Cessna Jumps on the Diesel Band Wagon

They will be putting a diesel in the model 182 Sklylane: (Paid Subscription Required)

While avgas consumers and suppliers fret over the future of their leaded fuel, Cessna is partially weaning itself of that toxic brew by equipping its popular Model 182 Skylane with a Jet A-burning diesel engine. Others are likely to follow.

Unveiled at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s recent annual gathering in Oshkosh, Wis. (see p. 35), the Turbo Skylane JT-A (photo) is fitted with the new SR305-230E engine built by SMA, a subsidiary of Snecma of France. The four-cylinder, 227-hp powerplant is already certificated by both the European Aviation Safety Agency and FAA , and Cessna hopes to begin deliveries of its newest model in early 2013.

While Austria’s Diamond Aircraft has been producing aircraft powered by Austro Engine diesels for several years, the entry into that market by the much-larger Wichita aircraft maker with wide name recognition and a global support network is significant and likely to find favor, particularly in lesser-developed regions where avgas is scarce and expensive. Visitors at the Oshkosh introduction told Cessna personnel that the per-gallon price of 100LL avgas at some remote locations had topped $22.

Austro is a former Diamond Aircraft subsidiary (they spun it off) founded to replace the Thielert engine after that company’s implosion.

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