2018-2019 Undergraduate Team Engine – Candidate Engines for a Hybrid Electric Medium Altitude Long Endurance Search and Rescue UAV

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Request for Proposal


Engine Design Competition dates


Current world events have called for the updating of unmanned search and rescue flight vehicles capabilities and flight times. The current flight vehicle uses a turboprop gas turbine engine that can sustain significant flight times. The intended replacement will use the same gas turbine engine as a baseline to power a hybrid electric unmanned flight vehicle. The intended customer is looking to purchase an optimized gas turbine generator to mate up with the current hybrid electric propulsion system. The hybrid electric propulsion system is already designed by the airframer. The new engine must be able to sustain the flight vehicle for a cruise and long endurance loiter capability.

The Current baseline engine is the TPE331-10. The TPE331-10 is a single shaft turboprop engine that has a three stage axial turbine. The sea-level static shaft horsepower (shp) is approximately 940 shp, at roughly 0.534(lb/hr/shp) brake specific fuel consumption (bsfc). This power is made possible by the 2 centrifugal compressors providing an overall pressure ratio (OPR) of 10.55. The turbine is a 3 stage axial turbine and the turbine rotor inlet temperature (TRIT) is roughly 2117°F. The engine inlet airflow is approximately 7.7 lb/s with an outer casing diameter of 27” at approximately 43” long. The engine weights roughly 385lb.

The new aircraft is expected to cruise at 12,500ft at speeds in excess of 220knts, loiter at 7,000ft at 190knts and have a range greater than 1000nm. The expected loiter time will be 20+ hours on with a 602 gallon fuel capacity.

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