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.
DieselAir Research, Inc., the publisher of The DieselAir Newsletter, offers strategic intelligence services to the aircraft industry, its suppliers and its customers who ambition to benefit from this global change of paradigm which will mean new markets, new concepts, new services, new materials and components… You may be interested in our services if your firm designs and/or manufactures aircraft and components, aero engines, avionics, propellers and engine components, fuel systems or additives, advanced materials, or industry specific machinery for manufacturing of these; or provides aviation services such as fuel production or distribution; flight training, aircraft chartering, maintenance and operations (FBO’s); or airport management and design, traffic control, hangar, materials handling and storage equipment; or consulting and financial services for these industries; or advertising, sales promotion, trade shows, specialized publications.
To know more, send a confidential email inquiry to Dr. Eng. André Teissier-duCros at firstname.lastname@example.org
or an SMS for a confidential phone conversation at
News of July 20, 2005
Aviation Consumer special report on aerodiesel progress in the US calls for remarks
In the June issue of Aviation Consumer p. 4 one can find a good status report on the progress of aerodiesels in the US, which concludes that for the time being Thielert appears as the world leader; and recognizes with fair play that Thielert s and Diamond s progress have been faster than Aviation Consumer anticipated. This is correct. Thielert-engined Diamond DA-40 planes number some 130 today, mostly in Europe, and Diamond is producing several DA-42 diesel per month. The Cessna 172 Thielert is STCd by FAA, there are 60 of them converted to Thielert flying now, and EPIC Aviation in Florida is converting them for the Latin American market. The Thielert V-8 of 350 HP is flying on the futuristic HPA TT62, see www.hp-aircraft.de/edoc/news.html. Mentioning that AVgas prices have hit $5/gallon in some spots, Aviation Consumer now recognizes that diesel is right here, and is here to stay.
Does it mean that Thielert will dominate the US and world market? They have a chance, but...
No, the Thielert is not a Mercedes engine converted to aircraft use. It is a new engine designed around a Mercedes engine block. The V-8 is completely new. One should insist that Thielert is in control of its technology and tooling.
What Thielert offers is a 135HP, high RPM, 1.7 liter (104 c. i.) 4-cylinder In-Line water-cooled and geared (1.7/1.0) engine replacing a 160HP O-320. Extrapolated to a 4 liter (244 c. i.) V-8 it exceeds 300HP. American pilots will mistrust (wrongly, but thats life) the TBR on such a high rev, high manifold pressure engine.
SMA offers a 230HP, O-305 (5 liters), low RPM, opposite cylinders, air/oil cooled, direct drive engine which is really a 300HP engine down-rated to 230HP. The SMA 300HP in other words will be the same size, with a slightly higher compression ratio and RPM. The SMA engine has the type certificate. The STC for the 182 conversion is expected by December at latest. Its service/conversion agents FlyJetA in Florida and Tule Air Aero in California have taken orders contingent to STC thanks to their demonstrators. American pilots look at it and say: "It aint geared, and it looks like a smaller O engine".
DeltaHawk Engines offers for the experimental market a V-4 2-stroke engine, 160 and 200HP, liquid cooled, direct drive, which is 49 Lbs. lighter than a Lycoming O-320. A V-8 will follow, reaching 400HP.
Of these 3 contenders, the one who has a deep pocket to buffer eventual product litigation costs is SMA, 100% owned by the huge SAFRAN group (SNECMA/Sagem merger). Thielert is a good, healthy midsize firm of 220 employees. Diamond is now a respectable firm, but is no Cessna yet... DeltaHawk is a small and young venture (until they are acquired by someone with a deep pocket...).
Diamond Aircraft is offering and selling diesels, but their CEO Peter Maurer makes it clear that they are not “anti Avgas, pro-diesel”: They simply offer the choice.
So our short term forecast for the US market is:
Sales of DA 40 and 42 diesels to remain confidential but not nil for the next 2 years, then take off. That will be when Diamond has a chance to consolidate leadership.
Sale of 172 Thielert to flight academies to incubate for 2 years with maybe one to three schools purchasing a fleet, then take off: The 172 diesel as trainer is an obvious market.
Sale of 182SMA conversions to take off during 2006 at a modest level: may be 6-9 in 2006 and 15-25 in 2007.
Sale of new Maule SMA to take off at rate of few per year, but mostly for export markets.
Work to progress on STCs for light twins with SMA (Vulcanair, Seneca, others) and a bit later for Thielert V-8 (Beech Duke conversion in progress in Germany).
Whether DeltaHawk will be a serious contender during the next 2 years remains unknown. We are preparing a story.
In Europe, expect progress of 100HP, 2-stroke diesels for 152s and the like from D-Air Ltd. in UK, but only progress towards various certifications and for the European market for the time being. Then, one day, someone will take a risk on a 150-152 STC...
Why couldnt Diamond become sooner a definite US market leader? Because American pilots perceive (wrongly, but that’s life) 135HP as not enough; and because Thielert and Diamond (wisely) do not want to rush things until they are sure that customer service will work.
So the game remains open.
posted at 2:28 PM
100 hp diesel engine designed to be direct 0-200 r...
What most diesel experts miss about why diesel is ...
News and photos from Illka, Norway, rf. 172 Thiel...
Do you own a Beech Duke?
Thielert, SMA and Delta Hawk: Same old engine phil...
HPA's TT62 twin Centurion 350 HP: The GA Aircraft...
Which diesel conversions are FAA STC'd in the US i...
Thielert Centurion leads the world diesel market w...
The DieselAir Newsletter Forum is ready!
SMA Engines, now restructured, seems to have a str...
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.
The DieselAir Newsletter is a confidential publication available only as printed material sent by mail (airmail for overseas), to fully identified individuals or businesses involved in General Aviation. Forums and online content may be printed at discretion of the publisher.