Cessna may have backed off from producing a factory turbodiesel version of its workhorse 182 Skylane aircraft but that’s left an opportunity that’s been taken up by Soloy Aviation Solutions, a renowned leader in aircraft engine conversions.
Soloy has agreed with French manufacturer SMA Engines to develop an STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) for installing the second generation SR305-230E turbodiesel. Soloy will become the STC holder and intends to market the conversion globally.
Under the agreement, Soloy will co-develop an engineering program with SMA. It will cover development, testing and validation of the STC as well as improve its aerodynamics package for Cessna 182 aircraft. Applicable C182 aircraft models will be finalized as the program gets underway.
The engineering and testing program will be completed and validated at Soloy Aviation Solutions’ US facility in Olympia, Washington under EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) regulations.
James Cowan, Soloy’s CEO, said, “The future of current 100LL aviation fuel around the world is in question. We view the opportunity to use and improve upon SMA’s Cessna 182 engine installation STC which will be a valid solution to the thousands of operators of Cessna 182 aircraft around the world.
“At the program’s completion, we expect to be able to offer a wide variety of Cessna 182 owners the chance to convert their current avgas engines to this efficient and powerful engine platform either at overhaul or anytime during TBO under the revised Soloy STC. This program would make a total of 11 Soloy engine conversion STCs completed.”
Dave Stauffer, Soloy’s Chief Operating Officer, has been through many Soloy STC programs and views the SR305-230E project as having great potential.
“Our initial focus from a mechanical and engineering standpoint will be to take advantage of the engine’s power and reliability,” he said. “There are performance improvements to be gained through redesign of the current engine installation and aircraft nacelle and cowling configuration. There are many 182s out there and we believe we have a great option for them long term.”
Soloy and SMA expect to complete the program within 12 months.