Australian manufacturer unveils new drone jet engine

Jet Engines Australia launched a new turbojet engine design for unmanned systems at PACIFIC 2019.

The TB400-700 turbojet engine can produce 700lb and 315kg of thrust and incorporates 3D printing into its design and construction. These features allow the engine to stand out in the unmanned market, according to Philippe Bonnet, chief operating office of Jet Engines Australia.

“The TB400 engines provide for a range of thrust that is not currently available at the right price point for manufacturers of unmanned aerial systems,” said Bonnet to Manufacturers’ Monthly.

Designed to support unmanned cargo delivery systems, as well as surveillance drones and high-performance targets, the engines can power a drone to between 0.9 and 1.5 times the speed of sound.

Producing a drone engine of this calibre required development on the part of Jet Engines Australia, seen in the use of advanced manufacturing techniques.

“The engine development involved re-configuration of the highest performing, low complex existing technology in an innovative way to achieve a superior product,” said Bonnet.

Jet Engines Australia has combined off-the-shelf parts with optimisation of the architecture of the engine, as well as further innovation in the oil and fuel systems to reduce complexity. Overall, this has allowed for better reliability and reduced overall costs.