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Diesel powered Seminoles?

It appears that Piper Aircraft may start offering a diesel-powered variant of its popular twin-engine trainer, the PA-44 Seminole, after announcing that it has entered into a collaborative relationship with DeltaHawk Engines, builders of the DHK jet-fuelled piston engines.

According to DeltaHawk, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two companies has been signed and sharing of engineering data and technical resources is now underway, along with finalisation of details surrounding a potential initial order of engines. To support the need for a counter-rotating engine, DeltaHawk says it is developing a counter-rotating version of their engines. In addition to application of DeltaHawk’s family of engines in the PA-44 Seminole (for both new and retrofit airframes), exploratory discussions are also apparently ongoing about future applications of higher horsepower versions of the DeltaHawk engine family in Piper’s expansive product line.

“We fully recognise the potential of DeltaHawk’s engine technology – as well as the number of engineering and environmental advancements they are establishing with their family of engines,” said Marc Ouellet, Vice President of Engineering & Manufacturing of Piper Aircraft. “Installation of the DHK engine in the Seminole will expand the global market for the aircraft – and we see leveraging such advanced engine technology as vital to maintaining Piper’s leadership position worldwide – not only for new aircraft, but for our existing fleets as well.”

Christopher Ruud, Chief Executive Officer of DeltaHawk added: “We could not be more excited about our formal collaboration with Piper – and we see installation of the DHK engine in the legendary Piper Seminole as an outstanding beginning for a global partnership we anticipate will grow to include our entire family of engines in a wide range of horsepower. Just as important, we see this new agreement not just in terms of engines, but also as a wonderful step by Piper towards ensuring environmental sustainability for general aviation worldwide.”

Following FAA certification of the DHK180 last year, flights of the new engine in factory aircraft have been ongoing at DeltaHawk’s manufacturing and flight test facility in Racine, Wisconsin, along with work by the company’s quality and operations teams in preparation for production of integrated firewall forward engine packages. In addition, DeltaHawk has previously announced 200 and 235 hp DHK engines variants.

Image credit: Piper Aircraft

Author: FTN Editor

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