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 October 22, 2005
Alan Klapmeier, Cirrus Design's President, comments on diesel
I had a chance to ask questions and briefly interview Alan Klapmeier, the famous CEO and founder of Cirrus Design, today the General Aviation aircraft which sells the most in the US and worldwide. By pure chance, I had flown as co-pilot in a Cirrus SR22 from Atlanta to New York and back the day before and had my questions ready to,lsten to his presentation at the Atlanta Aero-Club on 10/21. My assessment is that the Cirrus is a fantastic plane, in which the only technology that can be called obsolete is the engine... Notably I was impressed by the Engine Management System integrated in the glass panel, and by the fact that normal procedure supposes setting a lean-of-peak regime which is confirmed by a graphic representation of EGT in each cylinder, showing in real time the consequences of mixture setting. It made me think of what a steam engine operation would look like if, in the days of the railroad steam engined locomotives, we had had graphic representation of the pressure condition in each cylinder during each cycle. Railroad steam engine drivers would have loved that... But they were replaced by diesels.
Alan confirmed that they have talks in progress with SMA regarding a Cirrus diesel, and was impressed by the quality and seriousness of the firm as a potential supplier. He also said he had tested in flight the Diamond DA40 diesel and found it impressive. In his opinion, engine starts at very cold temperature still were a problem. Diesel is coming, "but not quite ready yet"... His presentation completely converted me to the parachute concept, on which I was skeptical until now; in fact, the fool-proof idea behind this technology fits well with what diesel engines bring, which go way beyond savings on cost of fuel as most pilots still think. More on this later.
posted at 10:26 AM
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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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