Northwest UAV Engine Powers Cargo Drone at US Navy Bluewater Competition

Northwest UAV’s NW-88 engine successfully supported Skyways’ V2.6 unmanned cargo aircraft during beyond the horizon ship-to-shore, shore-to-ship critical missions By Caroline Rees / 03 Apr 2023
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Integrated on Skyways’ V2.6 unmanned cargo aircraft, the company has said that Northwest UAV’s NW-88 Engine was a key differentiator during its successful demonstration at the US Navy’s Bluewater competition at Webster Field in Pax River, MD in 2022.

“Working alongside the Skyways team as they march forward to provide a cargo solution that meets the Navy’s stringent reliability requirements, among them a must-have heavy fuel engine that operates on JP5, has been a privilege,” said Chris Harris, President, and Owner of NWUAV. “It has always been our company’s mission to support the warfighter and this project in particular is exciting. As Skyways works to solve capability gaps in critical delivery methods, we in turn have been working on continuous improvements to make the V2.6 as plug-and-play as possible.” 

NW-88 NWUAV uav engine

As a result, the latest upgrade to the most recent Skyways orders for the NW-88 is the integration of a remote start capability and an updated battery charging system and generator. 

These updated remote start capabilities simplify operations, allowing the ‘start’ command to come directly from the pilot. Improving UAS capabilities, the eVTOL lift battery pack recharges during steady-cruise flight, allowing for multiple destination missions without battery swaps. 

“Integrating remote-start and battery-charging capabilities into the engine reduces the amount of GSE required when interfacing with the aircraft,” Harris added. “With these system upgrades, operator interface with the NW-88 is boiled down to adding fuel (if needed), allowing the operator to focus on the importance of the task at hand – managing the mission.” 

Production released and manufactured in the US (most of which NWUAV does in-house), the NW-88 and sister engines – the NW-44 and the NW-230 – have minimal exposure to supply chain issues and comply with the DoD’s Buy America Act. 

Easily configured to fit existing aircraft, the NW-88 supports fixed wing aircraft in the 75-150 lb range that require the use of heavy fuel and a modular power system that is ready to deploy with minimal modification.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact