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Visit NWUAV - The U.S. Leader in American-made Propulsion
America’s trusted leader in American-made 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 mission sets. Rely on our unique ecosystem of UAV products, services, and partner products to help you achieve the optimal project-specific propulsion solution. Northwest UAV is an AS9100-D/ISO9001-2015 certified, DCAA and NIST CSF compliant operation.
The best solution for powering the expeditionary surveillance mission in harsh environments, NWUAV’s NW-88 Engine now supports five new air vehicles, tasked with challenging and ground-breaking missions beyond the horizon of today’s fight.
January 13, 2022 | McMinnville, OR: Integrated on five separate aircraft, Northwest UAV’s NW-88 Engine has completed flight testing with several of the aircraft, accruing hundreds of flight hours throughout 2021. With continued-development test flights for all aircraft planned in 2022 and initial field deployments scheduled, these numbers are set to significantly increase through the year.
“Listening to the industry and our contacts in defense organizations, we learned that certain missions weren’t being flown,” said Chris Harris, President and Owner of NWUAV. “Not because they aren’t significant missions, but because they didn’t have the appropriate engine to meet the mission requirements. Reliability typically topped the list as a deficiency with fuel efficiency right behind it, specifically when trying to burn heavy fuels reliably at extreme temperatures and altitudes, which is critical to satisfying the future tactical unmanned aircraft requirements of the warfighter. The NW-88 checks the box for those specific deficiencies, while also being easy to operate, integrate and maintain having pulled many of the key attributes and proven components from our combat-proven NW-44 engine. Our development group did a great job designing this engine and getting it into production in a relatively short timeframe, saving end users from many of the costly pitfalls associated with heavy fuel.”
Borrowing design elements from their aviation-grade NW-44 Heavy-Fuel Engine, NWUAV was able to complete prototyping and thousands of hours of testing of the NW-88 Engine in just a few years. The NW-88 offers a conformal, low-drag design, which results in high climb rates and greater endurance, while performing extremely well on heavy fuel through all operational scenerios. Manufactured almost completely in the US (most of which NWUAV does in-house), both the NW-88 and NW-44 have minimal exposure to supply chain issues and easily comply with the DoD’s “Buy America Act.” Easily configured to fit existing aircraft, the NW-88 supports fixed wing aircraft in the 75-150 lb range that require the use of heavy fuel and a modular power system that is ready to deploy with minimal modification, if any, reducing integration costs to the end user.
“Having an aviation-grade, ready-to-deploy system that is easily configured for their application, and an experienced engineering team to assist with integration has delivered unprecedented timelines to get our customers out into the field and serving end users at scale,” Jeff Ratcliffe said, NWUAV’s Senior Director of Business Development and Technology Transfer. “That’s important because these aircraft have the potential to change how so many current missions are accomplished and it opens the doors to new mission sets where requirements have gone unmet. Our customers and their end users have seen the potential of this size of aircraft for a while, and now the NW-88 Engine has helped make it a reality. The promise of unmanned systems is the ability to optimize a vehicle precisely for the mission and that’s ultimately what we’re enabling at Northwest UAV – we’re engineering the future of UAV propulsion to make it easier for the UAV industry to adapt, innovate, and grow.”
In 2021, the NW-88 gained interim flight clearance from NAVAIR and executed multiple test flights and operational demonstrations, including ISR and delivery applications with multiple platforms. The upcoming year is expected to set a high-water mark for the NW-88 Engine, with continued endurance testing, test flights, and global field operations for multiple customers.
While the NW-88 Engine soars into production, Northwest UAV continues to watch the ongoing UAV missions that US DoD and our allies are performing, as well as the competitions and technical demonstrations that are informing future decisions. As an American company, Northwest UAV is hyper-focused on supporting America’s national defense initiatives and investing in technology that helps their customers and end-users put additional distance between them and the emerging threats in the world.
That eye on the future has spurred Northwest UAV’s current R&D project on their largest heavy-fuel engine yet: The NW-230. Expected to provide 16-19 hp (rpm/propeller dependent) and 1,500 watts of electrical power at flight idle, the NW-230 Heavy-Fuel Engine is under development and will begin initial testing later this year. Look for it at AUVSI XPONTENTIAL 2022 in Orlando, FL at the Northwest UAV Booth 1629.
Joined by top researchers, policymakers, and others in unmanned systems, Northwest UAV celebrated the addition of their new Hydrogen Fuel Cell Manufacturing Center to their campus in McMinnville, Oregon.
July 26, 2021 | McMinnville, OR: On Thursday, July 15, NWUAV was joined by a variety of stakeholders to celebrate the grand opening of their hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing center. Featuring UAV engineering, machining, wiring, engine manufacturing, testing, and now UAV hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing, the NWUAV campus is a unique UAV tech and manufacturing hub in McMinnville, Oregon.
The grand opening ceremony featured a variety of speakers, each with a unique perspective on the implications of the hydrogen fuel cell technology and the manufacturing center. Northwest UAV President and Owner Chris Harris kicked off the event with welcoming everyone and touching on what has made this technology and the growth of NWUAV possible.
“It’s been a long journey to get to this point,” Chris Harris said, “16 years in business, and we ouldn’t be here without the hard work of our employees. So thank you all for making this possible.”
Oregon House Representative Ron Noble also thanked everyone at Northwest UAV for making it apparent to the rest of McMinnville and the state of Oregon that a cutting edge company can reside and thrive in McMinnville, Oregon.
“We had five bills this year that dealt with hydrogen,” Representative Noble explained, “Two of them passed … You are on the cutting edge here in McMinnville … People think of technology as San Fransisco, maybe Portland, maybe Los Angeles, New York … What you’re doing here is in McMinnville. And people don’t realize, we can do this here.”
A technology developed in cooperation with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Ben Gould of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s Alternative Energy Section, Chemistry Division, explained what it meant for him to see this hydrogen fuel cell actually go from the bench to industry and manufacturing.
“It’s something we dream about every night. I want to see my technology actually go help someone, help the warfighter and save lives,” explained Gould. “We’re doing that here … It needs to happen more. And one of the stories that needs to be told is that it’s important for us in government to work more with industry.” Gould went on to explain that the concept for this hydrogen fuel cell technology also took 15 years, and he was thrilled when Northwest UAV offered to make the idea into a real manufacturable technology.
While Ben Gould touched on the opportunities of the hydrogen fuel cell to support the warfighter, Keith DeVries, Program Manager of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Manufacturing Science & Technology Program expanded on how Northwest UAV frontline workers are supporting the frontlines in the field.
“I understand fully having worked small businesses at points my career that the success of a small business rests on all of your shoulders,” explained DeVries, “From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you … It is just warming to know that you are at the front lines of technology insertion here in McMinnville enabling the safety of our frontline warfighters out in the field.”
Turning the focus back to McMinnville, Jody Christensen, Mid-Valley Regional Solutions Coordinator from the Officer of Governor Kate Brown concluded the speakers with a look back at Northwest UAV’s growth and how it all happened right here, in McMinnville.
“I believe the story of Northwest UAV is centered on being a community. A community where people can be global thinkers and innovators, while enjoying a quieter, more connected way of life. It has a global reach, but it is grounded here, in McMinnville,” Christensen said.
The ceremony concluded with an official ribbon cutting followed by a catered lunch of local favorites and tours of the new facility. Northwest UAV will have a PEM hydrogen fuel cell prototype for viewing at Booth #1629 at the AUVSI XPONENTIAL show in April 2022.
Northwest UAV's NW-44 multi-fuel engine increase's reliability and improves endurance in critical mission deployment on the Elbit Systems Skylark 3 Hybrid UAS.
March 21, 2022 | McMinnville, OR: 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.
Leveraging the endurance and energy efficiency of the NW-44 Engine, the Elbit Systems Skylark 3 Hybrid UAS successfully demonstrated how it can support RAF achieve its ambitions for future capabilities.
April 20, 2022 | McMinnville, OR: Northwest UAV (NWUAV) is proud to be a part of the team bringing the United Kingdom Royal Air Force (RAF) the energy-efficient solution of the Skylark 3 Hybrid. Equipped with a hybrid propulsion system featuring NWUAV’s NW-44 Multi-Fuel Engine alongside an electric motor, the Skylark 3 Hybrid Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (STUAS) has tripled in endurance, without altering the size and weight of the aircraft. Offering up to 18 hours of operations, the Skylark 3 Hybrid offers RAF a more environmentally responsible UAV to help them achieve future capability ambitions.
The Skylark’s twin-engine architecture provides redundancy in propulsion for safety and reliability. The system leverages the energy efficiency and endurance of the NW-44 to rapidly reach altitude, while offering the opportunity to employ only the electric motor for sustained flight. This makes the Skylark 3 Hybrid highly energy efficient and environmentally responsible without sacrificing crucial capabilities the RAF will continue to require for future missions.
“The use of hybrid solutions is a critical path to support future operations on the battlefield, and the NW-44 is the perfect propulsion system for this application,” according to Brian Russell Sr. Director of Business Development & Tech Development at NWUAV. “We are proud to be a part of this important technology demonstration to the RAF.”
Purpose-built to be a complete turn-key engine system solution, the NW-44 is a lightweight, multi-fuel UAV engine that delivers ease of integration and supports worldwide expeditionary operations. Its innovative modular design makes it lightweight and easy to maintain, increasing its endurance, fuel efficiency, and lifespan, which reduces a NW-44 supported aircraft’s environmental impact. With over 28,000 operational hours logged, the NW-44 has proven to be a reliable, maintainable power system that is easily configured to integrate with a variety of Tier II UAVs (40-75 pounds).
The Skylark 3 Hybrid, based on the Skylark family of STUAS, is optimized for dismounted or vehicle-based operation. Featuring 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, the Skylark 3 Hybrid is designed to be a field-deployed tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) UAV. Its twin-engine architecture offers built-in reliability with the capability to sustain flight on one power system and the endurance that longer missions require.
The NW-44 multi-fuel engine will be on display in Booth 1629 at AUVSI XPONENTIAL April 25-28 in Orlando, Florida. See the NW-44 alongside NWUAV’s other propulsion system solutions – the NW-88 multi-fuel engine, the NWFC-1500 Hydrogen propulsion system, and the new NW-230 multi-fuel engine in development.
NW-44 Heavy-Fuel Engine Designed and manufactured by NWUAV, the NW-44 Heavy-Fuel Engine supports aircraft in the 18 to 34 kg (40-75 lb) weight class. This combat-proven propulsion system has logged over 20000 flight hours, supporting a variety of missions. The NW-44 is designed to easily fit customer horsepower, electrical output, and overall weight requirements. This American-made, aviation-grade, heavy-fuel engine sets the standard in its weight class for fuel efficiency, ease of maintenance, and reliability.
NW-88 Heavy-Fuel Engine Designed and manufactured by NWUAV, the NW-88 Heavy-Fuel Engine supports aircraft in the 34 to 68 kg (75-150 lb) weight class. Easily configured for a broad range of aircraft, the NW-88 offers the best power-to-weight ratio, supporting higher climb rates, larger payloads, and faster cruise speeds. This American-made, aviation-grade, heavy-fuel engine is designed for unmatched fuel efficiency, ease of maintenance, and reliability.
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Pegasus Servo Actuators Where exceptional precision and reliability are imperative, Pegasus Servo Actuator are the aviation-grade choice for your UAS. With a wide variety of industrial and redundant actuators to choose from, whether your maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is as little as 30 lbs or as great as 1000 lbs., all Pegasus Actuators have shown proven performance in environmentally demanding environments. Offering COTS or customized solutions, there's a Pegasus actuator for every application.
Embention Veronte Autopilots With fully autonomous control for almost any unmanned vehicle, including hybrid VTOL, multirotor and fixed-wing, it’s clear why Veronte autopilots are the flight controller’s choice for professional unmanned systems control. Beyond being easy to use and integrate, Veronte autopilots are DO-178B / ED-12, DO-254B, and DO-160 and IP67 Compliant. Choose the Veronte Autopilot, kit, and/or accessories for your application, and integrate, train, and flight test at NWUAV.
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