Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are remote controlled reconnaissance aircraft which are generally used to gather military intelligence without placing a human pilot at risk. These vehicles, generally transported by aircraft, typically rely on gasoline powered engines and therefore present the logistical burden of having to store two different fuel supplies; jet fuel or diesel for the transporter aircraft and gasoline for the UAV.
Evan Guy Enterprises and the SouthWest Research Institute of Texas have developed a heavy fuel engine, which uses the same fuel as jet aircraft, which has been successfully demonstrated on Mission Technologies’ Merlin UAV. Using JP8 fuel, the single cylinder, liquid cooled engine produces around 25hp without any visible exhaust smoke. The engine also has potential, it is claimed, for applications in motorcycles and ground power units. Later versions are expected to be air-cooled, with up to four cylinders and 120hp.