The propulsion system is the heart of the drone. It defines drone survivability, endurance, and other parameters crucial for UAV. The propulsion system should also allow a convenient drone climbing to high flight altitudes without power loss. A necessity to meet these requirements, as well as the special needs of specific applications, result in numerous technological and scientific challenges. It is used in various environments and even high-altitude areas. The propulsion system is also used to increase flight duration and distance while reducing noise during operation. In addition, fuel cells have the advantages of high reliability, low vibration, and low maintenance.
Global UAV propulsion system market anticipated growing with a CAGR of over 13.7% during 2020–2027. The growth of the market is based on factors such as the technological shifting toward the incorporation of AI into UAVs to attain advanced features such as dynamic target tracking capability and visual surveillance. Further, the introduction of 3D printing in UAV engines to develop higher fuel-efficient engines, to overcome attitudinal challenges is anticipated to fuel the demand for UAV propulsion system across the globe in the coming years. Additionally, the increasing demand for UAVs in mining, security, wildlife, disaster management, and urban development among others to gather highly precise data in cost-efficiency manner is positively impacting the demand of the UAV propulsion system.
Moreover, the surge in demand for UAVs across the globe in various industry verticals, including retail, manufacturing, military & security, mining, agriculture, and others to achieve a high level of mobility at varying altitudes and increase endurance will foster the global UAV propulsion system market size in the upcoming periods. Furthermore, the upsurge in the application of UAV propulsion systems in various military applications expected to drive the sales of the UAV propulsion system in the analysis period. The shift of the UAV propulsion system industry toward digitization and integration of AI with UAV propulsion systems to get more advanced features such as dynamic target tracking capability and visual surveillance will lead to the growth of the market growth. In addition, the rise in demand for UAVs in warfighting and peacekeeping operations is expected to witness remarkable growth of the UAV propulsion system market in the projected periods.
The unmanned driving system powered by a fuel cell has a longer running time than other batteries. It has the advantages of low heat and low noise characteristics of different batteries. The user can lift the internal combustion engine reliably and provide safe, low-maintenance operation.
The fuel cell-based UAV propulsion systems have an excellent energy density, can extend working time and distance, perform BVLOS tasks, significantly reducing operating costs, and reduce lithium battery charging and transportation barriers.
Based on engine type, the global UAV propulsion system market classified into electric propulsion systems, thermal propulsion systems, and hybrid propulsion systems. The electric propulsion systems held maximum market share in 2019 and continue its dominance by 2027. It is attributable to the electrical systems helpful in UAV’s performance and endurance, the payload capacity, and the flight time of the vehicle, and it provides more flexibility in the installation of machinery as they are compact.
Hybrid propulsion systems will grow at a significant rate during the forecast period. It is owing to hybrid systems increase efficiency while reducing the number of carbon-based emissions.
Based on UAV type, the global UAV Propulsion System market segregated into Micro UAV, Mini UAV, Tactical UAV, MALE UAV, and HALE UAV. The Micro UAV segment accounted for a higher revenue share in 2019 and projected to dominate the UAV Propulsion System market by 2027. It is primarily attributed to the mini UAV used for short-range reconnaissance and surveillance applications.
The Tactical UAV vehicle will grow with a lucrative growth rate in the forecast period. It is due to tactical UAV used for combat-proven surveillance aircraft and capable of offering long endurance and extended range capabilities.
Based on range, the global UAV propulsion system market classified into Long Range, Mid-Range, and Short Range. Long Range segment will hold higher market potential by 2027. It is owing to the growing demand for long-range UAV by military forces for surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR), military, disaster control and management, security, etc.
Mid-Range held a significant market share in 2019. It is due to the increasing demand mid-range UAV for commercial purposes such as agriculture, urban development, traffic management, disaster management, forest & wildlife, healthcare, security, and mining.
By the end-user, the global UAV propulsion system market categorized into Military & Civil, Commercial, and Consumers. The Military & Civil segment witnessed the highest market share in 2019 and will dominate the UAV propulsion system market by 2027. The growth of the segment can be attributed to the use of UAV as an important component of modern warfare to avoid humiliation along with the rising defense expenditure of developed and developing countries.
The commercial will grow at a significant rate during the forecast period. It is owing to UAV used for product delivery, monitoring, surveying, mapping, and remote sensing.
By geography, the global UAV propulsion system market segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is slated to account for a significant share by 2027 in the UAV Propulsion System market. The growth in the region can be attributed to the growing demand for UAV propulsion systems in the commercial and military sectors in the region. Additionally, the considerable investments in R&D activities by the USA aimed at the innovation of new technologies in UAVs will spur the North American market.
The Asia Pacific is projected to provide significant growth opportunities due to rising demand for different UAV configurations for an excess of military and commercial applications coupled with increasing defense expenditure in countries such as India, and China, etc.
Companies such as Ballard Power Systems Inc., LaunchPoint Technologies Inc., Northwest UAV, ORBITAL CORPORATION, Rotron Power Ltd., Safran SA, Hirth Engines GmbH (UMS SKELDAR AG), Honeywell International Inc., Rolls-Royce plc, BRP-Rotax GmbH & Co KG, and MicroMultiCopter Aero Technology Co., Ltd., Sky Power GmbH, UAV Propulsion Tech, and UAV Turbines, Inc., are the key players in the global UAV propulsion system market.
By Engine Type
By UAV Type
By End User