Cessna will offer the 172S Skyhawk with a Thielert turbo diesel engine with deliveries to start in mid-2008. In an announcement at AOPA Expo in Hartford, Conn., Cessna officials said the decision to offer the diesel came after extensive market surveys and flight testing. "The Skyhawk is already the best-selling, most-flown airplane ever with more than 43,000 delivered and this option further expands the market due to the worldwide availability of Jet A fuel," said John Doman, Cessna vice president of propeller aircraft sales. Cessna will install the engines at its Independence, Kan., factory under the supplementary type certificate already held by Thielert.
The engine is a two-liter adaptation of a Daimler automotive diesel that's been re-engineered for aviation use. It's a dual overhead cam, in-line four-cylinder engine that puts out 155 hp. It comes with full authority digital engine control and is turbocharged. The liquid-cooled engine drives a three-bladed, composite constant speed prop. The new designation of the aircraft is the Skyhawk TD. A Cessna news release did not contain pricing information.