06.05.2016 Huw Williams, New Orleans - IHS Jane's International Defence Review
Tusas Engine Industries (TEI) is on course to commence flight testing of its new PD170 engine in 2019, IHS Jane's has learned.
Speaking at AUVSI's Xponential 2016 exhibition and conference, Ahmet Dincer, TEI's programme leader for research and development, said that rig-based testing will commence in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by ground testing in 2017. A serial production engine will be ready in 2018.
The PD170 is planned to be the future unit for Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI's) Anka unmanned aircraft system (UAS) - the Turkish military's medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS.
The powerplant that currently equips Anka, which can be described as an evolved Thielert Centurion engine, is a 155 hp 2.0S four-cylinder, four-stroke, turbo-diesel engine.
In its original guise the Centurion engine was beset by problems; units that equipped the US Army's Gray Eagle UAS experienced issues with the clutch in particular, and platform losses have been put down to the engine, it is also considered to be somewhat underpowered.
As such the US Army has moved to re-engine its platforms and TAI has received modified Centurion units and purchased the technical data package from the manufacturer, which has since been taken over following bankruptcy and the new enterprise shifted the focus of its activities away from UAS.
Dincer said that much effort has been placed on assuring that the PD170 does not experience the same issues as the Centurion engine, with a focus on the introduction of a robust clutch.
The key benefit brought by the PD170 over the Centurion is its critical altitude performance, with the engine able to develop and maintain 120 hp at up to 30,000 ft and 170 hp at up to 20,000 ft.
This has been made possible largely through the use of a twin turbocharger, Dincer explained. He also noted that there is growth potential in the PD170, with a projected 210 hp possible with only minor modifications.