New Diesel Aircraft Engine Makes First Run
By Fareed Guyot, Manager – Electronic Publications, EAA 388642
Engineered Propulsion Systems' prototype diesel aircraft engine has a target output of 350 to 400 horsepower that will run on both diesel and Jet A.
November 23, 2011 – A mid-range diesel engine designed specifically for medium single- and some twin-engine GA aircraft ran for the first time last week. Built by Engineered Propulsion Systems of New Richmond, Wisconsin, the prototype engine is a 4.4 liter liquid-cooled flat eight or “flat vee” featuring a 180 degree “v” with a target output of 350 to 400 horsepower that will run on both diesel and Jet A.
“We are very happy with this engine so far,” said Steve Weinzierl, EPS vice president. “We think the flat vee is the first diesel to be weight-competitive with both the Continental 550 and Lycoming 540 engines.”
EPS began work on the first prototype engine in January and completed the build just a few weeks ago. Weinzierl says the engine is lighter because it was designed from the beginning as an aircraft engine and was not a conversion from an auto engine. The engine was strategically designed for GA singles such as the Cessna 182 and the Cirrus SR22.
“The engine is 4.5 hours old,” Weinzierl continued. “We are doing our initial engine calibrations and due to the time of year we started with the cold weather calibrations first. The engine is running without incident and has already been pulled apart and put back together.”
This week EPS ran the engine again for initial and potential future investors, who got to see the engine set-up as it would look if it was ready to be installed on an airframe. The SR22 served as the target airframe as they optimized the engine installation.The next step for the project, which includes Dick Rutan as a flight advisor, is to further test and develop the engine and try to fly it to Oshkosh in 2012; however, Weinzierl believes that will be a tall order.