Glasair, long time kit plane producer and operator of the popular “Two week to taxi” builder assist program has announced that it will be including the 155 horsepower ( 115 kw) 4 cylinder turbocharged with intercooler, water cooled, Centurion Diesel as a power plant option. Historically the popular Sportsman 2 + 2 has been using the Superior/Lycoming 180 to 215 hp engines in the factory sponsored quick build program. Kit (homebuilt) builders have had the option of using many other engine options of their choosing including automotive and rotary engine conversions.
The Diesel option is expected to be popular in the global market where Avgas is limited or expensive and in the US market for those concerned about the long term availability of 100 LL fuel.
The colorful red, green, black and white Sportsman on display, N98TD, is the factory prototype and will be entering flight test after the show. Gross weight of the aircraft will be the same as current options and empty weight is expected to be only slightly more than the 100LL installations. Range will increase while the takeoff performance will still be “more than adequate”.
The Sportsman installation can bee seen at booth MD 017B in the north display area. The geared diesel uses a 1.69:1 PSRU (Propeller Speed Reduction Unit) and a FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) with a 74 inch diameter Hartzell Bantan three blade composite constant speed propeller turning 2,300 max rpm. The 2.0 liter engine is a turbocharged engine with an air to air intercooler and a common rail fuel injection system as has been used on several aircraft applications in recent history.
The Glassair booth is northeast of the Red Bird simulator booth containing the Red Wing Cessna 172 M or P model with a similar STC Diesel power conversion available to flight school operators. TAD (Tropical Aviation Distributors, Miami, FL) also does a STC conversion to install the Centurion Diesel in older Cessna airframes.
While at the Glassair booth have a seat in the cockpit mockup of the new Glassair Merlin SLSA (factory built Special Light Sport Aircraft) that will make its debut at AirVenture 2014. The SLSA mockup displays the Dynon EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) and EMS (Engine Monitoring System).
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