Fri, Oct 08, 2010
Kerosene-Based Fuel Compatible With Army's "Single Fuel"
An Aerosonde Mark 4.7 small unmanned aircraft system (SUAS) with
a heavy fuel engine (HFE) has been successfully demonstrated by AAI
Corporation at Fort Pickett in Virginia, the company said
A heavy fuel propulsion system is a critical capability for both
U.S. and international armed services. Maritime forces like the
U.S. Navy and Coast Guard benefit because kerosene-based fuels are
less flammable than gasoline in shipboard environments. Services
with both land- and air-based missions, such as the U.S. Army, can
embrace a "one fuel forward" concept by transitioning to a single
fuel for all of their assets, minimizing cost and logistics.
The larger HFE delivers a significant increase in electrical
power, generating higher horsepower and enabling the Aerosonde Mark
4.7 aircraft to carry additional payloads with greater electrical
demands. Increased horsepower also contributes to improvements in
aircraft performance including climb rate, dash speed, mission
endurance and altitude performance.
"Our integration of a heavy fuel propulsion system onto the
Aerosonde Mark 4.7 SUAS promises users increased performance,
mission flexibility and convenience," says Division Vice President,
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Stephen Flach of AAI. "This
successful HFE demonstration is an important milestone, and just
one example of how we look to continuously mature our systems'
capabilities to anticipate customer needs."
The Aerosonde Mark 4.7 SUAS is a cost-effective, high-endurance
platform designed for fast, easy launch and recovery from shipboard
or small clearings. It incorporates AAI's unique Launch and
Recovery Trailer, comprised of an AAI-proprietary Sliding Frame
Launcher and hydraulically actuated Soft Hands(TM) Net Recovery
System. The Launch and Recovery Trailer provides automatic aircraft
launch and recovery, minimizes risk of aircraft damage during
recovery, and streamlines shipboard operations.
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