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In covering the Audi beat, we’ve frequently covered specialty manufacturers using Audi engines for the basis of their product. This usually happens in the form of an exotic sportscar with names like Donkervoort, Spyker or Gumpert. Today though, we’ve found something different with 3.0 TDI power in the form of a personal aircraft.
The name of this new American firm founded by an Australian is Raptor Aircraft, and their single model of aircraft is a 5-seat, pressurized aircraft made of composite materials and capable of a top speed of 300 knots. Though not yet fully commercially available, features for the aircraft include a BRS airframe parachute, constant speed reversing propellor and anti-lock brakes.
More interesting to us is the plane’s source of power. Two diesel motors will be offered with basic Fiat 1.9 TDI powered Raptor Diesel and more powerful Audi 3.0 TDI powered Raptor Diesel GT.
Raptor’s website suggests the 3.0 TDI equipped Diesel GT will be good for about 29 mpg that, combined with a 150 gallon fuel capacity, will make it capable of flying for 20 hours and cover 5000 miles. This places locations like Hawaii and Europe within range of a mainland America based Raptor Diesel GT.
Also according to Raptor, the 3.0 TDI will be modified for aviation use. This means it’ll get a quadruple kevlar belt driven PSRU to keep prop speed at about 2200 rpm. A single power lever and full fade system are also promised. Coolant from the engine will also be used in a unique heating system to keep the diesel fuel from thickening at cold high altitudes.
From the factory, Audi’s 3.0 TDI makes about 272 hp. Raptor says they’ll provide a remapped ECU that will put power “somewhere between 240 hp and 310 hp.” They’ll also reconfigure limp home mode to not restrict the engine by more than 20% power if an error code is detected. A switchable tune will also be offered allowing operators to run either diesel fuel or Jet A fuel.
As mentioned, the Raptor isn’t yet in production but appears to be close to it. The firm says they’ve got a 1/4 scale model of their aircraft on display at AirVenture 2015 in OshKosh, WI. It is located in booth 166 from July 20th-26th.
Want to learn more? Check out Raptor’s website HERE.