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An ultralight aircraft or a gyroplane with a diesel engine? Seems impossible, and yet it is not! Designers from Kalisz have teamed up with scientists from Lublin, and together they are working on such a power unit intended for aircraft. The expected result may be a surprise for all enthusiasts of flying. Not only will the engine use less fuel, but it will also emit less carbon dioxide.


"Thanks to a grant from the National Centre for Research and Development received under the INNOLOT programme, Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego “PZL-KALISZ” SA has been working on such an engine in cooperation with Lublin University of Technology since 2016. ‘Currently, the test engine is undergoing braking tests, which are being conducted at the University. Simultaneously, we are designing the unit’s target configuration. Our aim is to develop a high pressure charged two-stroke opposed-piston diesel engine. It has no valves and, therefore, it is lighter and simpler when it comes to construction. The engine has the power of up to 100 kW, i.e. around 134 hp. In comparison with other aircraft engines, it uses less fuel and emits less carbon dioxide,’ explained Bartłomiej Skórzyński, the chief designer at WSK “PZL-KALISZ” SA."

 Diesel engines are still a niche in the aviation industry. Admittedly, they are produced in Austria, but they are power units for larger machines. The company from Kalisz is thinking of ultralight aircraft. And there is every reason to believe that the new engine will be perfect for them. High pressure charging, a port-based charge exchange system and a dual fuel injection system in the central combustion chamber reduce the duration of combustion process. This makes it possible to reduce heat losses and achieve a high level of efficiency, as well as increase the unit power. At the same time, the module system (a single module is made up of a cylinder with two pistons) allows for easy development of the engine and boosting its power.

"In 2020, which is when the project is to be completed, we would like to achieve a level of engine development enabling us to commence the certification process,’ added the designer. Only when all the required permits are obtained, will the engine be put into production and commercial use"

Unique in the world

WSK PZL-KALISZ is the world's only manufacturer of piston engines with a power of 1000 hp applied in AN 2 and M18 Dromader aircraft. Currently, it is testing vehicles with fuel injection systems, which will allow using automotive fuels.


  • Bartłomiej Skórzyński, the Chief Engineering in WSK “PZL-KALISZ” SA

    Bartłomiej Skórzyński, the Chief Engineering in WSK “PZL-KALISZ” SA

  • Scientists working on creating an opposed-piston Diesel engine

    Scientists working on creating an opposed-piston Diesel engine

  • Engine uses less fuel and emits less carbon dioxide

    Engine uses less fuel and emits less carbon dioxide



Smart Growth Programme

EU Fund

European Regional Development Fund  


A compression ignition engine for aircraft

Project cost

PLN 28.1 million, including approx. PLN 17.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund