Engineered Propulsion Systems has completed a funding round for $765,000.
This is the latest round for the New Richmond-based manufacturer, currently in the process of attaining certification for its Graflight V-8 engine from the Federal Aviation Administration.
All the investment dollars for this round came from previous investors, according to CFO Paul Mayer. He predicted the certification process will be complete by September, and if all goes well, production of this “greener” diesel engine will begin about a year from now.
The company so far has raised $31 million of the $40 million Mayer says is needed to fund production of the engine.
“Raising private equity for startups is always difficult,” Mayer told WisBusiness.com, adding the seven-year certification process doesn’t help.
For companies like this, he said, investors need to know in the second or third year that the company can make it to the end with a profit. Many investors in Engineered Propulsion Systems are aviation enthusiasts who see value in the long-term.
As the company works toward production, Mayer has no concerns about placing orders once that goal is attained.
“There is tremendous pent-up demand for this engine in aviation,” Mayer said. “We have engine orders already. It’s not an issue of selling; its an issue of getting that blessing from the FAA.”
For now, the company is “keeping the technical aspects of this engine on the down-low,” Mayer said, but general details can be found on its website. There, a section on engine details claims it will make flying “faster, cleaner and less costly.”
According to the website, CO2 output for the engine is expected to be 17 percent less than traditional diesel engines. It will run on lead-free Jet-A fuel.
“It is weight-competitive, and considerably more efficient than a gas engine,” Mayer said.
Bosch General Aviation Technology is the company’s manufacturing partner working on “the computer brains behind the engine,” the part of the engine that required the most money to develop, according to Mayer.
Hanno Miorini, managing director for Bosch General Aviation Technology has called the Graflight V-8 engine “a superior design.”
Engineered Propulsion Systems was issued a new patent early this month on technical aspects of the engine.
“It’s revolutionary,” Mayer said. “There is nothing like this out there.”
Because the military does not require FAA certifications, the company has already received its third military contract, and will do business with it this year after completing “extreme testing” with the Air Force.
See an earlier story on EPS: www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=382624L
See video of a test-flight with a proof-of-concept engine: http://eps.aero/the-eps-engine/flight-testing/