• The Red A03 diesel is mated to the Beaver airframe. (Red Aircraft)
    The Red A03 diesel is mated to the Beaver airframe. (Red Aircraft)

De Havilland's iconic DHC-2 Beaver is the latest legacy aircraft to be mated to the 500-hp Red Aircraft A03 diesel engine.

The Red Aircraft A03 is an all-aluminium 12-cylinder FADEC turbo-diesel that the manufacturer says has performance comparable to turbo-prop engines, but burns up to 50% less fuel.

The Beaver project belongs to Vancouver company Sealand Aviation, a company with a reputation for resurrecting exhausted aircraft frames with new technology and systems.

Sealand president Bill Alder said the A03 engine was expected to give the Beaver a boost in performance.

“I see the RED A03 engine as the ideal intermediate step in getting to zero-emission power for the Beaver and other aircraft," he said.

"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.”

The Beaver is currently having a new cowl, FADEC and  fuel system installed before undergoing an approval process, authorising a test flight.

Sealand has not yet decided whether this will take place on wheels or floats.

In August this year, Red Aircraft successfully tested a Yak 18T, which resulted in an increase in speed of 75 knots for a reduction in fuel consumption of 20-40%.

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