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Available aircraft engines: What's out there in diesels?

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Swampyankee

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This is a question; I have no current information about what's realistically available for diesel aircraft engines today. Deltahawk and Zoche seem to be in the business of vaporware, and several others seem to have active websites and not much else.
 

BJC

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TarDevil

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There is little to no motivation to operate a diesel in an aircraft in the USA.
I wish that were not so. We've got plenty of motivation for migrating to a single fuel type, and diesel makes sense. There's currently no practical and/or cost effective path to achieve it.

The world needs a few more "Diamond" type aircraft manufacturers, then attrition would play its hand.
 

BJC

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I wish that were not so. We've got plenty of motivation for migrating to a single fuel type, and diesel makes sense. There's currently no practical and/or cost effective path to achieve it.

The world needs a few more "Diamond" type aircraft manufacturers, then attrition would play its hand.
Glasair Aviation offers the Continental CD 155 engine as an option in the Sportsman. It is a proven, fully developed installation with a fair amount of air time. I spent several hours at their display at Oshkosh, and there was a steady stream of people who walked up telling the person with them all the advantages of a diesel. When they were told the cost adder over a Lycoming
100LL burner, they went quiet and walked away.


BJC
 

TFF

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The company that comes out with not just a diesel but one that will fit in place of a Lycoming will rule the aviation engine world. Waiting. There are people trying. In the US, the fuel situation will have to change. Most of the oil pumped from the US is gas grade crude. Most of the rest of the world it is heavier diesel stock. Right now the Continental diesels are three times the cost of the same hp gas engine. Until it changes to maybe 50% more, it will be a dream. Volume is way too low without government subsidies for that to happen. High loiter time drones may in time allow some trickle down. I see that being where focus really ends up.
 

Voidhawk9

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Diesel looks great as far as fuel burn and fuel availability. But the other factors, like weight, expense and so forth far outweigh those things for now.
Will that change? Maybe, but I doubt it. It is way too late to the game, and most of the promising products are vapourware. Modern UL burners seem more likely options and -in the future- more electrics for some applications. Maybe a small diesel generator for an electric hybrid might make sense, but then you're back to heavy, expensive and complex again...
 
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Twodeaddogs

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You should have a look at what people are doing with diesels in motorbikes, as the complaints are essentially the same. In the same fashion as people converting Briggs and Stratton engines for flight, people are converting small industrial diesels for road use and there are some very clever, well-engineered engines out there.
 

Lucrum

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Diesel looks great as far as fuel burn and fuel availability. But the other factors, like weight, expense and so forth far outweigh those things for now.
Will that change? Maybe, but I doubt it.....
Pretty much my thoughts as well
 

Lucrum

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Diesel looks great as far as fuel burn and fuel availability. But the other factors, like weight, expense and so forth far outweigh those things for now.
Will that change? Maybe, but I doubt it.....
Pretty much my thoughts as well
 

Swampyankee

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For the military, cost, weight, and complexity are not really considerations, if recent history is anything to go by!
Logistics is, however, very important. Gasoline requires different tankers, pumps, and storage than diesel. Getting rid of those, for rather trivial loss of performance is worth quite s lot.
 

Twodeaddogs

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thats why militaries the world over want a diesel/avtur only fleet, so that multifuel engines like gas turbines in tanks/helicopters/aircraft can run on diesel or avtur as required. A diesel can run on avtur/various grades of diesel/waste engine oil/biofuel.
 

Dan Thomas

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The aviation world has been clamoring for new engines for a long time. Owners want EFI and EI, or they want diesel. But they think that since General Motors can develop this stuff and sell it in a new car for $30K or whatever that Lycoming and Continental can build it for the same price as the legacy gasoline engines.

But it doesn't work. New technology (in aviation, almost anything is new) has to be designed to be safe and reliable, and it has to be tested for thousands of hours, and then it has to be certified, which is when the lawyers and the FAA and insurance companies get involved and costs really go up. Lycoming built the iE2, an EFI/EI engine, but it cost more than owners would pay. SMA and Thielert built diesels, but they weren't cheap either and they had considerable teething problems. I worked on an SMA about eight years ago, fixing some of those issues, and SMA told us that they had spent a billion (with a "b") dollars so far and had, at that time, 50 engines flying. Total. Worldwide. Things like that make a lot of CEOs say "no way" to new developments.

Aviation is expensive. Aviation with neat new technologies is prohibitively expensive. Even in the uncertified homebuilt world that new stuff isn't cheap. If someone is selling it they have to cover themselves against litigation when some guy flies into a mountain in the clouds and the jury blames the ignition system or something.

Diesel? Noisy. Smoky. Smelly. Oily. I'd rather smell avgas. The old 80/87 has a lot of nostalgia to it. Old airplanes smell like it. And diesels are hard to start in the cold. IIRC, SMA had a lower starting temp limit of about -10°C. Works in Africa. Not so good here.
 

blane.c

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Diesel piston would be good in a short to medium range light transport category aircraft, that is about were the difference in fuel btu, engine and fuel weight would amortize better than gas for smaller craft and better than jet/turbine for larger craft. For the jet/turbine side it is because short to medium range does not allow access to altitude or for enough time to utilize the real advantage they have.
 

tspear

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For certified now.
Continental CD-135/155
SMA 204
AE-300
AE-330

Ones promised, and looking like they will happen.
EPS Flat 8.
CD-260
DeltaHawk (I cannot believe I listed this one, but they are making real progress since Rudd family bank rolled them)
Lycoming DEL-120

Tim
 
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