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The information contained in these press releases and statements was accurate, in all material respects, at the time of issuance. However, Continental Aerospace Technologies GmbH assumes no obligation to update the information to reflect subsequent developments.

Jul. 13, 2010
Centurion gaining altitude: first half of 2010 - a success

  Lichtenstein, Germany – Centurion Aircraft Engines AG & Co. KG in Lichtenstein/Saxony, the distribution company of engine manufacturer Thielert Aircraft Engines (TAE), which despite its insolvency has successfully continued operations for two years under the administration of Dr. Kübler, can look back on a successful first half of 2010. All product improvement and service expansion objectives were achieved. Besides the life time extension of the Centurion 2.0 to 1,500 hours, the certification of the 155 hp Centurion 2.0s for installation in the Cessna 172 was another major accomplishment. Additional Service Centers and distributors have also been appointed, so that now over 310 fixed base operators (FBO) are providing services worldwide. Though the market for sales of piston aircraft remains troubled, sales of Centurion piston engines are still stable, representing a safe, dependable and environmentally friendly propulsion alternative. Efforts to attract new investors for TAE continue.

In the first half of 2010 the company saw no decline in sales, despite the persistence and even the partial worsening of the crisis affecting the piston engine market for General Aviation. Production levels were kept stable at the same level as in 2009. Finch Aircraft was attracted as a new OEM, engine development and production orders for operation in unmanned aircraft are under way. Centurion engines are known for their fuel efficiency, dependability and environmental advantages, which gives them outstanding prospects for the future.

Reliable and sustainable

By the end of June 2010, Centurion engines sold worldwide have logged a total 2,166,688 flight hours since production began, proving to be extremely reliable. While the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has recorded 10 engine failures per 100,000 General Aviation flight hours, during the same time span Centurion engines failed only 5.86 times. In the last twelve months the shutdown rate has actually fallen to 3.86 failures per 100,000 flight hours. Centurion engines thus are verified as being among the most reliable and safe piston engines in General Aviation.
These engines have ideal prospects to be assured of a good future because of their economical and environmental advantages, being able to use standard aircraft kerosene (Jet-A) instead of having to rely on aviation gasoline (avgas). In addition to non-dependence on avgas, the many “green” benefits of Centurion engines include zero risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, zero lead emissions and substantially lower nitrogen and hydrocarbon emissions than with avgas engines. Plus, Centurion engines use less fuel and meet strict noise ordinance requirements.

Service network continually expanding

All Service Centers remain in full operation despite the insolvency of TAE. In fact, the service network has expanded considerably in the last two years. Contracts have been signed with more than 50 new FBO and with three additional distribution partners. In the first half of 2010 the number of FBO providing maintenance and servicing of Centurion engines rose to over 310 for the first time. Centurion aircraft engines thus enjoy the largest, most comprehensive service network for jet fuel piston engines.

Other areas besides the service network have expanded too during the period of insolvency. The warehouse for the North American market, for example, located in Texas has been further built up to accelerate deliveries to the Service Center there and to reduce AOG times for customers. The technical representative for Centurion Aircraft Engines in North America is still based in Dallas, supporting service and conducting mechanic trainings.

Particularly in view of the good results in the first half of the year, the achievements of TAE, while being on the search for an investor, for its customers – particularly in the area of service – should be emphasized. The lifetime extensions for engines and components reached in April 2010 prevented the disastrous situation in replacement parts supply that would have occurred if Centurion production had been discontinued. Customers, creditors and employees can be grateful for the insolvency administrator's strategic decision to continue the company's operations, which by no means is a risk-free course of action. The successes seen bear out the administrator's decision. The active restructuring management that he and his team have implemented in insolvency has put the company back in the black, creating excellent conditions for the ongoing investor process.

Technical objectives achieved

Nearly all technical objectives were achieved on schedule. The first clutches designed for an extended lifetime of 600 hours have already been delivered to customers. The lifetime of the feed pump rose from 600 to 1,200 hours. The lifetime of the Centurion 2.0 has been 1,500 hours since the end of May, avoiding the originally scheduled factory inspection at 1,200 hours. This considerably reduces maintenance costs and aircraft-on-ground times considerably. Centurion is working on extending the lifetime of the Centurion 2.0 to 1,800 hours as its next major service-enhancing step. All owners of 1.7 engines will benefit from this lifetime extension within the frame of the upgrade program. Any aircraft equipped with a Centurion 1.7 can be upgraded to Centurion 2.0, namely the models Cessna 172, Piper PA28, Robin DR400 as well as Diamond DA40 and DA42.


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