Diesel Engines Emerging As New Technology Future of General Aviation Aircraft
August 13, 2014
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  • WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With several major aircraft and engine manufacturers recently announcing the development of new diesel aircraft engines, the general aviation industry in the United States appears to be entering a new diesel evolution phase, said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

    In just the past month, aircraft and engine manufacturers like Cessna, Continental Motors, American Champion Aircraft, Lycoming and DeltaHawk Engines have announced new diesels for general aviation aircraft in the U.S., Schaeffer said.

    “Having major aircraft and engine manufacturers like Cessna and Continental Motors make strong commitments to diesel engines is a major step in the future expansion of diesel technology in a new arena,” Schaeffer said.

    “The same attributes that have made diesel engines the power behind virtually all modes of surface transportation now has the potential to transition the future of the aviation industry.

    “The manufacturers are reporting the new diesel engines have lower fuel consumption and increased range and better performance at altitude – some very significant improvements that are being welcomed by the general aviation industry. The industry is also facing an increased scarcity of 100 low-lead avgas, not only in the U.S., but also in the European and Asian markets, where diesel fuel is readily available, as it is in the United States.

    “All of these factors have many analysts predicting the wide spread adoption of diesel engines throughout general aviation,” Schaeffer said. “Some are even suggesting the increased fuel efficiency and lead-free emissions from new diesel engines may be the biggest change in light aircraft engines in many years.”

    Diesel Engines Already Power All Other Transportation Sectors “Today, diesel technology powers the most diverse spectrum of equipment ranging from the world’s largest construction machinery, passenger and race cars, cruise and cargo ships, agricultural equipment, trucks and buses, and even submarines,” Schaeffer said. “It’s fitting that diesel technology is now accelerating its advancement into general aviation and even in the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones).

    Diesel Light Duty Sales Are Also Increasing in U.S.

    Due to Higher Fuel Efficiency, Longer Range & Better Performance Than Gasoline Autos “It’s interesting that the new developments in aviation are very similar to America’s light duty vehicle market where major automobile manufacturers are introducing numerous new clean diesels in the U.S. market and the diesel market share is showing steady month-to-month growth. And like the aviation industry, auto makers and drivers are saying diesels popularity is based on the better fuel efficiency, better range per tank of fuel, and better performance over gasoline vehicles.”

    Diesel Technology Forum website: http://www.dieselforum.org/

    According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA): “General aviation (GA) is all civilian flying except scheduled passenger airlines. It’s just that simple – and complex. GA includes flying as diverse as a weekend visit back home and overnight package delivery; as different as emergency medical evacuation and a morning sightseeing flight in a balloon; as complementary as aerial application to keep crops healthy and helicopter traffic reports to keep drivers informed of rush-hour delays.”

    AOPA website: http://www.aopa.org/letsgoflying/ready/steps/whatis.html

    Related stories of interest: “Analyst Sees Bright Spots in General Aviation Investments, Diesel Engine Developments” (Aviation International News, July 27, 2014) http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/eaa-airventure/2014-07-27/analyst-sees-bright-spots-general-aviation-investments-diesel-engine-developments
    “Cessna Introduces Turbo Skyhawk JT-A” (Flying Magazine, July 28, 2014) http://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/pistons/cessna-introduces-turbo-skyhawk-jt

    “American Champion to Offer Diesel Scout” (Aviation International News, July 31, 2014) http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/eaa-airventure/2014-07-31/american-champion-offer-diesel-scout#.U9uewEz-Pro.twitter

    DeltaHawk’s 2-stroke diesel engine powers Cirrus SR20 (DieselAir Newsletter, August 4, 2014) http://www.dieselair.com/articles/2014/08/04/deltahawks-2-stroke-diesel-engine-powers-cirrus-sr20/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=deltahawks-2-stroke-diesel-engine-powers-cirrus-sr20

    (View this press release online here.)

    ABOUT THE DIESEL TECHNOLOGY FORUM The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit national organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology, and working with policymakers and other stakeholders on common solutions. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.

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