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FARNBOROUGH: Pitching its UAV engines, Lycoming makes Farnborough debut

Lycoming Engines has not historically attended the Farnborough airshow, but the Textron unit is flying its colours this year and is pushing its range of engines for the unmanned air vehicle (UAV) market.

"We are at Farnborough because we are now a key supplier," says Lycoming senior vice-president and general manager Mike Kraft. "Our customers are now here."

Although traditionally providing piston engines for the general aviation segment, it has now "making headway" in the unmanned segment, says Kraft.

It recently completed a project to install its EL-005 engine in the Aerosonde UAV which made by fellow Textron firm AAI.

That work was intended to address problems with the aircraft's previous Orbital-made engine.

In addition, Lycoming's TEO-540 engine powers Northrop Grumman's new optionally-piloted Firebird, and its DEL-120 engine equips the Improved Gray Eagle made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

The DEL-120 boasts 32% more power than the original powerplant, allowing it to carry more fuel and giving it more endurance, says Kraft.

General Atomics says the new model has an endurance of around 45h, nearly double the earlier model's 25h.

Kraft says the company is seeking additional UAV customers, though he declines to elaborate.

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