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Continental Motors introduces new diesel V-6 aviation engine

Continental 960 - The new CD-300 engine made its debut in Oshkosh.

Continental Motors introduced the CD-300, its new V-6 diesel engine, at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this week. The CD-300 was flown for the first time in July at Continental’s German development center in Altenburg onboard an Cirrus airframe. The company said that the flying test-bed exhibited rates of climb and cruise performance that exceeded engineer’s expectations.

The CD-300 features common rail technology, direct injection, turbo charging, liquid cooling, and an advanced reduction gear system. Like the smaller CD-100 engine, the CD-300 is based on a Mercedes-Benz automotive core adapted for aviation use. In interviews at AirVenture, Continental Motors president Rhett Ross suggested that the company would begin to deviate from focusing on an exclusive automotive-derived approach.

Ross said the company is evaluating a 350 hp variant, especially whether or not there would be market potential for such a rating.

The CD-300 series engine has a 3-liter displacement and generates up to 310 hp (228 kW) at 2,300 rpm for low operating noise. Continental equips all of its CD range engines with single level control and an electronic engine management system. Dry weight of the engine is 255 kg (562 lbs).

Continental has started the type certification process, which will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) followed by FAA and CAAC validation. Continental expects the engine to be certified in 2016.

Continental Motors, Inc. (CMI) was acquired by China-based AVIC International Holding Corporation (AVIC Int’l). In 2013, AVIC acquired the assets of Germany-based Thielert Aircraft Engines and incorporated them under the name Technify Motors GmbH (TMG). In early 2014, AVIC International formed Continental Motors Beijing Corporations, Ltd. in Beijing to act as the marketing, sales, service, and distributor of the products and services offered by the different members of the Continental Motors Group (CMG).

CMG now includes Continental Motors, Inc.; Technify Motors GmbH; Continental Motors Beijing, Ltd.; Mattituck Services, Inc.; and Zulu Flight Training, Inc.

Continental Motors Group (CMG) is moving forward with rebranding efforts. The diesel engines known and sold under the brand name Centurion will be re-named to Continental Diesel abbreviated as CD. For example, the former Centurion 2.0s is now called CD-155. The diesel products are now listed as:

  • CD-100 series, formerly the Centurion 2.0/2.0s, 4-cylinder inline engines, 135 and 155 hp
  • CD-200 series, formerly the Continental TD-300 engines with 230 and 245 hp
  • CD-300 series, the new V-6 diesel rated at 310 hp

The diesels can operate on auto-diesel (DIN 590) and with the standard aviation fuel kerosene (Jet Fuel, Jet-A).

In April, the company announced a cumulative 4 million flight hours on its diesels in service.