Continental Launches Diesel Program

Certification by early next year; a full range of engines.

Continental Diesel Engine
Continental Diesel Engine

At Oshkosh on Tuesday Continental Motors Inc. (CMI) announced a family of turbodiesel engines that the company says will span the power needs of much of today’s piston GA market. The lineup will include models from 160-hp to 350-hp, and possibly beyond and will be targeted toward both existing and new airplanes. The lineup will be based on an existing diesel engine that Continental will enhance and modify under license from a third-party manufacturer. While the starting point of the new engine takes advantage of an already certificated, earlier design, Continental has since made the engine its own.

CMI president and CEO Rhett Ross told Flying that Continental has enhanced the powerplant in a number of ways, including improving the cooling, the ease of starting, the oil circulation and ignition—the new models will feature hybrid Fadec/mechanical ignition. The initial model will be the TD300, which will range in power from 230 to 250 horsepower and feature direct drive—there will be no gear reduction required. The first certification is slated to be in pre-G1000 Cessna 182s. Flight testing of the new engine is already well along the way with the FAA, and production of the TD300 is slated to begin early in 2013. Production schedules for subsequent models will run through 2017.