The advanced European turboprop was selected by Airbus Defence and Space for the new Eurodrone
Airbus announced today that it has selected Avio Aero to power the Eurodrone unmanned aerial system with its Catalyst engine. The program includes 120 engines and a multi-year service and maintenance agreement.
“We are honored to be chosen by Airbus to power Eurodrone”, said Riccardo Procacci, CEO and General Manager of Avio Aero. “This is a huge milestone for the European aviation industry, enabling the growth of European Capabilities and sovereignty, and of course all our Catalyst team. We’ve invested in people, resources and infrastructure to begin executing for the program immediately, and our teams across Europe are ready to get to work.”
The Catalyst engineering team, as well as the engine’s supply chain and assembly, is based in the industrial European ecosystem. Sites involved are: Avio Aero of Italy (with Rivalta di Torino, Pomigliano d’Arco and Brindisi plants and “Energy Factory Bari” laboratory at Bari Polytechnic) and Poland, GE Aviation Turboprop (Czech Republic), the GE Aviation Advanced Technology Center of Munich (Germany) and the GE Engineering Design Center of Warsaw (Poland). The Catalyst engine has been conceived as 100% ITAR-free (International Traffic in Arms Regulation) and will be fully certified in Europe.
Eurodrone is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) with versatile and adaptable capabilities that make it the perfect platform for Intelligence, Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions or homeland security operations.
The Catalyst engine, currently performing flight-testing campaigns, is the first turboprop in the aviation history made with 3D-printed components, enabling a lighter and more efficient engine. With the best-in-class overall pressure ratio of 16:1, the Catalyst delivers up to 20% lower fuel consumption, 10% more cruising power and payload, enabling three more hours on a typical UAV mission versus turboprop engines today. The Catalyst’s FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) simplifies integration between the propeller (to be designed and manufactured by the German MT-Propeller) and avionics.
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