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Wed, Sep 13, 2006

Superior Air Parts Set To Unleash XP-400 At Reno Air Races

Company Expects It To Be First Of Many

Aero-News has learned that less than six months after the program was announced at the 2006 Lakeland Fly-In, Superior Air Parts' new racing inspired 400 cubic inch XP-400 Engine will make its official debut in the skies over Reno Stead Field during the 43rd Annual Reno National Championship Air Races.

"There are a handful of very special moments when you're glad you're in the piston engine business -- and this definitely qualifies as one of them," said Timothy T. Archer, President and CEO, Superior Air Parts. "It's hard to believe that just this past April at Sun 'n Fun, Thielert AG's President and CEO, Frank Thielert, and I made the announcement that Superior was getting into racing. Now, to be here and see Scotty 'G's Unleashed Racer tearing up the course -- well, it's really exciting."

The XP-400 Engine that powers Scotty 'G's Unleashed Lancair 360 Sports Class racer features all of Superior's engine design and manufacturing advancements -- including a counter-weighted version of the recently introduced proprietary ESR (Electro Slag Remelt) crankshaft, and advanced roller lifters and camshafts. It also has angle-valve Millennium Cylinders with bigger valves for better breathing and more fin area for better cooling.

"The basic components of the XP-400 flying here at Reno are the same as the standard 220 horsepower engine that we're selling to the experimental market," explained Michael E. Caban, Superior's Director of Sales and Marketing. "But the 'racing package' is kicked up a notch or three. This engine has 10:1 compression ratio racing pistons and a racing profile camshaft. The engineers have been testing the engine on the stand at the Thielert factory in Germany and they still haven't found the top of the horsepower curve."

"So when people ask how much horsepower we're putting out we just can't pin it down right now. But what we can say is it's fast -- real fast!" he added. "We thought this racing package would be a small percentage of the XP-400's overall sales, but what we're seeing is a lot of builders want the extra performance that it delivers. I guess every pilot has some 'racing genes' in them."

Archer explained that the racing version of the XP-400 is born from the experience and innovation that Thielert AG has gained from the company's long history as an engine prototype house for Formula 1 Championship racing teams.

"They've taken the best-of-breed design and production concepts from world-class racing teams and used it to design and develop many of the specialized components found in the racing version of the XP-400 Engine," Archer said.

The racing version will be designated "XP-400 SRE" (Superior Racing Engineering) and will be available for October deliveries.

Along with having standard and racing versions of the XP-400 Engines on display at the Superior Air Parts booth (Outdoor Exhibit, booth H-1) during the 43rd Annual Reno National Championship Air Races, September 13 through 17, Caban said that Superior is celebrating its entrance into racing with some very aggressive pricing on the new engine.

"We're not only going to do our best to set a record on the race course, we're trying to set some sales records for the remainder of the year with this new engine as well," Caban explained. "Who knows, with the deals we're offering we could see a flock of XP-400 racing engine powered airplanes here next year."

FMI: www.superiorairparts.com, www.airrace.org

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