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
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News of November 29, 2009
The CEAPR Robin DR400 Ecoflyer to be OEMd and retrofitted with Centurion 155HP.
Owners of the Robin DR400 diesel Ecoflyer have been informed that the latest Centurion 2-liter 155HP is now available for both retrofit on existing fleet of Ecoflyers 135HP and as OEM equipment on new planes.
posted at 5:54 AM
The Dassault Systems website publishes this announcement (see link): A few months ago, we welcomed a project with the strange name of Big Frog in the Passion for Innovation program. Big Frog is an audacious project to compete in the Reno Air Races with a diesel engine and yet win thanks to faster, greener aerospace design. For a limited time Big Frog itself is on display at Dassault Systèmes Campus. Boy was everyone surprised Monday morning when they saw the splendid, shiny, black carbon aircraft on display! Yes, using our CATIA and SIMULIA solutions, the Big Frog team integrated the diesel SMA engine to this 100 percent composite racer and brought several betterments to the aircraft. All these operations were conducted with the help of our experts. We were delighted when the Big Frog team decided to display the aircraft at Dassault Systèmes to celebrate this important step on their road to Reno. We’re proud to have this “Formula 1 with wings” on site! It seems that Reno Air Races organizers have also understood that something special was cooking here. As a matter of fact, Big Frog has just just been moved up from Sport Class to Super Sport Class, a development that has fired up the team with even greater enthusiasm. There’s still much work and training to do before the race in September 2010. Reno Air Races are introduced by the ritual sentence “Gentlemen, you have a race” issued from the pace aircraft. Today, we cas proudly say “Gentlemen, we have a plane!”
Signed Richard Breitner, an engineer working for Dassault Systèmes since 1992, who is managing the Passion for Innovation technical sponsorship Program.
The French "Big Frog" will be part of the Reno Sport Class races in 2010. SMA, part of the International Aeronautical Leader SAFRAN Group, is dedicated to develop, produce, market and support the SR 305-230 Aircraft Piston Engine burning Jet A.
posted at 5:28 AM
News of November 24, 2009
Centurion, the firm owning and developing Thielert's assets, has good news.
2,600 Thielert-Centurion (T-C) engines are flying now, and have accumulated 1.7 million hours flying time. We assess that the major problems of the engine are over with a 600h recommended TBR for clutch and transmission. The Diamond DA42 is still sold with the T-C engine, and is selling. So is the Diamond drone. An airplane equipped with a T-C engine can therefore expect somewhat costly but trouble-free operations; but in countries where Avgas is fading away, with general uncertainties on Avgas future (see our previous reports), and with gradual improvements on the engine which can be retrofitted later on the existing fleet, we can expect now that, such as they are, the 2-liter T-C engines have begun the demonstration that aerodiesels are here to stay and that small piston-engined airplanes of the future (up to some 500HP) will be diesels.
The market is waiting with some impatience for a revival of the T-C 4-liter V8, which was put on the back burner as the business was reorganized. 4 or 5 of them are flying, which were delivered before the reorganization. Centurion has made no definite announcement on their plans, except that they will come back to promoting and certifying this engine. We also expect that there will be competition in the 300-450HP range of powers.
As previously reported, that 2-stroke diesels in the 100-120HP range will make their way to LSAs and to trainers for flight academies, but this will take some time.
The most credible competition in aerodiesels consists today in Centurion, SMA, and Wilksch. But this will also change. Centurion is the leader, but there is no head-on competition yet: Centurion sells 155HP engines, SMA silently pursues promotion of its 230HP, and Wilksch will be present at least in the 100-120HP range.
Andre Teissier du Cros, Publisher
posted at 5:37 AM
News of November 07, 2009
Kurt Goodfellow in his RV Van with Wilksch diesel
140 knots with 120HP and less than 5 gal/h of Jetfuel... Look at this pilots in the U. S., this is the future. Kurt Goodfellow reports from Nevada: "I now have 95 hours on my plane, and it has worked very will with the WAM 120 engine. On Oct 23, I met Ken Krueger (Van’s chief engineer) in Bishop, CA for a comparison test between my plane and Van’s company 160 hp RV9A. We both realized that it wasn’t an apples-to-apples comparison because of the HP difference, but Van’s doesn’t have an O-235 powered RV9 to compare to. We flew side-by-side, comparing: Brakes-off to 12,000’ climb, WOT speed at 12,000’, 10,000’, and 8,000’. We also flew a 1.25 hour cross country flight to test fuel burn, along with a power-off glide to test drag. Marc Cook, the editor for Kitplanes magazine was also there. Ken is working on all of the data gathered, and is working together with Marc on an article for the magazine. I aso expect an article in Van’s RVator newsletter. The plane performed beautifully, but was no match for the 160 hp RV9 when it came to climb and speed. However, even with the ‘9A cruising slower to match my speed, the WAM burned quite a bit less fuel. At the end of the day, we determined that the WAM performance was comparable to what you would expect (according to Van’s published numbers) from an RV9 with a Lycoming O-235. Since Ken kept track of all the numbers, we’ll have to wait and see them in the article. My cruise speed at 65% power, 8,500 ft, is 160 mph TAS (140 knots), burning just under 5 gph (I do not have a fuel flow instrument). The plane performs very well, even in the extremely hot ambient temps we experience here in Southern Nevada. On our climb to 12,000’, I was able to average 878 fpm. Even on a hot day (42C), I can climb out of Boulder City, NV at 850-700 FPM, staying within the temp parameters that WAM recommends. Wilksch Airmotive has been very helpful and supportive all through my installation and testing. There are five Van’s RV9A’s with WAM 120’s flying in the UK. They recently had a Wilksch fly-in in the UK, which was hampered by weather, but 3 WAM RV9A’s showed up. I’m forwarding a picture from the event."
posted at 1:43 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.