Elbit Systems’ energy-efficient Skylark 3 Hybrid Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is equipped with a hybrid propulsion system featuring Northwest UAV (NWUAV)’s NW-44 Multi-Fuel Engine alongside an electric motor.
Purpose-built to be a complete turn-key engine system solution, the NW-44 is a lightweight, multi-fuel UAS engine that delivers ease of integration and supports worldwide expeditionary operations. Its innovative modular design makes it lightweight and easy to maintain, increasing its endurance, fuel efficiency, and lifespan, which reduces a NW-44 supported aircraft’s environmental impact.
With over 28,000 operational hours logged, the NW-44 has proven to be a reliable, maintainable power system that is easily configured to integrate with a variety of Tier II UAVs (40-75 pounds).
“The use of hybrid solutions is a critical path to support future operations on the battlefield, and the NW-44 is the perfect propulsion system for this application,” according to Brian Russell Sr. Director of Business Development & Tech Development at NWUAV. “We are proud to be a part of this important technology demonstration to the RAF.”
The Skylark 3 Hybrid small tactical UAS has tripled in endurance, without altering the size and weight of the aircraft. Offering up to 18 hours of operations, the Skylark 3 Hybrid offers RAF a more environmentally responsible UAS to help achieve future capability ambitions. Twin-engine architecture provides redundancy in propulsion for safety and reliability. The system leverages the energy efficiency and endurance of the NW-44 to rapidly reach altitude, while offering the opportunity to employ only the electric motor for sustained flight. This makes the Skylark 3 Hybrid highly energy efficient and environmentally responsible without sacrificing crucial capabilities.
Based on the Skylark family of small tactical UAS, the Skylark 3 Hybrid is optimized for dismounted or vehicle-based operation. Featuring a 15.4ft wingspan, a maximum take-off weight of 110lbs, a service ceiling of 12,000 feet, and a range of 74.5 miles, the Skylark 3 Hybrid is designed to be a field deployed tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) UAS. Its twin-engine architecture offers built-in reliability with the capability to sustain flight on one power system and the endurance that longer missions require.
The NW-44 multi-fuel engine will be on display in Booth 1629 at AUVSI XPONENTIAL April 25-28 in Orlando, Florida. See the NW-44 alongside NWUAV’s other propulsion system solutions – the NW-88 multi-fuel engine, the NWFC-1500 Hydrogen propulsion system, and the new NW-230 multi-fuel engine in development.