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Old 12-28-2006, 07:34 PM
karoliina's Avatar
karoliina karoliina is offline
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Default Flight on Diesel aircraft

Hi,

We flew today (a night-VFR-flight) with Kate from Helsinki to Tampere and back with our flight club's diesel-Cessna which is equipped with Thielert Centurion 1.7 and MT Propeller constant speed propeller and a FADEC.

Observations:
- The engine runs very smoothly, the typical vibration usually occurs on Cessna didn't exist
- The engine noise sounds like driving a car on a freeway, doesn't sound like an airplane, actually sounds a lot nicer than an airplane, I have never liked the typical Cessna-sound
- The control in the fadec is very sensitive. Very small movements, millimeter forward or backward makes a big difference.
- Is faster than the other our flight club's Cessna C172 which is equipped with 150 hp engine and fixed pitch prop.
- Takeoff is significantly faster and more aggressive than on the 150 hp Cessna despite the Thielert is only rated for 135 hp. On the other hand, thanks to the CS prop, the engine outputs 100% power on takeoff, not something like 60% power because of too steep blade angles. The Thielert-Cessna felt more like 200 hp RV-8 than a normal C172 on takeoff, the MT Propeller makes a _HUGE_ difference. However, after getting up from the runway, the climb rate is not much different from ordinary C172 and loses ezily to a 200 hp RV-8.
- There is no manual leaning, carburetor heat, propeller pitch etc. things to take care of. The FADEC controls everything and the single lever interface works pretty nicely.
- on landing, instead of lowering engine rpm, the engine rpm goes up, that is because the FADEC-prop combination does braking on approach
- we didn't go higher than 3000 feet because it was very cold up there and the heating system is not that efficient and we were freezing.

I was pretty amazed how much higher quality feeling one old Cessna could give simply with a more modern engine and a CS prop. Thielert might be ideal for Cozy if they would just agree to sell the engine package for experimental aircraft. And there is Centurion 1.9 coming (200 hp) which is going to be even better for Cozy allthough according to the takeoff performance on the 135 hp with the MT Propeller, I could suspect that it is not much worse if any than 180 hp with fixed pitch prop. The CS prop makes a really huge difference and the FADEC provides a user interface for the CS prop that is as convenient as driving a modern car, you just need to choose how many percent power you want to use (e.g. 75) and the machine does the rest, no matter what is your attitude or are you in climb or in cruise. Wind gusts makes the engine noise to change but the automation keeps the power output quite much constant and once setting the throttle once, there is no need to touch it any longer until you want to change the power output for some reason.

The weather was beautiful, the sky was clear and stars and moon visible in addition to the lights below on crowded areas. When we came back, we had about 30 kts headwind. The ground speed was sometimes even 140 kt. Might have been lame figure for a canard, but pretty good for a drag-monster like C172. The 2.5 hours of flying didn't take very much Jet-A1 from out of the tanks - the range is a lot better than with the gasoline engine with the diesel engine.

Best Wishes,
Karoliina
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2006, 09:27 PM
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Dennis Passey Dennis Passey is offline
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Thanks for the great report Karo. I was sure hoping they would get on the stick with that 2.3[or whatever it is] version- but was told they have ABSOLUTELY NO PLANS to sell to the X crowd.
Way too sad of news..
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:19 PM
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MarbleTurtle MarbleTurtle is offline
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It's REALLY for my 172 that's missing an engine... yeah, that should work.
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:20 PM
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karoliina karoliina is offline
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I was flying with the Diesel Cessna again today. Type training part one done, traffic patterns done. Ha, now I have flown 18 hours, soloed after 4 hours, have three types including the one with a constant speed propeller (and of course, diesel engine).
Okay, that's nothing taking in account that I had already the LSA-license and a plane and have been flying it for around 150 hours. I am waiting (not waiting but flying) to finish the license to get my hands on that beautiful Diamond DA-40TDI... Changed next week's plane reservations to the C172TDI, no more gasoline Cessnas for me if I can choose...

The nose is a bit heavier, but paying some attention it is pretty easy to land anyway like any Cessna (just remembering that the nose is heavier than in ordinary C172). The fadec controller requires very delicate tough though, it is very sensitive and has very little friction by itself and the engine (being a highly revving car engine) accelerates and decelerates fast and it sounds unhealthy if that happens (for the poor engine).
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DISCLAIMER: This message was written in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
--- Plans #000 at concepting stage ---
JAA-PPL(A) with NF & RT/E, UPL. WT9-Dynamic, TL-96 Star, Zephyr 2000, C152, C172 (& waiting the crashed diesel planes to get fixed )
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