Continental Motors CD-155
Aviation services company Africair retrofitted three Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy Cessna 172 Skyhawks with diesel engines and was installing Continental Diesel engines. Ethiopian Airlines use their new diesel 172s to conduct flight training, averaging 6-7 hours per aircraft per day during peak training. Over a thousand pilots enrol in the academy every year. The new engines can run on diesel or jet fuel.
The retrofit process involves the modified engine, fuel lines, relocating the main battery, installing backup batteries, modifying the instrument panel, replacing fuel caps and ports etc. Converting a Skyhawk costs around $90 000 in 2016, according to Africair. The 155 hp CD-155 engines are manufactured in Germany by Continental Motors Group, Ltd., an AVIC International Holding Corporation company. Previously the company was known as Centurion Aircraft Engines before its 2013 acquisition by Continental.
Africair has been retrofitting diesel engines for over a decade, with more than 60 retrofits, installations and upgrades on mostly Cessna 172s in Egypt, South Africa, Germany, and Guadeloupe, and the company has exported retrofitted aircraft from Miami to Iraq, Ethiopia, Angola, Libya, Colombia and other countries. In 2013 Africair supplied six new Skyhawks with diesel engines to the Angolan Air Force, which uses them for ab-initio flight training.