The EPS engine can be fitted to any aircraft design without significant engineering changes. It works in both single and twin-engine airplanes and is also viable for small helicopters, like the Robinson R44, and military drones. The current design is an 8-cylinder that runs in the 320 to 420 horsepower range, perfect for airplanes like the Cirrus SR22 (currently being used in our test flight program), the Beechcraft Baron or Bonanza, the Cessna Corvalis and 206, the Aerostar, and the GippsAero GA8 Airvan. But the V-8 engine is simply a starting point. The real goal is a dramatic revolution in the general aviation industry that will be led by the family of Graflight engines that EPS can and will design in the future.
The V-8 engine is easily scaled to a 12-cylinder model and beyond. These larger and more powerful engines have the potential to offer extraordinary cost savings for airplanes that carry as many as a dozen passengers and are popular as commuter planes, business jets, cargo airplanes and private charters. Such savings – potentially hundreds of dollars per hour – would radically shift the entire transportation model, doing more to shake up the air transportation sector than anything since airline deregulation back in the 1970s.
The Graflight V-8 as a Replacement Engine
Each year, over 7,000 aircraft in the 350 horsepower category require engine overhauls, and we anticipate that many of these engines will be replaced with the Graflight V-8. Presented with the compelling fuel savings, many owners will choose a new Graflight over aging and outmoded Lycomings or Continentals. A simple look at the math will make the case clear. In November 2013 the U.S. average Avgas fuel price was $6.08 per gallon and Jet A was $5.54, or 9 percent less. That savings alone is not nearly enough to justify a swap.
But what if you look at performance?
Take the case of a Cirrus SR22. In a comparison between the Continental gasoline 315 horsepower engine and the Graflight V-8, our engine shows a 56 percent range advantage averaged over all altitudes, and our cruise miles per gallon is 50 percent greater than the Continental’s.
Let’s assume the EPS engine is only flown for the maximum range of the Continental engine. In that case the average mission fuel cost is $291.79 compared with $492.48 for the Continental engine. That’s a 41 percent cost savings. Over the life of the EPS engine (3,000 hour target Time Between Overhauls (TBO)), that translates into a savings of $137,000. With European fuel prices the savings are even greater. In November of 2013 the price for Avgas in Germany was $13.34 per gallon, while Jet A cost $11.10. Over the life of the engine that translates into an incredible $339,000 savings in Germany.
The Worldwide Market Advantage
By 2021, the worldwide annual market for new and replacement engines in Graflight V-8’s class is predicted to reach $1 billion, and we expect to supply 15 % of this market. We also expect the spread of diesel engines to help the market to expand into places never before possible. Because Avgas is only readily available in the United States, Europe and some parts of Asia and the Pacific, general aviation has been largely restricted to those areas. With the advent of new engines, like the Graflight, capable of using different fuels, new markets for aircraft sales will open, including China, Africa and South America. These areas are desperately underserved and eager to adopt airplanes that can be easily melded into their existing aviation framework. This cycle will only feed upon itself, increasing future demand for our engines.
EPS Range Advantage
over all altitudes
Average Fuel Savings
over Continental Engine