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TEI Delivered A Pair of PD170 Engines to Baykar Makina

by İbrahim SÜNNETÇİ

On 12 October 2018, with a press release TEI (TUSAS Engine Industries) announced that it has delivered the PD170 turbo-diesel aviation engines to Baykar Makina. The delivered PD170 engines will be utilized in the preliminary design phase (such as calculating the engine mount diameters and weight on the wings) of the AKINCI (Raider) Attack UAV and its initial ground and flight-testing phases. The flight versions of the AKINCI UAV prototypes will be later propelled by a pair of PD220 turbo-diesel engines, the uprated version of the PD170, until the originally planned 550hp turboprop engine is developed locally (to be based on TS1400 engine core) or to be procured from a foreign company. The AKINCI Attack UAV is expected to perform its maiden flight with PD170 engines during the first half of 2019.

TEI President and CEO Prof. Mahmut F. AKŞİT revealed to DEFENCE TURKEY that the delivery of two PD170 engines to Baykar Makina took place on 30 September 2018 in order to prevent any interruption in the AKINCI UAV’s design and integration activities, and to enable performance of the initial flight tests. The delivered PD170 engines should be in tractor (puller) configuration since the AKINCI UAV has two engines on the wings.

Developed by TEI under the Operational UAV Engine Development Project, which was launched under a contract awarded by the SSB to TEI on 27 December 2012, for the ANKA MALE UAVs the four-cylinder, four-stroke PD170 turbo-diesel engine is able to reach and maintain 120hp at up to 30.000ft and 170hp at up to 20.000ft. The PD170 engine is equipped with twin turbochargers and twin alternators. During the ground testing phase (which also includes endurance, performance of qualification and certification tests), for which four different engine test rigs/benches in a laboratory environment have been utilized, since January 2017 (when the start-up performed with one of the preliminary prototypes) more than 3.000 hours (as of 12 October 2018) of test run have been performed under various environment, load and altitude conditions. To be utilized at the Development & Qualification/Certification Phase, TEI has aimed to manufacture approximately 15 PD170 engine prototypes except for the engines to be delivered, and to carry out the tests for these prototypes that will last for more than 5.000 hours. During the tests, performed so far, it has proven that the PD170 engine’s power, fuel consumption and weight values are far above the contract requirements. TEI has planned to complete Qualification/Certification Phase (in compliance with EASA CS-E) of the PD170 during the second half of 2019.

As part of the ground testing phase, extensive software calibration process has been also initiated in order to enable that the PD170 engine will generate the intended power and fuel consumption values steadily and without exceeding the mechanic limits of the engine under various environment and load conditions.

Under the Operational UAV Engine Development Project TEI has assigned a team consisting of more than 100 engineers for the design, manufacturing, supply, quality, assembly, testing and project management functions.

TEI delivered one of the first prototypes of the PD170 engine to Turkish Aerospace (TUSAS) on 14 November 2017 for the purpose of performing the ground tests and to be used for the ANKA UAV integration. The integration efforts of the PD170 engine in pusher configuration (because ANKA UAV is powered by a pusher type heavy fuel engine mounted at the rear, located behind the tail) on one of the ANKA UAVs was completed in February 2018. Following the completion of the on-going ground tests the PD170 engine propelled ANKA UAV is expected to perform its maiden flight by the end of 2018.

TEI President and CEO Mahmut AKŞİT revealed to the media that the 200kg PD170 engine (dry weight is 170kg) can be also used on Armed ANKA UAV and can take either the ANKA UAV or a similar UAV to the altitude of 45.000ft. He also underlined that the PD170’s block costs US$50.000 and weighs a bit more than 18.5kg (still less than the target weight of 19kg) and it is 11% more fuel efficient than the 155hp rated Thielert Centurion 2.0S diesel engine being used on ANKA UAV.

TEI has already started development of the uprated version of the PD170, dubbed ‘PD220’ which will generate 220hp power. Since the PD170’s architecture was designed to support 220hp by taking into account the future requirement of ANKA UAV configurations, the PD220 will be nearly identical and some parts would be compatible with PD170. However, it still needs to perform several modifications on PD170’s major subsystems and components to assure the power increase. TEI engineers aimed to not cause any increase in weight on the PD220 compared to the PD170 even there would be some increase in volume. 

The AKINCI UAV, with a 20m wingspan, height of 4.1m and an overall fuselage length of 12.5m, will have a service ceiling of 40.000 feet, maximum take-off weight of 4,5 tons, and a payload capacity of 1.350kg (900kg external and 450kg internal). The serial production version of the AKINCI UAV will have an endurance of 24 hours and is to be powered by two turboprop (TP) engines each generating 550hp. Until indigenous turboprop engines are ready or an alternative ITAR Free turboprop engine is procured from abroad (such as Motor Sich of Ukraine, which manufactures AI-450 series TP engines generating 450shp power) the prototype aircraft will be powered by a pair of PD170 and PD220 turbo-diesel engines respectively.