Watch the first flight of a drone with a microturbine engine

It's the inaugural flight of UAV Turbines' scaled-down plane engine.

A company called UAV Turbines has successfully completed the inaugural flight of its Monarch 5 engine, which is essentially a tiny version of the engines you see on planes. The company says this marks "the first
time a small-to-medium-sized drone has been powered by a turbine engine." UAV Turbines believes its technology can provide the military and commercial customers with a "reliable, efficient, safe, heavy-fuel propulsion system."

It explained that the UAV market is about to grow much, much more in the coming years, seeing as drones are being eyed for medicine drops, cargo delivery and search-and-rescue. "However, current engines do not offer the reliability and safety profile required to perform these tasks," it said in its announcement. It believes the Monarch 5 and its other turbine engines can deliver in terms of safety and reliability for military and commercial use. And it believes it could make unmanned vehicles as common as planes, trucks and ships.

Kirk Warshaw, UAV Turbines chief, said:

"Our attention now turns to working with commercial and military partners to develop airframes around our Monarch 5 propulsion system, similar to the manner that manned aircraft are designed and developed. Furthermore, we believe our Monarch engine's capabilities will be instrumental in driving the urban air mobility and defense industries forward in making unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as commonplace as airplanes, trucks and ships for both commercial and defense use."