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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedPower to the people: OEMs spotlight new engines & alternative fuels
By James Wynbrandt, EAA AirVenture Today

Photo by Tyson Rininger

July 29, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - With concerns about the cost of aviation fuel and emissions both running high, Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) and Lycoming, the two major U.S. piston engine manufacturers, are showcasing some of their solutions at Oshkosh.

Mobile, Alabama-based TCM announced receiving FAA Certification for the first Full Authority Digital Electronic Controlled (FADEC)- turbocharged engine, the 350-hp TSIOF-550. TCM president Rhett Ross says the engine was developed “in response to requests from airframe manufacturers wanting a high horsepower engine offering, mated with advanced electronic engine controls.”

TCM’s PowerLink FADEC allows single- lever control of the engine. Pilots select either best power or best economy, and the engine automatically adjusts mixture and propeller pitch for all phases of flight accordingly. An experimental version of the TSIOF550 has been flying on the front of a Lancair IVP for over 550 hours, and it has cruised at 255 knots on 17.5 gph fuel burn.

TCM has also been active in developing engines compatible with alternative fuels. President Rhett Ross and company pilot and engineer Keith Chatten flew its factory turbocharged Cirrus SR22 with a standard TCM production engine to Oshkosh using UL94 unleaded aviation fuel. With ASTM working for certification of UL94, TCM has shifted from testing the fuel to readying its engines for its introduction.

“Today’s flight demonstrated that our standard factory turbo is ready for future fuels and has the fuel economy necessary to benefit our customers,” Ross said. The company has successfully flown both turbocharged and normally aspirated engines on unleaded fuels.

TCM also introduced what it’s calling the TR22, for Turbo Realized 22, engine. Initially developed for the kit and experimental aircraft markets, it is now the subject of an aggressive Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) program, aimed at retrofits of Cirrus SR22 aircraft. According to TCM, the TR22 will deliver a 3,000 fpm climb rate at 130 knots at sea level, and provide max cruise performance of 196 knots at 9,000 feet and 204 knots at 18,000 feet. The company expects to receive STC certification by the end of this year.

The new engines, the TSIOF550- powered Lancair, and the company’s UL94-burning SR22 are on display at the TCM booth, 229-234.

Lycoming, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is also heavily involved in alternative fuels research. That includes current testing of 100SF, a renewable fuel under development as a possible replacement for 100LL, usable without modifying existing engines. Lycoming is providing the engines for testing the Swift Fuel, which is undergoing evaluation.

At AirVenture 2008, Lycoming announced its iE2 engine series, designed as an alternative fuel-friendly powerplant. Lycoming chose Lancair International of Redmond, Oregon, as the launch customer for the non-certified engine, and the maiden flight of an iE2 engine occurred July 2, when a TEO 540-EXP iE2 powered a Lancair Evolution. That aircraft flew to AirVenture this year and is on display at the Lycoming booth. The 350-hp twinturbocharged and intercooled engine is the first iE2 model planned.

The first OEM installations are being calibrated and the certification program is underway.

Lycoming is also debuting its IO-233- LSA light-sport aviation engine. The 116-hp LSA engine will be FAA-certified.

Lycoming will commence onwing ground, taxi, and flight testing of the 116-hp immediately following AirVenture.

Additionally, Lycoming is displaying its new IO-390-A3A6, a 210-hp upgrade of its popular 200-hp IO 360. The company is seeking both certification and a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to install the engine in three legacy models of the Mooney Airplane Company’s M20 E, F, and J models.

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