As the US Army continues its long search for heavy-fuel engines to power unmanned air vehicles, it has awarded a small Miami, Florida-based company, Locust USA, a $2.1 million contract to convert its L50/60 turbojet to a turboshaft.

Locust, teamed with engine designer Pegasus Engineering Services, declines to provide details of the L50/60 or the turboshaft conversion work to be performed under contract to the US Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate.

Locust has been working with the US Army on low-cost microturbines to meet requirements for small, lightweight engines producing less than 10kW power, operating on heavy fuel (kerosene) and achieving a high power-to-volume ratio.

Source: Flight International