The last couple of years development in aircraft engines has been more or less concentrating on diesels. We have seen one off installations to fully developed production lines. A number of companies are active on this market primarily due to major concern of long term availability and the relative high price of AVgas (Europe).
Diesel engines are able to use JET fuel (AVtur). This fuel is available worldwide and can also be made of renewable sources (algae) which should contribute to a cleaner environment.
Continental has been a recognized world leader in the development of aviation products. Their aircraft piston engine leadership stretches from the A-70 radial engine, which established a new level of smoothness and reliability, to the engines for the Voyager aircraft, which successfully circumnavigated the globe without refueling.
Continental was already a well known world leader in gasoline aircraft engines for decades but recently (2013) they have obtained diesel/ piston JET-A technology from Thielert GmbH. Their CD-135 and CD-155 is based on the TAE-125 from Thielert, now known as the CD-100. This was developed into the CD-300, a V6 diesel JET-A engine with outstanding performance numbers. This engine is used by Diamond Aircraft in their DA-50 five seat personal aircraft.
The company has a decent range of certified JET-A piston engines from 135 hp up to 300 hp suited for a large range of aircraft, you will find below a list of these high technology modern engine products.
This engine is developed from the original TAE-125. It is a four cylinder inline, turbo-charged engine with an output power of 135/155 hp and suitable for the small four seat aircraft like Piper, Cessna 172 and such. The CD-135/155 has been EASA certified since August 2006 and FAA certified as of October 2006.
These engines run on both jet fuel and diesel (DIN EN590), and it will accept any combination/ mix of the two in the tanks. Time between replacement (TBR) is 2100 hours or 12 years. For detailed information see their CD-100 datasheet here.
This is a four cylinder horizontally opposed (boxer) engine capable of producing 234 or 265 hp depending on the model (CD-234 / CD-265). It is also available for a rotary/ helicopter application. For more information see their CD-200 datasheet here.
The CD-230 to CDR-285 is a range of four-stroke 4-cylinder, air/oil-cooled, horizontally opposed, direct-drive piston aircraft engines with turbocharger and direct injection. The engine has a maximum continuous power of 265 HP @ 2500 RPM or 287 HP @ 2700 RPM in a rotorcraft application.
The proposed time between overhaul (TBO) is 2000/2400 hours or 12 years.
This the top of the line, six cylinder, V6 twin turbo diesel (compression ignition) aircraft engine capable of 221 kW/ 300 hp (271 hp continuous) and 918 Nm / 677 ft.lbs of torque at a maximum of 2300 propeller RPM (engine: 3880 RPM), fuel flows are around 9 USG/hour. The TBR is 1200 hours, and is expected to increase to 2000 hours. It is certified as of December 2017.
The CD-300 is a geared, liquid-cooled and turbo-charged engine. It is controlled by two redundant full FADEC. Pilot workload is lightened by the use of a single lever power control that adjusts thrust and propeller RPMs automatically. All technical information can be found in the CD-300 datasheet
This engine has been selected by Diamond Aircraft Industries to power their luxury 5-seat DA50 aircraft, flight testing has been ongoing since March 2019. Certification is expected in summer 2020.
The table below shows an overview of the main differences of these three engines.
|Continental Engine Outline|
|Output Power||135/155 hp||234/265||271/300|
|Layout||4 Cylinder Inline||4 Cylinder Opposed||6 Cylinder V|
|Dry Weight||134 kg||199 kg||249 kg|
Both the CD-135 and the CD-155 engines are available as a complete retrofit kit. These kits include the engine and all parts and accessories to install a Jet A/ diesel engine on an existing aircraft. The kit includes: engine, engine mount, propeller, dual redundant FADECs, all wiring harnesses, electronics and instrument panel gauges. Over 930 items are included in the kit.
These retrofit kits are certified by EASA, the FAA and many other national aviation authorities. Over 78 countries have already certified or accepted the installation of the Jet-A engines and retrofit kits. The kit is delivered pre-installed, with engine already fitted on the engine mount, engine accessories in place. This simplifies the retrofit process and eliminates a great deal of assembly work and reduce the cost for installation.
Jet-A engines operate continuously in an efficient manner and do not require leaning. The emission of lead (none), nitrogen oxides, carbon hydride, or carbon monoxide is reduced significantly compared to gasoline models. For more information about this technology see our page on four stoke engine design.
Continental (head office) can be contacted at the following addresses:
|Continental Aerospace Technologies|
|2039 South Broad Street|
|Mobile, Alabama 36615 - USA|
|+1 800 326 0089|
Text and images used with permission (pending) of Continental.