Farnborough Air Show

Austro Engine Showcases New Diesel And Rotary Engines

 - July 9, 2012, 4:00 AM

Austro Engine (Outside Exhibit 18), part of the group that owns Austria’s Diamond Aircraft, is exhibiting its new diesel and rotary engines for light aircraft and drones at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. The company is actively talking to other airframers about finding new applications for its AE series of diesel engines, which will include the in-development AE500. It is also promoting a modernization kit for the Diamond Aircraft DA42 twin’s 170-hp AE300 engines that converts DA42s into DA42 NGs.

Other highlights of the Austro Engine exhibit include its Wankel-type rotary engines, such as the 55-hp IAE50R-AA that powers motor gliders and the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 UAV; and the in-development, 75-hp IAE75R, which features “a totally different architecture from the existing IAE50R series.” The engine is in the final test phase with certification expected by 2013, head of sales and marketing Peter Lietz told AIN. The IAE75R will have a “revolutionary engine control, with inputs from the AE300.” Design engineers target “a significant decrease in fuel consumption” and a time between overhaul of 1,000 hours.

Not at the show but in development at the company’s Wiener Neustadt, Austria headquarters is the six-cylinder AE500. This 275-hp diesel is to power the Diamond DA50 single and DA52 twin. Jointly developed with another Austrian company, Steyr Motors, the AE500 could provide up to 300 hp. The first engine is to go to test by year-end.

Austro Engine’s workforce stands at 60. Currently, the annual production rate is in the 200 to 250 bracket for the four-cylinder AE300, and between 100 and 150 for the IAE50 rotary series. “Due to the continuous increase in avgas prices and the decrease in its availability, we expect a massive growth in diesel demand over the next couple of years,” Lietz predicted.