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TDI Conversions Discussions on converting non TDIs into TDIS. More general items can be answered better in other sections. This is ideal for issues that don't have an overlap and are very special to swaping engines.

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Old September 12th, 2009, 13:17   #1
.15ktotheairport
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So I've a friend that wants to build an experimental plane. He was shaking me down for stats like engine weight and other data points I didn't know where to even find. He quickly lost interest when I said it was drive by wire. So my initial question would be is there an injection pump that works for the TDI that has a cable? I'm not even sure this is where the cable would be now that I think about. I'm thinking about the alh with a few tweaks at the moment. Also to anyone with your hopes up this project probably wouldn't even have a complete bill of materials for at least 3 years.

If anyone can find other threads on this topic - you are much better at using search than I. If anyone has engine specs, torque graphs, and other interesting material let me thank you in advance - I'll probably only have a few hours a week to repost stuff in this thread for a while.

I personally would prefer to just do a redundant computer control setup based on a striped down super stable linux with one system being an Atom and another low speed intel set - but I have more faith in solid state and non MS OSes than he ever will...
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Old September 12th, 2009, 17:42   #2
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I love VWs and VW engines but I can always pull over to call AAA for a tow if something is not going perfect. I'd avoid an experimental airplane or chopper that had a vw engine
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Old September 13th, 2009, 00:40   #3
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Subaru boxers have been converted for aero use, haven't they? Maybe the boxer diesel will find itself in a plane some day, it's barely heavier than a gasser.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 01:08   #4
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The lower rpm of a diesel would be an advantage in an airplane application. I understand that automotive motors require gear reduction to drive a propeller.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 05:50   #5
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The weight of the TDI cast iron block would be an disadvantage long before the benefit of diesel's fuel frugality advantage would be worthwhile.
Leave the powerplant to Continental, Rotax and others that have the experience.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 06:36   #6
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Agreed weight, simplicity, and reliability are critical issues with airplanes. With common rail technology, I think someone is already thinking of designing a diesel motor for an airplane or at least some of diesel technology. The weak link of gasoline powered motors are their throttles because they can ice up so easy in moist cool conditions.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 07:28   #7
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I don't believe this. I am on a diesel forum, and nobody seems to realize what diesel engines are already running around in airplanes.?

To Lug Nut's comments: Continental (moreso than Rotax) build bloody AWFUL engines! Barely 1930s technology. Also, the kind of fuel efficiency that makes an airplane pretty much useless for some missions. It's not a matter of them not knowing what they are doing, just not caring to take the risk of innovation in a market that is conservative by corporate culture, regulatory and AMERICAN INSURANCE idiocy.

G60ing: Probably more VW engines in aircraft (from air cooled days in the distant past) than any other automotive source. That includes factory motorgliders with Type IV engines that were certified in Europe (and fantastic engines with the hindsight of decades of history).

For someone wanting a diesel airplane (especially homebuilt), there were thousands of Thielert engines built (135HP 1.7 Mercedes with gear reduction) that went into Diamond (and other) airplanes until Thierlert's over-confident growth plans hit the financial crisis fan and tanked the company. Those were life limit engines that one might get time-x, since there is no longer a company to return them to for required rebuild/scrapping. Find a Diamond forum.

Those engines were replaced in Diamond aircraft with their own similar engine based on 2.0 design with 160HP, but these are new and a bit costly for homebuilders.

Of course, the answer to Continental is also diesel. EADS/Socata builds the SMA 5.0 litre diesel (horizontally opposed, air cooled, like old-school genav engines) at 230 HP direct drive. Perfect in C-182 (where it was long ago STCd) to replace the Continenatl 0-520 boat anchor.

To the OP: yes, you can build a mechanical pump TDI and dump electronic controls. However, forget about direct drive. To have any kind of propeller efficiency, the engine would make very little power. That is why the Thielert and Diamond engines are gear reduced. But, I can tell you as a former manufacturer of this kind of stuff (airboats), developing a one-off automotive installation for aircraft use is not easy. YES, it is quite do-able, but a fair bit of design and fab work. When someone is asking basic questions (albeit vicariously) it suggests they don't really have the background to pull it off successfully.

Tell your friend to look to Delta Hawk or many of the experimental market deisel engine suppliers. This is hardly a new thing in the homebuilt OR certified world.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 07:29   #8
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Austro engines for Diamond aircraft are back to using cast iron blocks...

For the most part, converting a 1.9TDI is a no go. The power is too low for it's weight. The cost of modifying the engine to work would far exceed the price AND cost of operation of a production engine.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 10:39   #9
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Where there is a will, there is a way
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Old September 13th, 2009, 11:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drivbiwire
Austro engines for Diamond aircraft are back to using cast iron blocks...

For the most part, converting a 1.9TDI is a no go. The power is too low for it's weight. The cost of modifying the engine to work would far exceed the price AND cost of operation of a production engine.
Most homebuilts get so few hours, it doesn't really matter WHAT fuel consumption they have. However, in the defense of such an engine, if using a design that will deal with the weight and power, it is not impossible. Remember that one of the very roots of homebuilding was the Pietenpol Air Camper - powered by a stock Model T Ford engine. Hardly a lightweight powerhouse.

The whole point (to some of us, anyhow) of "experimental" airplanes is to experiment - often just for the heck of it. IF you have the skill set, a TDI would be a fine (if not wimpy and heavy) engine to re-drive - just for the heck of it.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 08:40   #11
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A few years ago, I talked with a guy from SAS that was putting Mercedes diesels into Cessnas with great success. Something like a few hundred miles more range.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 18:41   #12
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As long as the horse power is matched to the wing loading, the centre of gravity is not behind the centre of lift and you can keep it pointed forward and level - even a barn door will fly.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 07:24   #13
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There's a dude somewhere out of DFW area flying around a Thorpedo with a 3 cylinder diesel. There's also a guy at Grand Prairie working on a diesel Cessna 150 STC. He is a long way off - just starting out.

I have about 150 hours in a Thielert DA-42, FWIW. Fun plane.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 07:48   #14
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Sounds like a pretty risk endeavor, but the 1.2 tdi engine did use an all aluminum engine. however power is pretty low. if you want a throttle cable you will have to go the Mtdi route, however short of a lightning strike, the TDI's electronics have been very reliable. We sell a new Mtdi pump that makes this task almost trivial.

Many automotive engines have been converted for experimental airplane used

VW beetle
subaru boxer engine
Porsche boxer engine

However the only FAA certified automotive engine conversion was the Porsche/Mooney collaboration.

Doesn't Cessna offer a Diesel model now?
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Old September 15th, 2009, 07:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_DeWitt
Sounds like a pretty risk endeavor, but the 1.2 tdi engine did use an all aluminum engine. however power is pretty low. if you want a throttle cable you will have to go the Mtdi route, however short of a lightning strike, the TDI's electronics have been very reliable. We sell a new Mtdi pump that makes this task almost trivial.

Many automotive engines have been converted for experimental airplane used

VW beetle
subaru boxer engine
Porsche boxer engine

However the only FAA certified automotive engine conversion was the Porsche/Mooney collaboration.

Doesn't Cessna offer a Diesel model now?
Also FWIW, the Porsche Mooney (M20L, or PFM) was completely FADEC - no throttle cable and no prop control. It was 20 years ahead of its time. Too bad it was such a flop. The IO-550G converted L models are some of the fastest Mooneys out there. 200ktas or better at 10,000. The only other Mooneys that can do that is are the Acclaim or a K model, both of which are turbocharged.

The DA42 is also completely FADEC.
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