Engine manufacturer 3W-International has seen a marked increase in the last year in demand for its heavy fuel and gasoline engines, especially for use in unmanned helicopters.

Managing Director of 3W-International, Karsten Schudt, commented: “Traditional helicopter manufacturers have always counted among our customers. But in 2016, we received many enquiries for their application in helicopters especially from China and Southeast Asia. There are many reasons for this. Vertical take-off and landing at arbitrary locations is extremely interesting precisely in countries where most airports and airfields are military or at least state-owned, because private persons are often restricted or even prohibited from using such facilities.”

Demand has centred on primarily agricultural applications, with vertical take-off capability and the easier availability of fuel, rather than rechargeable ore replacement batteries for electrical solutions being driving factors. The use of helicopters, particularly unmanned variants, in mineral exploration, search and rescue operations and medical assistance and support in remote areas of Asia is driving demand for small, efficient heavy fuel and gasoline engines. Security applications for traffic monitoring, border control or the armed forces have also become a causal factor of the increasing demand, according to Schudt.

With 35 years’ experience and a wide range of appropriate engine configurations, 3W-International sees itself in a strong position to address and exploit the growing demand.


3W-International engines already power a number of rotary-wing UAVs, including the Honeywell MAV. (Photo: 3W-International)

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