DeltaHawk

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tspear

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An acquaintance mentioned that DeltaHawk has "conforming engines" and is well along the way working with the FAA.
The website now has basically no information on it.
Just wondering if anyone has any info or updates.

Tim
 

TFF

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Conforming engines was never the problem. The problem is production. Without a government contract to pay for the factory, for drone engines for instance, low volume production for homebuilts will never happen. Economically, needling a ten million dollar factory to build forty engines a year to hope they catch on is bad business. Only a big rush of free money will make it work. That’s what they wait for; 20 years and counting. The owners are playing some kind of tax game that profit them more than building engines. The times I have seen them at Oshkosh, they are always in an unassuming tent and location.
 

rv6ejguy

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They could have released these engines to the Experimental community 5 years ago in limited quantities. Easy enough with a couple CNC mills worth maybe $200,000. Even charging $80,000 for each engine, they would have had some diesel fans frothing at the mouth to buy and install them. Plainly, they don't really care about this market or benefits it would have produced for low risk field experience leading on to certified or military markets where the real money would be.

Deltahawk has become another Zoche Diesel- always just another year away from full scale production. Hard to take them seriously a long time ago...

The price keeps creeping up every year while they dither and fritter away more money on whatever they are doing.
 
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Topaz

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They could have released these engine to the Experimental community 5 years ago in limited quantities. ...

The price keeps creeping up every year while they dither and fritter away more money on whatever they are doing.
Old saw: "At some point you just have to shoot the engineers and release to production."
 

TFF

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Same problem as when stock rules the product instead of better product. Owner has no blood in the actual product, they just need it to perform in the market place. They are willing to sit and play the big score or tax deduction depending on which makes them more money.
 

aeromomentum

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I first saw the Deltahawk in 1997 so they have been working on it at least 24 years and counting.
I first read about the Zoche Diesel in 1992 so they are at least 29 years and counting.
Anyone remember seeing or hearing about them before this?
 

Topaz

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I first saw the Deltahawk in 1997 so they have been working on it at least 24 years and counting.
I first read about the Zoche Diesel in 1992 so they are at least 29 years and counting.
Anyone remember seeing or hearing about them before this?
I quit the EAA before 1992, and I remember seeing the Zoche "line" (they had mockups or prototypes with various numbers of cylinders) in Sport Aviation before I quit. Not sure how long... Maybe '89 or '90? Maybe?
 

dwalker

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They could have released these engines to the Experimental community 5 years ago in limited quantities. Easy enough with a couple CNC mills worth maybe $200,000. Even charging $80,000 for each engine, they would have had some diesel fans frothing at the mouth to buy and install them. Plainly, they don't really care about this market or benefits it would have produced for low risk field experience leading on to certified or military markets where the real money would be.

Deltahawk has become another Zoche Diesel- always just another year away from full scale production. Hard to take them seriously a long time ago...

The price keeps creeping up every year while they dither and fritter away more money on whatever they are doing.

I had to google to make sure, but I remember that in 2019 they were offering to outfit airframes with the engine and all support systems for $89,000. I am fairly certain very few people bit at that, seeing as how a new in crate Lycoming is roughly half that, and you are not doing R&D for them and paying them while you are at it. I suspect that had they offered the powerplants at a much lower price, or for a type of conditional lease, where the owner f the plane gets the engine for free, provides data logs and other information, and agrees to allow periodic inspections at thier expense, they would have gotten a lot further.
 

skydawg

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I can speak from experience in trying to bring a new piston engine to market.…. Its tough for many reasons. First off, GA has been dying for decades and only a relatively hand full of new aircraft need engines, so there is absolutely no incentive for the 2 monopolies to introduce anything new… it’s too expensive for such a small market. Moreover, they own 90% of the market worldwide, so there is little incentive to compete and no newcomers to force them to.

But this is really an opportunity for a disruptor that can think outside the box! That’s what I thought, but the FAA is hell bent on keeping GA in the dark ages, and really protects the 2 engine manufacturers. We developed an engine that met all the challenges (corsairV8.com)…. no need for leaded gas and could use almost any type of cheap car gas, has same emissions as modern car, cost 50% less to operate and would out perform the original cert engine. But FAA became biggest road block, much greater than any engineering task we had.

our engine is not theoretical, it was flying on a Cessna for hundreds of hours, doing everything we said it could do. We had engineering analysis and real time data, and applied for FAA grants given to companies developing cleaner energy solutions, but was straight out told they only fund lead gas alternatives to keep legacy engines flying and allowing the same engines to be produced.

So don’t expect any changes in GA in the engine Dept. To try, you need a lot of money and investment, that you are unlikely to find considering the potential return and liability risk. Toyota found this out after FAA certifying a GA piston engine. Trying to do as a small entity, is impossible as the FAA will bury you without using expensive DERs and costly basis, until you just give up and go away. I have been waiting almost a year for a written response concerning a common request that is immediately given to established companies, and forced into a holding pattern, simply being told time and time again they are working on it.

i think the next nail in GAs coffin will be new AVGAS alternative as many states will likely outlaw the leaded… the new fuels producer will have only 1 distributor and already stated it will cost more than AVGAS. I expect we will see average cost go up $1.50-$2.00/gal once the AVGAS production crawls to a drip. Most nations pay 2x or more than US, so it’s still a bargain in their eyes.

with insurance rates sky rocketing (if you can even get it), airports closing, shops closing, legacy aircraft being scrapped, few DPEs and DAR’s charging big cash, hangers and tie downs getting scarce and more expensive, GA is an endangered species and for the rich, and reason why experimental has grown so fast. But FAA has now started targeting them with restrictions on flight training waivers.

if you are not a member of AOPA or EAA, please consider it.
 

Grelly

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I've been watching Zoche, DeltaHawk, Dair, Wilksch, etc. for 20 plus years. Quite honestly, I think electric motors will get here before we have a mass-market diesel. They might as well pack up and go home. And I say that as a diesel fanatic.
 

Alan_VA

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I've been watching Zoche, DeltaHawk, Dair, Wilksch, etc. for 20 plus years. Quite honestly, I think electric motors will get here before we have a mass-market diesel. They might as well pack up and go home. And I say that as a diesel fanatic.
Same “eternal watch” here. I keep hoping, but there is absolutely zero incentive for the FAA to change either it’s written rules or it’s unwritten ones. Stated simply, bureaucracy exists for its own sake, with survival and expansion being Rule 1 and Rule 2. Electric-powered flight is very PC right now, so the elephant that is DC will either encourage it or at least not kill it in its infancy.
 

rv6ejguy

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Deltahawk prices will exceed $60K and you still can't buy one today- just around the corner though as they've been saying for 2 decades, just like Zoche, who promised production units in 2017. Haven't heard of one installed in a customer aircraft yet. Wilksch delivered a handful of engines but had a number of technical issues. In the end, they didn't burn any less fuel than a Lycoming running LOP and the maintenance costs were much higher due to the technical issues.

DH has spent over $80M according to their website. Going to take a while to get ROI there.

Continental has 3 certified aero diesels because they are a real company with real money and engineering to develop and produce engines. Diamond/ Austro also makes certified diesels, again a real company with the talent and money to do so. I wouldn't blame the FAA here for the failings of private companies to deliver the goods.
 
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PMD

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I've been watching Zoche, DeltaHawk, Dair, Wilksch, etc. for 20 plus years. Quite honestly, I think electric motors will get here before we have a mass-market diesel. They might as well pack up and go home. And I say that as a diesel fanatic.
We DO have mass-market diesels. I would hardly call Diamond an exception. Also: consider that Clunkinental now has a line from 135 to 300 HP. Austro self-evident at Diamond. SMA will hopefully some day get their act together and sell more 305s and their 460 - both genuine genav aircraft engines in no uncertain terms - as is RED. Again: ALL CERTIFIED AND IN PRODUCTION (except SMA 460) and available right now.

You cited the "big two", but don't forget that BRP Rotax outsells both of them combined by in numbers of engines (not sure about $$$, but should be close). Noteable that EPS has come to a grinding halt while working through the certification process (hope they can get funded and back on tract). What is missing is LIGHT WEIGHT aircraft diesels - that means 2 stroke. ALL of the mentioned above are a fair bit on the porky side. Instead of stock manipulators what is needed is an actual engine company to come into the picture.

Yes, the E
 

skydawg

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The issue really comes down to cost. Continental diesel conversions are too expensive for normal GA markets.…a Continental C172 conversion cost over $100k. This appeals to operators where AVGAS is expensive or unavailable.…not a good deal for USA aircraft Or markets with somewhat cheap AVGAS.

But I think even USA will see AVGAS get more expensive in the next couple of years due to the new alternative recently approved and lower demand as GA continues to shrink. States have already said they will prohibit AVGAS sales …as California has, which is largest GA market in the world, so production of AVGAS will likely significant drop and cost go up in at least the western areas. Some expect this new gas will cost over $8/gal in a few years as avgas gets more expensive, which is still a lot cheaper than in Europe.

As GA shrinks, cost will continue to increase as less insurance carriers will exist, few shops, fewer airports, few parts needed, ect.

if you can, I’d get a MOGAS STC if your engine allows. The V8 engine on my C172 is flex fuel rated and I put the cheapest car gas in it, and get a tax rebate for off highway use. i went from over $60/hr with original O320 engine to less than $20//hr with fuel and overhaul reserves, much because of fuel. My buddy takes his commercial pilot check ride in it next week, and the check ride will cost more than the 40 hours of aircraft training cost. My daughter will likely have her PPL for less than $1500 for aircraft expense for 60 hours of training, as opposed to over $8k renting a c172 from local school @$135/hr. Diesels can’t come close in cost anytime soon.

There‘s a lot of talk about GA growing now, but reality most is flight schools pandering to future airline pilot demand training, most of which will never fly a piston aircraft again after getting a jet job.

diesels are fine for those that can afford it. GA continues it’s demise because of cost barriers mostly, and diesels are not the solution, especially for retrofitting legacy piston fleet. Electric planes same considering acquisition cost and limited utility for the foreseeable future for average GA pilot. The solution has to be a way to make existing legacy aircraft cheaper to fly.
 

tspear

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@skydawg

Actually with GAMI G100UL or Swift's (assuming they make it through the STC), there is hope that avgas prices only go up a little bit. The reality is the margin and volume for 100LL keeps shrinking, so refineries are not making it as often. The reason the refineries keep increasing the interval between making batches is 100LL requires dedicated equipment, and cannot be part of a slip stream run. Anything which TEL touches, must be cleaned before it can be used for other runs. The translation is the refinery effectively shuts down, does a batch of 100LL, then spends a few days cleaning before resuming normal operations. At some point, this requirement for TEL will put 100LL in a death spiral as there is not enough demand.

The Swift fuel (last I read) and GAMI's do NOT require the plant to shutdown; and do not require special equipment. The result, lower capital requirements, no special cleaning, and can done as needed without shutting down the plant. In fact, refineries can make the new fuels while still producing other fuels. This will do more to keep aviation viable.

Tim
 

PMD

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@skydawg

Actually with GAMI G100UL or Swift's (assuming they make it through the STC), there is hope that avgas prices only go up a little bit. The reality is the margin and volume for 100LL keeps shrinking, so refineries are not making it as often......... This will do more to keep aviation viable.

Tim
Just to put this subject into perspective: IIRC there are only 2 refineries left in North America making avgas, one in Edmonton AB and the other on the Gulf coast. You can't transport it in a pipeline (due to lead) so it has to be shipped by rail or road - a VERY expensive proposition. Pretty much every and any refinery on Earth produces jet fuel and diesel, so they become THE logical choice for that (amongst many, many other) reason(s).
 
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