Microturbine Propulsion Systems Introduced for sUAS

Published: 06 May 2019

UAV Turbines micropropulsion systemUAV Turbines, Inc. (UAVT), a developer of microturbine technology, has announced the introduction of its Monarch RP family of microturbine engines, which will provide defense and commercial partners with reliable, quiet, and powerful propulsion systems. Designed for Group 3 and 4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the Monarch engines can run on heavy fuel of varying qualities. The Monarch RP has passed all critical tests in the cell, working through its operating cycle repeatedly, and for extended times. As a result, UAVT 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,” said 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.”

The Monarch RP microturbine was carefully designed to outperform conventional reciprocating engines in several ways:

  • Monarch RP will provide more time in the air and less time being serviced on the ground with upwards of a 2,000 hour increase in operation time between overhauls when compared to available Class 3 engines.
  • Monarch RP’s variable pitch propeller will enable UAVs to climb faster and reach greater dash speeds, enabling greater performance and efficiency in both commercial and military aircraft.
  • The reliability of Monarch RP eliminates the need for extra engines for a single aircraft.
  • The flexibility to run efficiently on all types of heavy fuels, such as jet fuel, makes Monarch RP safer and more convenient than engines running on volatile aviation gasoline.
  • Monarch RP generates useful on-board electrical power that is 2-3x greater than what is produced by conventional engines.

“The Monarch RP propulsion systems changes the game for unmanned flight,” said William T. “Tim” Crosby, MG (R) Chairman of UAVT’s Board of Advisors. “The U.S. Military is in critical need of a reliable heavy fuel engine that ensures our troops consistently have the support of their UAVs when they need them. The successful evolution and testing of the Monarch RP propulsion systems proves that reliability, added safety, and efficiency is possible and will soon be available to the warfighter in a variety of platforms.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions 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.