The Game Changer -- Engine Electronics

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TCM already has the firewall side of the equation wrapped up in its PowerLink FADEC system, the companyís president, Bryan Lewis, told a group of journalists this week. The Aerosance-developed PowerLink employs pulsed fuel injection and variable timing in lieu of conventional magnetos and pump-driven mechanical fuel injection. It also has an engine control unit capable of storing every engine operating parameter imaginable. But itís no secret that PowerLink, which originally flew in 1999, hasnít yet made significant market inroads, with under 150 systems flying. TCM is targeting reasons... Lewis believes lukewarm market acceptance has been due largely to buyers being unfamiliar with FADECís most appealing benefit: the ability to log engine data for improved maintenance and engine longevity. Lewis and Steve Smith, who oversaw development of PowerLink at Aerosance, say a FADEC-controlled engine should be more thermally stable, more economical and more durable than traditional engines over the long haul to TBO. Now they aim to prove it. (And thatís one reason journalists were invited in to have a look around.)