Issue 55 Uncrewed Systems Technology Apr/May 2024 Sellafield’s UAV equipment l Applied EV Blanc Robot l Battery tech l Robotican’s Goshawk l UGVs l UAVHE RW1 rotary l Roboat UVD l Autopilots l Arkeocean UVD l UMEX 2024 l CycloTech UVD

68 UAVHE (Unmanned Air Vehicle Hybrid Engines) is a Barcelona-based engine manufacturer, founded in 2019 by engineers, software developers and computer numeric-controlled (CNC) machine technicians who were connected through high-performance, two-stroke manufacturing for jet skis, ultralight aircraft and paramotoring vehicles. Andrei Bogdanov, CEO of UAVHE, recounts: “All of us were dissatisfied with the pace of technical progress that these motorsport engines had undergone since the late 1970s. In 2019, you’d still see things like carburettors and poor-quality pre-mixes with terrible emissions.” Soon after UAVHE began seeking funding, Covid limited them to remote engine r&d. However, shutdowns by other engine manufacturers freed up copious engineering talent to help the group polish its designs through long-distance computational fluid dynamics (CFD), computer-aided design (CAD) and electronic control unit (ECU) programming. By the time Covid restrictions were lifted and UAVHE began building its factory, its first prototype was already assembled. That morphed into its first product, the PT1-124, a liquid-cooled, crankcase-injected two-stroke, largely based on what the team viewed as cutting-edge tech across motorsport (although today it is offered as a hybridelectric power plant for VTOL-based or -transitioning UAVs and some crewed aircraft, the company having pivoted over time from motorsport to the vast and growing uncrewed aviation industry). The development of Wankel-type rotary engines was something that interested Bogdanov and his team for some time, due in no small part to their popularity across ultralights and paramotoring. This motivated them to work on rotary designs and technologies that could overcome the problems typically associated with Wankels, including overheating, poor sealing between internal chambers, insufficient reliability and service life, and performance losses with altitude. “Reliability and stability are everything, especially for motorsport and professional uncrewed aircraft today. Obviously, power-to-weight ratio, horsepower and torque are important, but if any of those Rory Jackson explores two supercharged Wankel rotaries, created using the latest CNC machining tech and innovations leveraged for motorsport two-strokes Run CNC April/May 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology The RW1-300 is UAVHE’s first and largest Wankel-type rotary engine, a 17.7 kg, liquid-cooled system outputting 62 hp (Images courtesy of UAVHE) The air-cooled RW1-79 weighs 5.2 kg and produces 22 hp. Both engines are hybridised for 11 kW of electrical output and designed using similar metallurgical choices