21 September 2021
What kind of light aircraft needs 550hp takeoff power? Answer: one that works hard such as the de Havilland Beaver.
The latest customer for the RED Aircraft V12 turbodiesel engine is Sealand Aviation, a floatplane operator in British Columbia, Canada.
The maiden flight of Sealand’s DHC-2 Beaver fitted with the RED-03 engine is due very soon, according to the team working on the aircraft.
The engine has been fitted and is currently undergoing checks and calibration with a newly designed fuel system. Next up will be a custom-made engine cowling and the installation of the Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).
Bill Alder, president of Sealand Aviation, said, “I see the RED A03 engine as the ideal intermediate step in getting to zero-emission power for the Beaver and other aircraft.
“The lower fuel burn with increased horsepower allows for faster airspeed and bigger payloads. This will keep the Beaver as a viable aircraft for the foreseeable future and lowers the aircraft’s environmental impact.”
RED Aircraft says the RED03 engine is certified for 500hp max continuous power with 550hp available for takeoff. It’s an all-aluminium engine that burns Jet A1 fuel at roughly 50% of the rate of a similarly powered turboprop.
Enrico Evers, head of sales at RED Aircraft, added, “Working with Sealand Aviation provides us with a fantastic opportunity to show the world how the RED A03 can transform an established airframe such as the DHC-2 Beaver.
“We believe that upgrading popular airframes with modern clean sheet-designed engines such as ours will help create a greener aviation sector. Saving fuel, lowering emissions, and reducing costs for the operators.”
Sealand is no stranger to making modifications to aircraft. Over the last 40 years, it has worked with de Havilland to develop several supplemental type certificates (STCs).
Upon completion of the remaining tasks, the aircraft will undergo an approval process to authorise the test flight. It has yet to be decided whether this will take place on wheels or floats.