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 22, 2012
What is the most significant event in the world arena of aero diesel?
What is the most significant event in the world arena of aero diesel?
The most significant event is that Centurion-Thielert has not only survived, but progressed. I confess that 2 years ago I had doubts about the firm’s future - no more a going concern, filing the German equivalent of Chapter 11 - and about the technology of its engine: In-line, liquid cooled, geared with a high rpm, rather heavy, a spotty record of reliability and of customer satisfaction, etc. Yet, since then the firm made a systematic, methodical effort in retesting, redesigning and improving one by one its core components and its procedures for manufacturing and quality control, in the classical German way. The new feedback from customers became by late 2010: The engine is costly (compared with a classical Avgas O-360 why you can buy for a song…), it must be maintained right, but it works. Well, as of early 2012, the 2 liter Centurion remains by very far the leader on the tiny market of aero diesels while none of its competitors has made tangible progress in actual sales, certifications, and market share. Now the firm reports making progress in extending the lifetime of engines and components, which is the most important for the customer. STCs for the 155hp Centurion 2.0s are progressing: Centurion offers this engine for the single-engined Diamond DA40 since end of November '11.
I asked Centurion if they had any news of their interesting V8 4-liter 300HP engine, which got its TC before bankruptcy and has been running notably on a few Cessna 206s. There were also talks at the time of a 230HP 6-cyl. Centurion answered: Most development sources are needed for the Centurion 2.0 and 2.0s to extend lifetime of engines and parts. Regarding the 4.0, we already have the TC for the engine and the STC for Cessna 206 and Cirrus SR22. Right now, development projects run as ordered from customers. Regarding a 6 cylinder there is currently no running project due to the fact this is smallest share of the market. The company has been run under insolvency proceeding conditions now for nearly 4 years which is not unusual under German law. As long as we remain at stage of negotiations with potential investors, the company invests comparably lower development budgets than in past times. A future investor or OEM partner may change this situation.
Conclusion: Centurion is alive and kicking, has a modest but positive cash flow, is improving its product, and looks more and more like the lonely success story so far in the arena.
posted at 5:57 AM
News of January 08, 2012
You remember that, on September 15, we asked in DieselAir the question: “If a 5,000 HP diesel engine can burn no more than 0.22 Lbs of fuel per HP-h, while weighing no more than 0.18 kg per HP dry, it will trigger new concepts for air travel and cargo in 2050.” See http://www.dieselair.com/2011/09/fanjet-airplane-will-never-be-effective.html
We told you before Xmas that we received lots of answers. And yes, we did identify an R&D firm proposing an innovative concept: It is FairDiesel Co., Ltd. in the UK. You can visualize their concept by going to http://www.fairdiesel.co.uk/.
The stockholders of FairDiesel now have two opportunity searches in progress: One aims at an equity investment from a venture capital or other business financing partner; one aims at a joint venture with a manufacturing firm already in the industry of engines, motors and other complex components for aircraft. The consulting firm exclusively retained to expose all details of the proposed combination is TARGON Investments (Offices in Houston, Shanghai, Montpellier). All inquiries should be addressed at email@example.com
We restate here that the FairDiesel engine promises, on well founded grounds, for an engine of 5,000HP, a Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC) between 100 and 110 grams/HP-h and a weight of less than 1 metric tonne (2,200 Lbs.). The inventor, Bill Fairney, and his advisers, have an impressive engineering background in internal combustion technology. FairDiesel showed us that these figures are demonstrated with a computer model applying accepted laws of mechanics, thermodynamics, heat generation from Jetfuel as available, heat conductivity & transfer, friction & lubrication, etc., to a totally innovative concept. This concept, however, can be applied to manufacturing an engine using conventional available metals and alloys, assembled with parts which are cast, machined and eventually heat-treated using conventional, inexpensive technology. There is no need, for these parts, of ceramics (except for one coating), or cermets, or composites and other materials which are inherently costly to manufacture.
The concept has also been simulated for powers of 2,500; 550; and 275 HP. Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC) doesn’t change. Weight per HP gets of course higher for smaller engines. Nevertheless, around 250-300 HP, the weight per power ratio is much more favorable than for any opposite cylinder gasoline engine such as O-470, 520, 540 or 550. Also you can easily appreciate by looking at the structure and kinematics of the FairDiesel that it is virtually vibration-free. Its torque will be constant within a large spectrum of rpms. Which is why its promoters assess that its application for helicopters is also very promising.
posted at 3:53 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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