China has recently run its first successful test flight of its CH-3 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with a locally made aircraft engine, reports the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of China’s armed forces.
This marks a milestone in China’s history of drone research and development as it was the first time that a domestically made engine was installed to the country’s mid- to large-sized unmanned drone instead of an imported model.
TD0, the aircraft engine for light drones, was developed by the internal Combustion Engine Research Institute of Tianjin University. According to the research team, the TD0 is a petrol engine designed for UAVs with 50 to 150 kWh of power. Additional equipment and technology would enable the engine for long-hour missions or flights at high altitudes.
A similar aircraft engine that is imported costs approximately US$48,000, while one that is made locally, if mass-produced, could cost about one-third less and significantly lower the cost to build UAVs and light drones.
Source: Want China Times