AirVenture 2023: DeltaHawk DHK180


DeltaHawk received an FAA type certificate for its 180-HP DHK180 piston engine earlier this year. The four-cylinder, clean-sheet design was on display at AirVenture 2023 where AVweb’s Kate O’Connor took a look.


  1. Per usual marketing B.S. the fuel burn comparison is between their engine and a full rich spark ignition. It would seem that isn’t unique to DeltaHawk, but rather all the diesel sellers need a collective dope slap. Make a meaningful comparison between a LOP Lycoming or Continental. Let pilots see that for cruise flight the efficiency gain is more like 5% rather than 30%. That said, I’m happy for them. For some areas, finding avgas is a hardship.

    • Well, not really. I compared Diamond’s DA40 Lycoming-powered XLT to the diesel-powered NG. The Lycoming runs at about 0.42 BSFC fully leaned, while the diesel is at 0.36 or less. That’s the difference in actual flight tests done by me between 9.6 and 6.8 GPH. That’s a lot more than 5 percent.

      Probably the most efficient gasoline engine is the IO-550. Lean of peak, it’s maybe 0.39 to the best diesels at 0.35. Still more than 5 percent. Haven’t seen numbers on the Deltahawk. It may be better or worse.

      • I would like to see a comparison of diesel/gas engines factoring in acquisition/installation, fuel, maintenance (labor, plugs, filters, oil, TBO) expenses to ascertain the true cost per mile for each engine type. But in the end, I suspect the loss of 100LL will ultimately favor the diesel.

  2. DeltaHawk replaces engine technology from 80 years ago with engine technology from 40 years ago… good job /s!
    Why they decided not to go with a much safer and lighter FADEC system that incorporates all the advances to fuel economy, power, longevity and emissions from the car industry, and instead chose to use unreliable mechanical control aystems is a mystery to me…

    • You are correct, but I think it was done to streamline the certification timeline. During the video they mentioned higher power versions coming out. I suspect we will see this exact same engine at 200+ (220?) horse power with full fadec and electronic controls like you said. That might come out about the same time they announce their larger engine to compete in the more lucrative 300 horse power arena (which I suspect will use fadec from the start). I just hope they can keep the weight down.