Turbine Technologies, LTD today announced the release of its first public PT-50 Engine Development Update in almost two years. The company had been under a propulsion integration contract with a major defense supplier throughout the period and was unable to openly comment on its activities until now.
"We're pleased to have recently completed a propulsion integration project for a major U.S. defense company," said Mike Kutrieb, VP of Turbine Technologies. "Unfortunately, provisions within the contract prevented us from making our regular engine development updates available to specific UAV systems integrators and the aerospace community at large. With that project behind us we can again provide details on the engine. I truly appreciate the patience of all those that have expressed an interest in the engine, particularly those looking for a UAV powerplant."
Turbine Technologies' work on a small turboshaft engine began several years ago as a derivative project to their already highly successful SR-30 Turbojet Engine. The SR-30, in production since 1988, was adapted for use in the gassifier of a prototype shaft engine designated the PT-30. This engine first ran in the fall of 2004 and demonstrated the feasibility of the general concept. The company immediately set out to develop a more refined, higher power engine known as the PT-50. The defense company seeing the potential in the engine, immediately engaged Turbine Technologies to provide a propulsion solution for its entry in an industry wide VTOL UAV competition. Throughout the contract period some 900 engine cycles were recorded during testing and development activities.
"Literally thousands of hours of development work have gone into the PT-50. We've taken the lessons learned over the past couple years and are integrating them into the final development iteration of the engine. This second version, internally designated the 'A' model, will be optimized for performance and intended for production. Our intent is to chronicle this activity once again in regular updates for use by interested UAV designers. Detailed engine to airframe integration information will be released as it becomes available. Actual hardware in quantity should be available to qualified defense contractors within the year. We're confident the PT-50A will create a whole new dimension in UAV design, development and operation. We intend to bridge the propulsion gap between the ultra-reliable electric motors for small UAVs to the accepted gas turbine standard of the Predator and Global Hawk. No solider should have to trust his life to a gasoline or diesel powered reciprocating engine."
Regular updates will be available on the PT-50 Turboshaft Engine