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Modular Propulsion System Completes First Test Flights

Published: 31 Oct 2019 by

Orbital UAV engine on Insitu ScanEagle UAS

Orbital UAV has announced that it has performed the first flight tests in Australia of its propulsion systems for unmanned aerial vehicles. Performed in conjunction with customer Insitu Pacific on the Insitu ScanEagle platform, the tests of Orbital’s latest engines based on the company’s Modular Propulsion Solution complement existing flight testing activities in the USA.

The Modular Propulsion Solution and its derivatives have been developed to provide tactical UAVs with a flexible, versatile solution that can be adapted to meet changing customer requirements without losing rapid deployment capability. Orbital’s propulsion systems can be integrated into a variety of UAV platforms with a range of payloads and mission types.

This initial flight program, taking place at Insitu Pacific’s Queensland facility, aims to produce more than 300 hours of data and highlights the growing partnership between Orbital UAV and Insitu Pacific.

Todd Alder, Managing Director and CEO of Orbital UAV, commented: “Our flight program with Insitu Pacific expands our capability to fast track flight hour development and validation – gathering valuable data in real world conditions. These flights test the limits of our engines and highlight opportunities where we can continuously improve our products – increasing reliability and field serviceability to ensure we are providing propulsion systems that set the benchmark for performance.”

Andrew Duggan, Managing Director of Insitu Pacific, said: “Insitu Pacific has been flight testing its own unique payload designs and customer deliveries for the past 10 years. However, the activity with Orbital UAV is contributing important new performance and life-cycle data for the ScanEagle product line for Insitu globally and is supporting our continuous drive to innovate and define leading unmanned aircraft systems into the next decade.”

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