Frontline Aerospace, Inc., unveiled at AUVSI 2008 a new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft configuration called V-STAR. The company is implementing this design concept in a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system, associated with the MicroFire gas turbine fuel-efficiency technology also developed by the company.
The system is extracting heat from the engine through counter-flow heat recuperator, transferring heat from the exhaust air back to the compressed engine air before combustion. Such implementations could double the overall thermal efficiency of the engine. The 50 pound MicroFire system is designed for improved durability and reliability of such systems at low specific weight, improving fuel consumption as much as 40% with low pressure drop and low power loss.