LiquidPiston Wins US Army Phase II Award for HEXE Propulsion System

The U.S. Army has assigned a Phase II Contract to the tech start-up Liquid Piston to develop its Hybrid Electric X-Engine (HEXE) propulsion system.

The $1.7 million contract is part of the Army’s plan to achieve Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) of the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS).

This requires the propulsion system to provide fuel-efficient power and enhanced take-off and flight capabilities, ensuring compatibility with military-grade heavy fuels.

The latest agreement follows the successful conclusion of Phase I xTechSearch Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR).

Liquid Piston The HEXE system was prototyped and tested towards the end of phase I.

The new system offers power-assisted sprint and climb modes and provides quiet, electric-only cruising.

Zeke Topolosky, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Army Research Laboratory, Office of Strategic Partnerships, said, “One of the key areas of modernization for the Army is the Future Vertical Lift (FVL).

“Over the past few years, Army xTech juries have repeatedly recognized Liquid Piston The technological developments of are very promising to meet the military’s critical requirements for the modernization of the FVL. We are excited to see their efforts progress with this Army Phase II SBIR program.

Benefit Liquid Piston High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC) thermodynamic concepts, the X-Engine features a compact rotary engine architecture.

The hybrid system overcomes range and payload issues by providing portability, low maintenance and jet fuel compatibility.

The X-Engine can also recharge the batteries in flight, enabling VTOL power, as well as over 30 minutes of quiet electric cruising.

The HEXE VTOL system will help troops launch and land in small areas.

Liquid Piston Founder and CEO Alec Shkolnik said, “Reliable and efficient power and energy sources for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), weapons systems, forward operating bases and other solutions are essential to protect the combatant, improve combat capability, improve energy efficiency. , and reducing the logistical burden and operational costs. »

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