November 22, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Raikhlin Aircraft Engine Developments (RED), a new venture founded by Wladimir Raikhlin and his associates, has flown a 500-horsepower diesel engine on a modified Yak 52. The propeller for the water-cooled, twelve-cylinder engine called RED A03 is gear driven.
It was built by RED Aircraft GmbH in Adenau, Germany. The engine generates 500 hp for takeoff at 3,900 rpm. The engine weight at the moment is 705 pounds, according to diesel engine consultant Andre Teissier-duCros. The company brochure does not give the weight, marking that specification as “to be announced.” The weight includes two alternators, a starter, an engine/gearbox oil heat exchanger, and a prop governor.
The engine will first be certified in Europe. Any changes required during development could increase the weight. The engine is intended to bridge the gap between piston engines and turboprop engines.
Teissier-duCros said that the weight marks this as a very good diesel engine, although not a breakthrough. The engine must still prove its reliability in all conditions, and any problems could mean a modification and an increase in weight. Teissier-duCros said he expects development in the future by one of the diesel engine manufacturers of a 600-hp diesel engine.
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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