NWUAV Develops New Twin-Cylinder Multi-Fuel UAV Engine

By Mike Ball / 24 Apr 2017
Northwest UAV NW-88 engine
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Northwest UAV NW-88 engine
Northwest UAV (NWUAV) has started development of its new NW-88 Twin-Cylinder Multi-Fuel UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) propulsion system based on the proven, ground-up design of NWUAV‘s existing NW-44 engine, which is built specifically for small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) with approximate weights between 40-75 pounds. The NW-88 engine will offer the same reliability, endurance and efficiency of the NW-44 engine to larger, heavier UAVs in the industry.

The NW-88 Multi-Fuel Engine will be just as quiet, heavy-duty and easily configured as the NW-44, and it will support UAVs in a weight range between 65-150 pounds. Like the NW-44, it will be fuel injected and come with a high output generator and power management system, self-managed cooling system, dual ignition with twin spark and NWUAV’s noise reducing, patented muffler.

“Group II UAVs are not the only segment within the industry that are attempting to fly 12 hours or more in extreme conditions with hobby grade engines,” said Chris Harris, President and owner of NWUAV. “There are quite a few Group III sized UAVs well over 75 pounds that are using hobby grade engines that were never designed for the durability and reliability expected by end customers. Hobby grade engines are typically designed for the weekend flier at the local RC airstrip where they might get 100 hours flight time in 5 years, with no thought on how the engine will perform at 45c at 2000 meters ASL let alone to achieve a 400-500 hour TBO. Compared to a UAV application where 45c and 2000 meters is the ‘Standard Day’ and 100 hours of flight time can be easily achieved in 2 weeks. These two scenarios require substantially different design and engineering considerations and NWUAV understands that.”

“The NW-44 Multi-Fuel Engine has proven itself as a professional aviation grade engine designed for 40- 75 pound UAVs,” Harris continued. “Whereas the NW-88 will complement UAVs in the 65-150 pounds range. And like the ITAR free NW-44, the NW-88 Multi-Fuel Engine will be a complete engine system ready to install with minimal or no development costs for the end customer – making it highly cost effective to incorporate.”

“The NW-88 propulsion system is a natural next step for us and for this market,” said Jeff Ratcliffe, Chief Technical Officer at NWUAV. “We have a highly successful engine to build on in the NW-44, and we know that our customers are looking for the aviation grade reliability, durability and fuel efficiency of the NW-44 Engine in the next larger class UAV.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact