Training Buoys Engine Market
The surge in pilot training has been good for the engine business and Lycoming CEO Mike Kraft says he’s hopeful it will be sustained. In a podcast interview at AirVenture 2018, Kraft said the legacy engine maker has kept innovating and adapting to the changing market and many of the biggest changes are invisible. For instance, the company has begun installing diamond-coated wear parts in the engines and the result will be increased reliability and longevity. Among the big projects it’s involved with is supplying the FADEC-equipped iE2 engines, formally known as the TEO 540-C1A, for Cape Air’s new fleet of Tecnam 2012 twins.
The Massachusetts-based airline, which operates commuter services in the Northeast, Caribbean, Midwest and eastern Montana, has ordered 100 of the little airliners, which seat up to 12 passengers. The first Cape Air plane is now being built and the engines were recently certified. The Tecnams will replace the current fleet of 83 Cessna 402s. The Cessnas seat nine passengers. Kraft said the company is building a lot of engines for the experimental market, particularly for the Vans RV line. Among the innovations in the experimental engines is dissimilar ignition, using an electronic system for half the plugs and magnetos for the other half.