Originally Posted by rocketman1988
The problem is that the development costs are astronomical...and the potential market return is tiny. Putting a man on he moon cost about 14 billion dollars IN THE 60s. There were many thousands of people involved and it took the government to finance it. Designing and going to production on a small airplane engine, well, if the numbers were favorable there would be many more choices available now...
Originally Posted by rmartingt
It’s not a question of “is it possible”, it’s a question of “can we afford it”. A brand new engine that can slot into place where a Lycoming went but burns Jet won’t be cheap to develop, and even if every light airplane in the US bought one you’d only be looking at 160k or so units to amortize all that development expense across. My guess is that the final experimental version would run about what a new Lycoming does. And that’s not even accounting for certification costs, which would probably add 50% to the development cost, and then another 20-30% for the STCs required.
Most of the GA fleet is not going to drop money equivalent to 1-3 times the current value of their aircraft on a new engine.
By contrast, a 100LL replacement is expensive to develop too, but its sales are in much smaller and affordable units over a longer time. It’s easier for the fleet to absorb a 20-30% increase in fuel costs than capital outlay exceeding the aircraft’s hull value.
Thanks Bob and rmartingt for the insight. Too bad money gets in the way of advancing technology, but I understand. No existing company would want to touch the numbers you discussed with a 10 ft pole.
Good luck to the new companies like the one introduced in this thread. Hopefully some of them will eventually have success and gain momentum,...or at least "rattle some cages".