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Electronic Ignition - Is it worth it

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Electronic Ignition - Is it worth it

Old 11th Jun 2018, 11:00
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Electronic Ignition - Is it worth it

In 2011 there was a flurry of media articles in the aviation press about electronic ignition replacing conventional fixed timed magnetos. The experimantal community seemed to have adopted this readily with seemingly every aircraft sporting dual electronic mag systems 9with the requisite dual battery installation). Electroair certified a single mag replacement system quoting better performance and lower fuel burn.

But since early 2012 there's been nothing. Have these electronic mags turned out to be a failure. The latest $600,000 C182 still comes with 2 ancient fixed timed magnetos. Does one believe the hype by Emag or Electroair about their systems. Are they worth the cost?

Could a dual electronic ignition with dual batteries be certified, would there be a benefit on a C182? Can these be fitted to the G1000 models....I'm thinking interference etc.
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Old 12th Jun 2018, 00:12
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If you find out anything further please let us know. We are looking into the electroair system as well, but finding current information and real feedback seem to be an issue.
Anybody tried one?
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Old 12th Jun 2018, 00:42
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https://www.lycoming.com/engines/ie2

The Lycoming IE2 looks very cool, still waiting for this technology to trickle down to the older Lycoming engines.

Might be easier to wait for electric aircraft engines.
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Old 12th Jun 2018, 01:48
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FWIW, I have dual EI on my RV-9, but no dual battery. The PMag models I installed self-power above the usual in-flight idle speed using an internal alternator, so even a total electrical failure wouldn't affect the ignitions until after landing. Unfortunately as I have had this since day 1, I can't provide any meaningful 'before and after' data, though if I were starting out today, I would go the full electronic ignition and electronic fuel injection route, and utilise a standby alternator on the vacuum pad to provide electrical redundancy. Some of these EFII systems allow you to meter fuel to the individual cylinder to perfectly match peak EGT for LOP operation, if that's your thing. They will also output a pulse-train to your digital fuel flow gauge/EMS to give you better accuracy than with a traditional sensor.

How difficult it would be to get an engineer to approve such an installation in a factory-built aircraft I have no idea. Probably "very"...
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Old 12th Jun 2018, 03:17
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Originally Posted by peterc005 View Post
https://www.lycoming.com/engines/ie2

The Lycoming IE2 looks very cool, still waiting for this technology to trickle down to the older Lycoming engines.

Might be easier to wait for electric aircraft engines.
The IE2 STILL isn't certified as of two weeks ago when I was talking to lycoming about it for a repower project. :-(
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Old 12th Jun 2018, 03:39
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I had an Electroair EIS-61000 fitted under STC to an SR22. Best thing since sliced bread. Probably didn't recoup the cost in fuel savings, but in terms of the intangibles - easier starting, rock-steady performance of the EIS, worth its weight in gold. Cost about US$5k + EO. The EIS replaces one mag and sparks 15,000V cf 1,500V a mag produces, so essentially the EIS is doing all the work while the second mag is just along for the ride, or if the EIS fails - which is less likely than the mag failing as the EIS is solid state vs the mag with it's bunch of parts rotating constantly like a washing machine.

And the best thing is you have a spare mag which you can then use to replace the other mag when it eventually does fail, while the EIS keeps happily humming along!

Feel free to PM if you'd like to discuss off-air.
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Old 12th Jun 2018, 08:47
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I had a duel plasma II system on the RV7 I built and it worked a treat. Small backup alternator and small second battery, main system ran one ignition and most of the avionics and the second system ran the other ignition and one VHF radio.
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Old 16th Jun 2018, 00:30
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Contact Us Performance Aviation

give these guys a holler, sure I read sometime back they'd installed on certified aircraft
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Old 22nd Jun 2018, 09:24
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It really shows the level of inexperience of what poeple know to what they believe. The mags used are simple effective and reliable when serviced to the manufacturers recommendations.
no external power required and while the big fan at the front is moving they be providing ignition.
the benefits of these simple units out way the the complexity of any other units. A mag produces mutiply spraks at each ignition cycle. This is something that after marker units try to copy via electronics.
so keep your mags serviced correctly and you shouldn't have any problems and the cost saving place over the bar at your aero club
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Old 23rd Jun 2018, 12:06
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Originally Posted by Connedrod View Post
It really shows the level of inexperience of what poeple know to what they believe. The mags used are simple effective and reliable when serviced to the manufacturers recommendations.
no external power required and while the big fan at the front is moving they be providing ignition.
the benefits of these simple units out way the the complexity of any other units. A mag produces mutiply spraks at each ignition cycle. This is something that after marker units try to copy via electronics.
so keep your mags serviced correctly and you shouldn't have any problems and the cost saving place over the bar at your aero club
And what cost savings would those be? The $8/hour penalty in extra fuel burn by running mags? Or the 2 X 500hourly inspections you'll need? Or the $20/plug cost of an 'aviation' plug vs the $2.50 automotive ones most (at least, most experimental) EI's can use? Or the extra 5+lbs you'll forever be lugging around due to the heavier mag housings? even taking away the cost of the actual 500-hourly inspection that's at least $4000 in fuel saved. Add in a pair of magneto overhauls (at $1000 ea) and that's what, $6000 saved? What possible cost advantage is there to running magnetos over EI, if you did not already have mags installed?

The only problem to running EI is a down-route failure. You may not be able to simply drop a replacement magneto in and continue your trip, but a complete extra Pmag is only $2000AUD. And can be installed and timed in under 15 minutes.
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 08:04
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KRviator,
Please stop confusing Rod the Con with facts, it seems to upset him??
Next thing, you will be suggesting that running LOP with electronic ignition is even better than with National Trust listed magnetos.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 08:42
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Well it wont be much of a saving when fuel is $8 per litre will it.

One half smart would give a lt per hr figure.

8 x 500 hly mag inspections would be required on a 2,000 TBO (TBO is the norm for working out costs).
More like $40 per aviation massive electrode spark plug.
More like $20 for good quality automotive spark plug.
Hidden costs for the Pmag are a big problem (accom and freight such as TNT).
O/H exchange slicks are $900 AUD and weigh 3 3/4 pounds (about half the old slicks).

15 mins Pmag change on a new Cessna 182 (as per the OP aircraft) take more than that to obtain the EO/STC paperwork. The new Cessna's are very tight in the engine bay, you need calibrated tooling and possibly special tooling for the Pmag ( I don't know, might take me an hour to research it depending on the net!). take of cowls and do required paperwork! If you meant an extra 15 mins - only if the required documentation such as the EO or STC and any required test equipment is supplied and confirmed can be used. Some maintenance places require these to be incorporated into systems and registers before use. Most take more than 5 mins to read and understand.

Fuel burns at a constant speed, while variable timing can help to burn more fuel at a given RPM to optimise that - I doubt that the difference at cruise is much like $8 per hour (working on $2 per ltr).
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 02:08
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8 x 500 hly mag inspections would be required on a 2,000 TBO
Bendy, I hope you really dont think this. In truth, 3 are required. One at 500, one at 1000 and one at 1500. Remember your TX at 2000 and new at 0

Speaking of TX, would you, as an engineer sign out my 2000 hour 0360 for an extension? Or would you have been scared by the insurance/legal/litigation industry? BTW, all compressions are 75/80, documented oil burn is 1 quart every 4 hours and your welcome to send off for an oil analysis even though I have never bothered.
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 03:06
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Originally Posted by Aussie Bob View Post
Bendy, I hope you really dont think this. In truth, 3 are required. One at 500, one at 1000 and one at 1500. Remember your TX at 2000 and new at 0

Speaking of TX, would you, as an engineer sign out my 2000 hour 0360 for an extension? Or would you have been scared by the insurance/legal/litigation industry? BTW, all compressions are 75/80, documented oil burn is 1 quart every 4 hours and your welcome to send off for an oil analysis even though I have never bothered.
I think Bend Alot was allowing for 2 mags, with inspections at 500,1000,1500 and 2000 hours. At 2000 hours you could argue that the mag inspection is done as part of the overhaul but is would still be an inspection and have a cost none the less...
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 04:49
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Thanks for the explanation ... and given that they are just about always done slightly early, the forth one would probably be required. 8 it is then!
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 08:19
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wonderful idea the electronic ignition, however the Glasair at Jandakot which had both timing sense pickup wiring harness removed by a flailing alternator belt would not agree, redundancy is the key.
Hey Aussie Bob, for about $25 an oil analysis trend is worth its weight in gold, only guessing otherwise.
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 09:04
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Originally Posted by Aussie Bob View Post
Bendy, I hope you really dont think this. In truth, 3 are required. One at 500, one at 1000 and one at 1500. Remember your TX at 2000 and new at 0

Speaking of TX, would you, as an engineer sign out my 2000 hour 0360 for an extension? Or would you have been scared by the insurance/legal/litigation industry? BTW, all compressions are 75/80, documented oil burn is 1 quart every 4 hours and your welcome to send off for an oil analysis even though I have never bothered.
Yes the explanation/s of the 8 are correct.

As for the O-360 if you just rocked in, and wanted me to then put it "On Condition" with no history. NO!
If I had maintained the aircraft for you for some time, probably yes.
If you had your aircraft maintained by someone I trust and were just passing and needed a service, probably yes after I spoke with the person I trust.

I have signed out many engines "On Condition" some 600 hrs over recommended TBO.

Many of those concerns exist when things go bad - on a new, mid or high time engine anyway. Not yet tried but a very good case could be put forward that very few engines have failed that were operating "On Condition". I actually think the engines operating after TBO and on condition have a far safer rate, than all engines failing prior to reaching TBO group.
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Old 27th Jun 2018, 11:42
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Originally Posted by LeadSled View Post
KRviator,
Please stop confusing Rod the Con with facts, it seems to upset him??
Next thing, you will be suggesting that running LOP with electronic ignition is even better than with National Trust listed magnetos.
Tootle pip!!
seriously do you look in the mirror each morning and say how good you are.
so once again how many magnetos have you certified for maintenance, changed timmed etc etc.

so the most powerful reciprocating engines currently on the planet making approx 22hp per cu in or 1375 hp per litre use guess what , magnetos.
why because they make the best spark. When a magneto discharges it makes multiple sparks each ingintion cycle on that lead. This is what most electronic systems try too copy. Ie MSD ignition stands for mutiple sprak discharge.
Self substaining no power other than engine power to work, efficiency cost and reliable when serviced correctly.

just wondering why they fit mixture levers for prehaps you could explain that as well
as for spark plugs i just had to pay $29 each for one of my cars and that was cheap.
cdi ignition really isnt going to do anything. When you consider that an aircraft engine maintains a constant speed. Thats why they can set the ignition timing to a set degree outside of starting.
as for why lame have an inversion to releasing engines on condition you just have to look at the two leadies for that. The word recommendation mean in the Australian court system as you must, commonly know to lame,s as what you know more than the manufacturers by the prosecution side of things. And then when the shite hits the fan the two leadies of this world come chaseing the the lame,s.
once again ye old bus driver how many m r,s have you cerified for maintenance and released . Still waiting.

tootie toot tootie pie toot tootie
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Old 28th Jun 2018, 00:19
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Folks,
Rod the Con has spoken!!

If you have fitted any kind of electronic ignition, looks like you should ditch it, he's the X-pert.
I guess we will soon see magnetos making a re-appearance on many engines, particularly near constant speed.

And, of course, if you haven't "signed out" an aircraft, you are not qualified to have an opinion, anyway.

As for "engines on condition", once again, most of the rest of the world (and Australia years ago) don't know what they are doing,

Rod the Con and his mates are the only ones who have it right, like running LOP.

Tootle pip!!
PS:
Rod the Con, name one court case where the court has found that, in Australia, "recommended" means "must", in a matter of aeroplane engines.

Last edited by LeadSled; 28th Jun 2018 at 00:50.
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Old 28th Jun 2018, 05:11
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While your at it Rod, can you give me an example of a signed out over TBO engine failing and the bloke who signed it out being taken to the cleaners? Why is everyone happy to sign out engines that have calendar expired but no one wants to touch engines that have TX?

Why do you need to know the engine to sign it out over TBO? Can't a bloke of your expertise simply tell a good engine from an detailed inspection and the logbooks?
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