I just had a very interesting exchange with Ian Sage from Forced Aeromotive.
After many years of development and certification effort, his company has obtained a supercharger STC for the DA40-180.
The supercharger gives the DA40 6 inches of manifold pressure reserve so that it can maintain sea level performance until 7’000 ft.
The installation is mechanically very elegant and compact. It is a perfect match to the later model DA40 which come with 18 lbs of nose ballast.
The supercharger installation is exactly the same weight as the ballast which is removed at installation time, resulting in no weight penalty.
Pretty amazing considering the horsepower gain.
Folks at the Diamond Aviators Network forum have produced excellent documentation of its impact on operations.
In a nutshell: a massive increase in climb performance which makes the DA40 climb more than twice and the ability to operate the engine LOP while keeping true airspeed at or above 140 knots at virtually any altitude.
I think this further increases the attractiveness of the Lycoming powered version (my favorite) for highlanders.
The development of the STC took so long that I have not been able to benefit, it would have been a dream for flying in the Alps. Almost jealous now!
Great news, on DA40-180 Lyco turbo would make a lot of difference, I am surprised this was not the norm for airplanes made in Austria where “sea level is 7000ft” but I guess it was supposed to be sold on flat lands elsewhere
I don’t think TurboDiesel conversion of the NG is necessary
I have never flown a supercharger. (This one is “belt driven”!) I wonder if it much different from flying a _turbo_charged Lycoming.
Yes it is: the full boost is always on and the pilot must ensure that MP never exceeds sea level by using the throttle.
Excess boost available until 7000 ft DA. Beyond this point, sea level MP is no longer possible.
I have never flown one, but what I would do is lean it like a turbo and stay far away from peak EGT to keep some detonation margin.
Why not just look at the CHTs since there is no turbine to burn with excessive EGT/TIT?
>30k AMUs for 6" of boost is crazy expensive.
I don’t think the supercharger is always on on all aircraft. If I remember right, the LET L-200 Morava has levers to manually engage the superchargers.
On the DC-3 I think the superchargers are always on but has two gears (low blower/high blower) that the pilot can change between.
With the supercharger always on, and not having some kind of MP limiter (like the wastegate on a turbocharger) would probably make the aircraft unsuitable for club use, just as if it had a turbocharger without wastegate (Turbo Arrow, very nervous turbo in my experience).
“Why not just look at the CHTs since there is no turbine to burn with excessive EGT/TIT?”
Yes, that is a good question.
30k AMUs for 6" of boost is crazy expensive.
Hmmm I bet a lot of Ferrari owners would pay 30k for extra 6"