OSHKOSH — Engineered Propulsion Systems of New Richmond, Wisconsin, reports it has acquired two Cirrus SR22 aircraft that will become the test beds for airworthiness certification of EPS’s new Vision 350 diesel engine.
The company is currently fabricating the engine mount and nose gear structure, to be followed by the engine cowling modification. The EPS-owned aircraft will operate as “experimental” throughout the certification process.
Steven Weinzierl, EPS vice-president and chief technology officer, indicated that EPS is bringing the Vision 350 to market with a practical, modern application.
“This combination brings to general aviation an example of an entirely modern aircraft: powerful, fast and uncommonly efficient, with fuel consumption expected to be under 11 gph at 65% power,” he said.
The engine is FADEC controlled (full authority digital engine control). Through electronic controls, the pilot has one-lever engine tasking, while digital electronics meter the fuel/air mixture to each cylinder most efficiently, depending on altitude, temperature and power selected, company officials said. Being liquid-cooled, the risk of thermal shock and flameouts is eliminated, effecting a significantly longer Time Between Overhaul (TBO), while twin-turbo charging allows high altitude operations with ease, officials add.
Designed as an eight cylinder powerplant for smooth operation, the engine is geared to most-efficient propeller RPM ranges, with a side benefit of low, sub-sonic propeller blade tip speeds for very low, airport-friendly, noise signatures, company officials explain.
EPS expects certification to take place over a period of 36 months or less.
Company offiials added that aviation pioneer, Dick Rutan will fill the roll of chief experimental test pilot throughout the process.
“Dick Rutan is ideally suited to accepting the challenge of this unique program, and he will be a huge asset when we launch the test flight process, to take place in Mojave, California,” Weinzierl said. “Dick has several significant flight test programs to his credit, including the world’s first non-stop, unrefueled circumnavigation of the Earth in 1986 in the purpose-designed Voyager aircraft.”
The Vision 350 program financing is progressing to plan, raising the capital needed for the development/certification program, company officials add.
Upon completion of the testing phase, EPS will enter the production phase, and then application to one or more OEM aircraft programs.
“We have our sights set on several successful new and retrofit programs worldwide,” added Michael Fuchs, EPS president.