Tactical Robotics providing its Cormorant UAV with engine upgrade



Tactical Robotics Ltd. (TRL), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics, has announced that it is in the process of equipping its Cormorant cargo and medical evacuation UAV with the Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 2 engine, pushing the Cormorant UAV one step closer to its final production configuration.

Described as “one of the most advanced and reliable helicopter engines in the world,” the Arriel 2 engine offers additional power over the currently installed Arriel 1D1 engine, allowing for operation at full load—even during hot summer days—and it will facilitate an increase in cruise speed and load carrying capability.

“Tactical Robotics’ Cormorant UAV and Urban Aeronautics’ follow-on, manned Fancraft variants have the potential to generate ‘game-changing’ VTOL capabilities,” says Eric Salaun, key account director of Safran Helicopter Engines, through a press release published by Vertical Magazine.  

“We view our collaboration as an opportunity to participate in the development of one of the most promising, innovative, VTOL configurations we have come across.”

Dr. Rafi Yoeli, TRL’s president and chief executive officer, adds, “I have no doubt that Safran will maintain its leadership in propulsion technology for vertical lift for decades to come and we are proud to play a part in that pursuit.”

The Arriel 2N engine will power the production Cormorant, which will be capable of carrying hundreds of kilograms of cargo in a single sortie to any location, including obstructed or urban areas, and rugged terrain.

The Cormorant UAV is the first UAV designed “in accordance with FAA passenger carrying certification standards,” so that it can transport casualties or others that need evacuation from access challenged locations.

The UAV, which will fly autonomously to its objective and back, will follow a pre-planned path during its flights.

TRL is optimistic that by 2021, or possibly earlier, it can make its first deliveries of the UAVs to a launch customer.