September 2008 Issue
OSH Diary: The Year of the Engine
Lycoming stunned us with a new suite of tech-focused engines while Rolls Royce produced the dream: a small, fuel-efficient turboprop.
Although we didn’t expect to see it, that great summer sweat-fest that is EAA AirVenture yielded some powerplant developments that were both eye catching and encouraging. (And neither did the sweat materialize; Oshkosh was unseasonably cool and dry for the entire week—at least by our standards.) We saw three significant developments that are worthy of note: Lycoming came out of the ground with not just a new engine, but an entire suite of new developments that represents a fundamental sea change for a company that has been technologically somnolent for at least a decade. Diamond says it’s serious about its Austro engine project and it meant to show it with a production mock-up of the new AE 300, which it’s driving forward to certify in Europe before the end of the year. Austro is essentially looking to become the next Thielert—but without the financial implosion—and it’s doing so at a breakneck clip. We got our first detailed look at the engine.
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