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Piper aims for widespread uptake of diesel-engined Archer

Piper Aircraft has unveiled a diesel-engined version of its Arrow piston-single, for which it received European supplemental type certification on 1 April.

Following the show, the newly named Archer DX is to embark on a demonstration tour of the region, in an attempt to drum up sales of the four-seater.

The Archer DX has been developed in collaboration with Germany’s Technify Motors, which supplied the Centurion 2.0s (C2.0s) diesel engine.

“The Garmin G1000 aircraft has a cruise speed of 210km/h [110kt] at 4,000ft with only 5.8gal/h [22 litre/h] fuel burn – versus 9.5gal/h of the gasoline engine-powered version of the aircraft,” says Piper president Simon Caldecott.

A diesel version of the Arrow should be a huge draw in Europe, where unleaded avgas is very expensive, Caldecott says. The Archer DX will also be targeted at other regions of the world, such as China, where the supply of avgas is limited. US certification of the DX is also planned.

“It hasn’t been our priority as aviation fuel is widespread and relatively cheap. [But] Piper owners and operators need to have access to more economical and readily available fuel supplies,” Caldecott says.

Priced at just under $400,000, the C2.0s engine is certificated to use both Jet-A and diesel fuel, or to operate with the two fuels in any mixture ratio. First deliveries of the DX are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2015.

Caldecott says Piper is also evaluating diesel-engined versions of other aircraft in its product line, such as the Seminole.

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