* A South Florida-based company that specializes in microturbine technology recently carried out the successful first flight of an unmanned aircraft fitted with a new propulsion system.
The Monarch 5 engine was created to support mid-sized commercial and military drones and was flown in September out of Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York.
In 2018, UAV Turbines was awarded a five-year Army contract to produce a 200-horsepower engine, Kirk Warshaw, CEO of the company said in an interview.
The contract is a technology investment agreement, he said.
Legacy engines currently used by the military require more maintenance and are louder and less reliable than the Monarch 5, he noted.
"Not only do you have to do significant maintenance on a very short schedule, but you also end up swapping engines out," he said.
The systems have had a series of well-documented engine failures over the course of the last five to 10 years, he added.
The Monarch 5 turbine engines are also fitted with a constant-speed...