Manufacturer opts for UK-based Jade Air as European build centre for piston engine

Aftermarket components specialist Superior Air Parts expects approval of its first certificated piston engine in the first quarter of next year. The 180hp (134kW) Vantage is based on the Dallas, Texas-based company's XP-360 engine for the experimental-aircraft market, built using US Federal Aviation Administration-approved replacement parts developed by Superior for Continental and Lycoming engines.

Superior has chosen West Sussex, UK-based Jade Air as its first build centre outside the USA. The company will rebuild Continental and Lycoming engines to Superior's Millennium standard, which includes new investment-cast cylinders, and assemble XP-360 experimental and Vantage certificated engines.

Although the Vantage is based on the XP-360, and the range of replacement components for which Superior has FAA parts manufacturer approval, the four-cylinder engine is undergoing a complete certification programme, says senior vice-president Jim Archer. Although the Vantage is physically interchangeable with Lycoming's IO-360, he says Superior's engine offers improved components designed to latest certification standards.

"The improved induction system and cylinders let the engine breathe better and maintain rated horsepower. When the Lycoming was first certificated, it was to ±2.5% rated horsepower. Now the rules are -0% to +5%," says Archer. The "competitively priced" Vantage will also be certificated to run on unleaded 91-98 octane fuel, rather than the 100 octane, low-lead avgas required by the IO-360. Superior is talking to several interested aircraft manufacturers, Archer adds.

Source: Flight International