American Champion Aircraft (ACA) announced on Wednesday at AirVenture that it would offer a diesel-powered version of its Denali Scout two-seat utility model, likely by 2016. The aircraft is currently powered by a 210-hp Lycoming IO-390.
“We’re excited about our expanding customer base,” said Rhett Ross, president of Continental Motors, commenting about the growing number of aircraft manufacturers that have committed to jet-A-powered diesel engines. The newest customer for Continental’s CD-155 engine is Cessna, which selected the 155-hp diesel to power its Turbo Skyhawk JT-A.
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.
On the eve of EAA AirVenture 2014, aviation analyst Brian Foley released summaries of two key areas affecting the general aviation industry: investment capital and engine technology.
On the capital front, Foley said that there is no shortage of investors who are willing to put money into general aviation companies. However, there is a shortage of what these investors are seeking–entities that actually make money, that is, “a good $20 million in annual revenues and $5 million in profits known as Ebitda [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization].
The diesel engine research and development project that Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) is conducting with racing car engine specialist Teos Powertrain Engineering and engine manufacturer Austro Engine, under Europe’s Clean Sky joint technology initiative, has cleared significant milestones. The demonstration engine is now being tested on an iron bird, before the first flight planned for this year on a modified EC120.
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.
Engineered Propulsion Systems (EPS) is preparing two recently purchased Cirrus SR22s as flying testbeds for its clean-sheet design Vision 350 diesel aero engine. One of the airplanes is located at EPS’s New Richmond, Wis. headquarters, while the other is being prepared for flight testing in a hangar at the Mojave airport in California. The engine is on display outside the Innovation Pavilion at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, mounted to an SR22 firewall.
On July 28, the day before the opening of this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show, EAA chairman Jack Pelton and Mac McClellan, director of publications, flew a specially refurbished Cessna Skyhawk from Fond du Lac, Wis., to Oshkosh. The Skyhawk has been turned into a “RedHawk Training Aircraft” in a new venture by simulator manufacturer Redbird Simulations and its flight training division Redbird Skyport. AirVenture visitors can see the RedHawk at the exhibit near the main gate.
The diesel engine demonstrator aiming to replace turboshafts in light helicopters, which could cut fuel burn by about 30 percent, is said to be on track for installation and ground tests on a Eurocopter EC120 in the first quarter of 2014. Some components have been tested in laboratories and critical design reviews conducted last week were successful, according to project officer Sébastien Dubois.
Centurion Aircraft Engines’ Centurion 2.0s is now available in Europe as an upgrade through a supplemental type certificate (STC), which covers installing the 155-hp engine on the Cessna 172F through -S models. EASA issued the STC to Centurion on May 21. The 2.0s provides 20 more horsepower than the original Centurion 2.0. It is Fadec-controlled to keep engine parameters within range and is operated through a single lever power control.
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