October 1998 Issue
Making digital engine controls work isnít the problem. Making them work better than magnetos is. (And letís not forget price.)
The aircraft magneto is a cursed thing.
Its technology seemingly dates to the discovery of fire, every engine needs at least two and on a dark and stormy night over the Appalachians, the last thing you want to think about is how many fragile moving parts are whirling around inside a mag at the speed of heat.
But just try to come up with something better. Or even something thatís almost as good that doesnít cost three times as much. Thatís precisely the challenge the engine and airframe industry faces as it marches smartly up to the toll gates on Al Goreís bridge to the 21st century.
Some segments of the industry are positively euphoric with talk about electronic controls that will...
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