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Thu, Jul 30, 2009

Gemini 100 Diesel Engine Completes Fuel Mapping

Deliveries Could Begin In 8 Months

By: Chris Batcheller

Powerplant Develpoments recently completed mapping the fuel up to 100 hp on the Gemeni 100 engine. “We’ve put 26 hours running the final design in the last two months” said Poweplant Development’s Tim Archer. He noted that the next step is to run the engine with the programed ECU (Engine Control Unit). He expects that will happen in the next 2-4 weeks. He noted that the company has received production cases and will assemble the engines soon.

Tim Archer

The company along with Westlake Engineering has worked through a few issues in the last year. These included designing a new supercharger driveshaft and reducing the size of the injector nozzles.  Tim Archer noted that the testing has gone well and they have run the engine to 105 hp. 

The Gemini 100 engine is a unique opposed-piston design. This three cylinder, six piston engine has two crankshafts that are located under two large black covers on the engine.  The engine is unique because the pistons push in toward each other.  There is no traditional valve train in this engine, eliminating many moving parts. The engine has an integral supercharger and mechanical high pressure fuel injection pump.  It is controlled by an ECU with electronic injectors. 

Further simplifying the design is the backup mode in the event of an electrical failure. The engine does not require a backup battery, but one can be installed.   Power is required for the ECU and the fuel injectors.

Because there are fewer moving parts, maintenance is reduced and the engine is light weight. The engine is expected to weigh 191 lbs installed with all operating fluids, which is less than a Continental 0-200. 

Tim Archer noted that they will begin to deliver engines to deposit holders in the next 8 months. He also said that some OEM’s will also receive engines to begin installations on airframes.  He expects to begin delivery to all other customers in the next 12 months. 

This is one engine to watch. It’s lightweight and simple in operation. Hopefully next year at Oshkosh, we will see the Gemini 100 on the flight line.  The company also has several bigger engines planned. 

FMI: http://www.ppdgemini.com

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