Ground Warfare

Zulu Pods Awarded US Army Contract to Continue Development of Its Loss of Lubrication Technology

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Zulu Pods Awarded US Army Contract to Continue Development of Its Loss of Lubrication Technology

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Zulu Pods Awarded US Army Contract to Continue Development of Its Loss of Lubrication Technology
Zulu Pods Awarded US Army Contract to Continue Development of Its Loss of Lubrication Technology

Zulu Pods, Inc. has been awarded a Phase 2 contract from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC) via FirePoint Innovations Center. The award will continue the partnership between ZPI and the Army focusing on further development of ZPI’s novel loss of lubrication pod technology, the ZPod, aimed at enhancing rotorcraft combat survivability during loss of lubrication events for the next generation of military helicopters. In Phase 1, ZPI conducted instrumented tests on its internal high-speed rig that culminated in the successful validation of its technology through a simulated loss of lubrication event. The tests demonstrated mitigation of bearing failure and performance degradation by delivering minimum oil over time through a static ZPod, upgrading the technology readiness level to TRL 5.

In Phase 2, ZPI will work closely with two major aerospace engine OEMs to continue lubrication testing on bearing hardware, begin digital product integration through engine interface design, and deliver an engine ready prototype for testing and evaluation by the end of 2024. The ZPod serves as a small decentralized, self-contained, and self-energized emergency oil system independent of the oil pump’s ability to adequately circulate oil to critical mechanical components, thus offering pilots the necessary time to carry out evasive landing maneuvers to safely land the rotary wing aircraft in the event of loss of lubrication.

Zulu Pods, Inc. is a startup company that designs and manufactures novel fluid delivery products for mechanical systems in Aerospace and Defense applications, including affordable mass (UAV/missile) systems, rotorcraft drivetrain and powertrain systems, and special fuel combustion applications. In September 2023, ZPI was selected as the finalist out of 68 applicants in the Aerospace & Defense category for the SAE Create the Future Design Contest. The contest recognizes and rewards engineering innovations that benefit humanity and draws product designs from engineers and entrepreneurs worldwide. Over 500 new product ideas were submitted from more than 60 countries. Through their trademarked “Zulu Safe™” marketing campaign, the company will continue educating the public and industry on the importance of safeguarding aircraft with superior technology to meet the future demands of air transport and combat.

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