Legacy Aircraft

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Beetle was UAS’s first attempt at a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone. It was designed with a large main compartment to drop a small rover from with a winch. We learned a lot from this project and it was a great stepping stone to our next VTOL project, Dragonfly.

Raven drone

Ataksak drone


The Ataksak Project was the team’s response to the 2020 AUVSI challenge. Ataksak was built to have a flight range of up to 8 miles and a payload capacity of 3kg. The tall airframe allows payloads to safely sit within the aircraft; making it ideal to carry expensive payloads for missions such as delivering packages and mapping/ searching areas. Ataksak was also used for many years beyond its competition.


As a direct response to the 2019 AUVSI SUAS challenge, Condor was built to complete a long distance payload drop with high accuracy. Speed, high payload capacity, and endurance allowed Condor to successfully complete the given mission with excellent precision. It was continued to be used for many years beyond the competition.

  • Top speed – 120 km/h
  • MTOW – 12kg
  • Wing Span – 1500mm
  • Max elec Power – 7600W
Condor drone

Desert Hawk drone

Advanced Technology Demonstrator: Desert Hawk

Demanding real-world applications like Law Enforcement or Search And Rescue require high performance, multi-mission drones. The Advanced Technology Demonstrator was designed to be both a testbed of new drone technologies and the mission aircraft for the 2018 AUVSI SUAS competition.

The Desert Hawk incorporated unique technologies and capabilities such as vortex generators and obstacle avoidance; it was also one of the first projects to include Augmented Reality prototyping to visualize subsystem integration. The project inspired growth and innovation for proceeding UBC UAS projects.


Project Raven was born out of a need for a stable, high-endurance multi-rotor platform. It was originally designed for an Australian Medical express competition to serve as an aerial relay station, halfway between the active aircraft and the ground station. Raven was retired in February of 2019 after serving as a versatile aircraft ideal for low altitude mapping of large areas as well as carrying and delivering heavy payloads. The modular payload attachments and option for multiple batteries further expanded its mission envelope.

Raven drone

Thunderbird drone


Project Thunderbird was UBC UAS’s fixed wing and aerial reconnaissance project. The Thunderbird series of Unmanned Aircraft Systems provided the team with a reliable in air system with a high payload capacity, long endurance missions, and large scale survey capabilities.

The fixed-wings were based on the Cyclops C airframe which were generously sponsored by AsiaTech Drones. They were capable of carrying several kilograms worth of payload and gave us the ability to use high resolution DSLR cameras, stereo-vision imaging systems, and pack in more batteries to extend flight times.


Project Sparrow was created in an effort to react to recent changes in the UAS industry as well as the Unmanned Systems Canada Student Competition of its time. Due to a new influx of quick launch drones, as well as the recent time limit constraints of the competition, the team created the Sparrow Unmanned Aircraft System.

With this aircraft we were able to hand launch from a moment’s notice and be in the air within seconds. The aircraft was equipped with the same surveying equipment as the larger Thunderbird aircraft, however is extremely compact and lightweight in comparison. With this aircraft the team was able to take large area surveys at a high altitude and return to base quickly, efficiently, and smoothly.

Sparrow drone

Flame Wheel drone

Flame Wheel

As a donation from UBC Studios, the Flame Wheel serves as a filming platform for promotional material as well as a pilot training aircraft. It’s always ready to go and never fails to deliver.