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New diesel engine gets first runNew diesel engine gets first run

Engineered Propulsion Systems fires up first pre-production engineEngineered Propulsion Systems fires up first pre-production engine

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct an error. Dick Rutan did not fly an aircraft with this engine to EAA AirVenture in 2014.

Engineered Propulsion Systems started a new Graflight V-8 engine

A Wisconsin engine manufacturer took the next step in a major development program for its new diesel aviation engine Sept. 20 when it fired up for the first time a pre-production engine. Engineered Propulsion Systems started a new Graflight V-8 on a test stand near its New Richmond development facility.

“Achieving this major milestone is an accomplishment that will set new standards. It opens up huge opportunities,” said EPS President and CEO Michael Fuchs.

Fuchs reported that the engine started and ran smoothly. It will be put through a series of tests on the stand and at a dynamometer facility in Germany before being shipped to Mojave, California, to be mounted on a Cirrus for its first test flight with legendary test pilot Dick Rutan.

EPS has made significant design changes to the engine, which is one of only a few clean-sheet diesel aviation engines in development. Most are derivatives of automotive designs. The Graflight V-8s will be capable of producing 320 to 450 horsepower at what Fuchs projects will be about 30 percent higher price than a similar avgas engine. However, with a potentially longer TBO and lower fuel burn, the operating cost of the engine will be less. Certification is expected in mid-2017. The EPS engine is one of several promising new diesel designs profiled in the story, “Diesel rounds the bend,” in the Tektober section of the October issue of AOPA Pilot magazine.

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines

Editor in Chief
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
Topics: Diesel, Technology, EAA AirVenture

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