The marriage between piston rings and cylinder wall

Q: I am an A&P, and have been in aviation since 1990. I once worked with another mechanic who told me that if you pull a piston out of a cylinder, you must replace the rings and hone the cylinder. He is the only tech I have heard say this — until I read your article What’s best? A flush or overhaul?

You stated: “If oil starvation is suspected, you may want to remove the #1 cylinder (leave the piston in the cylinder so you don’t have to hone the cylinder and install new rings) and remove the connecting rod from the crankshaft.” Can you explain this? Is there a Service Bulletin or other directive that explains this practice? Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

TOM THROSSEL, via email

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Continental’s Mattituck Services to close

AVweb is reporting that Mattituck Services, one of the northeast’s longest-established engine shops, will close at the end of May, according to officials at Continental Motors, who said that some of the 23 affected employees will move to Continental’s facility in Fairhope, Alabama, which offers similar services on overhauls and factory service.

Rotax launches new 912 iS fuel-injected engine

In a product launch somewhat comparable to an Apple product event, BRP Rotax recently drew a large group of attendees to its facility in Gunskirchen, Austria, to launch its new 912 iS engine. In the tech world, “i” means Internet. In the light aviation world,  or more specifically BRP Rotax’s world, “i” now means injected.

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The engines of AERO Part II

Your blogger briefly mentioned the engines on display at AERO Friedrichshafen 2012 in a previous report on April 22. With Europe’s largest general aviation show now two weeks past, I thought it was time to provide a few more details. With the previous two shows having focused great attention on electric propulsion, AERO organizers wisely chose 2012 to showcase advances in piston and turbine engines, and there was a great deal to see indeed.

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The engines of AERO Friedrichshafen

Your blogger is attending the AERO Friedrichshafen show in sunny southern Germany. Among the hundreds of exhibits are many new aircraft engines, some with names like Continental and Lycoming most Americans would recognize, but others that are relatively unknown in the U.S. While a full report will have to wait until next week, one thing is very clear: Europeans have already accepted a lead-free aviation future.

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Will this replacement camshaft work in my engine?

Q: I have an O-290-D2 that I am going to use in an Experimental Wag Aero 2+2 that I am building. Although the engine was flying regularly before I removed it from a Pacer and pickled it, I want to open it up to look at the cam. If the cam is pitted, a replacement will be difficult or prohibitively expensive.

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Tempest introduces new kits for Bendix magnetos

Tempest has introduced 12 new magneto repair kits for Bendix magnetos — six repair kits and six deluxe repair kits. A repair kit is generally used for 500 hour inspections, where a deluxe repair kit is for major repairs and overhauls, company officials said.

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Ask Paul: What’s best? A flush or overhaul?

Q: I recently found paper towel bits and pieces in a Lycoming engine in an aerobatic airplane. The pilot said he saw the oil pressure go to “zero,” so he reduced power, and landed safely. Would you suggest a flush or overhaul? What’s the best way to go about this?

ED NELSON, via email

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Ask Paul: Why is my spark plug oil-fouled?

Q: I have been noticing an intermittent miss on the left mag during mag checks on the O-235L2C in my 1981 Cessna 152 (about 670 SMOH that included new Lycoming cylinders and pistons). About 30 hours ago when I cleaned, regapped, and rotated the plugs, I found that the lower plug on the #4 cylinder was filled with oil around the inner electrode and ceramic insulator. [Read more...]

How well do you know aircraft engines?

Do you know everything you need to know about your general aviation aircraft engine? Test yourself with this week’s Air Safety Institute safety quiz.