Xinjiang Tianxiang Flight School in Xinjiang Province in northwest China will nearly double its fleet of 16 Continental Diesel CD-135-powered Diamond DA40 trainer aircraft, Continental Motors Group announced March 27.
Tianxiang was established four years ago and maintains an active fleet of DA40s, averaging 13,500 total flight hours per year, Continental said. Four aircraft of the new order were to be delivered immediately, and 10 more by the end of 2015, the company said, bringing Tianxiang’s fleet of the aircraft to 30. The new aircraft will be delivered from Shandong Bin AO Aircraft Industries, Diamond Aircraft's Chinese production facility, according to a Continental representative.
Compression-ignition engines, commonly known as diesels, are often favored in areas of the world where avgas is in short supply or prohibitively expensive. Jan Helwig, head of sales and service at Continental Motors in Germany, added in a news release that these engines, which burn more widely available jet fuel, “are particularly well suited to the demanding environment of flight schools, especially those who accumulate many hours per annum. Altogether, 4000 plus Continental Diesel engines have been delivered to date and have performed more than 4 million flight hours to their operators. This demonstrates the efficiency, safety and reliability of Continental Motors Diesel engines.”
Xinjiang Tianxiang Flight School is planning to increase operations both by expanding its fleet and increasing flight hours of the existing fleet with improved maintenance, the engine manufacturer said, citing a visit by a delegation from the school to Continental’s CD-135 and CD-155 manufacturing facility in St. Egidien, Germany.
The CD-135 was formerly known as the Thielert Centurion 2.0. Continental took over the Centurion line of diesel engines when its parent company, Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) Holding Corp., bought the bankrupt engine manufacturer Thielert.