Orbital UAV

Innovative Heavy Fuel Engines for UAVs

Orbital UAV
Innovative Heavy Fuel Engines for UAVs
4 Whipple St, Balcatta, WA 6021, AUSTRALIA Australia Regional offices
+61 (8) 9441 2311

Orbital UAV is a world leader in tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) propulsion systems and flight critical components. From operations in Perth, Australia and Oregon, USA, Orbital UAV delivers integrated propulsion systems and associated technologies into the world’s largest suppliers of tactical UAVs.

The company is uniquely placed to meet the performance requirements of the rapidly evolving UAV market through revolutionary technology and proven operational experience. World leading propulsion systems exceed the competition benchmark for reliability, power and system durability, and the company’s patented fuel injection system enables advanced spark ignition using heavy fuel – a requirement for military applications.

Working closely with customers, Orbital UAV continues to develop and deliver innovative solutions to meet the changing demands and increasing mission parameters of tactical UAVs.

Our Products

Orbital UAV EnginesOrbital UAV’s engines incorporate an air-assisted FlexDI™ (direct injection) system to provide heavy-fuel capability and reduced fuel consumption on two-stroke and four-stroke models. The fuel system technology has been proven on a range of applications with both gasoline and heavy fuels.

Features include high specific power, low fuel consumption, cold-start capability, low engine noise, automatic altitude compensation, electronic oil metering and rugged hardware for extreme environmental conditions.

uav propulsion systems

Key Specifications:

HFDI 75 - heavy fuel engineHFDI.75 (4.5hp)
Heavy Fuel Engine
HFDI 150 - heavy fuel UAV engineHFDI.150 (10hp)
Heavy Fuel Engine
HFDI 300 - heavy fuel engine for UAVHFDI.300 (25hp)
Heavy Fuel Engine
Engine Configuration Single Cylinder; Low weight design Twin Boxer; Low weight, horizontally-opposed design 2-cylinder, 2-stroke boxer engine; Boxer configuration preferred for air-cooled engines
Engine Capacity 75cc; Low vibration signature 150cc; Low vibration signature ~300cc
Power >5.0hp @ 6,500rpm; Sea level standard ISA on JP5 fuel >10hp @ 6,500rpm; Sea level standard ISA on JP5 fuel ~25hp @ 6,750rpm; Rated at sea level standard ISA on JP5 fuel
Electrical Power 300-500W; Can be customised to suit application 300-700W; Can be customised to suit application 500-1000W+; Can be customised to suit application
Fuel Consumption <320 g/kWh; Typical of cruise conditions <320 g/kWh; Typical of cruise conditions <320 g/kWh; Typical of cruise conditions
TBO ~500+hrs ~500+hrs ~500hrs

Application Services

Orbital UAV’s extensive experience in engine design, UAV systems integration, prototype manufacture, engine management system calibration and optimisation, enables customers to access support for custom applications of available engines.

A wide range of support is available, including:

  • Alternative intake system design
  • Alternative muffler design
  • Engine mounting systems
  • Engine cooling system design
  • Oil supply system (oil tank etc.)
  • Fuel delivery systems design (fuel tank, fuel pump, filter assembly etc.), including custom design of lightweight, integrated fuel/oil delivery modules
  • Power supply system integration
  • Alternative propeller hub designs
  • Component packaging/systems integration into the UAV airframe
  • On-site specialist engineer support for flight testing

Learn more: Application Services

FlexDI Fuel Injection Technology


Spark Ignition Technology for UAV Heavy Fuel Engines

FlexDI™ is production-proven direct fuel injection technology able to offer an advanced Spark Ignition solution for UAV engines including Gasoline, JP5, JP8, JetA and JetA1. FlexDI™ is also able to be used for spark ignited Diesel applications.

FlexDI - spark ignition technology for UAVs

Key benefits of Orbital’s FlexDI™ heavy fuel engine technology:

  • Unique solution applicable to both 2 & 4 strokes
  • Spark ignited kerosene-based fuels for UAVs: JP5, JP8, JetA, JetA1 (theatre-proven) and gasoline operation with no change to engine calibration
  • High specific power; greater than 70kW/L
  • Low fuel consumption; 30%+ reduction during cruise conditions
  • Cold start capability; demonstrated to -30°C
  • Proven environmental capabilities: -30 to +49°C, up to 20,000ft DA, 0-100% relative humidity
  • Noise compliance to MIL-STD-1474D
  • Automatic altitude compensation
  • Electronic oil metering

Facilities & Services

Orbital UAV’s operations in Perth, Western Australia, and Oregon, USA, provide world class facilities with capabilities in design, embedded electronic control, manufacturing and development, as well as testing of engines, fuels and oils, and engine management systems.

Orbital UAV Test Cell - Engine Prop Stand



Key test and development facilities include:

  • Instrumented engine dynamometer and propeller testing for development, durability and acceptance
  • Altitude simulation chamber with capability to 20,000ft; with temperature control to -35oC to 65oC
  • Semi-anechoic NVH room for noise assessments
  • Environment Stress Screening including HALT and HASS with simultaneous temperature and vibration
  • Comprehensive metrology department

Learn more: Facilities & Services

Electro-Mechanical Systems

Orbital UAV has extensive experience in designing embedded hardware such as Engine Control Modules (ECM) for development and production, as well as data acquisition and peripheral devices. This experience provides a comprehensive foundation for other embedded hardware designs. To compliment these in-house services Orbital has established relationships with manufacturers to provide production volume, quality, cost competitive products.

FlexECUThe FlexECU™ platform has been developed by Orbital UAV to provide powerful, high quality engine controllers to meet the varying requirements of today’s engine applications.

drone ECUThe FlexECU™ Platinum (Pt) has been specifically developed as a customized addition to Orbital’s FlexECU™ family. This compact and light weight unit is field proven on UAV applications, delivering on all specific requirements with the ruggedness and reliability of a high volume automotive production ECU.

The FlexECU™ Pt interfaces with common UAV flight management system architectures and includes support for fly-by-wire through servo motor throttle control. The FlexECU™ Pt is suited to fuel injected single-cylinder or two-cylinder boxer engine applications.

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Regional Offices & Locations
Orbital Corporation Limited Australia 4 Whipple St, Balcatta, WA 6021, AUSTRALIA +61 (8) 9441 2311 Contact Website
Orbital UAV USA, LLC United States of America 210 Wasco Loop, Hood River, OR 97031 USA +1 541 716 5930 Contact Office Website