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Thu, Jul 15, 2010

Centurion Says It Is Gaining Altitude

Calls The First Half Of 2010 A Success

Centurion Aircraft Engines, the distribution company for engine manufacturer Thielert Aircraft Engines (TAE), says it can look back on a successful first half of 2010 despite TAE's insolvency. The company says it has successfully continued operations for two years, and all product improvement and service expansion objectives have been realized.

Those objectives include the life extension of the Centurion 2.0 to 1,500 hours, and the certification of the 155 hp Centurion 2.0s for installation in the Cessna 172. Additional Service Centers and distributors have also been named, and now over 310 fixed base operators (FBO) are providing services worldwide. Though the market for piston aircraft sales remains troubled, the company says sales of Centurion piston engines are still stable. In the first half of 2010 the company saw no decline in sales, despite the persistence and even the partial worsening of the crisis affecting the piston engine market for General Aviation. Production levels were kept stable at the same level as in 2009. Finch Aircraft was attracted as a new OEM, engine development and production orders for operation in unmanned aircraft are under way.

By the end of June 2010, Centurion engines sold worldwide have logged a total 2,166,688 flight hours since production began. While the FAA has recorded 10 engine failures per 100,000 General Aviation flight hours, during the same time span Centurion engines failed only 5.86 times. The company says its statistics show that in the last twelve months the shutdown rate has actually fallen to 3.86 failures per 100,000 flight hours.

These engines use standard aircraft kerosene (Jet-A) rather than avgas. Centurion says other "green" benefits of their engines include zero risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, zero lead emissions and substantially lower nitrogen and hydrocarbon emissions than with avgas engines. Plus, Centurion says its engines use less fuel and meet strict noise ordinance requirements.

The company says all of its Service Centers remain in full operation despite the insolvency of TAE. In fact, the service network has expanded considerably in the last two years. Contracts have been signed with more than 50 new FBO and with three additional distribution partners. In the first half of 2010 the number of FBO providing maintenance and servicing of Centurion engines rose to over 310 for the first time. Centurion aircraft engines thus enjoy the largest, most comprehensive service network for jet fuel piston engines.

Nearly all technical objectives were achieved on schedule. The first clutches designed for an extended lifetime of 600 hours have already been delivered to customers. The lifetime of the feed pump rose from 600 to 1,200 hours. The lifetime of the Centurion 2.0 has been 1,500 hours since the end of May, avoiding the originally scheduled factory inspection at 1,200 hours. Centurion is working on extending the lifetime of the Centurion 2.0 to 1,800 hours as its next major service-enhancing step. All owners of 1.7 engines will benefit from this lifetime extension within the frame of the upgrade program. Any aircraft equipped with a Centurion 1.7 can be upgraded to Centurion 2.0, namely the models Cessna 172, Piper PA28, Robin DR400 as well as Diamond DA40 and DA42.

FMI: www.centurion.aero

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