Using technology acquired from Power Plant Developments late last year, the 100-horsepower engine already has 10 years and 10,000 flight hours of development, according to Tim Archer, Superior Aviation Group CEO.
He added that because of its uniflow design featuring two-opposing-pistons-per-cylinder, the Gemini will be smaller than many current gasoline and diesel piston engines, giving it a power-to-weight ratio advantage and making it especially attractive to the experimental and LSA markets initially.
A fully loaded Gemini 100 weighs 199.7 pounds and burns 4-5 gallons per hour at 75% cruise power settings.
“We have already had preliminary discussions with manufacturers representing a variety of experimental and LSA aircraft,” Archer said. “The most common question everyone asks is how soon can we get one?”
Superior will begin deliveries to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in 60 to 90 days. In total, 25 pre-production engines will be built before the end of 2015. The majority will go to OEMs, but a handful will end up in the hands of some experimental aircraft builders.
“The path we’ve charted is furnishing the Gemini 100 to the experimental market, followed by ASTM compliance in the first quarter of 2016,” said Scott Hayes, Superior’s vice president of sales and marketing.
The 100-series is the first in a family of engines. Archer and Hayes charted out future iterations at 125, 180-200, 300-360, 450, and 550-horsepower with an eye on the turbine market with the latter variation.
Archer made mention of a number of solutions the Gemini-series solves:
- Jet A is a global fuel solution with better availability, quality, consistency and pricing;
- Operators can fly the same range as a standard engine on less fuel;
- High power-to-weight ratio;
- Highly efficient, two-stroke power;
- Higher engine torque at lower RPM;
- Projected to have up to 20% lower fuel burn than conventional engines;
- Mechanically simpler design, with fewer moving parts;
- Retrofittable with many current piston engine designs;
- Greener operations with much lower emissions; and
- Uniflow design enables easier engine model expansion.