Industry News

September 2009 Issue

Turbo Wars: TAT vs TCM

Continental has rolled out a new TSIO-550 for the Cirrus. Performance is impressive, but we’re not sure it’s limited to the claimed horsepower.

Does the world need another turbocharged Cirrus SR22? Continental thinks so, because at AirVenture Oshkosh it rolled out its long-rumored TSIO-550 demo project for the SR22. We know this project has been an on-again, off-again effort between Cirrus and Continental and now it looks like it’s on again, at least from TCM’s point of view. Currently, Cirrus’s turbocharged offering—its best seller—is the turbonormalized set-up engineered and provided by Tornado Alley Turbo. The aircraft retains the stock 310-HP IO-550-N but with the addition of two turbochargers and lots of intercooling. Unlike traditional systems from Continental, the Tornado Alley system doesn’t ground boost the engine but allows it to maintain sea-level manifold pressure well into the 20s. Technically, the turbonormalized system doesn’t have a critical altitude since it boosts to sea-level to the airplane’s certificated ceiling of 25,000 feet.

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