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Orbital delivers ScanEagle UAS engine

17th September 2014 - 07:35 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Orbital has delivered the first purpose-built ScanEagle UAS engine to Insitu for in-house testing and development, the company announced on 16 September.

The engine is the first reciprocating internal combustion propulsion system to be engineered from the ground up specifically for small UAS.

The engine incorporates Orbital’s new Argon Engine Control Unit (ECU) and control system. The Argon ECU provides real-time monitoring and diagnostics of all critical systems, sensor and actuator redundancy, and extensive ‘black box’ recording capability. The system also uses Orbital’s FLEXDI technology, which enables high performance for heavy fuel SUAS engine applications, significantly extending the range for the aircraft in flight.

The engine will now undergo a rigorous bench testing programme followed by flight testing. If successful, Orbital expects to receive a low volume production contract to be supplied from the company’s facilities in Perth, Australia.

Terry Stinson, CEO and managing director, Orbital, said: ‘Delivery of this first engine is a major milestone in the UAV propulsion engineering project.

‘The new propulsion system has features that are intended to drive a step change in performance and reliability in the SUAS propulsion market.’

Orbital began working with Insitu on the project in January 2013 as part of an initial design, development and validation contract to supply UAV propulsion systems.

Ryan Hartman, president and CEO, Insitu, added: ‘Insitu is extremely pleased with the receipt of this first propulsion system and our collaboration with Orbital Corporation in Australia. We conducted a rigorous selection process for our next generation propulsion supply partner, and this event further proves that we made the right choice.’

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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