Unmanned Systems Technology 019 | Navya Autonom Cab | Batteries | UGVs Insight | UAV Factory UAV28-EFI | Swiss Aerobotics Hummel | UMEX 2018 report | Antennas | Oceanology International 2018 report

54 U AV Factory’s Penguin C, a 3.3 m wingspan UAV powered by a naturally aspirated 28 cc two- stroke, was profiled in the first issue of UST (November 2014) following a visit by the author to the Latvian company. Since then the craft and its sibling the Penguin B have firmly established themselves in the highly competitive small UAV market, while UAV Factory has developed the engine to obtain a genuinely impressive level of dependability. With that power unit now available to other UAV manufacturers, the time has come to look more closely at it. By way of a brief recap, UAV Factory was established in 2009 by Latvian Konstantins Popiks while he was studying for his Master’s degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Liverpool, in England. Penguin A was the prototype for an advanced composite airframe that would be produced by colleagues back in Latvia. Steadily, UAV Factory’s expertise expanded to the point at which it could supply the Penguin B not just as an airframe but as a complete vehicle, using a third-party 28 cc engine but with most components made in-house, including the control and launch systems. Popiks explains that the use of a gasoline engine rather than an electric motor was to maximise flight endurance. The chosen 28 cc single was light enough to keep the vehicle take-off weight, complete with suitable payload, to within 55 lb (25 kg), which is expected to be the FAA limit for simplified regulations for UAV operation. “Although the FAA only governs the USA, doubtless many other countries will follow its rules,” Popiks notes. Ian Bamsey looks in depth at this impressively dependable two-stroke, which other UAV developers can now use On general release April/May 2018 | Unmanned Systems Technology The UAV Factory’s UAV28-EFI engine