At Sun ‘n Fun 2022, an Australian company called TurbAero was showing off a mock-up of a new, light turboprop engine it proposes to fit into airplanes requiring about 200 HP. Turboprops aren’t known for fuel efficiency, of course, but the company is using recuperative heating to deliver fuel specifics somewhere between a piston engine and legacy turboprops. The company CEO, Dave Limmer, explains it all in this AVweb video.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I realize this is their first step, but with a target price of $80 to $85K for about 200 HP in 2024, is there going to be a market for it? I did like how he acknowledged a challenge was to design something they could actually build.

  2. IF they can hold that price, I believe there is a market for it. A high-end engine like the Victor Black Edition 0-360 for 200 hp retracts lists for $62-$68,000 outright.

    I believe that the real market for a semi-efficient light turbine is in the 300 hp range. These aircraft (Bonanzas, Barons, Cessna 206/210s, Piper Cherokee PA-32 series) are “working” airplanes–or owned by people that fly them in all weather and want the dependability of a turbine. The Victor Black edition of those engines runs from $81,000 to $88,000 for an IO-520–add about $6000 for an IO-540–and add about $20,000 if it is turbocharged (source: Aircraft Bluebook)

    IF they can come anywhere near these numbers, they will sell engines. Of course, we all know that there is “many a slip” between a “paper product”–to FAA certification–to adaptation on many models–to actual production. There are any number of people still waiting for their promised BEDE jets. (smile)

    • Agreed, 300-350hp is the sweet spot for a usable GA turboprop engine on Experimental and certified aircraft. Rolls would’ve owned the segment in 2008 had they gone forward with the RR500TP (350-450shp) but the economic downturn killed it.

  3. A better solution imo than an expensive turboprop would be a liquid-cooled piston engine in the 350-400hp range. L/C cylinder kits for the Lycoming 540 exist for the Experimental crowd, and with enough interest from OEMs it could be certified for use in Standard category aircraft. While it’d be heavier than the TP, the fuel burn would be much lower, plus the engine would burn unleaded pump gas (ethanol free) without problems. The complete engine would be considerably less expensive than the turboprop as well.