The topic Diesel-engines for general aviation aircrafts has been discussed several times in the last years and is stil a very hot topic. The improvements in the development of Diesel engines for GA-aircrafts is very obvious and the list of planes, that can be converted to a Diesel-engine grows continously.
Also some of the Mooney-owners of our Community still played with the idea to do a Diesel-conversion when it comes to the next engine overhaul. But soon he has to realise, that there´s still no alternative to the old, AVGAS-engines and the conversion simply stays a dream. The demands from pilot and plane remain very special for a Diesel conversion. First of all there is still no engine, that would accomplish the performance class of a Mooney. A Mooney with a 135HP-engine, like Robin, Piper or Cessna do it, is no option but Thielert´s four litre engine might fit into a Duke, but definately not in a Mooney. Not every engine would fit into the thight cowling and also the engine´s weight will be very critical, as the Mooney is already very heavy on the nose gear and won´t take much more weight in the front. This fact also prevents the SMA-engine from beeing an option. As the only engine that - with 230 HP - would fit into the performance class of many Mooneys is about 50 kg (about 100 lbs) heavier, than our current Lycomings and therefor an absolute NO-GO for the Mooney!
So what can you do in this case? One option would be to be satisfied with the current situation and stay with the old engine. Another option would be, to wait until something might happen on it´s own and the third option would be to do something yourself. We decided for the last option and would like to find out, which possibilities are available for our Mooneys and what can be done today.
Jürgen Stroede was the first one who came up with this initiative and I would like to thank him for that. Jürgen talked to Thielert a couple of month ago about what can be done for him and for his plane regarding a Diesel-conversion and if there is an realistic chance in getting such a conversion anytime if there were enough Mooney owners, who would like to do this kind of engine-conversion and are willing to pay their part for an STC. Thielert was very interested in that idea and asked how many Mooneys fly around Europe today. After a couple of thoughts and some calculation he ended up with the surprising conclusion, that this is more than enough to offer an economically reasonable Diesel-conversion for a Mooney.
But as mentioned before, there are still many things to do in advance. Engine-types and models have to be compared, performance has to be estimated and the technical limitations and demands for a Mooney have to be kept in mind. Thielert therefor would like to know, how many Mooniacs would be interested in a Diesel-conversion and what kind of demands they have on a Diesel-engine for a Mooney.
This is where our Mooney-community comes into place. We would like to try - together with your help and in cooperation with Thielert - to do a small market-survey and try to find out what kind of engine would fit into a Mooney. As soon as we have some data, we could forward them to Thielert (in an anomynised way), so that he can show us our options. Of course this is nothing that might happen from one day to another, but it´s already a beginning and there´s nothing to loose and a lot to win.
This is the reason, why we set up this page, so that we have a central point of reference for everybody where he can find all the information about the current development regarding the topic "An Diesel-engine for the Mooney". Of course this should not stay within the community and we will try to get in contact with as many Mooniacs as possible and tell them about this initiative. So everybody who would like to help us is very welcome and we hope that you tell a lot of people about what we are going to do. This way we will have a better chance to find enough people who would be interested in a Diesel conversion. If you would like to join us, please feel free to write us an email and tell us about your intentions and ideas and we will try to include them as well.
So all we can do know is to see what is happening in future. Of cource we hope that a lot of people will participate in this initiative and we will try to keep you up to date with the latest development. So stay tuned...