Piper Aircraft yesterday launched a diesel version of the Archer at the Aero Friedrichshafen show in Germany powered by a Continental/Centurion 2.0S jet-A compression-ignition engine. Piper and Continental have already completed flight testing of the prototype in Germany, leading to an EASA STC in Europe and clearing the way for deliveries to start early next year.
After displaying the diesel Archer this week at Aero Friedrichshafen, Piper will begin a marketing and demonstration tour throughout Europe, including stops in Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the UK.
“This is the next step in ensuring that future Piper owners and operators have access to more economical and readily available fuel supplies, especially in Europe where traditional leaded avgas is hard to find and expensive,” said Piper president and CEO Simon Caldecott.
Ground and flight tests on the 155 hp diesel four-seater, dubbed the Archer DX, were carried out at Continental subsidiary Technify’s factory in Altenburg, Germany. Technify’s Centurion 2.0S engine is certified to use both Jet-A and diesel fuel and with the two fuels in any mixture ratio. Piper noted that it and Technify have a long history. The first Piper to fly with a Centurion diesel was a Warrior that obtained the certification in 2001.
The first deliveries of the diesel-powered Archer DX in Europe are expected to begin in next year’s first quarter at a standard equipped price of $399,495 (about $50,000 more than the Archer LX model). Some diesel Archers are also expected to make their way to North America.
Preliminary performance specs include a cruise at a speed of 114 ktas at 70 percent power burning 5.8 gallons per hour. The DX also features the Garmin G1000 avionics system a special high-durability flight school interior.
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