Advances in propulsion have historically led progress in aviation, but unmanned aircraft have turned this rule of thumb on its head. Most larger UAVs use mature engines adapted to their specific requirements, such as increased endurance and power generation. Reasons include the need to minimize risk by focusing technology development resources on the airframe and electronics and adapting an off-the-the-shelf engine. Cost is another major factor, as bigger UAVs are not built in large ...

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