Avionics Report

April 1998 Issue

LASAR’s Slow Start

Cessna, Piper and Mooney have said no thanks to electronic ignition. Will automatic mixture control convince them?

Aircraft diesels and cheap jets may be the sexy newcomers to the aviation engine biz but the poking and prodding of the old standbys from Lycoming and Continental continues at an unprecedented pace. Research in electronic engine controls leads the way.

If there’s such a thing as accepted wisdom, it seems to be that if the conventional gasoline piston engine is to survive, it will have to have sophisticated electronics, possibly including a single-lever power control wired to a full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) of the type turbine powerplants have sported for years.

The road to electronically managed engines, however, is proving bumpy and it may take some re-thinking ab...

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