An undisclosed investment will allow Racine-based DeltaHawk Engines Inc. to begin production on a new aviation engine and to create 100 jobs.
The investment, announced recently, was made by the Ruud family, which established Racine-based Ruud Lighting. Ruud Lighting was acquired by Durham, N.C.-based Cree Inc. in 2011.
Seven engineers will be hired immediately, and approximately 100 people will be hired in 2016, according to a statement released by DeltaHawk. The company will also likely work with Gateway Technical College to train workers for the jobs as they require particular skill sets.
The investment, which makes the Ruuds majority owners of DeltaHawk, allows for the commercialization of DeltaHawk’s first engine family and the completion of research and development for higher horsepower engines used primarily in general aviation airplanes.
Compared to other engines on the market, the DeltaHawk engine has 8 percent lower fuel burn, 11 percent less full fuel payload, 18 percent faster maximum cruise speed, and 45 percent longer range.
After some tests and certifications, the engine is expected to go into production in December. The production facilities will be in DeltaHawk’s current Racine factory, which was also purchased by the Ruuds.
“Our experience in transitioning innovative ideas from R&D to full-scale production is a perfect fit with DeltaHawk,” said Alan Ruud, founder of Ruud Lighting and a pilot himself. “This company has great business potential and a keen focus on the pulse of the industry and their customers.”
Besides being efficient and powerful, the DeltaHawk multi-fuel engine is compliant with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandate, going into effect in January 2017, which requires the general aviation industry to transition from leaded aviation gasoline. A reported 400,000 general aviation planes are expected to be retrofitted with new engines by 2017.
“Not only is the DeltaHawk engine an industry game-changer, but it will also be impactful to our local community as we hire in anticipation of beginning production,” said Alan’s son, Christopher Ruud.