Airbus, the prime contractor for the European EURODRONE programme, has selected Avio Aero’s CATALYST engine as the UAV’s propulsion system.

CATALYST is a flight-proven engine that is fully developed and manufactured in Europe, Airbus writes in a press release. The engine is International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) free which supports export licensing.

CATALYST Workshare

The CATALYST development team, as well as the supply chain and assembly of the engine, are located in the European industrial ecosystem. The sites involved are:

  • Avio Aero in Italy and Poland
  • GE Aviation Turboprop (Czech Republic)
  • the GE Aviation Advanced Technology Center in Munich (Germany)
  • the GE Engineering Design Center in Warsaw (Poland)

The programme covers 120 engines and a multi-year service and maintenance contract.

Accordingh to Avio Aero, CATALYST is the first turboprop engine in aviation history to be manufactured with 3D-printed components, enabling a lighter and more efficient engine. With an overall pressure ratio of 16:1, CATALYST offers up to 20 per cent lower fuel consumption, 10 per cent more cruise power and payload, and enables three hours more flight time for a typical drone mission compared to today’s turboprop engines.

EURODRONE is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle being implemented in the scope of a European PESCO project by  Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The first flight is planned for 2025. Deliveries are scheduled from 2028.