Lichtenstein, Saxony (Germany) — Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH (TAE) is celebrating a series of anniversaries at the end of this year. Centurion series engines for general aviation aircraft have been manufactured in serial production for 10 years. More than 3,500 new engines were delivered during this time. Officially, Centurion engines have cumulated more than 3.5 million flying hours to date.
In September 2000, an aircraft with a TAE diesel engine took off for the first time from the Altenburg airport in Thuringia, Germany. At the time, the engineers used a Valentin Taifun motor glider for testing purposes. By the spring of 2001, the Centurion 1.7 had found its place under the engine cowling of a small aircraft: the D-EPAT, a Piper PA-28 (pictured above).
Additional installations quickly followed, including in the Cessna 172 and the Diamond DA40, company officials noted. Then, in 2002, serial production of the Centurion 1.7, which had an output of 99 kW, began – based on the “one person, one engine” production principle. Since then, the Centurion 1.7 has been displaced by the improved and state-of-the-art Centurion 2.0. Today the engines are assembled on an automated, computer-monitored production line, officials add.
Since the start of production, more than 3,500 new engines of the models Centurion 1.7, Centurion 2.0 (both with 99 kW power), and Centurion 2.0s (with 114 kW power) have been manufactured and delivered. A fleet of more than 2,600 aircraft has been equipped with them. Recently, they have even been used in towing aircraft for gliders. The Robin DR400 Ecoflyer Remorqueur, which is equipped with the Centurion 2.0s, just obtained certification for towing operations.
Annual utilization of each Centurion engine is over 250 hours, according to company officials, who say it is nearly three times higher than the overall average in general aviation. As a result, the users of Centurion engines will have reported over 3.5 million cumulated flying hours to TAE over the course of maintenance by the end of 2012.
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