LiquidPiston awarded $1.7M Part II Military contract to advance hybrid electrification for unmanned aerial autos (UAVs)


LiquidPiston introduced a $1.7-million Part II award from the US Military to proceed the event of the corporate’s Hybrid Electrical X-Engine (HEXE) propulsion system. (Earlier submit.) The Part II award is a results of profitable completion of a Part I xTechSearch Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis (SBIR) award beforehand introduced.

LiquidPiston’s HEXE propulsion system, prototyped and demonstrated on the finish of Part 1, will ship fuel-efficient energy in addition to superior take-off and inflight capabilities to fulfill the Military’s Future Tactical Unmanned Plane System (FTUAS) Vertical Take-Off and Touchdown (VTOL) objectives, together with compatibility with military-grade heavy fuels akin to JP8.

The hybrid system modifications the idea of operation, permitting quiet, electric-only cruise along with electric-assist dash and climb modes.

LiquidPiston’s X-Engine makes use of the breakthrough thermodynamic ideas of the corporate’s patented Excessive-Effectivity Hybrid Cycle (HEHC) in a completely re-imagined compact rotary engine structure that overcomes the constraints of the standard Wankel rotary engine.


The result’s a purpose-designed energy supply for a hybrid-electric propulsion platform the place portability, effectivity, low upkeep and jet gas compatibility all work to beat present vary and payload shortcomings. Particularly, the X-Engine propulsion system can toggle energy between all-electric, engine-only, or a mixture of each—all on demand—whereas having the ability to restart the engine in-air on jet gas.

The system recharges batteries in flight, in order that the batteries might be sized to supply energy vertical takeoff and touchdown in addition to as much as half-hour of quiet (electrical) cruise. The HEXE VTOL system permits the Military to launch and land in small areas, and arrange and stow rapidly.

Moreover, by combining electrical and engine energy on the principle propeller shaft, the system achieves elevated flight velocity (electric-assist “dash”) and climb charges in addition to optimized hybrid-electric vary.

One of many Military’s main areas of focus for modernization is Future Vertical Carry (FVL). Over the previous few years, Military xTech judging panels have repeatedly acknowledged LiquidPiston’s technological developments in holding nice promise for supporting important Military necessities for FVL modernization. We’re happy to see their efforts advance with this Military Part II SBIR program.

—Zeke Topolosky, Strategic Partnerships Workplace, US Military Fight Capabilities Improvement Command Military Analysis Laboratory

LiquidPiston has greater than 70 patents associated to thermodynamics and superior engine design that can allow a brand new household of engines and turbines which are light-weight, compact, extremely environment friendly and transportable. This Part II contract builds on greater than 10 years of R&D with DARPA, the Military, and business leaders to enhance the maturity of the X-Engine know-how.


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