Diesel power for Aviation – and my Sonex experimental airplane project

Posted By on May 20, 2005

I’ve been thinking about getting back to work on my Sonex project and have been ‘re-intrigued’ with the thought of diesel power. I came across a company, Advanced Propulsion Technologies, that is building extremely lightweight, high powered diesels, especially the 325HP engine. This one clutched to a second is being proposed and tested on light unmanned military helicopters. The more I look at it, the more I keep thinking it would make an interesting airplane engine? I wonder if I could heat the fuel enough to run biodiesel? Its already runs on JP8 so fueling at the airport is not a problem.

Advanced Propulsion Technologies

My Sonex project (N43SX – reserved) is still sitting on the bench (see webcam shot below), well one wing is on the bench. I’ve been contemplating riveting on the skins, but once riveted will be there to stay. (hence the delay) I’ve plumbed a plastic conduit for wing tip lights or strobes, but I haven’t really been motivated this past winter to do much more than look at it.


Speaking of looking at it, I’ve also been working on my layout for a ‘mini’ glass cockpit and believe that the Stratomaster Ultra is a good choice. I’m not entirely sure that I’m up for an all in one instrument but considering I’m planning on day VFR in this plane it might be the perfect tool. That in combination with a GPS system would offer an emergency instument backup and the navigation simplicity of a GPS.

Stratomaster Ultra
Sonex Panel

I haven’t really looked at all the offerings so far … but the AVMap EKP IV is what I would like. The compact color mapping GPS unit features a compact unit profile with a large and brilliant color, sunlight-viewable LCD display.


Enough dreaming for now … I was hoping this would motivate me to get working on the plane. 🙂


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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