The smallest axial flow gas turbine was brought to the show by Isle of Man engineering firm Bladon Jets.

Weighing just 2kg (4.4lb), the engine is the brainchild of engineer Chris Bladon and has been 28 years in the making,

The firm is working with Jaguar Land Rover, part of the Indian Tata Group, to use the turbine as a means of reducing the battery load in electric or hybrid cars.

However, Bladon is keen to diversify into the aerospace sector and sees the growth in the popularity of unmanned air vehicles as a golden opportunity because of the light weight of the unit.

Courtenay Heading, business development director, says that it has required advances in machining technology to allow Bladon to produce the 75mm (2.9in) diameter blisks (blade disks) contained in the turbine.

He says: "It wasn't possible before now - aerospace companies in 1998 were telling us it couldn't be done because it's a one-piece turbine. You can't put individual blades in something this small as you have to cut it and therefore weaken it, so you have to machine the blisk out of one piece of metal."

Heading adds: "We are at Farnborough because we wanted to find out the market needs and work out who the potential UAV collaborators are."

Source: Flight Daily News