Increasing customer interest in diesels fails to influence manufacturer's belief in V engines' superiority

Bombardier Aircraft Engines (BAEC) is sticking to its strategy of launching a family of new six-cylinder aviation gasoline (avgas) piston engines, despite growing customer interest in diesel-cycle powerplants.

BAEC launched the aspirated 220hp (165kW) V220 and turbocharged 300hp V300T at last year's US Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture air show, setting a certification deadline of the end of this year. Luc de Gaspé Beaubien, BAEC's sales, marketing and service director, says the company's timetable, which foresees initial deliveries in the second half of next year, was unaffected by BAEC parent company Bombardier Recreational Products' split from Bombardier and is still on track.

The V series started life in 1997 as the Rotax 936 development V6 engine and de Gaspé Beaubien says the entrance of several new diesel engines into the general aviation marketplace since the V family's initial conception has not changed the market outlook. "I cannot reveal numbers," he says, "but we still think the V engine is a feasible product and our studies show avgas engines still have advantages over diesel." BAEC is aiming its range at US customers, who prefer avgas engines' better power-to-weight ratio, reduced vibration and better reliability, he adds. "The engine was developed with the US market in mind and the price of gas is not an issue here," says de Gaspé Beaubien, who is based at the company's Grant, Florida site. The powerplants are being manufactured at its Gunskirchen, Austria facility, which also makes the Rotax family of engines.

The powerplants, which have been installed on a Piper PA-28 Arrow and Murphy Moose kitplane, have over 10,000h of test flights to date, says de Gaspé Beaubien. Their release will be in stages, with several original equipment manufacturers set to take the engine upon certification. They will not be available to the experimental and retrofit markets for several years, says de Gaspé Beaubien

Both the V220 and the V300T are V6 designs with single overhead cam shafts and full authority digital engine controlled fuel and ignition systems.


Source: Flight International