Experimental Experience of Cold Starting a Spark Ignition UAV Engine Using Low Volatility Fuel

Hooper, Peter
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Journal Article
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Emerald Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present results of practical experience of cold starting a gasoline engine on low volatility fuel suitable for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) deployment.

Design/methodology/approach – Experimental research and development is carried out via dynamometer testing of systems capable of achieving cold start of a spark ignition UAV engine on kerosene JET A-1 fuel.

Findings – Repeatable cold starts have been satisfactorily achieved at ambient temperatures of 5°C. The approximate threshold for warm engine restart has also been established.

Practical implications – For safety and supply logistical reasons, the elimination of the use of gasoline fuel offers major advantages not only for UAVs but also for other internal combustion engine-powered equipment to be operated in military theatres of operation. For gasoline crankcase-scavenged two-stroke cycle engines, this presents development challenges in terms of modification of the lubrication strategy, achieving acceptable performance characteristics and the ability to successfully secure repeatable engine cold start.

Originality/value – The majority of UAVs still operate on gasoline-based fuels. Successful modification to allow low volatility fuel operation would address single fuel policy objectives.

Cold starting; Heavy fuel UAV engine; Internal combustion engine; Single fuel policy
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 (Iss 1), pp. 106 - 111
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Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017. Authors retain the right to place his/her pre-publication version of the work on a personal website or institutional repository for non commercial purposes. The definitive version was published in (see Citation). The original publication is available at www.emeraldinsight.com (see Publisher’s Version).