Turkish firm begins producing UAV engines
Erin Motor's engines can be used in drones with up to 5-meter wingspan
Turkish engine producer Erin Motor introduced its newly developed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engines at Turkey's largest technology and aviation event TEKNOFEST.
The firm showcased its two types of UAV engines, 6-hp and 11-hp, which can be used in observer drones, especially for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAVs, Ersin Sahin, the firm’s general manager, told Anadolu Agency.
At this year's TEKNOFEST, aviation companies introduced VTOL UAVs, including the country's leading defense firm Baykar, he said.
Previously, TUSAS Engine Industries (TEI) was the only Turkish firm that could produce engines for UAVs, he recalled.
Saying that both engines can be used in UAVs with wingspans of up to five meters (16.4 feet), he noted that as the payloads increase, the 11-hp engine is required, and 6-hp can be used for lighter ones.
He said one engine is a carburetor engine and the other is electronically controlled.
"Electronically controlled engines offer more precise control," he added.
Sahin said the company is targeting both domestic and foreign markets and permission was obtained for exporting the engines.
Baykar tested Erin Motor’s UAV engine, and his firm hopes that it will choose it for its new VTOL UAVs, he said.
"Obviously, (Baykar's Chief Technology Officer) Selcuk Bayraktar and (CEO) Haluk Bayraktar encouraged and directed us to this work," he highlighted.
"We entered this field with the question: ‘Why are you not doing this job?" he added.
If domestic companies choose Erin Motor's engines, they will support domestic engineering and contribute to reducing the country’s current account deficit, Sahin said.
He also said the engine offers a cost advantage against its foreign equivalents of up to 35%.
In the defense industry, it is more important not to be dependent on abroad than price advantage, he said, noting that up to 90% of the company’s engine components are locally sourced but the firm is targeting 100%.
"We produce the most critical parts of the engine in Turkey. We can enter mass production immediately upon demand," he said.
Natural gas-powered engine
The firm also introduced another product, a natural gas-powered single cylinder engine which was designed especially for power generators, Sahin said.
The engine was also designed and produced domestically by the firm's research and development team, he said.
He asserted that there are no domestic equivalent products in Turkey and no similar engines in the world.