Safran Subsidiary SMA Begins Deliveries of Diesel General Aviation Engines

 - July 29, 2014, 5:00 PM
Thierry Hurtes, CEO of Safran’s SMA general aviation engine unit

Safran’s SMA general aviation engine unit plans to deliver 90 of its SR305-230E four-cylinder general aviation diesel engines this year for Cessna’s 182 JT-A and other aircraft such as the OAP Delfin, company CEO Thierry Hurtes said today at EAA AirVenture 2014 in Oshkosh, Wis. The engine, which has a TBO of 2,400 hours, has already received EASA and FAA certification.

Hurtes said SMA is also developing a higher output version of the engine, likely in the 260- to 285-hp range. The increased power in the higher output model would come from a combination of adding fuel injection and increasing engine speed, he noted.

According to Hurtes, work continues on SMA’s SR460 six-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine, designed for 330- to 400-hp applications, including installation on twin-engine pistons.

The first SR460 was assembled in March, he said, and is undergoing bench-testing. The engine was designed to run on three cylinders if necessary, he added, noting that the air intakes and turbochargers function independently on each side of the horizontally opposed engine. SMA expects to certify the SR460 within two years. To date, Hurtes said, the 600-pound SR460 has displayed good specific fuel consumption and power-to-weight ratios.

He also clarified a few points concerning the SR305, which is designed to be used with composite propellers to ”reduce the level of stress on the engine.” Hurtes also revealed the cause of a catastrophic failure of an SR305 in a 182 JT-A aircraft last August where the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing and the test pilot was unharmed. He said the failure was caused by a faulty engine bearing, the result of a lapse in quality control. “The problem was identified and corrected and is now behind us,” he said. Certification for the JT-A aircraft itself remains pending.

Huertes said SMA is also talking to unnamed helicopter manufacturers about adopting its engines for their applications.