RCV awarded engine contract for Micro Air Vehicle

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December 8, 2006 There’s a delicious irony about the success of UK-based RCV Engines. The company achieved international recognition for its range of model aircraft engines then moved into a new market earlier this year with the development of its proprietary Rotating Cylinder Valve (RCV) engine for sub-250cc applications such as motorcycles, scooters and power tools where it offers 100PS/litre performance and manufacturing costs akin to those of a two-stroke, with the emission levels and fuel consumption of a four-stroke. The engine is so promising that it has been selected by Honeywell to produce a demonstrator engine based on RCV technology for use in Honeywell’s backpack-sized Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) – the irony is of course that the company is effectively back in the same domain it started from, though model aircraft enthusiasts who own one of RCV’s traditional SP or CD Series engines can rejoice in knowing that company is also powering some of the most innovative flying machines ever built. Another plus for the Rotating Cylinder Valve (RCV) engine is its exceptional power to weight ratio and it’s ability to run on a variety of fuels. The MAV autonomous surveillance aircraft has been developed as part of the US Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) MAV Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration programme and is small enough for a foot soldier to carry. It is designed to provide soldiers with improved situational awareness without exposing them to enemy fire through forward- and downward-looking video cameras that relay information to a remote ground station video terminal.

The new RCV technology demonstrator engine to be delivered to Honeywell for evaluation with the MAV will have a nominal capacity of 60cc and is targeted to deliver 4.2bhp at 8200 rev/min. Crucially this performance is based upon the use of JP8 fuel, drawing upon the inherent multiple fuel tolerance, high power to weight ratio and high speed capability of the RCV engine concept.

Commenting on the award of this important contract with Honeywell, RCV Engines Ltd managing director, Eric Hill said: “We are pleased to be able to support Honeywell and DARPA with this technology demonstrator engine. UAVs are an important element of the battlefield of tomorrow and offer vital protection and effectiveness to land based forces. RCV technology provides some unique benefits for UAVs in terms of performance, efficiency, high power to weight ratio and multi-fuel tolerance.”

RCV Engines Ltd has developed its patented Rotating Cylinder Valve (RCV) internal combustion engine technology since its formation in 1997. This revolutionary technology provides distinct potential benefits over conventional two- and four-stroke engines in terms of increased performance, reduced emissions and improved fuel consumption. RCV technology is particularly well suited to small engine applications including motorcycle, forest and garden, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

The company has exported engines to over 50 countries and has a customer list which includes many prestigious clients. It has also engaged in development programmes with a wide range of customers who wish to incorporate the benefits of RCV technology on a licensed basis in their own products. RCV Engines Ltd is a well resourced technology-focused company which boasts a team of highly qualified automotive design and production engineers, as well as advanced manufacturing and engine development facilities at its south of England location at Wimborne, Dorset. The company currently manufactures a range of 5 model aircraft engines from 9.5cc to 20cc with over 10,000 operating worldwide. RCV Engines Ltd is privately held and is fully independent.

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