Safran’s SMA unit announced a new and larger jet-A fuel-powered piston engine at AirVenture on Tuesday. The turbocharged SR460 six-cylinder engine will have applications in the 330 to 400 horsepower range, will be available in 2015 and will have a target 2,400-hour time between overhaul (TBO) interval. To save space and weight, the new engine will not have a segregated fuel pump. Rather, elements of fuel pump technology from Bosch will be distributed throughout the engine and driven by the engine cam shaft. The new engine uses the same pistons and cylinders of the company’s four-cylinder jet-A engine and features an electronic control unit with mechanical backup for engine management and be able to maintain takeoff power through 10,000 feet.
SMA’s four-cylinder engine, the SR305-230E, is slated to power Cessna’s JT-A Skylane, due for certification later this year. SMA said that engine should deliver 40 percent better fuel economy than the Lycoming IO-540, an engine currently used to power a wide variety of aircraft, from the Cessna 206 to the Robinson R-44 helicopter. The SR305 costs in the $70,000 range and weighs “within 10 to 15 pounds” of the Lycoming, SMA chairman Thierry Hurtes said.
Hurtes said maintenance training for the new engines would be available online or via an in-person, two-day class offered in both France and Fort Worth, Texas.