Goebler-Hirthmotoren KG (Hirth Motors) has been working with Saab on the propulsion system for Saab’s Skeldar V-200 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Hirth is supplying their 3503 EFI engine which is a 625cc water cooled in-line 2-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection (EFI) producing 60 hp (44 kW). This is the same engine that has been successfully marketed to the global sport aviation market and has been specifically upgraded for the demanding requirements of helicopter applications. Saab has been successfully flying this engine while marketing the Skeldar for defense and civilian applications. Skeldar can take-off and land autonomously in a narrow area and offers several payload options depending on the mission requirements. Payload capability is 40 kg and max take-off weight is 200kg. It is 4m long x 1.2m wide x 1.3m high and has a maximum speed of 130km/h, range of 150km and endurance of 5hrs.
Hirth has been producing engines since 1917 and their reputation for reliable lightweight 2-stroke engines in the sport aviation market has helped expand their UAV business over the years as the global demand for UAV engines increases. Hirth currently supplies several advanced engines into this market and has been investing in facilities and personnel to support the demand. “We were able to use our experience in the sport aviation market to respond to the critical performance requirements of helicopter UAV applications”, said Siegfried Goebler, Hirth’s CEO/Owner. “Selling engines to Saab for their Skeldar V-200 helps advance our engine technology for VTOL applications and further builds our credibility as a primary defense propulsion system provider”.