...Production Expected Soon
There's nothing new about FADEC itself. Tiarks said that about the only jet aircraft still in the air today without it is the notoriously demanding Concorde and it will be out of service in a month. With respect to power adjustment, the Liberty will be something like a jet. The Teledyne Continental (TCM) PowerLink system replaces all the dials and knobs with a single lever. Power is expressed on a jet-like scale. While the pilot worries about the percentage of power he or she would like to tap, computers create the optimum combination of fuel and air to carry out his or her wishes. Quite the pitchman, TCM President Bryan Lewis said FADEC moves the care and feeding of a piston engine "beyond folklore to precise digital control" and said it was long overdue. Tiarks said production will begin as soon as the type certificate is signed. He said it will take about a year to clear the initial backlog of 55 orders, and full production is expected to be up to 240 airplanes a year. He said the modular design of the aircraft, with its easy repair and maintenance, is attractive to flying schools, but Liberty always had getting from A to B in mind during development. It will carry a payload of 603 pounds 600 miles at 132 knots, using about 5.5 gph. "Hopefully, it's a plane for all times and all people," he said.