After 10 Years Of Serial Production, 3,500 Engines Have Accumulated 3.5 Million Flying Hours
Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH (TAE) is celebrating a series of anniversaries at the end of this year. Centurion series engines for General Aviation aircraft have been manufactured in serial production for ten years. A total of more than 3,500 new engines have been delivered during this period, resulting in production figures of Centurion engines that are higher than that of all other manufacturers of diesel aircraft engines in the history of aviation combined. Officially, Centurion engines have accumulated more than 3.5 million flying hours to date.
In September 2000, an aircraft with a TAE diesel engine took off for the first time from the Altenburg airport in Thuringia, Germany. At the time, the engineers used a Valentin Taifun motor glider for testing purposes. By the spring of 2001, the Centurion 1.7 had found its place under the engine cowling of a small aircraft: the legendary D-EPAT, a Piper PA-28 (pictured). Additional installations quickly followed, including in the Cessna 172 and the Diamond DA40, which became a sales success with the innovative diesel engine. Then, in 2002, serial production of the Centurion 1.7 began – based on the “one person, one engine” production principle. The upgraded Centurion 2.0 produced today is assembled on an automated, computer-monitored production line.
The fuel-efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly Centurion diesel engines became a success story in a challenging market environment. Since the start of production, more than 3,500 new engines of the models Centurion 1.7, Centurion 2.0, and the more powerful Centurion 2.0s have been manufactured and delivered, and a fleet of well over 2,600 aircraft has been equipped with them. The Robin DR400 Ecoflyer Remorqueur, which is equipped with the Centurion 2.0s, just obtained certification for glider-towing operations.
High-frequency flyers in particular, such as flying schools, benefit from the Centurion engines, which can run on diesel as well as jet fuel which is the standard aviation fuel. Pilots operating aircraft in regions of the world where no leaded aviation gasoline is available also appreciate the fuel-efficient diesel engines. Accordingly, the annual utilization of each Centurion engine is over 250 hours and is thus nearly three times higher than the overall average in General Aviation. As a result, the users of Centurion engines will have reported over 3.5 million accumulated flying hours to TAE over the course of maintenance by the end of 2012.
(Image provided by Centurion Engines)