The diesel engine research and development project that Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) is conducting with racing car engine specialist Teos Powertrain Engineering and engine manufacturer Austro Engine, under Europe’s Clean Sky joint technology initiative, has cleared significant milestones. The demonstration engine is now being tested on an iron bird, before the first flight planned for this year on a modified EC120.
Safran’s SMA unit announced a new and larger jet-A fuel-powered piston engine at AirVenture on Tuesday. The turbocharged SR460 six-cylinder engine will have applications in the 330 to 400 horsepower range, will be available in 2015 and will have a target 2,400-hour time between overhaul (TBO) interval.
Engineered Propulsion Systems (EPS) is preparing two recently purchased Cirrus SR22s as flying testbeds for its clean-sheet design Vision 350 diesel aero engine. One of the airplanes is located at EPS’s New Richmond, Wis. headquarters, while the other is being prepared for flight testing in a hangar at the Mojave airport in California. The engine is on display outside the Innovation Pavilion at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, mounted to an SR22 firewall.
On July 28, the day before the opening of this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show, EAA chairman Jack Pelton and Mac McClellan, director of publications, flew a specially refurbished Cessna Skyhawk from Fond du Lac, Wis., to Oshkosh. The Skyhawk has been turned into a “RedHawk Training Aircraft” in a new venture by simulator manufacturer Redbird Simulations and its flight training division Redbird Skyport. AirVenture visitors can see the RedHawk at the exhibit near the main gate.
The diesel engine demonstrator aiming to replace turboshafts in light helicopters, which could cut fuel burn by about 30 percent, is said to be on track for installation and ground tests on a Eurocopter EC120 in the first quarter of 2014. Some components have been tested in laboratories and critical design reviews conducted last week were successful, according to project officer Sébastien Dubois.
Centurion Aircraft Engines’ Centurion 2.0s is now available in Europe as an upgrade through a supplemental type certificate (STC), which covers installing the 155-hp engine on the Cessna 172F through -S models. EASA issued the STC to Centurion on May 21. The 2.0s provides 20 more horsepower than the original Centurion 2.0. It is Fadec-controlled to keep engine parameters within range and is operated through a single lever power control.
The diesel-powered Diamond DA42 TwinStar made its first flight on December 9 from the factory at Wiener Neustadt, Austria. TwinStar’s Thielert Centurion 1.7 engines rated at 135 hp each are designed to operate on both diesel fuel and jet-A1. The composite-construction four-seat aircraft has a single-lever power control for each engine, fuel consumption of 67 pph at 180 kt and an option for an all-glass cockpit.
Of the many companies that have attempted to tackle world markets with a new-technology piston engine for light singles and twins, only Thielert in Germany has demonstrated some success. For that it can thank in some measure Diamond Aircraft, an Austrian company that has established a firm niche as a supplier of all-composite light aircraft, including the DA 42 twin-engine aircraft on display here in the static park.