Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation, Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today confirmed at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh its ongoing commitment to developing alternate fuel solutions for the general aviation market with the launch of the Turbo Skyhawk® JT-A®, which will join the Turbo Skylane® JT-A as the latest diesel powered platform in its single-engine product line up. The company is displaying the Turbo Skyhawk JT-A this week at AirVenture.
“We’ve been working for a few years now to find new, reliable alternate fuel solutions for the Cessna Skyhawk to meet changing environmental regulations, particularly in Europe, as well as the limited global supply of currently used 100 low-lead gasoline, and technology has led us to the Turbo Skyhawk JT-A,” said Joe Hepburn, senior vice president, Piston Aircraft. “The recent advances and growing maturity in diesel engine technology in the aviation market now give us the means to satisfy a growing demand around the world.”
The Skyhawk JT-A is fitted with a Continental CD-155 diesel engine and is expected to offer a number of benefits in addition to operating with more widely available JET A fuel. Maximum range is 1,012 nm, a 58 percent increase over the standard Skyhawk, and maximum speed is increased to 131 knots while fuel burn is expected to see a 25 percent reduction.
Textron Aviation plans to offer the Turbo Skyhawk JT-A as a factory option beginning in 2015. The CD-155 is already certified by EASA for retrofit to newer Skyhawks under a supplemental type certificate.
The push to find alternate fuel solutions for the general aviation market stems from a dwindling supply – and resulting higher prices – of leaded aviation fuel in some areas of the world, as well as emerging regulations on leaded fuel and associated aircraft engine emissions. Cessna is an industry leader in making alternate fuel options available.
Like the Turbo Skyhawk JT-A, the Turbo Skylane JT-A features the Garmin G1000 avionics suite but offers greater speed and useful load. FAA certification of the diesel-powered Turbo Skylane JT-A using the Safran-made SMA SR305-230-1 engine is expected soon. Up to six Turbo Skylane JT-A marketing demonstrators will soon be stationed around the world and deliveries of the first production models are ready to begin upon certification.
The Turbo Skylane JT-A has a seating capacity for four and an estimated range at max cruise speed of 1,025 nautical miles. The certified ceiling will be 20,000 feet. The Garmin G1000 avionics suite is pilot-friendly and highly-functional, bringing great levels of situational awareness to the cockpit. The engine diagnostics are shown on the primary and multi-function flight displays. Fuel capacity is 85 useful gallons, with an estimated useful load of 1,000 pounds.