“We’re excited about our expanding customer base,” said Rhett Ross, president of Continental Motors, commenting about the growing number of aircraft manufacturers that have committed to jet-A-powered diesel engines. The newest customer for Continental’s CD-155 engine is Cessna, which selected the 155-hp diesel to power its Turbo Skyhawk JT-A.
Internal combustion engine
Safran’s SMA general aviation engine unit plans to deliver 90 of its SR305-230E four-cylinder general aviation diesel engines this year for Cessna’s 182 JT-A and other aircraft such as the OAP Delfin, company CEO Thierry Hurtes said today at EAA AirVenture 2014 in Oshkosh, Wis. The engine, which has a TBO of 2,400 hours, has already received EASA and FAA certification.
On the eve of EAA AirVenture 2014, aviation analyst Brian Foley released summaries of two key areas affecting the general aviation industry: investment capital and engine technology.
On the capital front, Foley said that there is no shortage of investors who are willing to put money into general aviation companies. However, there is a shortage of what these investors are seeking–entities that actually make money, that is, “a good $20 million in annual revenues and $5 million in profits known as Ebitda [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization].
Parker Aerospace is here at FIA 2014 (Hall 4 Stand A18) highlighting a variety of technology developments and improvements in its customer support provisions.
Unison Industries (Hall 4 Stand C14) has launched a new high-energy, high-temperature turbine engine ignition system designed to meet the “growing trend of climbing engine temperatures and combustion pressures.”
The Acclimate ignition system features solid-state electronics, with exciter performance that can vary depending on specific combustion and environmental requirements, according to Unison. This helps optimize ignition performance and overall system life, the company added.
New engines planned by Rolls-Royce (R-R) reflect recent powerplant trends, including steadily increasing propulsive efficiency obtained with larger-diameter fans, higher bypass ratios and smaller engine cores. The engines could power updated contemporary widebody platforms, with R-R civil large engines president Eric Schulz confirming “very live” discussions with Airbus. “If it decides to re-engine the A330 or A380, we will be here to provide support,” he said during a pre-show briefing.
The technology stakes are high for the GE9X engine that will power Boeing’s new 777X twinjet, but GE Aviation believes its big bet on the weight savings to be delivered by unprecedented use of composites is about to pay off. The U.S. engine maker, which currently holds orders for some 600 of the engines, is leaving nothing to chance and, with more than two years of technology maturation behind it, the company is now stepping up its test program en route to certification in 2018.
As preparations continue for running a full open-rotor engine demonstrator in 2016 under Europe’s Clean Sky research effort, French engine maker Snecma (Hall 4 Stand B12) sees the program’s participants reaching a consensus as whether or not to proceed in the 2017-to-2019 time frame. Clean Sky, which also involves Airbus, Rolls-Royce and French research center Onera, has provided a relatively unexpected discussion platform, thus facilitating a general agreement.
Pratt & Whitney Canada started running a full PW800 engine demonstrator late last year, company vice president of business aviation and military programs Michael Perodeau told AIN yesterday. He confirmed that the demonstration effort has progressed according to plan but gave little detail.
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.
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