Northwest UAV begins development on a new UAV engine for 2017


Northwest UAV is now developing a NW-88 Twin-Cylinder Multi-Fuel Engine for 2017. Using design elements from the NW-44 Engine, the NW-88 Engine will bring the world class NWUAV reliability and efficiency to a new category of aircraft.

McMinnville, OR: Northwest UAV (NWUAV) has initiated development of their new NW-88 Twin-Cylinder Multi-Fuel UAV propulsion system based on the proven, ground up design of NWUAV ‘s own NW-44. With their NW-44 Engine successfully logging over 1000 combat flight hours, NWUAV is ready to fill another niche in the UAV marketplace. The NW-88 engine will offer the same reliability, endurance and efficiency of the NW-44 engine to larger, heavier UAVs in the industry.

Built specifically for small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) with approximate weights between 40-75 pounds, Northwest UAV’s NW-44 Engine has seen momentous successes in a short amount of time, solidifying its reputation for reliability, efficiency and ease of maintenance. To build on this success, NWUAV has begun to develop an engine similar in design and quality to the NW-44 Engine with just one big difference – it supports UAVs twice the size. The NW-88 Multi-Fuel Engine will be just as quiet, heavy-duty and easily configured as the NW-44, and it will support UAVs in a weight range between 65-150 pounds.

Like it’s smaller brother, the NW-88 (pictured above) will be fuel injected and come with a high output generator and power management system, self-managed cooling system, dual ignition with twin spark and NWUAV’s game changing noise reducing, patented muffler.

“Group II UAVs are not the only segment within the industry that are attempting to fly 12 hours or more in extreme conditions with hobby grade engines,” said Chris Harris, President and Owner of NWUAV. “There are quite a few Group III sized UAVs well over 75 pounds that are using hobby grade engines that were never designed for the durability and reliability expected by end customers. Hobby grade engines are typically designed for the weekend flier at the local RC airstrip where they might get 100 hours flight time in 5 years, with no thought on how the engine will perform at 45c at 2000 meters ASL let alone to achieve a 400-500 hour TBO. Compared to a UAV application where 45c and 2000 meters is the ‘Standard Day’ and 100 hours of flight time can be easily achieved in 2 weeks. These two scenarios require substantially different design and engineering considerations and NWUAV understands that.

The NW-44 Multi-Fuel Engine has proven itself as a professional aviation grade engine designed for 40-75 pound UAVs,” Chris Harris continued, “Whereas the NW-88 will complement UAV’s in the 65-150 pounds range. And like the ITAR free NW-44, the NW-88 Multi-Fuel Engine will be a complete engine system ready to install with minimal or no development costs for the end customer – making it highly cost effective to incorporate.”

The decision to fund the development of the NW-88 Engine is a demonstration of Northwest UAV’s continued commitment to providing the small UAV market with safe, reliable, aviation grade propulsion. It also helps facilitate the rapid growth of the unmanned systems industry by reducing barriers to entry for innovative technologies.

“The NW-88 propulsion system is a natural next step for us and for this market,” said Jeff Ratcliffe, Chief Technical Officer at NWUAV. “We have a highly successful engine to build on in the NW-44, and we know that our customers are looking for the aviation grade reliability, durability and fuel efficiency of the NW-44 Engine in the next larger class UAV.”

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