Light-Sport Aircraft market leader Flight Design is nearly ready to fly its new four seat C4 aircraft and in final preparation sent a team to Continental Motors manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama. The two companies have been working closely on the project.
The Flight Design team, led by Flight Design USA Director of Maintenance Dave Armando, was joined by Engine Group Leader, Franz Karnecki of Flight Design's base in Kamenz, Germany; C4 Project Lead Engineer Artem Izokh; and, independent consultant John Hurst.
As the engineers prepare for the upcoming first flight of the C4 proof-of-concept aircraft Flight Design's technical team attended a weeklong session covering detailed operational knowledge about the Continental IO-360-AF powerplant that has been selected for the C4. The workshop at the production headquarters for Continental Motors was led by Neal George, Sales & Service Representative for the Alabama engine designer and manufacturer.
Following a morning tour of the factory and test facilities followed by a general familiarization presentation, the team investigated deeply into crank case design, lubrication schematics, fuel system, cylinders, magnetos, and installation parameters for the IO-360-AF.
According to Michael Gifford, Director of OEM Sales and Services for Continental Motors the six cylinder 180 horsepower IO-360-AF alternate fuels engine is progressing towards FAA Part 33 certification allowing operation on unleaded fuels meeting the UL91 specification or higher. All certification work is complete and FAA approval is expected in 2014. The engine will be one of the standard versions available under the engine's FAA type certificate. The two companies are coordinating well as the Flight Design C4 prepares for first flights in the next few weeks.
"We are very pleased with the close cooperation we have received from Continental Motors on the C4 project," said Flight Design GmbH CEO, Matthias Betsch. "The engine manufacturer has worked in concert with our engineers on the C4 design and we look forward to expanding our involvement for the diesel powered version of the C4 in the future. To further enhance the collaboration, Flight Design wanted specific training for members of our technical team," continued Betsch.
The IO-360-AF engine is an exciting addition to the Continental Motors' line up of gasoline engines with its capability to operate on a range of unleaded and leaded fuels. Although the engine's flexible design allows operation at up to 210 horsepower, the IO-360-AF engine will operate at 180 horsepower at 2,650 RPM to meet the C4's needs while providing lower noise and a 2,000 hour TBO." said Rhett Ross, president of Continental Motors. "We are excited Flight Design selected Continental Motors to power their newest aircraft as we think the IO-360-AF engine is the perfect fit for the C4 and further demonstrates Continental's reputation for delivering innovative products that are backed by an experienced staff and a 100-year history," Ross went on to say.
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