Oklahoma State University: Historic Electric Motor Donates to OAIRE


September 20, 2021

Media Contact: Jeff Hopper | Marketing Media Specialist | 405-744-2745 | [email protected]

On September 14, at a ceremony held at the OSU DISCOVERY building in Oklahoma City, an electric motor that was once on board an unmanned aircraft that circled the world was donated to the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) at Oklahoma State University. .

Skydweller Aero Inc. – now headquartered in Oklahoma City – donated the engine as part of a partnership created to promote research and education opportunities in unmanned aircraft development at long endurance.

“Academic research and development partnerships are one of Skydweller’s top priorities,” said CEO Dr Robert Miller. “We are delighted to donate our electric motor to the Unmanned Systems Research Institute at Oklahoma State University and look forward to continued collaborative opportunities. ”

The engine was originally on board the Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered piloted aircraft that toured the world in 2016. Skydweller Aero acquired the aircraft in 2019 and is now in the process of converting and upgrading this aircraft for use as a test bed for the development of an ultra-persistent unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the defense and commercial industries.

The OAIRE team plans to first host and test the engine in their lab space at OSU DISCOVERY to collect valuable engine data and specifications to determine which projects will yield the most beneficial results.

“We are delighted to be working with Skydweller Aero on their cutting edge technology. This is a unique opportunity for OAIRE OSU students and researchers to work on cutting-edge systems and push the forefront of aeronautics, ”said Dr Jamey Jacob , professor at OSU. of aerospace engineering and director of the OAIRE. “OSU has been working on solar-powered airplanes for over 20 years, but it remains one of the most difficult problems in aerospace engineering – being able to help at the top of solar flight is really exciting.”

Jacob said the partnership and donation would provide researchers with exciting opportunities to focus on new horizons that will benefit the aviation industry for years to come.

The students and researchers plan to evaluate the current engine performance and advanced designs of future Skydweller vehicles. OAIRE will test the systems in its propulsion testing laboratory, which will provide them with performance curves to optimize flight profiles and improve flight efficiency. Developing new low-speed engine and propeller designs are some of the team’s specialties that they will build on to breathe new life into the engine.


This press release was produced by Oklahoma State University. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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