Maintenance Matters

April 2012 Issue

Cylinder Survey: Top Marks for Lycoming

Lycoming’s factory jugs engender the most loyalty and the fewest complaints. ECI also did well, but slips a little due to quality issues.

Propped up on the assembly bench, aircraft cylinders—regardless of who made them—look almost alike. But they don’t necessarily perform alike, which is why owners contemplating an engine overhaul wring their hands over which jugs to buy. Since the mid-1990s, the cylinder market has waxed and waned with regard to prices, choice and competition. What’s an owner to do? Ask other owners, that’s what. So we recently did just that, surveying nearly 400 owners of piston-powered aircraft about their experiences with cylinders. We also contacted a few shops to query about their recommendations. Curiously, the cylinder market has, shall we say, evened out since the last time we did this survey. We’re not exactly hearing choruses of Kumbaya here, but the schizophrenic spikes in owner bile toward one company or another seemed to have been displaced by a it’s-not-so-bad resignation toward cylinders that go bad now and then.

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