Flashback: On 21 September 2009, M+D Flugzeugbau applied for the TC (Type Certificate) for their MD-TJ42 jet engine. It’s taken six years to certify the MD-TJ42 jet engine for use in sailplanes.
Companies looking to certify an engine with an EASA TC (Type Certificate) for planes must take into account numerous details. The standards for security, reliability and consistent performance are extraordinarily high, and the supporting documentation is comprehensive. When creating the documentation, the M+D team received active support from aerospace engineer Stefan Hilbenz of Kasaero GmbH.
Some facts and figures: Around 50 engines were thoroughly put through their paces and deliberately pushed to and beyond their limits in tests carried out by M+D. In the prescribed endurance and cycle tests, the engines were run in a simulation between initial idle speed to full throttle and back over 100 hours, as well as being exposed to a maximum load of 16 hours at continuous maximum acceleration (!).
A good 180 test flights were carried out by M+D test pilot Sören Pedersen and his colleagues. The engines were flown in around 300 hours of field trials in a variety of aircraft types.
The cooperation between M+D Flugzeugbau and Jonker Sailplanes and the fitting of 50 JS1 with jet engines provided additional data for development. In South Africa, additional intensive tests, flights and refinements were carried out. The density altitude and temperatures in Africa also contributed to important findings for development. In the meantime, over 80 engines were supplied to non-EASA countries. In Europe, too, the MD-TJ42 has now passed all its tests and received the EASA-TC.
The engine has its own electric starter and runs on regular diesel, rather than being operated by specialised, expensive aviation fuel.
Next steps: The MD-TJ42 will be fitted in other aircraft, not just in the JS1. Other aircraft types are also in M+D’s sights. There are no further obstacles to retrofitting these types using installation kits.
It goes without saying that the engine is continuously being further developed and refined to fit each aircraft profile.
Read a report of a flight in a JS1 using the engine here.
This website will continue to be updated with answers to questions about the engine, as well as options for retrofitting it in various aircraft models.