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TripleDelta
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The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:51 pm

From Avweb's Avflash http://www.avweb.com/eletter/archives/avflash/280-full.html#187987, about a Diamond Twin Star:

"The company says the diesel-powered twin (the same plane that was at AirVenture) averaged a fuel burn of just 5.74 gph (2.87 per side) on a flight from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Porto, Portugal..."

"He had five hours of fuel left when he landed at Porto. According to Diamond, this is the first nonstop trans-Atlantic crossing by a diesel-powered aircraft."

All I can say is: WOW! Unbelievable! Can't wait for these to become widespread. Schools will love them  Smile/happy/getting dizzy. Is it feasible to convert an avgas burner to Diesel though?
No plane, no gain.
 
PPGMD
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:23 pm

28.6 NMPG

Jesus that's better fuel economy than my car. This might make a good business light twin because the fuel costs would be reasonably near that of a car. My only wonder what the MX costs will be.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
L-188
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:30 pm

Yeah but how much tailwind did he have PPGMD.

That is why GPH is a much more meaningful measure of fuel economy
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desertjets
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:48 pm

The pilots were only using a 46% power setting. I wonder what a more realistic cruise setting would yield. Probably still pretty impressive I imagine.

The real benefit of the diesel is that it will run Jet-A... some are even certified to run regular old diesel fuel as well. That and the diesel is a far much simplier engine and has a longer TBO out of the box. I believe the SMA engine has a 3000 hour TBO. No reason not to think as more of them become operational and come back to the factory for rebuilds that the TBO will not become longer.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
PPGMD
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:39 am

Yeah but how much tailwind did he have PPGMD

Realized that after I posted it, but it does look interesting.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:53 am

Hi guys.

>> TripleDelta, you asked this question ............

"Is it feasible to convert an avgas burner to Diesel though?"

I haven't read any articles about converting an avgas engine into one that will burn diesel fuel, but there are pure diesel engines being installed into GA airplanes ...... which you're obviously aware of, so the info below is simply some additional info on this topic. Big grin

Here's some info from a small article in Flying magazine (the February 2004 issue) titled "Diesel Engine STD'd in Cessna 182.

"French manufacturer SMA earned French supplemental type certification for the installation of it's SR305-230 turbo-diesel engine in the Cessna 182. The engine received it's FAA certification in August of 2002. The STC is the first of a series that SMA will pursue with partners over the next year. The company is also developing an STC to install the diesel engine in Piper PA-28-series airplanes. SMA also delivered a diesel engine to Cirrus Design, which is studying the possible use of the engine in an SR20."

Here's some links about diesel engines for GA aircraft ...........

http://www.flyingmag.com/article.asp?section_id=&article_id=372

http://www.wilksch.com/TodaysPilot-Nov03.htm

http://www.dieselair.com

http://www.smaengines.com/english/main.htm (click on the SR305-230 engine).


Chris  Smile
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PPGMD
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:00 am

The STC also contains a letter saying, "Yes, this pilot is sane, please put JA in this Cessna."  Big grin

Took a Riddle prof some time to convince a fueler that he was sane.  Smile
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
aviopic
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:03 am

Diesel is a lot more compatible to jetfuel, infect jetfuel in your diesel powered car works fine just don't forget to add a little oil.
Avgas is pretty much compatible to a normal fuel albeit of a higher octane.
Yes i tried it in my car(no diesel of course) as well and it runs even better then normal fuel hehe  Smile/happy/getting dizzy especially my bike goes like a rocket ship but tends to run a little hot though.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
baw2198
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:41 am

SMA, ok so they have the bucks to convert a 182 to diesel but they still burn the same GPH the avgas engine does, so there's virtually no incentive to make the switch. According to the last aviation magizine that I read (can't remember which one at the moment).

What happened to the german guy that came up with an inline 4 turbo diesel that was liquid cooled, put it on pa28, and got 4.6 GPH at 4300rpm (engine) prop was at 2450 and all this was at an 85% pwr setting. This should be the guy that the aviation community should be pushing to make the conversions.
"And remember, Keep your stick on the ice"--->Red Green
 
PPGMD
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:22 am

Baw2198,

In some markets, 100LL is more expensive than JA, or nearly impossible to find. In the US we are blessed with relatively low 100LL prices, and because GA is a big enough industry nearly every airport has it.

One other advantage of the AV diesel engines is a higher TBO (right now it's only aimed at 3,000 hours, but the hope to get it higher), single lever operation, all engines are super charged so it will improve high altitude performance, among other improvements.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
saab2000
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:17 am

I think that the diesel engine will be the most important developent in GA airplanes since good GPS became available.

It always seemed absurd to me that airplane engines used pre-WWII techonology when even the least expensive cars had better stuff. Additionally, ridding the world of leaded gasoline will be a good thing.

Now I am pretty lucky in that I fly with turbines, but I think that the diesel will be an important developement of recip engines.

Just my $.02
smrtrthnu
 
liamksa
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:52 pm

The Centurions which power the DA-42 don't actually have a TBO they have a TBR - Time Between Replacement. It's currently at 1000 hrs but they're targeting 2400.

From the sounds of it the DA-42 is an awesome aircraft - about time GA took a step forward!  Big thumbs up
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Wed Aug 25, 2004 6:09 pm

Very true. Yet I guess that this engine change will be most welcome by flight schools since:

1.) the plane burns drastically less fuel, important for training a/c that are on the go a lot

2.) there is a standardization of fuel among the various types the school can operate (say a Skyhawk or Warrior can now use the same fuel as a Cheyenne)

3.) it makes life simpler for the low-hour student - so far, all Diesels I have seen in magazines or on the net, don't have a mixture control, just a single throttle lever. For a new and inexperienced pilot, one lever less means a great deal. Though I'll miss adjusting the mixture every now and then...  Big thumbs up
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phollingsworth
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:39 pm

Diesel is a lot more compatible to jetfuel, infect jetfuel in your diesel powered car works fine just don't forget to add a little oil.
Avgas is pretty much compatible to a normal fuel albeit of a higher octane.
Yes i tried it in my car(no diesel of course) as well and it runs even better then normal fuel hehe   especially my bike goes like a rocket ship but tends to run a little hot though.


Yup, the problem with Jet A is that is has both a lower lubrosity and viscosity when compared to Diesel. This leads to problems with fuels pumps etc.

As for Avgas. Higher octane fuels are generally less energetic. Therefore, the only way that you would get more power out of a gasoline motor is if the timing had been retarded to deal with pre-ignition problems. Most modern electronically controlled cars will adjust as necessary. However, I don't know about your bike.

Incidentally, you can get many of the benefits of these diesels with new FADEC gas engines. Though they will have a lower overall efficiency. Also the aircraft designed for the typical engines are not the most appropriate choice. The engines will show much greater benefits on newly designed aircraft, e.g., the Diamond twin-star.
 
cx346
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:58 pm

i thought diesel had a temperature problem below -20F. Is jetstream flight feasible with diesel????
 
PPGMD
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Thu Aug 26, 2004 10:48 pm

Cx346,

Maybe, but I don't think that jetstream flight is within the market for most of the diesel conversions. Also they burn JA, instead of diesel, it's just that the engine operates on the diesel principals.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
radelow
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Sun Aug 29, 2004 8:13 am

In regards to low temps, there are additives that can combat the low temp problem. One thing that people have missed in this discussion is how reliable diesels are. There is very little go wrong and once the motor is running there really is no ignition system to speak of (diesels run on detonation effectively). The only electronic system involved in running a diesel motor is the high pressure injection system.

One other great thing is you can run a diesel on BioDiesel which is diesel made from soy beans or other plant material. I had a 2003 VW Golf turbo diesel. With some simple modifications I was making over 160hp and 280 ft. lbs. of torque. This from a 1.9 liter turbo diesel. Oh and I got 55+ mpg on the freeway (try 750 MILES from one tank of diesel).

Diesels are just awesome.

Mark
 
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Sun Aug 29, 2004 12:30 pm

thought diesel had a temperature problem below -20F. Is jetstream flight feasible with diesel????

Diesel is a member of the Kerosene family of fuels, which include Kerosene (duh!  Laugh out loud ) Jet fuels, home heating oil. All of these fuels are very similar and in many cases will run equipment designed for other members of the family.

When we are talking about aviation diesels, most of of them are being built with jet fuel in mind, which has been flying aircraft at altitude for several years. There are additives to the jet fuel to keep it warm enough for use at altitude or tank heaters, and apparently they do work because planes have been flying at those heights for many many years now. Diesles do have a higher gel point then Jet A, In fact out in the bush of Alaska a lot of times the construction crews would specifiy a Jet delivery rather then diesel to their constuction equipment because it is usable at colder temps.
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7574EVER
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Sun Aug 29, 2004 2:32 pm

The flight school I'm working at is supposed to be getting a twin star sometime early next year. I can't wait to fly that thing! OH! and the smell of Jet A. God I love my job! (well, most of the time Big grin)
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747400sp
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:02 am

I thought jet fuel was a modified version of diesel. In the USN DFM (Diesel Fuel Marine) and JP5 are similar.
 
pilotpip
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:45 am

Quoting Baw2198 (Reply 8):
SMA, ok so they have the bucks to convert a 182 to diesel but they still burn the same GPH the avgas engine does, so there's virtually no incentive to make the switch. According to the last aviation magizine that I read (can't remember which one at the moment).

Jet fuel is usually less expensive at most GA airports. FBOs pump more of it. Just from that standpoint it would save money over Avgas.
DMI
 
Dougloid
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:44 am

Seems like Mr. Junkers made a pretty good aero diesel way back when....don't know why everyone's so surprised....the Packard diesel was a turd, though.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:22 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 21):
Seems like Mr. Junkers made a pretty good aero diesel way back when....don't know why everyone's so surprised....

But the Junkers diesel was a big & bulky affair that was somewhat prone to failures and complex to maintain. Plus it was a military design with safety limits and lifetime cut down, not exactly the ideal for civil aviation.

What is interesting now is that there's finally a compact, GA-usable diesel-based engine that works and has, so far, shown some great results. It may have taken 50+ years, but the advancement from the Junkers to the Thielert is a noteworthy one.
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:51 am

The 100LL versus alternative fuels debate is largely chicken or the egg. Ask yourself this, do you think that most FBO's are going to put in a new diesel tank until their is sufficient demand to justify the investment? I'd guess no.

Do you think most people are going to buy an aircraft if it significantly reduces the number of places they can fly to because of the availability of fuel? My guess is NO.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
pelican
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:26 am

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 22):
What is interesting now is that there's finally a compact, GA-usable diesel-based engine that works and has, so far, shown some great results. It may have taken 50+ years, but the advancement from the Junkers to the Thielert is a noteworthy one.

I wonder why (or what) it needed so much time. I - as a layman - have wondered why nobody (?) followed Junckers Jumo 204, which was btw a civilian engine.

pelican
 
pilotpip
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:29 am

Quoting Pope (Reply 23):
The 100LL versus alternative fuels debate is largely chicken or the egg. Ask yourself this, do you think that most FBO's are going to put in a new diesel tank until their is sufficient demand to justify the investment? I'd guess no.

Do you think most people are going to buy an aircraft if it significantly reduces the number of places they can fly to because of the availability of fuel? My guess is NO.

Thielert engines are only certified for Jet-A in the US. No new tanks, no new trucks. Most FBOs already have Jet-A tanks and many at larger airports would love to get rid of 100LL all together.

[Edited 2006-12-05 00:30:50]
DMI
 
KELPkid
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:22 am

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 7):
Yes i tried it in my car(no diesel of course) as well and it runs even better then normal fuel hehe Smile/happy/getting dizzy especially my bike goes like a rocket ship but tends to run a little hot though.

If your car is relatively new, that is a good way to ruin your catalytic converter and/or oxygen sensor, putting Avgas in the tank. Lead will foul both of these components.
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Pope
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:58 am

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 25):
Most FBOs already have Jet-A tanks and many at larger airports would love to get rid of 100LL all together.

Most FBO's do not have Jet-A. You might have said, most large FBO's have Jet-A but the vast majority of airfields in the US served by FBO's do not .

While most airports would love to get rid of 100LL, there simply isn't a viable alternative. Both the FAA and Cessna commissioned studies in the last 4 years looking for a drop in replacement for tetraethyl lead (the lead in 100LL). They told the submitters to ignore cost, economic viability, distribution infrastructure problems or any practical considerations. IIRC something like 20+ fuel blends were submitted. The fuels were tested against the existing ASTM avgas standard. I think that no blend met more 1 or 2 of the 30 or so specifications necessary for certification.

Furthermore, clean up cost associated with 100LL tanks are huge and it's an all or nothing proposition. In addition to cleaning up the tanks, you have to buy new delivery trucks. All the while you'll have the majority of the GA fleet that needs 100LL to fly under the airworthiness certificate the plane/engine combination was issued.
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Dougloid
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:08 am

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 22):
But the Junkers diesel was a big & bulky affair that was somewhat prone to failures and complex to maintain. Plus it was a military design with safety limits and lifetime cut down, not exactly the ideal for civil aviation.

On the contrary...Junkers diesel aircraft engines were used by Lufthansa in passenger service. The safety record was very good, particularly when the airplane hit the ground and tried to set itself on fire.

The Jumo 205 weighed 1,257 pounds, gave 560 hp, and had a sfc of .375-.396 out of 1,104 cubic inches. The 206 gave 1050 hp from 1525 cubic inches, and the 207 was a high altitude turbocharged engine that gave 1,000 hp with stellar high altitude performance. German photorecon aircraft, particularly the JU86P could operate at high altitudes because of the efficiency of its diesel engines. They were at their best in steady state cruising, which made them not so good in military emergency situations.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
pilotpip
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:11 am

Quoting Pope (Reply 27):
Most FBO's do not have Jet-A. You might have said, most large FBO's have Jet-A but the vast majority of airfields in the US served by FBO's do not .

I don't know where you live, but in the midwest if the airport has a runway that is longer than 4000 feet, it will have Jet-A in 90% of the cases. If they don't they're just taking away potential business.

A replacement for 100LL is going to be very difficult to find. Refineries don't like making it because they have to shut down, retool, and make a relatively small batch of fuel that nationwide accounts for less than .1% of all petrolium fuels used in the US. In many states more widespread usage of ethenol makes the fuel unusable in aircraft with autogas STCs. I also recall AOPA making a big stink about a year ago when one of the major TEL producers had to shut down.

If I owned a 172, I'd put a Theilert in it when it came time for overhaul. The fuel cost savings alone would make up for it.
DMI
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:58 pm

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 28):
The Jumo 205 weighed 1,257 pounds, gave 560 hp, and had a sfc of .375-.396 out of 1,104 cubic inches. The 206 gave 1050 hp from 1525 cubic inches, and the 207 was a high altitude turbocharged engine that gave 1,000 hp with stellar high altitude performance. German photorecon aircraft, particularly the JU86P could operate at high altitudes because of the efficiency of its diesel engines. They were at their best in steady state cruising, which made them not so good in military emergency situations.

I thought, and I believe read somewhere though I can place the source, that the Junkers diesels were a bit temperamental and required careful handling - at least the ones used on the Ju-86P.

Quoting Pelican (Reply 24):
I wonder why (or what) it needed so much time. I - as a layman - have wondered why nobody (?) followed Junckers Jumo 204, which was btw a civilian engine.

Probably the abundant reserves and sources of oil in the post-WW2 world made fuel-efficient engines - that didn't perform, in all aspects together, as well as avgas ones - just plain unnecessary. Before and during WW2 the diesel was still an uncommon solution, aviation-wise, one that was probably tried to see if it will give any notable advancement or benefit over "normal" engines. Nowadays it's the question of fuel prices.
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Dougloid
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:40 am

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 30):
Probably the abundant reserves and sources of oil in the post-WW2 world made fuel-efficient engines - that didn't perform, in all aspects together, as well as avgas ones - just plain unnecessary. Before and during WW2 the diesel was still an uncommon solution, aviation-wise, one that was probably tried to see if it will give any notable advancement or benefit over "normal" engines. Nowadays it's the question of fuel prices.

True...and for the same reasons the Packard radial diesel was a notorious flop.

Apparently the opposed piston idea was one that a number of folks were thinking about-although they didn't do aircraft engines, Fairbanks Morse did and still does build OPs, and they are very good engines. I myself have seen a pair of them in stationary service at the city utilities department of Lamoni, Iowa....

http://www.fairbanksmorse.com/corporate_overview.php

Check out Herschel Smith, A History of Aircraft Piston Engines...it's a swell addition to any motorhead's bookshelf.
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APFPilot1985
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RE: The Future Of Diesel Engines...looks Bright

Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:28 am

I have been flying the DA-42 a lot recently and it is an amazing aircraft. All of the benefits that we get from the motors are great, it is quieter, increased range, and the FADEC.
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