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Tue, Nov 09, 2004

CERTIFIED: EASA Blesses 310HP Thielert Diesel

The diesel revolution is moving forward. According to the folks at Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH (TAE), the 310 HP Centurion 4.0 "has achieved type certification according to EASA requirements for the CENTURION 4.0 on 28 October 2004."

The CENTURION 4.0 is a V8-engine that runs on conventional (and plentiiful) jet fuel. Thielert notes that "this is now the third innovative jet fuel aircraft engine which TAE has succeeded in certifying for General Aviation aircraft. The type certification was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Cologne. The CENTURION 4.0 generates 310 bhp and reduces operating costs by up to 70 percent compared with conventional avgas engines, which have to be operated with highly leaded aviation fuel. The engine is scheduled to make its maiden flight in the second quarter of 2005."

"For us, the type certification of the CENTURION 4.0 signifies a further milestone in the development of our CENTURION jet fuel aircraft engine programme. In conjunction with the CENTURION 1.7, we now cater fully to two performance categories," explained Frank Thielert, managing director and founder of TAE. Just like the CENTURION 1.7, the CENTURION 4.0 has been designed on the basis of tried-and-trusted components from automotive production. "By using ready-developed components from the automotive industry, we reduce our development costs and, as such, the price of our engines. The market calls for modern, cost-saving engines. For this reason, we regard a medium-term sales figure of 600 CENTURION 4.0 engines per annum as realistic," said Thielert.

The V8 engine works according to the diesel principle. From its four-litre displacement, it generates 228 kW (310 bhp) and provides a torque of 946 Nm (698 ft.lb) to the propeller. TAE equips all of its CENTURION engines with true single level control and a fully electronic engine and propeller management system (FADEC). Common rail technology, direct injection, turbo charging, liquid cooling and reduction gear go to complete the state-of-the-art equipment features. After being awarded the type certification on 28 October 2004, the CENTURION 4.0 is now approved for the exclusive use with jet fuel (kerosine). Within the scope of the "Life Time Extension" programme, the "Time Between Replacement" is gradually being extended upwards to 2000 hours. TAE anticipates that this certification will have been validated by the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S. by the second quarter of 2005.

TAE, a medium-sized company from Saxony in Germany, has been developing, certifying and manufacturing jet fuel aircraft engines for small General Aviation aircraft since 1999. A flying hour in a conventional petrol engine in the Cessna 172 class costs roughly 70 euros (nearly $89, as of 11/08/04), the CENTURION 1.7 costs less than 34 euros (a little over $43, as of 11/08/04). Even greater savings are possible depending on the performance setting and the fuel price. The CENTURION 1.7 can be fitted in single or twin engined motor-powered aircraft with a take-off weight of up to 3800 lb, such as the Cessna 172, Piper PA28 and Diamond DA40 belong to this category. The more powerful CENTURION 4.0 is to be deployed in four to six-seater passenger aircraft with up to a 6000 lb take-off weight. At present, a number of development engines have been fitted in well-known aircraft. A maiden flight is expected in the second quarter of 2005.

FMI: www.centurion-engines.com

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