Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Aircraft Propulsion(Diesel reciprocating Engine) ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Aircraft Propulsion(Diesel reciprocating Engine)
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: kachapol-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 11 Jun 2003 02:55 PDT
Expires: 11 Jul 2003 02:55 PDT
Question ID: 215947
Hello. I am Aerospace Technology student and I just have no idea about
aircraft diesel reciprocating engine so i would like to ask you for
help and i am looking forward to have about 2000 wards if you please.

What i want to know are:
1) Airframe/aero-engine combination, including design reasons chosen
for the combination(diesel engine)
2)General description of engine type.
3)Unusual feathres of the engine or its frame.
4)Engine specification-eg.Rating;Capacity;Main construtional

Please also define the source of information.

The soure of information i have hot in hand is but there is petrol
reciorocating rngine not a desel i want.

Also do not forget that i need a Aircraft engine only.

Thank you very much(Google reseachers team is my only hope) -_-'
Subject: Re: Aircraft Propulsion(Diesel reciprocating Engine)
Answered By: omnivorous-ga on 11 Jun 2003 22:12 PDT
Kachapol - -

Diesel engine use in aircraft is a current design issue, as
manufacturers seek new designs that will eliminate the continued use
of low-lead fuels.  Switching to diesel fuel will allow general
aviation aircraft to use commonly available diesel fuel instead of
avgas, which is an increasingly small percentage of the refined fuel
market.  In remote places avgas is virtually impossible to find,
though diesel fuel or Jet A may be readily available.

More benefits than cost-savings and the elimination of lead come from
the use of diesel designs.  Engineers also hope to increase
time-before-overhaul (TBO), simplify the engine,  move to single-lever
controls from complex leaning systems, and give a power plant that
runs smoother, as this article in the Racine (WI) Journal-Times notes:
DeltaHawk Engines
"Engine research puts Racine on aviation map "(Jan. 11, 2001)

Diesels also eliminate some of the design problems of gasoline-powered
piston engines, including magneto systems, vapor-lock problems,
carburetor icing, high piston and turbine inlet temperatures, and use
of a highly-explosive gasoline.
Diesel engine use isn't new in aircraft.  In fact, it was pioneered by
Zeppelin in airships after World War I.  But subsequent years
developed lightweight normally aspirated piston engines, as well as
turbocharged and supercharged engines for use from FL150 to FL290:
Google Answers
"Early Airship Design & Development" (Omnivorous-GA, May 10, 2003)

Zoche makes reference to older Junkers, Guiberson, Clerget, Fiat,
Rolls-Royce and Packard designs for diesel aircraft engines on its
home page, which has a variety of design information:
Zoche Aero-Diesels
Home page

The Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) and Avweb, two popular
aviation publications identify at least 5 companies which have done
diesel prototypes:
AOPA Pilot Magazine
"Horsepower of a Different Color" (August, 2000)

"GAP Engine Update" (July 27, 2000)


Thielert's TAE 125 engine is now called the Centurion 1.7, a 1.7-liter
diesel design that produces 135hsp.  It's probably the most-advanced
of the diesel designs, being certified in Europe since May, 2002. 
Sold in the U.S. by Superior, the Centurion 1.7 is certified for use
in the Cessna 172.  It's also in Diamond Aircraft Industries DA40, a
single engine design, and in the twin DA42 - - which is still under
Thielert Aircraft Engines
"Centurion 1.7" (2002)

More technical descriptions of the Centurion 1.7 are available here. 
Note that Centurion is also developing a higher-performance version of
the engine to compete against the gasoline-powered IO-550:
Centurion Engines
"Technical Specifications"

Diamond test-flew the DA40 several years ago with the Centurion 1.7
diesel but plans to offer the aircraft only in the European market:
Diamond Aircraft
"Diamond Aircraft flies diesel equipped DA40" (November, 2001)

However, the new Diamond twin-engine aircraft, still in certification,
will use a pair of Centurion engines.  The aircraft is planned for
2004 deliveries:
Diamond Aircraft
"Diamond DA42 TwinStar first flight" (December 12, 2002)


This company in Racine, WI has 2 models planned, a 160-hsp and 200-hsp
V-4 turbocharged engine with the following characteristics. 
DeltaHawk's initial work is with a Velocity (pusher) design, though
the company is developing an aluminum block version of the same engine
for unmanned aerial vehicles.  These engines are water-cooled :
DeltaHawk Engines
"V-4 Aviation Turbo Diesel Specifications" (2001)

"DeltaHawk's First Flight - Finally !" (May, 2003)


This developer in Munich, Germany has 2-cylinder, 4-cylinder and
8-cylinder designs with the largest engine being a radial design.  The
use of the radial plane makes the engines much shorter than standard
aircraft designs.  The simplified design also has about half the
weight of current aircraft engines.  Zoche's engines are air-cooled:
Zoche Aero-Diesels
"Specifications" (undated)

One of  the design vehicles for the Zoche diesels is the Virginia
Tech's advanced concept design called Venture.  It's a single-engine
aircraft using composite structure:
Virginia Tech
"AGATE Design" (undated)

The university's design team was attracted to the Zoche engines for
all of the design reasons, but especially weight and performance,
while providing better safety capabilities:
AGATE Design


In the late 1990s, this joint venture of Renault and an Aerospatiale
Matra subsidiary produced a 180hsp engine that was put into testing in
the TB-20 Trinidad.  It was anticipated that the engine would be
approved and into production in 2001:
Society of Aerospace Engineers
"New Diesels for GA Aircraft"

However, since then no production has occurred nor has the company
done any updates on the status of the program.


In 1998, Lycoming and Detroit Diesel had announced a joint venture to
develop a diesel engine for aircraft use:
Detroit Diesel
"Textron Lycoming, Detroit Diesel to Develop Aero Engine" (July 31,
There has been nothing from Lycoming to update that program:
Textron Lycoming
Home page


According to Avweb, the General Aviation Propulsion (GAP) engine was
being developed in 2000 under a research contract from NASA.  The
test-bed for this engine is a CessnA 337 Skymaster, in which the
engine is being mounted in the front of the push-pull twin, with a
conventional IO-360 being used as the rear engine.

However, according to this report, Teledyne has recently killed this
program in favor of a joint venture with Honda to develop engines to
run on standard auto gas:
Diesel Air Newsletter
"Contact" (April 23, 2003)

Google search strategy:
Avweb + diesel
AOPA + diesel

Google is best used here to refine the search, using each of the
manufacturers' names to seek out aircraft designs that have been
announced, such as :
"Zoche Aero-Diesels" or "Morane Renault"

This search and description doesn't reach 2,000 words but provides
detailed technical specifications for active diesel aircraft engine
programs to allow you to extract the information that you need for
description and features.

If any portion of this needs clarification, please let me know before
rating this answer.

Best regards,


Request for Answer Clarification by kachapol-ga on 12 Jun 2003 00:04 PDT
I would like reseacher to mention one Aero-diesel engine and give
detail(Features,rating,capacity,unusal features on it airframe on
engine, which aircraft is used for the engine and compare with normal
petrol or Avgas engine.

Thank you

Clarification of Answer by omnivorous-ga on 12 Jun 2003 09:36 PDT
Kachapol - -

The design of gasoline-powered and diesel reciprocating engines is so
different that it’s sometimes difficult to chose the right engines to
compare.  For example, Centurion has certified its engine as a
replacement for the O-320 in the Cessna 172 and notes:
"How can a 135HP engine effectively replace my 160HP Lycoming?
A: The static thrust, which is the force generated by the engine to
accelerate it forward from standing, of the Centurion 1.7 is greater
than the static thrust of the Lycoming O320 and equal to the Lycoming

Centurion Engines
"FAQ" (undated)

It’s made worse by the terrible Textron Lycoming website, which has
only cursory information on the 320 and 360 series engines.  Though
Lycoming has long has an excellent printed "Piston Engine Selection
Guide," the web version is short on details:
Textron Lycoming
"Piston Engine Selection Guide" (undated)

Should you choose to use Continental engines, even though horsepower
levels don’t line up well, you’ll find much more detailed
specifications, such as these for the 210hsp IO-360:
Teledyne Continental Motors
"IO360 Specifications" (undated)

But we’ll do the best that we can by creating a comparison chart for
an IO-360 and the Centurion 1.7:


# Cylinders: 4
Type: 4-stroke
Compression ratio: between 7:1 and 8.5:1
RPM: 2700 max
Power: 160 hsp

Fuel: 100 octane low-lead
Fuel consumption (cruise): 8.5 gph

Ignition system: dual magneto

Carburetion: carburted or fuel-injected
Cooling: air
Turbocharging: NA
Price: $21,500; $26,000 fuel-injected (pricing from VanBortel
TBO: 2,000 hour

Direct drive: yes

Accessories: alternator, starter, vacuum pump

Height: 22.99"
Width: 32.24"
Length: 29.56"
Weight: 256 lbs. (without prop governor)

Other information: long production life with good reliability; capable
of low-cost overhaul


# Cylinders: 4
Type: 4-stroke
Compression ratio: NA (not available)
RPM: 3900 
Power: 135 hsp

Fuel: diesel or Jet A
Fuel consumption (cruise): 4.5 gph

Ignition system: diesel (glow plug)

Carburetion: fuel-injected
Cooling: liquid
Turbocharging: standard
Price: $19,500 Euros
TBO: not capable of overhaul; time before replacement (TBR) is 2400

Direct drive: no: uses a gear reduction to achieve 2300 RPM (takoff
maximum) at prop

Accessories: FADEC, alternator, starter, turbocharger, vacuum pump,
prop governor

Height: NA
Width: NA
Length: NA
Weight: 295 lbs. (with prop governor)

Other information: 
	company estimates that total installed weight is only 6.5-9 lbs.
more than a full Lycoming O320 installation
	engine operates at higher RPM but is not constantly variable in
power, as with normal gasoline engine.  Centurion believes that wear
will be lower
	use of electronic engine control (FADEC) eliminates use of mixture
controls by pilot; reduces danger of damage from over-leaning (and
pre-ignition) or over-boosting
	significantly lower cylinder head temperatures  
	turbocharging provides significantly better performance than the
normally-aspirated engines at higher altitudes and high density
	FADEC system provides electronic history for engine analysis
	though the company claims cold starts won’t be a problem, they often
are with diesel systems
	vapor lock and hot start problems should be reduced

Finally, note that many of the key differences between diesel and
gasoline engines (safety, availability of fuel) should really be
re-emphasized here.

Best regards,

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy