What oil should I use?

The two most common questions that I still get are: 1. What oil should I use in my aircraft engine? And 2. Are different brands and grades of oils compatible?

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A Q&A with Lycoming’s top man

After Oshkosh, I sent an email to Michael Kraft, Lycoming’s senior vice president and general manager. Due to this busy travel schedule, he was just able to get his answers to me. To honor his request, I agreed to run this in a Q&A format.

Q: Is Lycoming working on or considering development of a diesel cycle piston aircraft engine?

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How to prevent cam and lifter wear

Reader Dave Fletcher recently sent an email concerning the failure of the camshaft in his Lycoming IO-360 engine. He was concerned about pre-oilers, Ney Nozzles, CamGuard and other oil additives.

This is a subject that both engines expert Paul McBride and I have addressed before, but I thought I would try to add a little background to the debate.

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A reality check on the future of 100LL

The future of avgas has been a hot topic for almost 20 years. I recently reviewed some of my past columns and found that I was not too far off in some of my past predictions, but I thought I would try to update them with a touch of reality.

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To lean or not to lean, that is the question

I’ve recently received several emails regarding whether to operate lean of peak (LOP) or to stay on the rich side.

Let’s start with a short review of the chemistry and physics of combustion.

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Blue skies ahead for Cessna’s diesel 182

One of the interesting technical stories from this summer’s AirVenture in Oshkosh was that Cessna has completed certification and introduced into the market a diesel cycle 182 aircraft, known as the Turbo Skylane JT-A.

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More tips on breaking in your engine

In the past few months, my friend Paul McBride has written several very interesting and informative articles on “breaking in” an aircraft engine, including “How to break-in your engine”. I recommend that you read them when or if you have a new or rebuilt engine to install on your aircraft. [Read more...]

Why does 100LL cost so much?

Recently, we received a number of emails concerning the cost of 100LL at various locations, as well as the cost of 100LL vs. Jet A. Obviously, there is still a lot of confusion about this, so I thought I would try to shed some light on the issue.

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Technically speaking…

The quest to find some answers at Oshkosh

In my last post, I had the gall to be less than positive about things at the Oshkosh airshow. I was surprised at the positive feedback about similar experiences. However, our publisher, Ben Sclair commented that to see Oshkosh through the eyes of a new aviation enthusiast is like a kid on Christmas morning — it is one of the greatest experiences ever (A suggestion for keeping the magic of AirVenture alive) And he is absolutely 100% correct.

But where are they going to find 500,000 new aviation enthusiasts every year? Since they are not available, they are going to have to depend on repeat visitors. And why do pilots return to Oshkosh, pay for their transportation, fight large crowds, and pay $250 dollars for a small hotel room? Well, most of us do it to learn what is new and to get answers to our many technical questions.

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Oshkosh changes bring a bit of sadness

One of the highlights of my summers is a trip to Oshkosh, Wis., for the annual AirVenture show. The best parts of the show are seeing what is new and catching up with old friends.

Since I have been going to this show for about 30 years, I have noted a lot of changes. I assume that the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has a master plan for all of the moves, [Read more...]