Northwest UAV (NWUAV) is proud to announce a collaborative and long-term effort with Elbit Systems as part of the Skylark 3 Hybrid team. As a result of this team effort, the Elbit Systems Skylark 3, equipped with the proven Northwest UAV NW-44 Multi-Fuel Engine, was presented for the first time at the Singapore Airshow last month. The Skylark 3 Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (STUAS) is equipped with a hybrid propulsion system consisting of both an electric motor and the NW-44 multi-fuel internal combustion engine. This combination triples the aircraft’s endurance and offers up to 18 hours of operations, with no impact on the size or weight, significantly increasing mission effectiveness and cost-efficiency.
The Skylark 3 Hybrid leverages the NW-44 to fly rapidly to the Area of Interest (AOI) and switches to the electrical engine while operating above the AOI. The twin-engine architecture and proven reliability of incorporating the NW-44 into the new Skylark enables one power source to back up the other, providing the dependability and redundancy that delivers a level of safety expected in this specialized field.
“NWUAV is proud to partner with Elbit to bring unique capability to meet the mission requirements of Joint All Domain Operations that future conflicts will present the warfighter,” according to Troy Boonstra, COO NWUAV.
Purpose-built for small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that require high reliability and easy maintainability, the NW-44 is a lightweight, multi-fuel UAV engine to support worldwide expeditionary operations. The NW-44 is a complete turn-key engine system designed to be a Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) solution for Tier II UAVs (40-75 pounds). Its innovative design virtually eliminates development costs, saving customers millions of dollars and several years stuck in the engineering development cycle. Having reached the milestone of 21,000 operational hours clearly speaks to the NW-44 Engine’s reliability and maintainability.
The Skylark 3 Hybrid is based on the Skylark family of STUAS that 27 countries have ordered to date. Skylark 3 Hybrid has a 15.4ft wingspan, a maximum take-off weight of 110lbs, a service ceiling of 12,000 feet, and a range of 74.5 miles. It features dual payload capacity with a “plug and play” interface for a quick replacement of sensors in the field enabling a range of payloads, including high-resolution Electro-Optical gimbaled payload, ELINT, COMINT, laser designators, and others. It is deployed and operated by a crew of two, launched via a pneumatic launcher, and mounted on a vehicle or vessel. Two Skylark 3 Hybrid STUAS can be assigned to the same mission simultaneously managed by a shared Ground Control Station.
NWUAV’s Research and Development team is developing a new 230cc multi-fuel engine to meet future requirements. The NW-230 will provide the horsepower (>15hp) and torque that bridge current capability gaps, including heavy fuel, runway independence, and higher gross weight to support the competition for Future Tactical UAS and other advanced unmanned systems.
In addition to the new NW-230, look for the NW-44 and the NW-88 multi-fuel engines and the NWFC-1500 Hydrogen propulsion system at the Army Aviation Association of America Summit in Nashville (#2222) or AUVSI XPONENTIAL in Orlando (#1629) in April to learn more.
About Northwest UAV
America’s trusted leader in UAV propulsion and integrated solutions, NWUAV continues to engineer the future of unmanned power systems. Through innovation, NWUAV delivers unmatched capabilities to address modern challenges and navigate the toughest environments. For over 15 years our experienced team has equipped customers with reliable, cost-effective propulsion solutions – propelling systems to new heights and unlocking new missions. Northwest UAV is an AS9100-D/ISO9001-2015 certified, and DCAA compliant operation.
About Elbit Systems
SkylarkTM 3 Hybrid Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (STUAS) is a long-endurance tactical mini UAS designed and developed by Elbit Systems Ltd. Elbit Systems is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (“C4ISR”), unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios, cyber-based systems, and munitions. The Company also focuses on the upgrading of existing platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial applications and providing a range of support services, including training and simulation systems.