By Kalwinder Kaur
Orbital declares that it has achieved contract for delivery of heavy fuel engines for deployment in Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) of AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (AAI).
A subsidiary of Textron Systems, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems received large military contracts from the U.S. Navy and Special Operations Command to deliver SUAS fee-for-service operations based on the latest configuration of its Aerosonde SUAS.
By achieving this contract, Orbital will supply engines worth $4.7 M throughout 2012.
Orbital's FlexDI Engine Management system enables this new engine and system to achieve spark ignition operation of heavy fuels like JP8 of land based operations and JP5 for naval operations in compliance with US Department of Defence initiative for removing gasoline fuels on behalf of "one fuel" policy.
Compact, yet powerful engine package features ideal weight, size, and fuel efficiency that helps achieve the required range and payload capability for this aircraft. Orbital technology has an extended range where the fuel efficiency can expand the range on a typical mission by 40% than current technology. It may even enable AAI to increase the payload.
Orbital's FlexDI technology has been effective for over 650,000 engine applications in the marine, recreation, motorcycle customer markets.
CEO and Managing Director of Orbital, Mr Terry Stinson states that an innovation has to be achieved with AAI for compliance with stringent SUAS engine requirements. This milestone paves way for production supply of engine systems. This represents Australian innovation, where Orbital's engineering and product development capabilities have been demonstrated. The small unmanned aerial systems market is a budding potential market for Orbital.