22 October 2010
22 October 2010
Zyvex Technologies has started initial sea trials of the Piranha Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV), at 54 the largest structure ever built with nano-enhanced carbon fibre.
Zyvex say that compared to other vessels built from traditionally heavier materials such as aluminum, the Piranha USV has ten times the range, three times the payload, and a 75% increase in fuel efficiency. Our materials technology makes this possible, says Russell Belden, Vice President of the Advanced Composite Solutions group for Zyvex Technologies. This is a cost-effective platform that will enable useful unmanned surface vessel operations for the United States and our allies. Unmanned aerial operations have proved essential over the last decade and we believe that this platform will deliver a future of secure harbors and safety on the high seas.
While the Piranha USV was initially developed for the unmanned military market, the fuel efficiency advantages hold great potential for a manned military or civilian variant. The estimated $2 million boat has already demonstrated a fuel consumption rate of 12 gallons per hour at a cruising speed of 24 kts. Compared to a traditional boats consumption of 50 gallons per hour, the Piranha offers a 75% reduction in fuel consumption costs.
Columbus, OH based Zyvex Technologies built the Piranha in its Seattle, WA facility. Zyvex Technologies will continue to build military and civilian variants of the Piranha platform to expand its presence in the maritime market. Larger and smaller versions of the design are also under consideration.
This isnt science fiction anymore. Were taking a decade of research into nano-enhanced materials and applying it to real applications outside of the laboratory, said Lance Criscuolo, President of Zyvex Technologies. Better materials make better products.
Sea trials will continue in the vicinity of Puget Sound for the next few months.