DeltaHawk To Build FWF Package for Van’s RV-14


DeltaHawk Engines announced today that it’s expanding applications for its Jet A-burning, compression-ignition engine to include the popular Van’s RV-14. The first installation will be managed by Craig Saxton, who has another RV-14 already flying. The new airplane is “anticipated to fly during late spring 2024.” We’re aware of a Wllksch WAM-120 flying on an RV-9 and a Continental CD-170 being installed on another RV-9. (There are diesels flying on RV-10s as well, both from Continental. A CD-230 and an SR-305.)

“Van’s aircraft are incredibly popular thanks to their high performance with exceptional efficiency combined with a very high level of safety and ease of operation. Those same attributes accurately describe our DeltaHawk engine family, making this a great match” said Jon Heup, president of DeltaHawk Engines.

The RV-14, designed around the heavier Lycoming IO-390, is perhaps a better match for the DeltaHawk than the smaller RV-9, which should aid the effort. Still, as any engine swapper will tell you, there’s a lot more to changing an engine than building a new engine mount and fabricating a new cowling. We’re eager to see how this project turns out.

Craig Saxton’s RV-14.

Craig Saxton added: “The DeltaHawk engine and its derivatives brings many unique and exciting benefits to aviation in general and, specifically, to RV aircraft. I approached DeltaHawk because their new engine platform offers superior performance, while being significantly more efficient to operate and maintain. I believe it is a very capable alternative to other engine offerings.”

According to DeltaHawk, Saxton is building his new RV-14 with the help of Synergy Air, “the largest builder assistance company for builders of Van’s aircraft. At the present time, DeltaHawk is also developing similar firewall-forward engine installation packages for the Bearhawk 4-Place from Bearhawk Aircraft,” according to the company. Based on published data, the FWF packages are expected to cost around $100K-$110K including mounts, cooling system and, in some cases, the propeller as well.

For its part, Van’s says, “Van’s Aircraft supports a number of engine companies with information such as CAD drawings, but has no other direct involvement in this project. We wish DeltaHawk the best and hope they can design an installation that prioritizes safety first while providing an alternate solution for markets that have difficulty obtaining 100LL octane gasoline.”

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Marc Cook
Marc Cook is a veteran special-interest journalist who started as a staffer at AOPA Pilot in the late 1980s. Marc has built two airplanes, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Aviation Sportsman, and now owns a 180-hp, steam-gauge-adjacent GlaStar based in western Oregon. Marc has 5000 hours spread over 200-plus types and four decades of flying.


  1. You wrote “We’re aware of a Wllksch WAM-120 flying on an RV-9 and a Continental CD-170 being installed on another RV-9”. Don’t forget the RV-10s powered by SMA SR305-230 engines. You have a great article about the first one (“Jet A for the Rest of Us”, 2018). Last year, Flyer (the RV quickbuilt assembler and builder-assist facility in Brazil) developed a FWF package for it, and even certified it as part of certifying the RV-10 as a factory-built S-LSA in Brazil.

  2. You published the price which is appreciated, but what is the lead time for the FWF kits? It looks like IO-390 engine lead times are currently into 2026. Is that the same for these kits or do they have the ability to deliver quicker?


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