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Continental to go diesel

July 30, 2012, 02:09 pm

Continental Motors announced at the Experimental Aviation Association's AirVenture event that it is going to develop a line of diesel engines ranging from 160 hp to 350 hp.

Rhett Ross, Continental's president, said the company plans to certify its first diesel engines by this year and have it on the production line by the first quarter of 2013. He added that the diesel engines will be implemented in three models: the TD220, with a range of 160-180 hp, the TD300, with a range of 200-250 hp and the TD450 with a range of 300-350 hp.

The TD300 will be in production by the beginning of next year, while the TD450 will begin in 2015 and the TD220.

The turbo diesel line uses the piston aviation engine model. The engines will be able to run on a variety of fuels and will be characterized by horizontally opposed cylinders, direct propeller drive and electronic controls.

“We don’t have a horse in this race,” Ross said, referring to the search for an alternative to 100LL. “We desire a 100LL unleaded drop-in replacement, but we are not going to wait for it. We need to support the industry by providing engines that operate on fuel that the oil companies provide us.”

Pilots are encouraged to obtain pilot insurance, especially with new advancements and the inevitability of a diesel aviation future.

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