Optionally Piloted Vehicle Conversion Kit

The S-PLANE xKIT is a comprehensive solution that offers a means to rapidly convert a manned aircraft into an Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Built on proven and rugged xSERIES technology the xKIT can be readily applied to almost any fixed or rotary wing aircraft. Seamless integration with third party payloads and S-PLANE’s Communication and Ground Control Solutions brings high-end, versatile autonomous systems of the future to today.

An OPV is a highly versatile platform. It is an ideal merger of the benefits of manned and unmanned aircraft. As a manned aircraft it can execute missions that demand human judgement and control. As an unmanned aircraft (UAV) it can operate with extreme endurance and under dull, dirty and dangerous conditions. The OPV can rapidly and easily be deployed by flying it through civil airspace in manual piloting mode and then, when arriving at the operational location, be switched over to unmanned operation.

The xKIT operates in harmony with other S-PLANE Solutions and 3rd party subsystems. Combining the xKIT with S-PLANE’s Communication and Ground Control Solutions brings a number of S-PLANE products (including LOSCom, SatCom, ParagonC2, ParagonISR) and services (including system engineering, qualification, integration, testing) together in order to enable comprehensive system-level functionality for the OPV.



Comprehensive UAV functionality

  • Fully automated take-off and landing (ATOL)
  • LOS and BLOS communications management
  • Extreme duration flight
  • Electrical Systems Control (Lights, Gear)

Safety critical design

  • Comprehensive system-wide redundancy
  • Airspace integration systems (transponders, ATC radio)
  • Programmed actions for contingencies

Flexible architecture

  • Supports fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft
  • Applicable to almost any aircraft
  • Accommodates a wide range of third party systems

Use existing airframes

  • Cost-effective alternative to bespoke development
  • Low risk development path
  • Preserve certification status

Ease of installation

  • Rapid conversion for quick time to market
  • Use existing maintenance resources
  • Revert to original aircraft on removal


Servo Actuation Rugged and redundant design, robust disconnect and pilot override, supports a large number of servos with high torque, designed for OPV certification.
Flight Control Manual piloting, remote piloting, fully autonomous mission flight with automatic take-off and landing, emergency control modes.
Navigation Multi-constellation GNSS aided inertial navigation with air-data assist, redundant sensors with dissimilar hardware, graceful degradation.
Electrical Interfacing Redundant power buses, overload and short circuit protection, continuous health monitoring and control, robust electrical disengage for manual flight.
Communications Management LOS and BLOS communications management with automatic failover, critical data prioritisation, real-time payload streaming.
Payload Management Multiple payloads of various types, high bandwidth on-board data recording, retrieval and compression for bandwidth-constrained SatCom links.