via gyroscopic measurements in combination with real-time positioning in 100 Hz. The IMU as well as the stabile flight operation enables high-precision recordings of topographic features (up to cm resolution). Ground based GNSS receiver stations enable additional precision to the positioning adding to even better spatial resolution; in this respect, we use two GNSS-receivers provided by Trimble (SPS 855).

Technical Data



Wing Span:

3,10 m


Fiberglass and Carbon Composite

Maximum Payload:

2 kg

Maxium Speed:

45 m/s (160 km/h)

Maximum Wind Speed:

19 m/s (Windstärke 8)

Flight time in Standard Configuration:

> 60 min

Data from https://germandrones.com/songbird/