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.
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News of January 04, 2007
SMA Engines Expands Presence in USA Diesel-Engine Market
SMA has delivered 12 of its 230-horsepower SR305-230 direct-drive diesel engine to two installation centers in North America and appointed Luc Heugas as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Heugas announced that there are now 31 SMA diesel-engine airplanes flying at locations around the world. SMA's four-cylinder engine is approved as a firewall-forward kit for late-model Cessna 182 aircraft. Applications have been submitted to expand the approved model list to include 182N and 182P models. Heugas cited outstanding economy, reduced maintenance costs, single-lever FADEC engine control, reduced part number count, and approval for full-power operation as reasons to install the engine. During a cross-ocean flight from Paris to Oshkosh last summer, fuel costs for the SMA 182 were 31 percent less than fuel costs for the avgas-fueled Cherokee PA180 that accompanied the 182. Heugas noted that SMA is looking for companies to develop supplemental type certificates (STCs) for engine installations. Three distributors for SMA are now in place - one each in California, Texas, and Florida. "This is really, really big for us," said Luc Heugas, SMA's vice president of sales and marketing. "We have three distributors now in the US; we plan to have six before AirVenture in July of 2007." "We are certain that engines will be assembled in the United States," said Heugas. The present price for the full firewall-forward engine and propeller kit for STCed 182 installations is $80,000 to $85,000. (GA News 12/19/06)
posted at 10:30 AM
First Look: NEW Diamond DA50 Super Star with Thielert V8.
Diamond Aircraft is on a roll... and if the continuing development of the Diamond D-Jet single-engine Personal Jet wasn't enough, there is now confirmation of a hot new single-engine bird from the ever-inventive minds working feverishly to keep up with Diamond's Christian Dries... who keeps making a series of inspired design decisions that (so far) have been met with approval, solid order books and industry acclaim. The first official word of the bird came at the recently concluded Diamond Aircraft Industries Christmas Party in Wiener Neustadt, Austria (which we have little doubt was QUITE the blowout...), where the new DA50 Superstar was 'unofficially' presented to the company and guests. Dries has been briefing ANN about this and other programs for quite a while, but we had not expected any public discussion of this new bird or the release of an official photo before the beginning of 2007. While we're looking for more official details and the permission to release some of what we've been told about this bird previously in private briefings with Diamond officials, we can tell you that the DA50 Super Star will utilize powerplants of as much as 350 hp, and will be powered by both gasoline and diesel engines -- though their make is yet unspecified. The "all new" bird is a five-seater and Diamond promises that it will "be the most spacious in the new generation of single-engine aircraft in General Aviation." The plane is fixed gear and promises to be the most spacious single in the 300-350HP range. (AeroNews.net 12/16/06)
posted at 10:23 AM
FAA Issues Guidelines On Diesel Engine Compliance
Recognizing that interest in diesel engines within the general aviation community has grown appreciably in the past several years, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a draft memorandum to clarify the certification requirements for 14 CFR part 33, type certification of diesel reciprocating engines. The memorandum, available for download as a Word file at the FMI link below, provides compliance interpretations the agency says are necessary to accommodate the unique design features of a diesel reciprocating engine. It also identifies areas of regulatory compliance that may require equivalent level of safety findings (ELOS) or special conditions (SC) to address design features of diesel engines not envisioned when part 33 was created. Despite the generalized guidelines, the FAA also states appropriate ELOS or special conditions for each engine model must be determined on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with part 21, §§ 21.16, 21.17, and part 11. "Interest in diesel aircraft engines has recently been renewed in response to the demand for engines that do not require leaded fuel for operation," the FAA states. "Two recent diesel engines have been certified in Europe and validated by the FAA. (NB: This means the Thielert 135HP and the SMA 230HP.) Several other diesel reciprocating engines are in development in both the US and in Europe." "There are many new and novel issues to be addressed as modern diesel engine technology is integrated into these aircraft engines," the agency adds. Areas of compliance specific to diesel engines -- referred to as compression ignition, or CI, engines -- include evaluation of a CI engine's high-pressure fuel system, and ELOS determinations for fuel flow and power level angles to be used in computing engine operating limitations. The traditional method for computing operating limits involves measuring airflow into the engine through manifold air pressure (MAP) sensors -- a system that may not provide accurate readings for CI engines, as diesels do not meter airflow into the engine the same way a conventional, or spark ignition (SI) engine does. The memorandum also specifies guidelines for aviation-grade diesel fuels. The FAA anticipates that in most cases, operators of planes with CI engines will use either Jet-A, or automotive diesel fuel in their engines. However, aviation jet fuel specifications such as ASTM International D1655 do not include criteria for control of cetane number, because this is not a critical performance parameter for turbine engines. In diesel engines, however, the cetane number is a big deal, as it characterizes the ignition capability of a diesel fuel, and is a critical parameter for assessing the acceptability of a fuel for a particular engine design. Using the appropriate cetane rated fuel in a diesel engine is critical to developing the appropriate power. Therefore, the FAA mandates that a CI engine applicant will be required to provide an analysis that shows operation with jet fuel with an inadequate cetane number will not create an unsafe condition. The agency also says the applicant's analysis should consider the minimum cetane requirement of their CI engine design, the probability that commercially available fuel may have a cetane number below that minimum, and the consequences of operating with a fuel with a cetane number that is below that minimum. The FAA also specifies CI engines must meet similar standards for icing protection as turbine engines, as diesel fuel absorbs more water than regular avgas does. (Aero-News.net 12/11/06)
posted at 10:18 AM
News of January 02, 2007
Dialogue with Thielert rf. aircraft flying with their diesel engines.
I reproduce hereafter how Thielert answered several questions from DieselAir Newsletter, and thank them for this answer.
What are the aircraft presently flying with the Thielert V8 engine, including demos, and prototypes?
A: It is the Beech Duke and the Cessna 206. There are further developments underway, but only the OEM can disclose these projects.
What are today al the private attempts to invest in a Thielert conversion, such as Mark Hagensieker's Beech Duke V8 conversion?
A: With current status the Duke is the only private project.
What is the status of the Cessna 206 V8 conversion: how many demos are flying, when do you plan the US STC?
A. We have one C206 flying. We will undertake the STC with this aircraft before making further conversions. We hope to receive the US STC later in 2007.
Reminder: The Thielert V8 is an evolution of their 4 cylinders engine. It is delivering 350HP now. We have some data showing that its conversions will compare favorably in terms of weight to a conventional O-540. It should be the ideal conversion for any aircraft type, single or twin, in the 300-350HP range, especially the ones flying intensively on missions which are sensitive to fuel reserve requirements.
posted at 12:11 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.
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.