Socata's MS 180 and MS 250 Morane light singles are the first applications for new technology Morane Renault direct injection diesel piston engines which run on jet fuel or Avtur.
Morane Renault is the marketing name for the Societe de Motorisations Aeronautiques (SMA), jointly established in 1997 by Socata parent Aerospatiale and Renault Sport, the motorsport arm of the French car manufacturer, to develop new technology piston engines for use by Socata and other aircraft builders.
Morane Renault is currently developing three new diesel direct injection turbocharged engines, the direct drive 135kW (180hp) MR 180, and the geared 185kW (250hp) MR 250 and 225kW (300hp) MR 300. The major benefit of these engines is that they will run on jet fuel, which is cheaper and more readily available than Avgas. The engines will be computer controlled, allowing the use of a single power lever on aircraft they power.
The MR engines will cost about the same as conventional piston engines, but operating costs are predicted to be as much as 30 to 40% lower due to a 3000 hour TBO (time between overhaul), lower maintenance costs, better fuel efficiency and the affordability of jet fuel.
A Morane Renault engine got airborne for the first time aboard a modified Socata Trinidad on March 3 1998. This was an MR 250 derated to 150kW (200hp) due to a gearbox limitation. Morane Renault expects the engines to be certificated in late 1999.
Socata's new Morane singles will be the first applications for the new technology engines. The MS 180 will be based on the fixed undercarriage TB 10 Tobago but powered by an MR 180, while the MR 250 powered MS 250 is based on the retractable undercarriage Trinidad. First deliveries are planned for 2000.
In addition, Socata plans to offer an MR 300 powered development of its Epsilon two seat trainer as the MS 300 and is looking at a development of the TB 360 with Morane power.
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