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September 15, 2020

LiquidPiston receives Army grant to develop engines for unmanned aircraft

HBJ File Photo LiquidPiston's engine technology

Bloomfield-based engine manufacturer LiquidPiston has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Army for research and development of an engine for unmanned aircraft.

Under the terms of the SBIR Phase I grant, LiquidPiston will receive just under $100,000 to spend six months establishing the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the company's X-Engine product, according to LiquidPiston. The grant could be extended to a Phase II SBIR grant worth up to $1.1 million.

“This SBIR award ... showcases the Army’s interest in innovative, fuel-efficient power sources to deliver the power needed to support [unmanned aircraft]," LiquidPiston CEO Alec Shkolnik said. 

The grant will allow R&D work on LiquidPiston's X-Engine, which the company is developing as a hybrid-electric propulsion platform for autonomous aircraft, according to LiquidPiston. The Army awarded the grant after it named LiquidPiston one of 12 winners in the U.S. Army xTechSearch 3.0 for its X-Engine entry.

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