A major IDF (Zahal) aerial system supplier works on projects using renewable energy and alternative fuels
Date: 18/09/2011, 2:10 PM Author: IAF Magazine
The Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI), a main IDF (Zahal) aerial system supplier, presented several developments and initiatives using renewable energy and alternative fuels in recent years.
One of IAI’s projects is a mini-UAV named “Birdeye”, sold to several militaries around the world.
The mini aircraft is powered by electricity, and is designed for reconnaissance missions. It has a 20 KM range and is able to fly in various altitudes, without burning a single drop of fuel.
Additionally, the mini aircraft is charged using cart battery and can thus be easily deployed in the field.
“The operators do not require much training since the UAV is fully automated”, explained Alex Greenberg, project representative at the IAI. “The project is very popular, and we have clients from all over the world”.
Another project, ENFICA-FC, was set up in order to design a short-range, environmentally friendly aircraft, propelled by fuel cells. The project was initiated in cooperation with Italy, Czech Republic, and Britain, and pioneers with the ide to use fuel cell technology instead of large amounts of oil.
“In order to ‘get our hands dirty’ and to learn more about the technology, we’ve used a Czech, two-seated airplane, powered by fuel cells”, explained Zvi Shavit of the IAI. “We replaced its engine with fuel cells”.
The unmanned aircraft’s longest flight elapsed 40 minutes, at 150 KMH. “While not the most advanced system, it is certainly a great achievement”, added Shavit.