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The Graflight 8 Aero-vee represents a significant advancement in diesel powerplant technology and innovation.

EPS Graflight 8 diesel engine includes many innovations

As EPs Diesel works steadily toward FAA Certification for its Graflight 8 engine, the list of innovations in new engine technology continues to grow. A clean sheet design developed by Michael Fuchs and Steven Weinzierl, who have collaborated and delivered over 20 powerplant designs to production lines, the Graflight 8 represents a total restructuring of the way diesel power is generated and delivered.

For starters, they have cut the fuel burn by 30 percent. They expect a 3,000-hour TBO. The liquid-cooled, turbocharged engine is controlled by an electronic engine management system developed in harmony with Bosch. EPS has the only diesel engine that has passed ground vibration surveys with aluminum propellers, along with graphite, wood-core, and foam-core composite propellers. The Graflight 8 utilizes a unique ferritic crankcase cast from a new steel/carbon alloy developed in Europe that is lighter and stronger than anything ever attempted in diesel design before.

A key element in the design is the exclusive flat-vee construction that was adopted in favor of the packaging requirements for single and twin-engine profiles. The flat-vee construction is the key for minimizing the amount of crankcase material necessary (read weight) for stable and reliable engine operation.

EPS has developed and patented a new firing order for the flat-vee that actually allows the engine to run as two four-cylinder engines. Half of the engine could be disabled and the other half would continue to function providing limp-home capability not available with any other engine.

The EPS engine uses a ferritic piston and crankcase structure along with the typical steel crankshaft and connecting rods. With this, the piston and crankcase have similar thermal growth, as opposed to a typical aluminum piston which grows at twice the rate of steel. This allows operation with less piston/bore clearance as well as maintaining a more consistently “round” piston. A perfectly round bore with minimal clearance reduces oil consumption by reducing the amount of blow-by gasses that must be accommodated in the engine breather system. At the same time there is a built in scavenge system with a centrifuge that removes “aeration” from the oil before returning it to an integrated dry-sump oil system. These are just a few examples taken from a long list of innovations incorporated by EPS in the Grafight 8 engine.

“We didn't set out to improve on any of the existing technologies,” said Michael Fuchs. “They haven't worked for the diesel. We synthesized a set of new technologies, based on knowledge gleaned from a wide range of players as well as our own experiences.” The Graflight 8 is expected to complete certification in 2017.

Press release issued by Engineered Propulsion Systems EPS on June 13, 2016


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