Continental Says Diesels Are Making Inroads

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With a full line of aerodiesel engines in its product portfolio, Continental Motors says it’s seeing more uptake of Jet A-burning engines in the training market, including some nibbles in the North American market. At an AirVenture press conference on Tuesday, Continental’s Rhett Ross said that the company’s new CD-300 six-cylinder diesel is now fully certified and production ready.

In this podcast recorded at AirVenture, Ross said the increase is mostly in training fleets. “There’s a lot of demand for efficiency. Although we’re not the most economical on initial buy, when you look at total life cycle, even in a single unit, we provide much better benefits because of lower maintenance requirements and fuel burn,” Ross said. Earlier in the week, Cessna debuted its diesel-powered JTA at AirVenture for the first time and said it’s seeing orders from flight schools for the aircraft.

Ross also reported that the retrofit market is seeing a modest uptick, again in the training segment. “Beginning this year, we’ve seen about a doubling of our pace of retrofit,” Ross said. Although the market has lacked for a high-output diesel, Continental says it now has ready for production the CD-300, a V-6 diesel loosely based on a Mercedes platform. The engine is flying in an optionally piloted Stemme aircraft. It’s capable of 300 HP max and 272 HP continuous.

Continuing to expand its PMA line of parts, Continental also announced it’s selling roller taps and cams for Lycoming engines. Ross said the company isn’t selling roller tappet crankcases yet, but may consider these.

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