General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has selected Pratt & Whitney’s (P&W) PW815 turbofan engine to power the proposed solution for the US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial refuelling aircraft.

A PW815 turbofan engine was delivered to the GA-ASI test facility on 5 March and the GA-ASI and P&W team subsequently completed the first powered test run of the PW815 engine with the GA-ASI MQ-25A inlet and exhaust configuration on 5 April.

The test met all the required objectives and collected an extensive amount of data, which is currently being assessed by the GA-ASI and P&W team.

"GA-ASI has a 14-year history working with P&W and selected the PW815 engine for the MQ-25 based on its exceptional performance and fuel efficiency."

GA-ASI Aircraft Systems president David R Alexander said: “GA-ASI has a 14-year history working with P&W and selected the PW815 engine for the MQ-25 based on its exceptional performance and fuel efficiency.

“This performance and efficiency will subsequently translate into more available fuel for the receiving aircraft.

“Additionally, initial studies have shown the PW815 is well-suited for a carrier environment.”

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The development of the PW815 engine test stand was commissioned at the beginning of this year and supports the team’s commitment to the principles of the US Navy’s Maritime Accelerated Capability Office (MACO).

P&W F117 and Tanker Programs senior director Kinda Eastwood said: “Through many years of working with GA-ASI, we are routinely impressed with the quality of work produced and speed at which it is accomplished.

“This engine run was no exception. It performed flawlessly and met all test requirements.

“GA-ASI continuously pushes the envelope to meet the objectives and timelines for their customers.”

The test team is expected to continue conducting risk reduction trials over the coming months in anticipation of selection for the US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray aircraft.