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Turboprop Robin

What do you think of the turboprop DR400, revealed at Friedrichshafen: (link in German)

The article mentions:
- 140hp turboprop
- 100kg lighter empty weight
- 28-32 liters per hour, comparable to a 160hp Lycoming. The interesting thing about that turbine is that it is multifuel (Jet fuel, Avgas, UL91, etc.)

I’m curious to see its performance compared to, say, a 180hp Lycoming Robin (like my beloved DR253) or even a turbo-charged CDI155. Robins airframe accommodate lower power engines very well. With a turbine it has the potential to be an excellent travel aircraft at altitude. Not sure whether Robin plans to offer an oxygen system but it would make sense I guess.

EDQN, Germany

What an interesting setup! Multifuel engine in a DR400. Future is so cool!

With the indicated price tag of 360.000 Euros that plane has quite some potential. If it can be run on Diesel that’s around half of fuel costs, over here around 50 Euros per hour. On maybe 150 knots. That’s a huge step.

I would put two of these engines in a Twin Comanche


Turboprop is per def COOL But until we actually see them flying in production aircraft (or homebuilts), these things are just show pieces. Now, why would anyone run the turbine on anything but jet fuel? While a gas turbine in principle can run on just about anything, just like a diesel engine, jet fuel has the perfect balance of burning and (not) exploding. Gasoline (avgas) definitely do not have that balance

The elephant is the circulation

LeSving wrote:

Gasoline (avgas) definitely do not have that balance

And gasoline is more expensive as well…

EDQN, Germany

Agree that what we are seeing here are the first steps and only a show piece at this point. Certification is planned for 2028, we’ll have a bit of time. But it’s going in the right direction! If it runs, and runs well, it will be a huge step indeed.

My first thought seeing the announcement, and considering that (in my view) 180hp is a good fit to this airframe, was “how cool would that DR400 be with an engine in the 160-200hp range” but:
1) a 160-200hp turboprop probably does not exist (Turbotech Aero only has the 140hp, it’s even listed as 130hp on their website),
and 2) let’s wait and see how the aircraft performs with this engine. Turbines with variable pitch props are very different than piston with fixed pitch. Maybe it will blow our socks off, who knows.

As a Robin lover I’m definitely impatient to see more!

EDQN, Germany

In Germany, very very marginally so.
And more the other way around if using mogas.

Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

Just gave it a short read. There are several microlights coming soon with a turbine engine. Wish I had the time to go to the Aero show. How cool… When the kids have grown up I definitely know what my next toy will be. Not another truck… They say about a bit more than 20 liters per hour on 170 knots cruise, variable fuel. Like the VL3 or Stream Turbo and similar.

Will be interesting how the certified world will evolve. Some of the types look like they could get certified and even IFR some day…


etn wrote:

a 160-200hp turboprop probably does not exist

There is another show piece that has existed for 2-3 years now, the TurbAero. 200 hp.

There is also the PBS turboprop at 250 hp. This engine actually exists. The turbojet version is what powers the Subsonex jet, and has done so for some years now.

This turbojet is experimental. It costs at least US$ 50k (but that was a couple of years ago). The TBO is 100-200h I think, and the only way to do an overhaul is to send it to the factory, which is no problem practically speaking since the engine is small, and is fastened with a couple of bolts. But it does cost $, probably at least 30k. PBS has been in the business for many years. The TP version costs twice that.

Seeing the other show pieces offering 2-3000 h TBO, how realistic is that? None of them has built an engine before. Both engines are brand new developments. Both engines have this intercooler to get the fuel burn down. No engine manufacturer (like GE, P&W, SNECMA, RR etc) has ever managed to make an intercooler that works satisfactory in an aircraft. To have a reasonable effect it becomes too heavy and bulky (I think the reason is physics )

We will see. Realistically I think the cost will be 100-200k. The TBO will be 100-200h. The fuel burn will be 2-3X what they announce today.

The elephant is the circulation

The fuel burn will be 2-3X what they announce today.

Well most SET are not efficient at low level anyway….

I think turboprops have to fly FL250 and turbofans have to fly FL500 for engine & wing physics to kick in, Normally Aspirated pistons shine in 8k (Turbo pistons are in 16k)

Maybe fluid mechanics and thermodynamics change between sub-600kg and higher

Last Edited by Ibra at 21 Apr 05:36
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

More utter rubbish that will never see the light of day.

Please put a Roatx 916 in a PA28-140 and bring a more cost efficient training aircraft out that the industry really needs.

Last Edited by Bathman at 21 Apr 07:26
42 Posts
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