OSHKOSH, Wis. – Continental has begun flight testing the next class of its diesel line with hopes of having a new engine in the 300 horsepower range certified in 2016.

Continental Motors President Rhett Ross unveiled the new engine during AirVenture here, saying that it will be the next step in the development of its diesel engine program, complementing its CD-100 and 200 series already in production.

Continental’s reach in the diesel market expanded quickly after it acquired the German-based Thielert a year ago, giving it a certified line with the Centurion series. The new engine is an extension of that expertise, designed by the team in Germany. "Just like most Continental Diesels, the CD-300 is designed on the basis of tried-and-trusted technology," Ross says.

The engine, the CD-300, has gone from "concept to first flight in under nine months," Ross says. First flight took place this month on a Cirrus SR22 from the company’s developmental center in Altenburg, Germany. Plans call to have the engine ready for review by airframes in 2015 and certification following a year later. Continental will first seek European Aviation Safety Agency certification, followed by U.S. FAA and Chinese CAAC validation.

The V6 engine is targeted for high-performance four- to six-seat aircraft, with up to 310 hp and 2,300 rpm to lower operating nose. The engine will be equipped with single-level control and an electronic engine management system. Continental expects time between replacement of more than 2,000 hr.

While designed in Germany, the engine is called the CD-300 in line with Continental’s rebranding initiative to better align the former Thielert and Continental products. The former Thielert Centurion engines will now carry the CD designation for "Continental Diesel. The former Centurion 2.0, for example, was changed to the CD-155 to reflect its 155 hp. The Continental TD-300 will fall into the CD-200 series for engines between 230 and 245 hp.

The combined products include more than 4,000 engines delivered for 2,600 aircraft.