Industry News

July 2007 Issue

Fate 1, FADEC 0

A dual engine failure in a Diamond Twin Star highlights the technical gotachas of FADEC-driven engines. It’s a cheap lesson for all manufacturers.

FADECs for piston engines—full authority digital controls—are an idea whose time seems to stubbornly refuse to come. Even though they’ve been around for a decade and everyone seems to concede they make sense, buyers haven’t exactly clamored to turn ove engine operation to a black box on the firewall. Diamond and Thielert’s impressive success with the TAE Centurion 1.7 diesel represents the high water mark for FADEC, since the 135-HP turbodiesel relies entirely on electronic control, with no mechanical backup of any kind.

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