February 9, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
The 230-hp SMA SR305-230E diesel engine received certification in Europe from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and is guaranteed for a 2,000-hour time between overhaul. The certification was granted in January and clears the way for certification by the FAA, which is expected in weeks.
Société de Motorisations Aéronautiques (SMA), a subsidiary of Snecma (part of the Safran aerospace group), designed the engine for single- and multiengine aircraft. Maule Aircraft has experimented with the engine for years on its models.
The engine is scheduled to enter service in 2012. A chief advantage of the engine is that it uses Jet A fuel, something important in areas of the world where 100LL is virtually unattainable. Other claimed advantages include lower cost of the fuel and better fuel economy, plus lower carbon dioxide emissions and the elimination of all lead emissions.
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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