NATIONAL HARBOR, MD –(Marketwired – April 07, 2014) – Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition — AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, and Lycoming Engines, a division of Avco Corporation, announced today that Lycoming’s new EL-005 multi-fuel engine has surpassed 10,000 deployed flight hours with the Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) in service of U.S. Department of Defense customers in Afghanistan.
“The Lycoming EL-005 has made Aerosonde the only SUAS in its class with a power plant designed and manufactured by a recognized industry leader in manned aircraft engines,” said Colonel James Rector, program manager for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Air Systems Program Office. “This engine, along with Lycoming’s quality processes for new production and remanufacture, have yielded significantly increased system reliability since the EL-005’s introduction in service for our Navy Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Services program.”
The Lycoming EL-005 is a single-cylinder, air-cooled, direct-injected, spark-ignited multi-fuel engine. The five cubic inch displacement engine features electronic controls and optimization to run jet fuel.
“In taking on the prime position for engine design and production on the Aerosonde SUAS, Lycoming not only brought the product into our established aviation engine production processes, we enhanced the product in several areas,” says Lycoming Senior Vice President and General Manager Michael Kraft. “The Lycoming EL-005 has brought even greater reliability and maturity to the Aerosonde SUAS. While this is certainly the smallest engine Lycoming has ever produced, the EL-005 leverages Lycoming’s proven manned aviation propulsion expertise.”
The Aerosonde SUAS continues to amass thousands of flight hours in theater each month in support of Department of Defense customers’ long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Since its initial deployment overseas, the Aerosonde SUAS has amassed more than 60,000 flight hours in some of the world’s harshest environments.
“The Lycoming EL-005 engine has enhanced our system with benchmark-setting reliability levels in challenging flight conditions, including extreme heat and cold,” says AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Vice President of Small/Medium Unmanned Aircraft Systems David Phillips. “Its durability has doubled the amount of time between engine overhauls, a distinct advantage considering the high operational tempo we are maintaining for our customers. Combined with our established multi-mission capability, encompassing electro-optical, signals intelligence and communications relay within a single aircraft, our Aerosonde system sets the standard for SUAS capability.”
About AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems
AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems has designed, manufactured and fielded combat-proven unmanned aircraft systems for more than 25 years. AAI’s multi-mission capable unmanned aircraft and interoperable command and control technologies provide critical situational awareness and actionable intelligence for users worldwide. Its Australia-based strategic business, Aerosonde Pty Ltd, is a manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft systems. AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems is an operating unit of Textron Systems. More information is available at www.aaicorp.com.
Lycoming Engines specializes in engineering, manufacture, service and support of piston aircraft engines. Based in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Lycoming piston engines power more than half of the world’s general aviation fleet – both rotary-wing and fixed-wing. Lycoming Engines is an operating division of Avco Corporation. More information is available at www.lycoming.com.
About Textron Systems
Textron Systems has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Headquartered in Providence, R.I., the company is known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, simulation, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment and operational services. Textron Systems includes AAI Logistics & Technical Services, AAI Test & Training, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Aerosonde, ESL Defence, Lycoming Engines, Medical Numerics, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems, Textron Marine & Land Systems and TRU Simulation + Training. More information is available at www.textronsystems.com.
About Textron Inc
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit www.textron.com.
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