BOMBARDIER CANADAIR Defence Systems says that its CL-227 Sentinel unmanned air vehicle (UAV) has successfully undergone a US Department of Defense UAV Joint Project Office (JPO)-funded heavy-fuel engine-improvement programme.

The Williams International WTS-125 gas-turbine powerplant will power the CL-327, the improved Sentinel UAV. The UAV JPO awarded Canadair a contract in 1994 to integrate a 95kW (125shp) diesel-fuel turboshaft engine in the Sentinel and demonstrate an endurance of 3h.

During demonstrations at Canadair's UAV flight-test centre, the prototype was flown on 66 tethered flights and 15 free flights, meeting all contract requirements and cost targets, says the company. The WTS-125-powered CL-327 will use a high-speed gearbox - allowing the air vehicle to use the powerplant's full 95kW rating.

The CL-327 will use longer blades and an upgraded propeller module. It will have an endurance of 5h, a ceiling of 18,000ft (5,500m) and a payload capacity of more than 91kg, claims Canadair.

Source: Flight International