Africair Inc., a Continental Diesel Master Installation Center, will install Continental CD-155 retrofit diesel engines in seven Cessna 172s for Ethiopian Aviation Academy starting in 2015, Continental Motors said Oct. 27.
The company had already installed three of the engines for the Ethiopian Airlines training academy in 2014; Continental said the diesel aircraft, which run on jet fuel, will be used for flight training an average of six to seven hours a day during peak training.
Jet-fuel-powered piston engines are popular for aircraft outside the United States, where avgas is often scarce or prohibitively expensive. Ken Suda, president of Continental Motors Germany, said in a press release that “Africair’s customers will also enjoy the benefits of CD-155’s industry-leading quality and reliability, fuel efficiency, and ease of operation.”
The CD-155 entered Continental’s lineup of engines after Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) International Holding Corp., of which Continental is a subsidiary, bought diesel engine manufacturer Thielert Aircraft Engines out of bankruptcy. In the United States, Redbird chose the Continental diesel retrofit for its Redhawk 172 project.
More than 1,000 candidates enroll in Ethiopian Aviation Academy per year, Continental said, and the training facility plans to increase capacity to 4,000 over the next decade.