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11:21 AM, August 14, 2017
USAF Tests Super-Efficient Aircraft, UAV Engine
USAF Tests Super-efficient Aircraft, UAV engine (image for representation only)

A new engine for small aircraft and UAVs that consumes 40% less fuel than currently available aviation engines, has been tested by the US Air Force.

The Air Force Research Laboratory has recently completed a ground test series on Craflight V-8 4.3 high-efficiency diesel engine, the service announced Friday. 

The diesel engine is designed by Engineered Propulsion Systems at the Arnold Engineering and Development Center. It is designed specifically for aircraft and uses up to 40 percent less fuel than similar engines while increasing range and flight time by up to 50 percent. The Air Force is considering the design for aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.

"Overall, if implemented, this technology has the potential to provide the Air Force a significant improvement in mission flexibility," Capt. Randall Hodkin Aviation Working Group lead officer said.

The engine can use diesel, Jet-A or JP-8 fuels, simplifying fuel supply services and letting it use what is already available where deployed.

"Often one of the greatest military logistics burdens is fuel transport," Hodkin said."If we can reduce or eliminate the need to ship specialized fuels, we've then reduced the associated cost and risk.” He added

The US military's energy needs consumed over 87 million barrels of fuel in 2014, making it the world's largest institutional consumer of oil.

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