December 2, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
This may be the first time you have heard of Engineered Propulsion Systems, formed in 2006 in New Richmond, Wis., but it won’t be the last. The firm has raised funding to begin development of a diesel aircraft engine for general aviation aircraft and helicopters.
A patent filed by the company shows an engine with a “hybrid” crankcase, meaning that it is made of varying materials. It has a ferrite load-bearing skeleton, and a non-ferrite exoskeleton. It was not clear from the patent which materials might be used for the exoskeleton. A company official said, however, the exoskeleton will be aluminum, but the prototype may not be hybrid to reduce early development costs.
In mid-November the company received $600,000 from Wisconsin’s Community Development Block Grant-Economic Development Program. In addition, the company received $222,000 from the New Richmond Angel Investment Network, and $125,000 from the Chippewa Valley Angel Investor’s Network. The company has previously reported it expects to spend $41.7 million on the project.
Aviation pioneer Dick Rutan is a technical advisor to the company. The company hopes to show a running prototype of the engine by June 2011.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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