Diesel is taking an increasing share of the light aircraft engine market, and Jordan Aerospace Industries (JAI) is getting in on the act with a diesel version of its Sama CH2000 single-engined aircraft.

The aircraft on show at JAI’s stand is due to make its first flight before the year-end. It is powered by a 2-litre 135bhp Centurion diesel engine, developed from a Mercedes-Benz car engine by Thielert Aircraft Engine of Germany.

Tamara Mash, JAI’s vice-president and industrial facilities director, says JAI hopes to have a first customer for the diesel-powered Sama in the near future. “We have had a lot of interest from a flight academy in Yemen,” she says.

Aerospace diesel engines can run on Jet-A, which is cheaper than Avgas. The diesel Sama CH2000 has lower operating and service costs than the standard Lycoming-engined versions, Mash says.

As well as training, the Sama CH2000 can be used for surveillance thanks to its seven-hour endurance, she adds. “The aircraft has a proven track record in successfully completing missions in combat and inhospitable environment. When supplied with the advanced surveillance equipment and secured military communication systems and ground and air radar, the Sama CH2000 aircraft works as an effective tool in fighting terrorism.”

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Source: Flight Daily News