DeltaHawk

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

plncraze

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
2,128
There is only one place making tetra ethyl lead. Their main customer is Indonesia.
 

tspear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,053
Location
Outside Boston
There are at least 5 places making TEL actually. Most in China.
It has been a while, but I had seen multiple presentations and people state there is only one company in the Britain which makes and supplies TEL to the USA.
There are a few plants doing small batch production in China to supply other parts of the world; such as for the last of the leaded moto gas. However, none of the TEL plants in China have been tested or gone through the process for certification to supply TEL to the USA. The volume was not considered worth the effort to switch suppliers for current avgas production.

Tim
 

PMD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2015
Messages
658
Location
Martensville SK
It would be easy to throw stones at Delta Hawk, but after raising and spending $80mm I think they have demonstrated some serious intent and staying power. At $90k FWF though, I can't see a rush of E/AB people lining up at their door, but I am not ready to lump them in with the Wilksch (that HAS delivered some flying E/AB engines) and Zoche. What DOES puzzle me is how they want to reach FAA cert status before releasing anything to the E/AB crowd???? Yes, I know the Wilksch story, but if the auto conversion guys can pull this off, not sure why someone with $80mm behind them can't.

What I DO worry about is the cost of getting through FAA in the post-Max world. It killed EPS who were far closer to the finish line (IMHO). I wish them well and can see why they did many things the way they did (i.e. not being electronic dependent that is REALLY hard to do today).

Just a note to those interested in this topic: pretty much everything we have in genav powerplants at one time benefitted from some outside source of volume production. It was wartime for much of the stuff in the past, and in our much more peaceful world it has shifted to automobile production. To go down the light a/c route as a sole market is nearly impossible but requires pretty much UAV/drone military applications to make the economics work (as happens at Lycoming with their diesel). Problem is: you need the engine first to get the contract, but you need the R&D money to make the engine first and that is not easy (ask the people at Delta Hawk and they will probably have some horror stories).
 

rv6ejguy

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
4,702
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
My understanding is that much of the Chinese TEL production is for their own avgas market used mostly for primary flight training. They have around 140 flight schools in 25 provinces.
 

rv6ejguy

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
4,702
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Engine certification for smaller companies is often a recipe for bankruptcy and long delays in getting into production but it seems they never learn.

Releasing into the EXP market first brings in money, allows valuable field experience to improve the final design, slowly ramp production and gives you something to show the FAA. It increases your chance of success in the end when you decide to certify IMO.
 
Last edited:

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
15,836
Location
Memphis, TN
I think it’s not just bankruptcies, it’s investment fraud, even if unintentional. You get $50m for development of a product and at $50,000 each how long does it take to make some money. If you take it out of development, you loose protection. Investors will want what they were promised. “The Producers”.

In the beginning it probably could have been low volume product at the $1m mark. Investors wanting a government contract ride end up throwing money at them. I’m sure one powering a Predator was on their mind. You can’t go home now. You go to jail. If they stop advertising, they go to jail. The money was spent a long tim ago. They can’t pay it back selling a hundred engines. They have to keep face. Not one part of it has to do with engineering or manufacturing. They need a government contract for $200m to sell one homebuilt engine for $50k.
 

rv6ejguy

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
4,702
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I might add that ramping up to produce 100s of engines per year and supporting them is vastly different from producing a handful of prototypes over a decade and doing no support. Even with the cert in place, it doesn't mean you can be successful. There would be a big cash outlay to put in production, assembly, QC, testing, shipping, receiving and support facilities. Lots to learn for a new company with no experience in these areas.
 

PMD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2015
Messages
658
Location
Martensville SK
Yes, what Ross said. Production to certified standards is a whole different world from production in general. Thus, why I believe the "natural" path for a new engine is to spend some time in the HB/A market to learn what works and what doesn't before you commit to certification and certified production. Once you have a TC it can be a world of hurt (spelled in cubic dollar$) to change anything.
 

lelievre12

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
161
Its an interesting discussion on the value (or not) of a Type Certificate. Plenty of US engine makers, some with certificated engines, have gone out of business over the years. Category:Defunct aircraft engine manufacturers of the United States - Wikipedia

And many experimental makers try to certify their engines in order to achieve a recognised level of reliability with subsequent market acceptance. One small maker in Australia (Jabiru Aircraft) I think did certify their 2200C engine for a period of time. However I think they have now reverted to supplying experimental engines only?

Many European makers seem to aim directly at certification I guess as the main customers in Europe would be Diamond Aircraft and other certified airframe makers whom can only fit certified engines. So along with the 'big guys' (Lycoming,Rotax etc) there are many 'smaller' Otto and Diesel makers in Europe whom go straight to EASA certification.

Austro EASA certification
Thielert/Continental Aerospace Technologies EASA Certification
SMA EASA Certification
Limbach Engines EASA Certification
Sauer Engines EASA Certification
Solo Engines EASA Certification
Diesel Jet Engines EASA Certification

Even electric engines are now getting certified in Europe with the Pipistrel E-811 Engine
E-811 EASA Certification

All of these engines have direct use in Experimental airframes and many kit makers (eg Vans Aircraft) recommend only certified engines for reliability reasons. This is a common sense approach which tries to limit the 'risk' of an experimental airframe with the 'reliability' and mandated AD's of a certified engine. Isn't that what we all want?

Given how many successful certifications are listed under EASA puts a glaring spotlight on the FAA process. If certification under FAA is a "recipe for bankruptcy" then why should homebuilders be required to take the risk burden? Why cant the FAA get its s**t together to allow the variety of small makers in the USA a straightforward route to certification? The 'status quo' stinks right now and folks lose their lives for no reason when their home made engines quit. The fact that Deltahawk and others have taken so long to certify in the USA is as much an indictment on the FAA as the companies themselves.
 
Last edited:

tspear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,053
Location
Outside Boston
A while back I read Diamond spent 67 Million Euro to make the AE300; using a stock MB engine. Basically to get certified, they spent 67 Euro which is/was about $100 million USD to address accessories, cooling and ignition systems.
All the other ventures you see, such as DeltaHawk, are severely underfunded when you do that kind of math.

Tim
 

arj1

Active Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
39
Location
UK
A while back I read Diamond spent 67 Million Euro to make the AE300; using a stock MB engine. Basically to get certified, they spent 67 Euro which is/was about $100 million USD to address accessories, cooling and ignition systems.
All the other ventures you see, such as DeltaHawk, are severely underfunded when you do that kind of math.

Tim
Tim, please note that Diamond is a large company, and as it always happens, the bigger you are, the more you are going to spend on process and extras. I think if it was a small group of people going in the "skunk works"-mode (c) Lockheed, it would have been a fraction of that cost.
 

tspear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,053
Location
Outside Boston
Tim, please note that Diamond is a large company, and as it always happens, the bigger you are, the more you are going to spend on process and extras. I think if it was a small group of people going in the "skunk works"-mode (c) Lockheed, it would have been a fraction of that cost.
Actually, Diamond is not that large. And it was done in the skunkworks vein. A completely separate company, offices, space... everything. I read this was done for legal reasons, but whatever.

Tim
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
15,836
Location
Memphis, TN
I imagine that Diamond like Airbus has subsidies. Rotax. Globalization is a hard game. If everything is in your own boarder it’s an easier game to play. Grass is greener is hard. Lycoming and Continental would be just fine if little engines from Rotax never showed up. Same over their with ours. To complete and to save face EASA has to band together it’s members because the US market is still three times bigger than the rest of the world for flying airplanes. They are trying to create jobs. US people will buy up stuff with no income.

Engines like the DeltaHawk are not held back from regulation. They have run the engines and have test results to submit. They are held back because of Wall Street. Without an order for 500 engines from Cessna or a drone contract, it will not happen with the hole they dug. Dynacam was certified and the takeaway from that is don’t spend the certification submission money without an order. Take Toys R Us. A total viable company that was stripped because more money can be made in bankruptcy. Product is secondary. That is the sad part of the O-100. Pete was holding back the flood from this happening, but I can’t see it not being a chip in the game now. It will be traded up and up with no engines. It happed to model airplane engines Cox and K&B. I think the last uptrade for Cox was in the $20M for model airplane engines. Sears Wishbook catalog put a lot under trees. It fell apart and I think the assists were bought for $100K about 15 years ago. If you can keep it in house, you can be the Vans of experimental engines. That is what Vans did; little by little. He kept it mom and pop. It might be a gorilla in our world, but there are ice cream stands that make more money. The glow of becoming a millionaire kills it every time.
 

tspear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,053
Location
Outside Boston
Then how?!
Then how what? Did they spend the money? Easy, they did all the engineering, failure mode analysis and everything else and presented it and backed it up to EASA. The amount of data is huge; and you can see how it paid off in very few ADs. Last I checked, the AE300 has received as many ADs over the last decade as avgas engines that have been in production for decades.

The cheaper way to get there, sell to the experimental market, or the drone/military.

Tim
 

PMD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2015
Messages
658
Location
Martensville SK
The FAA is only one small part of the problem in certifying something and manufacturing in the USA. The BIG elephant in the corner of the room is the LLL (Legal Liability Lottery). When Cessna stopped making single engine piston aircraft in 78(?) 50% of the cost of building a 172 was insurance premiums. The most famous statement to that effect was the President of some big auto company commenting that the only way for a US manufacturer to beat the Japanese was to have Japan send over one engineer for each lawyer sent back to Japan. We have allowed all kinds of things that are actually completely outside of the world of business/manufacturing step in and take over what was once the engine of the economy. Finance is one. About 99% of what Wall Street does creates zero wealth, it merely redistributes money and inflates the money supply. As companies get scooped up by financiers for the purpose of cashing in on an M&A future, we lose the entrepreneurial and management skills to simply be productive. We have also let lawyers and insurance companies destroy pretty much everything that an entrepreneur can create. I once had a friend's business set up and fully approved to grind 737 brake rotors. The customer for that job went out of business before he could bring in a single rotor, but his children who have the business 40 years later hate me with a passion because it still causes a dramatic increase in their insurance premiums since they were once technically an aviation business - even though they never were. It is that kind of total BS that makes it stunningly expensive to try to do anything in aviation on this continent (yes, it spills over into Canada and I suspect Mexico as well).
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
15,836
Location
Memphis, TN
Regulation is a game. You can either afford to play or not. Wanting to change the rules is nice Fox News wailing, but reality is you step into the arena, you stepped into that game. Rules rarely change without revolution.

People like DeltaHawk and Dynacam spent the money. Given more money they spend it. They both have the game solved. Early on they could have stayed small, been a machine shop, kick out 50 engines a year, made a living, been something in the homebuilt pond. You get an investment of tens of millions after the leg work is done with the intent to go big, the whole world changes. What does a lobbyist cost?$200-500k a year? You still have the people who stuck with you, so there is 6-12 people you pay salary too, maybe inflated for a payback and to keep them around. The CEO and CFO definitely need a raise. It’s easy to spend the money. I’m not against investment but the wrong kind of motive always kills it, for these small companies. The people who invested? They still have plenty. Part of a game of win or loose.

My point above not to clearly is USA puts money before county. We clearly overall have so much money and consume to consume that we don’t care how we get it. EU wants to employ. China wants to build. They use money for best interest, not the interest. We are a sucker for a Ponzi. You can turn anything good into one.
 

skydawg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
107
Location
Denver, Colorado
Disagree. We are a democracy and ultimately in charge and responsible for government administration. the Faa allowed GA to stay in the dark ages because of the obstacles it set up that allow only the wealthy to make real change, not the little guy. Think if the FAA existed when the Wright bros wanted to build a flying machine. To your point, only larger can bring real innovation, and then control it, essentially a monopoly with government regulation as their strong arm. Experimentals are the only element keeping GA alive at this point, and now they are going after that starting with unfounded requirements for waivers to instruct in EXPs…… which you simply get by sending an email.

don’t expect the monopolies to come up with any practical solutions.
 
Top