Renault Sport's other engine

FRENCH aircraft engine manufacturer SMA, which is jointly owned by Renault Sport, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space company and the Societe Nationale d'Etude et de Construction de Moteurs d'Aviation, is to put the light aircraft engine it designed into production at a new factory in Bourges.

The factory will require about $12m of investment but will be able to produce around 2000 units per year. At the moment the company has only 200 firm orders but hopes that the engine, which runs on standard jet fuel rather than on avgas will be popular as it is both cheaper and easier to find.

The engines are going to be supplied to light aircraft builders Maule Air Inc. of Moultrie, Georgia and to the Cirrus Design Corporation in Duluth, Minnesota both of them well-known for their innovative attitudes towards the industry. The United States will be the major target for the SMA engines.

The project provided work for Renault Sport's research and development team before the current V10 Formula 1 engine was given the go-ahead by Renault management.

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