The Pratt & Whitney (P&W) PW815 engine was selected by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) to power their proposed solution for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial refueling aircraft. On April 5th the GA-ASI/P&W team completed its first powered run of the PW815 with the GA-ASI MQ-25A inlet and exhaust configuration. The test met all objectives and collected extensive data that the team is now evaluating.
“Through the superb efforts of personnel from both companies, we were able to move the test date forward by almost two months, from the originally scheduled date in late May,” said David R. Alexander, President, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI.
“This is just another example of how we are working to reduce risk and accelerate capability. GA-ASI has a 14 year history working with P&W and selected the PW815 engine for the MQ-25 based on its exceptional performance and fuel efficiency. This performance and efficiency will subsequently translate into more available fuel for the receiving aircraft. Additionally, initial studies have shown the PW815 is well-suited for a carrier environment,” he added.
The rapid development of the engine test stand demonstrates the team’s dedication to the principles of the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Accelerated Capability Office (MACO). The test stand was commissioned at the beginning of 2018 and the first test run was ready just three months later. A PW815 engine was delivered to GA-ASI’s test facility on March 5th and by early April, the team successfully performed the first test.
“Through many years of working with GA-ASI, we are routinely impressed with the quality of work produced and speed at which it is accomplished. This engine run was no exception. It performed flawlessly and met all test requirements. GA-ASI continuously pushes the envelope to meet the objectives and timelines for their customers,” said Kinda Eastwood, Senior Director of F117 and Tanker Programs of Pratt & Whitney.
The GA-ASI and Pratt & Whitney team will continue risk reduction testing in anticipation of the Navy’s MQ-25 selection in the coming months.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator®, Reaper® and Gray Eagle UAS programs of record and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar.
With more than 5 million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, multi-mission capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight, enabling situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. United Technologies Corp. (UTC), based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries.