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 May 31, 2010
155 HP Centurion 2.0s installation now certified for Cessna 172
Centurion Engines informs us that it has received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the installation of the Centurion 2.0s kerosene piston aircraft engine with 155 HP in the Cessna 172. On May 21, 2010, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued the STC. Centurion is the firm which took over the insolvent Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH a year ago. This means that the Cessna models 172 F to S are now certified. Demo flights with the 155 HP diesel Cessna at clubs and fly-ins have met with a positive response. The initial retrofitted customer aircraft will go to England and Switzerland in June 2010. The certification of the 155 HP versions of the Robin DR400 Ecoflyer and Diamond DA40 TDI is in motion. The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is the top-selling light aircraft in general aviation. The worldwide fleet consists of more than 40,000 aircraft. The Centurion 2.0s delivers 20HP more than the well established Centurion 2.0 with an identical weight. 'Everyone who was impressed by the flight performance of the Cessna 172 with the Centurion 2.0 will be enthusiastic about the Centurion 2.0s,' says Jasper M. Wolffson, CEO at Centurion. The aircraft offers impressive flight performance. On the Cessna 172 S, it was possible to increase the MTOW limit from 1,111 kg (2,444 Lbs.) to 1,157 kg (2,545 Lbs.). Cruising flight fuel consumption is 24.2 l/h (6.5 Gal./h) at a speed of 115 KTAS (at 70% power, 6000 ft). The climb rate is 708 ft/min at sea level, with a shorter takeoff distance of 493m (1,645 ft. for a 50 ft obstacle).The range with the 168.8 liter standard tank is 665 NM. Like all aircraft equipped with the Centurion engine the Cessna has a fully electronic engine and propeller control system with single-lever control. The first demo flights of the Centurion-Cessna at clubs and fly-ins have met with a positive response in Germany and Denmark. “Quiet, simple and, above all, very powerful” was the concordant summary of the pilots, who already had the opportunity to fly the Cessna 172. Additional demos during the season are planned in the Czech Republic, France, England and then again in Germany. The first retrofitted customer aircraft will go to the Isle of Wight, England and Switzerland at the beginning of June. Cessna 172 aircraft which have been retrofitted with Centurion engines can also be operated in countries with low avgas availability. In summer, the first Cessnas will be retrofitted with Centurion 2.0s for Ethiopia.
In addition, Centurion has further plans for the Centurion 2.0s. The certification of the 155 HP versions of the Robin DR400 and Diamond DA40 TDI has already been set in motion. In particular, the Robin certification process by Finch Aviation is at an advanced stage and only requires final measurement flights. It will then enter series production as the Robin Ecoflyer DR400 2.0s. The state-of-the-art Centurion 2.0s kerosene engine, in combination with the traditional and proven wooden design of the DR400, results in an aircraft with excellent flight characteristics. It will be suitable for towing operations once the appropriate certification has been obtained. The scope of the Supplemental Type Certificate includes the Robin DR400 RP, 120D, 140B, 180R and 200R series. The Centurion 2.0s will initially be installed in new aircraft.
Our comments: This is generally good news for the world of diesel. In Europe, Cessna singles and other airplanes in the 145-180HP range are mainly used as trainers. They have become simply too costly for aeroclubs to operate at present prices of Avgas. But in Africa and developing countries Avgas is vanishing. The Cessna 172 Centurion and the 182 SMA therefore are the only practical, certified small airplanes available today. Out of the 40,000 Cessna 172s produced since the type origin, we estimate that between 1,000 and 2,000 are outside the U.S., and of a suitable model and in a suitable condition to deserve a Centurion conversion. In the U. S., we expect it will take some time for the FAA and Cessna customer service to favor this retrofit; but uncertainties on Avgas future should also eventually open this much bigger retrofit market. The Robin Ecoflyer is, to our best knowledge, the only airplane sold new with the Centurion diesel as Original Equipment.
posted at 11:41 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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