EPS Acquires Cirrus SR22s for Installation of Vision 350 Diesel Aero-Engine Certification; Dick Rutan Named Test Pilot at Mojave Proving Site
EAS AirVenture 2013…Engineered Propulsion Systems, Inc., of New Richmond, Wisconsin has acquired two Cirrus SR22 aircraft which will become the test beds for airworthiness certification of EPSâ€™s new Vision 350 diesel engine, by the FAA. The company is currently fabricating the engine mount and nose gear structure, to be followed by the engine cowling modification. The EPS-owned aircraft will operate as â€˜Experimentalâ€™ throughout the certification process.
Steven Weinzierl, EPS vice-president and chief technology officer, indicated that EPS is bringing the Vision 350 to market with a practical, modern application. â€œThis combination brings to general aviation an example of an entirely modern aircraft: powerful, fast and uncommonly efficient, with fuel consumption expected to be under 11 GPH at 65% power,â€ he said.
The engine is FADEC controlled (full authority digital engine control), resulting in ease of operation and enhanced efficiency. Through electronic controls, the pilot has one-lever engine tasking, while digital electronics meter the fuel/air mixture to each cylinder most efficiently, depending on altitude, temperature and power selected. Being liquid-cooled, the risk of thermal shock and flameouts is eliminated, effecting a significantly longer Time Between Overhaul (TBO), while twin-turbo charging allows high altitude operations with ease.
While diesel engines are, by design, more efficient than Avgas engines, FADEC controls bring an elevated level efficiency to the equation. The Vision 350 is possibly the most efficient aircraft powerplant currently under development. The Vision 350 overcomes all supply problems associated with Avgas, immediately.
Having been designed as an eight cylinder powerplant for smooth operation, the engine is geared to most-efficient propeller RPM ranges, with a side benefit of low, sub-sonic propeller blade tip speeds for very low, airport-friendly, noise signatures. EPS engine is unique due to its proven, designed-in features to reduce the stress levels in all propeller combinations, metal or composite.
The weight delta of the Vision 350 diesel powerplant, as compared to a gasoline engine of similar output,ÃŸ is not significant and is easily overcome by the thermal efficiency of kerosene fuels.
EPS expects certification to take place over a period of 36 months or less. The company added that aviation pioneer, Dick Rutan (outspoken supporter of EPS technology) will fill the roll of chief experimental test pilot throughout the process.
Weinzierl said, â€œDick Rutan is ideally suited to accepting the challenge of this unique program, and he will be a huge asset when we launch the test flight process, to take place in Mojave, California. Dick has several significant flight test programs to his credit, including the worldâ€™s first non-stop, unrefueled circumnavigation of the Earth in 1986 in the purpose-designed Voyager aircraft.â€
Michael Fuchs, EPS president and chief executive officer, added, â€œFor our certification air operations, we have chosen Mojave for its around-the-calendar good weather, long runways and on-site test-flying infrastructure. Itâ€™s an efficient location for us.â€
The Vision 350 program financing is progressing to plan, raising the capital needed for the development/certification program. Upon the completion of this phase, EPS will enter the production phase, and application to one or more OEM aircraft programs. â€œWe have our sights set on several successful new and retrofit programs worldwide,â€ Fuchs added.
EPS Inc. is currently developing the pre-production versions of its unique and innovative â€œFlat-Veeâ€ engine design, which promises to be the weight-competitive, fuel-efficient, liquid-cooled, reliable engine that General Aviation manufacturers have sought for some time. The 350(+) hp engine is designed to fit legacy, current production and future civil and military applications. The senior management team at EPS includes Michael Fuchs (president/CEO) and Steven Weinzierl (VP/CTO).