Improving the efficiency of the powerplant of an unmanned aerial vehicle through the use of cryogenic fuel

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The article is devoted to increasing the efficiency of the power plant of an unmanned aerial vehicle through the use of cryogenic fuel. It has been substantiated that the creation of a power plant is based on an integrated approach to the “Aircraft – Power Plant – Fuel” system and ensures a significant achievement of perfection indicators according to high-level criteria (fuel consumption per hour (kilometer), range, flight duration, etc.) Analysis of energetic properties of some types of aviation fuels showed that gas fuels in their properties are generally superior to liquid ones, except for one thing– low density, which requires a large volume of fuel tanks. An unmanned aerial vehicle Tu-143 “Reis” (Flight) equipped with a pure turbojet engine TR3-117 was chosen as a prototype. The optimization problem of the study was solved. The task was to determine if an engine intended to run on kerosene could operate on propane according to the main parameters of the working process, provided that possible flight conditions were maintained. The obtained altitude and speed characteristics indicate that the conversion of engines from kerosene to cryogenic propane is possible without changing their design by modernizing the combustion chamber and individual elements of the automatic fuel metering system.

About the authors

A. S. Kolesnikov

Military Educational and Scientific Center of the Air Force Academy named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky and Yu.A. Gagarin

Author for correspondence.

Lecturer of the Department of Aircraft Engines

Russian Federation

T. V. Grasko

Military Educational and Scientific Center of the Air Force Academy named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky and Yu.A. Gagarin


Candidate of Science (Engineering), Associate Professor of the Department of Aircraft Engines

Russian Federation

V. V. Raznoschikov

Central Institute of Aviation Motors


Candidate of Science (Engineering), Associate Professor, Leading Researcher

Russian Federation


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