The piston engine aircrafts are also known as reciprocating engine aircrafts, which uses cylinders and pistons to generate power instead of turbines. These engines uses single or more than one reciprocating pistons for conversion of pressure into rotating motion.
The piston engine aircrafts market are heavily driven by the advantage of fuel efficiency of the engine. The piston engines minimizes the gap between the piston and the cylinder, resulting in high compression ratio, high heat and low fuel consumptions. During long flight hours, the payload capacity increases which in turn enhances the fuel efficiency of the engines. This factor increases the interest among the aircraft operators to procure these aircrafts, thus, driving the market.
Moreover, these piston engines are more reliable in comparison to other types of aircraft engines. These engines are diesel powered with high pressure fuel pump and due to this, the problems associated with piston engines are less than that of the engines with spark-plugs. Owing to this factor, the aircraft operators are procuring the aircrafts with piston engines in a large numbers for their simple and reliable mechanisms.
The piston engines aircraft market growth is restrained by the short life cycle of the engines. The piston engines are simpler, reliable and easier to maintain but, however the primary drawback of these engines is the life cycle. A piston engine has a life span of maximum five years which in comparison to other jet engines or turboprop engines. Due to this, the aircraft operators are limiting their procurement of piston engine aircrafts, which is hindering the market growth.
The market for piston engine aircrafts is anticipated to grow over the period as the manufacturers are researching on increasing the time between overhaul hours of the engines. Typically, the piston engines are required to overhaul between 1,200 hours to 2,000 hours of flying. The on-going researches are being conducted in the developed countries to increase the efficiency of the aircraft engine as well as the time between overhaul. This factor is expected to boost the procurement of the piston engine aircraft in the coming years, therefore, driving the market in future.
The market for piston engine aircrafts is segmented on basis of types, engine types, maximum take-off weight and geography. The two types of piston engine aircrafts are single engine aircraft and multi engine aircraft. The single engine aircrafts dominates the market and is anticipated to retain its dominance for the next couple of years. The different engine types in piston engine aircrafts are in-line piston engines, V-type piston engines, rotary piston engine, horizontally opposed piston engine, and radial piston engine.
Horizontally opposed piston engines are the most widely used piston engines due to their simple mechanism, reliability and easy maintenance. Another advantage of horizontally opposed piston engines is that they are air or liquid cooled, which helps the operators to use either of the cooling systems. In terms of maximum take-off weight, the piston engine aircrafts market is categorized as less than 1000 kg, 1000-2000 kg and more than 2000 kg.
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The piston engine aircrafts with maximum take-off weight of 1000-2000 kg leads the market due to the enhanced fuel efficiency and greater performance. Globally, the market for piston engine aircrafts is segmented based on five strategic geographies namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. The leading geographies in the piston engine aircrafts are the North America followed by Europe.
The major manufacturers of piston engines aircrafts includes Textron Aviation (U.S), Garmin, Mahindra Aerospace (India), Piper Aircraft Inc. (U.S), Flight Design GmbH (Germany), Diamond Aircraft (Austria), Cirrus Aircraft Corporation (U.S), WACO Aircraft Corporation (U.S), American Champion Aircraft Corporation (U.S), and Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM S.r.l. (Italy).