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3W-International Details Heavy Fuel Engines

The German engine manufacturer 3W-International is offering heavy fuel (HF) engines that can be used for helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Here the spectrum of two-stroke HF engines ranges from a one-cylinder engine with 3hp up to a four-cylinder engine with over 60hp. An HF-driven Wankel engine was introduced in 2017. See story here.

3W-International delivered the first HF-engines in 2009. Since then, thousands of HF engines were sold worldwide. “Principal customers are military and safety-relevant applications,” Karsten Schudt, Managing Director of 3W-international, explains.

HF-based internal combustion engines can demonstrate their strength during missions for humanitarian purposes in disaster areas according to the Managing Director. Most unmanned aerial systems (UAS) equipped with 3W-International engines are unarmed and deployed for reconnaissance and surveying tasks. These reconnaissance UAS also come into use during disaster and humanitarian deployments to provide a quick overview of the crisis region. UAS with heavy fuel drives can play a decisive role during these deployments, as their structure and technical specifications are specifically designed. Fuel used on 3W-International HF engines are JET A-I, JP-5, JP-8 and a 2-stroke mixture of 2% Aspen oil and 0.1% diesel valve cleaner.

Mr. Schudt explains that transport of foodstuff and medications for first aid in crisis areas is possible only to a limited extent due to the degree of destruction. Helicopters generally assume the main task. Here UAS play an important role here even though their transport capacities are much smaller. “UAS can be quickly relocated to a crisis region, meaning that reconnaissance tasks can be undertaken early on,” he says. “You’re more independent since only one pilot is need, who doesn’t necessarily need to be on site. The limited use of autopilots is also feasible. The necessary on-site infrastructure is minimal, and so are the deployment costs. Furthermore, HF-driven UASs are also fuel-independent.

One assumes that military and rescue and aid organisations active in crisis regions would have sufficient diesel and gasoline available on site. Two-stroke HF engines can be driven with available gasoline since they operate with a two-stroke mixture of gasoline, 2% Aspen oil, and 0.1% diesel valve cleaner. Kerosene, which is used for helicopters, can likewise be used. “Our 2-stroke HF engines can thus be very flexibly deployed,” Mr. Schudt tells MONS. “The engine doesn’t need to be purged when switching between fuel types, which extremely simplifies the deployment. Performance declines briefly at the moment when fuels are switched, but then quickly re-establishes itself at the same high level.”

The performance engines from Germany are used in both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. “HF technology yields quite clear benefits for these UASs’ operators,” the industry expert concludes. “The engines are very flexible and reliable, and they diminish the costs of deployments. Simpler deployment planning is also possible thanks to the fuel independence. On-site logistics is likewise less costly. These cost savings, especially on the part of the employees needed to operate the UAS, are of interest for our customers.”

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3W-International GmbH offers Technical Customer Services

The new customer service of the German engine manufacturer is called 3W Engineering Services. This will not only be offered to existing and new 3W customers, but also to third-party customers and includes various service, test and measurement activities relating to engines and drive units and their further development.

Since the increased demand for complete drive units the requests to 3W-International GmbH for individual services has also increased. In the months following the Xponential Show in New Orleans in 2016, many customers have enquired about individual services. “As a result, we have decided to offer these individual services internationally to our customers as an additional product from our company”, explained Karsten Schudt, Managing Partner of 3W-International GmbH.

3W Engineering Services offers its customers a comprehensive service catalogue all around the development of individual drive concepts, the optimization of existing drive trains as well as the integration of drive systems in the UAS industry. Thereby the customers can rely on the more than 35 years of experience that the 3W-International GmbH experts have gained in the development of engines and their auxiliary systems.

One of the focal points is the design of individual drive solutions, including the subsystems, based on the customer specifications and the performance characteristics to be achieved. In the process, the 3W-International GmbH specialists not only undertake the hardware and software development, but also the development of the electronics including their manufacture. The prototype assembly together with the engine tests as well as the start of series production are likewise undertaken as the next steps.

In addition, the Hessian family business offers various engine tests for 3W and third-party engines on its test benches. These include not only the general performance measurements of combustion engines but also the thrust and power measurements, exhaust emissions analysis, engine indexing, endurance testing, blower, water and oil-pump analysis, purge image analysis, cylinder head measurement and load change calculation. EMC measurements and climate and temperature tests are likewise possible. The test benches of 3W-Internatinal GmbH can also be hired by customers on a daily basis.

Finally, 3W-International GmbH offers consultation during the integration of combustion engines into unmanned aerial systems. This, however, requires certain framework conditions. 3W-International has to be part of the project team, on the basis of signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Preparation of a requirement specification for project coordination and definition of the requirements with dedicated tasks is a must, too. Beside this, an early know-how- and consultancy-transfer regarding the integration of propulsion technology and individual components is needed.

Information about the 3W-Engineering Service will be presented by 3W-International on Stand 3131 at the Xponential Show 2017 in Dallas.

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3W-International GmbH Presents the 3W-180 SRE Hybrid Wankel

The world first will be presented for the first time to the specialist audience at the XPONENTIAL Trade Fair taking place in Dallas (USA) in May. Thus, the German engine manufacturer is expanding its range of drive products for UAVs by a further engine sector. Just as the two-stroke engines already in use in the marketplace, the new 3W-180 SRE Hybrid Wankel engine can be fuelled by petrol or kerosene, too.

“In the past, many interested parties at trade fairs and congresses have asked us about Wankel engines” recalled Karsten Schudt, managing partner of 3W-International GmbH. For this reason, Schudt and his development team decided to expand the product segment with Wankel engine technology. In doing so, it was clear right from the start that the new engines had to fit in with the philosophy of 3W-International GmbH.

“We wanted a high-quality, fuel consumption-optimized engine which would demonstrate an outstanding power-to-weight ratio”, recalled Schudt. The 3W-180 SRE Hybrid has 180 ccm and as a short engine weighs 6.8 kg. In the high power version, at 7500 rpm it delivers 38.5 hp (nominal power 28 hp at 6000 rpm). From this there results a power-to-weight ratio of 5.66 hp/kg, with a fuel consumption of 340g/KW at full load.

The weight rises to 9.5 kg when the engine is fitted with an electric motor (starter generator). The generator also charges the super capacitors which turn the Wankel engine into a hybrid drive. Super capacitors are well-suited to hybrid applications in aviation due to their weight and fast charging and discharging behaviour.

“We are very proud that we are able to offer our customers an additional service with this modern and sustainable technology which is available at short notice” Schudt was pleased to say. The hybrid Wankel engine can feed 15KW, depending on the capacity of the storage system, into the system for a time (for example, 30-60s). This additional power can be used when starting a helicopter or for the acceleration of a fixed wing aircraft. “Thus our customers always have a power reserve on call”, confirmed Schudt.

The 3W-180 SRE Hybrid is equipped with two independent cooling systems. A water cooling circuit undertakes the cooling of the engine housing, a second, oil cooling circuit, undertakes the internal cooling of the piston. This is a fundamental prerequisite for a drive system in aviation applications for which continuous power is also a fundamental prerequisite. Here the thermal stability, which gives added value to the 3W-180 SRE Hybrid, is of crucial importance.

In a further expansion stage, the Wankel engine can also be equipped with two drive pulleys. Through the doubling of the swept volume, the power of the naturally aspirated engine is doubled to 76 hp in the high performance variant with a short weight of 10.5Kg. This engine variant is also intended as a hybrid version. In the future, a variant with a turbocharger which is primarily intended for height compensation will also be offered.

“We can also supply the Wankel engine as a complete drive unit similar to our two-stroke engines. This means that the customer receives the engine equipped with all additional systems completely in accordance with his individual requirements”, explained Schudt.

In accordance with the engine philosophy of 3W-International, the 3W-180 SRE Hybrid can be used as a petrol or as a Heavy Fuel (HF) engine. As an HF engine, the fuels JET A-I, JP-5 or JP-8 can be used. “For the HF versions we provide high performance fuel injection which leads to a further reduction in fuel consumption”, explained Schudt. For petrol operation, intake manifold injection is provided for the fuel injection.

At XPONENTIAL in Dallas in May, 2017, 3W-International will present the hybrid Wankel engine for the first time to the specialist audience on Stand 3131. “We are looking forward to being able to introduce a new engine to our customers which, from a technological perspective, offers unparalleled advantages in terms of fuel consumption, drive performance and reliability”, said Schudt looking into the future.

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