Compact, highly efficient heavy-fuel engines could unlock greater potential in small unmanned aircraft, enabling longer missions with heavier payloads. They also could accelerate the emerging electric-aircraft market by enabling lighter hybrid-electric propulsion systems that overcome the limitations of batteries. Developing lightweight, reliable small engines that run on diesel or kerosene is no easy task but, backed by DARPA, startup Liquid Piston is testing a new type of rotary ...

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