UAV Turbines, Inc. has developed a new microturbine, turboprop engine designed for defense and commercial Group 3 and 4 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or “drone” applications. UAV Turbines’ Monarch RP is designed to operate reliably, quietly, and powerfully on various qualities of heavy fuel and outperform conventional reciprocating engines.
Class 3 and 4 UAVs like the AAI RQ-7 Shadow and General Atomics MQ-1 Predator generally operate at an altitude of 18,000 feet.
The Monarch RP has passed all critical tests in the cell, working through its operating cycle repeatedly, and for extended times. UAV Turbines is now working with a commercial airframe partner to conduct ground testing.
“After several years of intense effort, our talented team of engineers has developed a complete, turnkey microturbine propulsion system for Group 3 and 4 UAVs that is unique in both utility and function,” says Kirk Warshaw, CEO of UAV Turbines. “Throughout the design process, we focused on creating the world’s first reliable, lightweight, high-performance microturbine engine for small aircraft that runs on heavy fuel. As we have matured the design, we now recognize that a microturbine in this category has limitless possibilities across the propulsion spectrum.”
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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