News, facts, and comments on the coming revolution for piston-engine aircraft.
In 1998, one diesel engine flew on a converted airplane for the first time since 1945. Today, close to 4,000 singles and twins are flying. This is the beginning of a worldwide trend which will eventually allow a rebirth of the piston-engined aircraft, around new specs and new missions.
DieselAir Research, Inc., the publisher of The DieselAir Newsletter, offers strategic intelligence services to the aircraft industry, its suppliers and its customers who ambition to benefit from this global change of paradigm which will mean new markets, new concepts, new services, new materials and components… You may be interested in our services if your firm designs and/or manufactures aircraft and components, aero engines, avionics, propellers and engine components, fuel systems or additives, advanced materials, or industry specific machinery for manufacturing of these; or provides aviation services such as fuel production or distribution; flight training, aircraft chartering, maintenance and operations (FBO’s); or airport management and design, traffic control, hangar, materials handling and storage equipment; or consulting and financial services for these industries; or advertising, sales promotion, trade shows, specialized publications.
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News of October 12, 2005
AD Affects Aftermarket Rods In 2,800 Lycoming Engines... How come?
Facts: The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive AD on a certain make of connecting rod found in about 2,800 Lycoming 360- and 540-series engines in service in the U.S. The AD covers engines that have had certain ECi connecting rods installed as part of a repair or overhaul. The FAA determined that the connecting rods covered by the AD have deficiencies in the journal bores that can cause fatigue and/or bearing failure, which can result in "uncommanded shutdown" of the engine. (I love the expression...) Offending rods that have seen more than 1,500 hours of service have to be replaced within 50 hours and the others must be replaced before reaching 1,500 hours. The engines have been installed in dozens of certified and experimental aircraft. The repairs, according to the FAA's math, will cost about $700 per engine (we think it could be a lot more) and ECi has said it might give credit for returned connecting rods. Another AD affecting crankshafts in 1,128 engines in the same families takes effect on Oct. 21. The repair cost on those engines is estimated at more than $16,000 but Lycoming has said it will supply the parts for free. Avweb Newswire, 10/6/05.
Comments: One of the curses on US manufacturing of aircraft engines, parts and complex systems (Lycoming is only one case among others) is that the stock market driven strategies (meaning Next Quarterly driven to beef up CEOs Stock Options) favors misunderstood cost cutting thanks to elimination of so-called fixed costs in favor of so-called "variable costs": Let us outsource manufacturing instead of doing it in-house; let us get rid of all these blue collar and white collar workers and (often) concentrate on taking advantage of the ones left by appropriating their pension funds.
Why are they called "fixed costs"? Because in-house manufacturing is a guarantee of fixed quality. Ask Caterpillar, who never followed the trend and always won against powerful Japanese competition. "Variable costs", on the contrary means of course "variable quality". A manufacturers assets are his skilled, loyal employees. Once they walk out of the door, gone are your competitive davantages based on these skills, plus team work, plus memory and good will to transfer skills to the next ones.
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Every month: news, facts, and comments on the coming revolution for piston-engines aircrafts between 130 and 400 HP: Retrofitting a diesel engine to run on Jetfuel or Kerosene, reduce Gallons/Hour by some 30%, eliminate ignition systems (magnetos, spark plugs) and their problems, eliminate mixture control, increase TBO to 2,400-3,000 hours, increase performance between 6,000 and 12,500 ft., and drastically reduce Operating Costs.
The letter is intended for piston engines aircraft owners, manufacturers, fleet operators and FBOs, re-manufacturers of engines for these aircrafts, manufacturers of engine components and ancillaries, and all professionals acting in decisions of engine exchange or refitting at TBO, in North and South America, Pacific Rim, African continent, and all parts of the world were Avgas, Mogas, Kerosene and Jetfuel are available.
The DieselAir Newsletter is a confidential publication available only as printed material sent by mail (airmail for overseas), to fully identified individuals or businesses involved in General Aviation. Forums and online content may be printed at discretion of the publisher.