News, facts, and comments on the coming revolution for piston-engine aircraft.
In 1998, one diesel engine flew on a converted airplane for the first time since 1945. Today, close to 4,000 singles and twins are flying. This is the beginning of a worldwide trend which will eventually allow a rebirth of the piston-engined aircraft, around new specs and new missions.
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News of June 21, 2005
Thielert, SMA and Delta Hawk: Same old engine philosophies competing together, plus 2-stroke engine as wild card
Thielert and SMA are following the opposite piston engine philosophies which co-exist in aviation since WW1: Radial or opposite cylinder, air/oil cooled engine with the prop directly on the crankshaft, against In-line engine, liquid cooled, running faster than the prop which is geared: during WW2, Pratt & Whitney R-2800 (Thunderbolt, Corsair, Hellcat…) against Rolls Royce Merlin (Spitfire, Mustang…)! And 2-stroke diesels (Delta Hawk, Wilksch, Zoche…) are going to add to the debate. But as of now it is difficult to talk about competition: all aero diesel manufacturers are helping each other creating the market and giving credibility to the diesel concept, and any one getting into trouble would hurt the others. Also it is difficult to anticipate if a technology will clearly take the lead until more STC's show clearly which solution offers a significantly high TBO with the highest Power/Weight Ratio, measured for the whole aircraft and not simply for the naked engine. We expect that, the bigger the diesel engine, the better it will compare with the equivalent gasoline engine because of its smaller cylinder size and overall cubic capacity. So, the future diesel market will eventually, dollarwise, be for 300-400HP engines flying intensively. A 600HP engine is more questionable because it would compete head-on with turboprop solutions, but possible because of its tremendous fuel consumption advantage, especially at economy cruise.
posted at 5:29 PM
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Every month: news, facts, and comments on the coming revolution for piston-engines aircrafts between 130 and 400 HP: Retrofitting a diesel engine to run on Jetfuel or Kerosene, reduce Gallons/Hour by some 30%, eliminate ignition systems (magnetos, spark plugs) and their problems, eliminate mixture control, increase TBO to 2,400-3,000 hours, increase performance between 6,000 and 12,500 ft., and drastically reduce Operating Costs.
The letter is intended for piston engines aircraft owners, manufacturers, fleet operators and FBOs, re-manufacturers of engines for these aircrafts, manufacturers of engine components and ancillaries, and all professionals acting in decisions of engine exchange or refitting at TBO, in North and South America, Pacific Rim, African continent, and all parts of the world were Avgas, Mogas, Kerosene and Jetfuel are available.
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