Innovative Heavy Fuel Engines for UAVs

Prototype Engine for Aerosonde UAS Program Delivered

By Mike Ball / 14 May 2021

Textron Aerosonde UAS

Orbital UAV has achieved the first major milestone in its engine development program for the Textron Aerosonde UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) with the delivery of an initial prototype for evaluation. The prototype engine was delivered to Lycoming Engines, a subsidiary of Textron.

Delivery of this early core engine represents a key step in the 12-month development program, and comes shortly after the initial contract confirmation and program kick-off. Lycoming will now assess the engine to inform further integration and design customisation requirements.

The goal of the program is to integrate an Orbital UAV-designed 150cc core engine, including proprietary fuel and engine control systems, into Textron Systems’ Aerosonde platform. Aerosonde is a small UAS designed for both land and maritime operations, and is equipped to deliver signals intelligence and simultaneous day/night full-motion video and to act as a communications relay.

Todd Alder, CEO and Managing Director of Orbital UAV, commented: “This represents good progress on our newest engine development and integration program. Working closely with Textron Systems and Lycoming, we are driving the development timeline to ensure we are able to smoothly transition into production and the agreed supply contract in 2022.”

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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