Shows 10-15 Percent Improvement In Fuel Economy
Engine-maker Lycoming Monday announced what it described as a
new standard for piston engine controls in its IE2 Series engines.
Starting with its twin-turbocharged, 350-HP TEO-540-A1A flat six,
Lycoming plans to certify its new Integrated Electronic Engine
technology across its entire line.
Sr. VP and General Manager Ian Walsh explained that the 540 was
chosen to get the technology first, not because the company felt
the demand was greatest on that platform, but because it would show
that the system was ready for even one of Lycoming's largest, most
complex, most powerful products.
The IE2 technology essentially brings the legacy engine
configurations in line with the technology found on high end
automtive control platforms. Fuel delivery, timing and other
performance factors are managed, not as overall averages as in
typical aircraft FADEC systems, but individually for each
Lycoming says benefits include electronic knock detection,
laying the groundwork for alternative fuels in the future, ease in
starting similar to modern cars, and even automated pre-flight
engine checks. Walsh added at the Monday press conference that fuel
economy rises as much as 10-15 percent in cruise.
Certification of the technology on the 540 is expected next
Lycoming also had other engine advances to report. Drawing from
the solid O-235 platform proven over decades, a new IO-233-LSA
variant has been lightened, given throttle-body fuel injection and
electronic ignition, and offers 100 continuous horsepower in as
little as 200 pounds dry weight.
The new engine is targeted at the light sport segment, where
Rotax has built a big sales lead with its 900-series, water-cooled
four-strokes, and Continental recently introduced its updated
O-200D, chosen by Cessna as the powerplant for its Model 162
The new Lycoming IO-233 will enter the market with a
time-between-overhaul of 2,400 hours, competitive with
Continental's offering, and without the complexity of water cooling
and the gear redeuction drive found on the Rotax engines. It will
also be capable of running on even low-octane automotive gasolines,
provided they contain no alcohol.
Lycoming says ASTM standards testing will be completed this
year, and the IO-233-LSA will be considered for full FAA
certification in 2009 if market demand warrants.
In other engine program updates, Lycoming announced that its
390-cubic-inch four-cylinder engine (shown above, right), which has
been available for several years as a powerplant for experimental
aircraft, will join the Lycoming certified engine family by this
November. The 390 fits in the same space required for the
360-series, but offers slightly more power.
All three new engines can be seen at Lycoming's tent at
With all the new engine technology coming on line, Lycoming also
announced Monday a program to assist existing aircraft owners who
wish to install new Lycoming engines. Called the Echelon STC
Program, the first retrofit to be certified will be the new
IO-390-A1A6 engine (shown at right) into the Cessna 177RG.
The engine installation will be STC'd in a package which
includes a McCauley prop and Slick Start ignition, and program
launch is set for this fall.