EPS Makes Progress on High Performance Diesel Engine

Clean sheet alternative fuel engine could soon be available for legacy airplanes.

EPS graflight engine
The EPS Graflight V8 engine will be available for a long list of legacy high performance airplanes.EPS

Clean sheet FAA certification programs have become known to take around a decade to complete. And the highly anticipated EPS Graflight V8 engine is no exception. The company formed in 2006 and began building the proof of concept high performance engine, which is expected to put out between 320 hp and 450 hp, in 2011. But a lack of funding and some setbacks in the design process has held back the progress. That is until now, according to the New Richmond, Wisconsin-based company.

EPS announced last week that it has made good progress toward certification and has secured the funding required to complete it. The engine has flown about 25 hours so far. The electronic hardware is conforming and all of the software has been baselined to begin testing. The test set up and engine assembly are near conforming and awaiting documentation. Next steps include block testing, DO160G environmental testing, software testing and lightning testing.

The Graflight V8 engine has the potential to be a game changer as it can be installed into a long list of legacy airframes, such as the Cirrus SR22, Mahindra Airvan 8, Cessna 206 and Piper Navajo. The engine promises low cost and ease of operation with a single lever. The engine will burn jet-fuel, diesel or kerosene. Adding to the low cost of operation, EPS is expecting a 3,000-hour TBO. Prior diesel engines have had a life limit, forcing operators to replace the engine rather than overhauling it. EPS is partially achieving this by using no dissimilar materials for its parts.