OSHKOSH — With funding from its Chinese owner, Continental Motors is embarking on development of a line of diesel engines ranging from 160 hp to 350 hp.
Continental President Rhett Ross reported at AirVenture said that the company plans to certify its first diesel engine this year, and have it on the production line by the first quarter of 2013.
There will eventually be three models in the turbo diesel series: the TD220 (160-180 hp range); the TD300 (200-250 hp); and the TD450 (300-350 hp).
First up will be the TD300, with the TD450 to follow with production beginning in 2015. The TD220 will follow after the first two have successfully entered the market, Ross said.
Committing to the schedule is important, he said, as it allows customers to plan.
The turbo diesel line is based on the traditional piston aviation engine model. The engines will be characterized by horizontally opposed cylinders, direct propeller drive and electronic controls.
The engines will be able to be run on a variety of fuels, Ross said, noting Continential is a “fuel agnostic company.”
“We don’t have a horse in this race,” he said, referring to the search for an alternative to 100LL. “We desire a 100LL unleaded drop-in replacement, but we are not going to wait for it. We need to support the industry by providing engines that operate on fuel that the oil companies provide us.”