Liberty XL-2 two-seater will be the first aircraft to have single-lever piston control system installed at factory

Teledyne Technologies company Aerosance is the first to receive US Federal Aviation Administration approval for a single-lever piston engine control system. Liberty Aerospace will be the first manufacturer to factory-install Aerosance's PowerLink full-authority digital electronic control (FADEC), on the Teledyne Continental IO-240-powered Liberty XL-2 two-seater.

According to Aerosance president Steve Smith, the FADEC is now approved for installation on all normally aspirated models of Textron Lycoming's O-360 piston engine, giving the company access to one of the largest single pools of aircraft flying. "We're seeing efficiency gains of 10-15% on tests we've run to date," he says. Conversion of the O-360 will cost around $6,000. Aerosance is holding talks with a number of manufacturers to adapt the FADEC to current airframes, says Smith.

PowerLink provides an engine with a dual-redundant electronic ignition system, automatic mixture control and dual-redundant electrical supplies dedicated to powering the system. Computer-controlled fuel injection eliminates manual mixture control, while electronically controlled injectors replace the fuel-injection hardware or carburettor.

The FADEC was originally certificated last December on a Diamond DA40-C1 Katana powered by Continental's 95kW (125hp) IO-240. Tests continue on a Continental IO-550-powered Cessna 210 and Raytheon Baron, and PowerLink is set for certification this month on the crossflow version of this engine, followed in September by the updraft version used on later-model Raytheon Bonanzas and Barons. Approvals on turbocharged IO-550s, Continental IO-520s and Lycoming IO-540s are planned for early next year.

Aerosance has teamed with Vision Microsystems to put solid-state graphical engine displays in aircraft converted to the FADEC to give pilots access to engine data from the electronic control, including percent-power readings.

Source: Flight International