German engine manufacturer 3W International is introducing its design for complete propulsion systems for the first time at the leading trade show in New Orleans. Moreover options will be introduced concerning special mounting plates for mounting different engines on the same engine chassis or the identical firewall.
“The market is demanding complete engine systems and individual solutions that nonetheless permit a high degree of flexibility”, summarizes Karsten Schudt, managing director of 3W International, when asked about the results of the latest customer meetings. “That means customers are increasingly looking for engines with all of the auxiliary systems such as generators, starters, air-duct systems, engine suspensions, and silencer systems”, continues Schudt. 3W International will consequently exhibit a complete propulsion system for illustrative purposes at the exhibit stand.
“We can deliver our engines to our customers ready for use. That means the engines are completely equipped and delivered with ECU, silencer, starter, generator, engine mount, and air-duct systems. We can also deliver the propeller if the customer so desires. The propulsion systems leave our factory in Hesse tested and are therefore “ready to use”. The customer himself basically has to complete only three tasks: unpack, install, and take wing”, says Schudt descriptively of 3W International`s complete-propulsion concept. Here every propulsion system is tailored to the customeras desires and needs.
“So we`ve got to work very closely together with our customers. This means that we must be involved in UAV development early in the project phase” Schudt clarifies. Because even if the customer decides in favour of a standard flight body, the application`s take-off weight and the flight performance depend upon the UAV`s application and performance targets. Engines featuring various performance capabilities, which are installed differently due to their weight and side, are therefore in part necessary with the same flight body. “So we`ve got to be involved early on in the project, because the entire propulsion system is tailored to the flight body and the customer`s wishes”, explains Schudt.
This concept has been introduced to date only to customers in Europe and Asia. The response was quite positive, and the first orders were placed. It`s because the benefits are clear to see: In such a co-operation the propulsion system is optimally aligned with the aircraft but also with the intended use, and the customer can draw upon 3W International`s expertise and years of experience. “In this case the 30-plus years of experience of our developers from model building are paying off, because we know from that how we put engines, auxiliary systems, and the aircraft together into a unit that perfectly satisfies the customer`s needs”, Schudt makes clear.
An additional possibility of the use of different engine types is specially developed engine support systems, which enable different engines to be mounted on one and the same engine chassis or on a firewall. “Some of our customers use one and the same UAV type for different application purposes. In that connection it happens that engines with different performance parameters also have to be used”, explains Schudt. Different engines can in part be fastened thanks to the special mounting systems. Different engine types can thereby be used in the same flight body without big development projects.
“We repeatedly encounter great interest with these simple solutions in customer meetings. That shows us that the market is also increasingly moving in a field where increased efficiency, cost savings, and short development cycles are coming to the fore with the development of UAVs. Financial indicators and core data are becoming increasingly important when it comes to the development, construction, and use of UAVs. Our flexible modular-design system allows these individual customer needs to be optimally met. So 3W International will also continue to work on the concepts that accompany and support these developments on the customer side”, says Schudt in summary.
3W International is located in hall 1, booth 567 at AUVSI.