Perth technology company Orbital UAV has met the first major milestone of its engine development program with Textron Inc’s subsidiary Lycoming Engines with the delivery of an initial prototype engine for evaluation.
Earlier this year, Orbital UAV signed an new engine development and supply agreement with Lycoming Engines, a world leader in unmanned aircraft systems and one of the largest suppliers of tactical UAVs to the US armed forces.
The agreement includes a 12-month engine development program, which will enable the integration of an Orbital UAV-designed core engine, including proprietary fuel and engine control systems, into Textron Systems’ Aerosonde program.
Based on success, the collaboration could transition to a 10-year engine supply contract, which would include the provision of engines, spare parts and support services.
Todd Alder, CEO and Managing Director of Orbital UAV, said the delivery of the early core engine represents ‘a key step’ in the 12-month development program.
He said Lycoming will now assess the engine to inform further integration and design customization requirements.
“This represents good progress on our newest engine development and integration program,” Mr Alder said.
“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.”