Welcome to WAM Aero Diesel


The home of Aero diesel development. Well as Mark Twain said, the reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated ! We're still at it ! Developing a sensible and workable lightweight Aero diesel.

Wilksch Airmotive Ltd is a UK company with a manufacturing and development site at Gloucester airport which designs and manufactures Compression Ignition Engines for light aircraft. The company, founded in 1994, manufacture two-stroke compression ignition engines. An 80 horse-power version became the first two-stroke diesel aircraft engine to fly in over 50 years after its maiden flight in a Piper J-3 on 21 November 1997. This was developed into a three cylinder design which now offers 100 and 120hp versions. Design has been done on a 4 cylinder version which should offer 160-190 hp.
The Wilksch technology allows aircraft to run on Jet A-1 fuel used for jet engines, which is widespread and cheaper than Avgas.
The prototype was a two cylinder model and capable of 80 bhp. By 1999 we had a three cylinder model flying in a Europa aircraft, this is the 120 bhp engine and is also used in a LongEZE, Thorp T-211, Murphy Rebel Elite, Conquest, Impulse, Jodel, Gaz'aile, Cozy  and Vans RV-9.  There is also a derated version of the three cylinder - 100 bhp - which is now  flying in a Pietenpol Aircamper. In total we have 20 aircraft flown with WAM power with around the same number of aircraft under construction.

"Big Bore"

Around 2007 it was apparent that several modifications together would need to be implemented to ensure that the engine was 'productionisable'. From this time the organisation returned to 'development' status. We took the opportunity to increase the bore and the stroke. This also coincided with a redesign of the precombustion chambers and cylinder head. All in all these amounted to a considerable amount of re-patterning and testing. This programme is now reaching its conclusion and will leave us new versions of the three cylinder which in turn can be offered at 105hp, 125hp and 140hp (subject to test) all for much the same component count and weight as the original. The volumetric increase might have suggested a higher power output than 140hp but we have to date preferred a derated route for reliability and durability. Early results show  very significant improvements in smoke, sfc and noise at each of the target powers.

WAM engines have an inlet port belt in the cylinders and exhaust valves in the head, leading to optimum scavenge,  exact engine timing and tuning. 

courtesy of we show a diagram of the two stroke 


For engine startup a supercharger is fitted, supported by a turbocharger for normal engine operations. Provision for mounting a hydraulic propellor control is built-in. The alternator is installed on the back of the engine and driven direct from the crank through a cush-drive. Alternative high-power alternator options can be accomodated for OE applications. The engine features an intercooler and glycol/water cooling system. Once started  WAM engines do not need any electric power for continued operation.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 19 April 2011 11:28)

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