Firewall Forward & Engine
The only sure Constant in life is Change
Oshkosh 2001 and I still had not ordered my engine. Progress during the summer of 2000 was totally stopped due to an unbelievable summer heat wave that saw temps of 111 degrees F and lasted well into October. The winter and early spring proved to be a very wet one and I came close to giving up on my dream. The spring of 2001 revived my spirits and renewed my commitment to building. I decided that I was not going to waste another summer because of the heat and bought an air-conditioner for the garage. WOW! what a difference a little cool air made. (Electric bill shot through the roof!) The result was a very productive spring and summer of building. I had not ordered my engine yet so I decided that my trip to Oshkosh this year would be the best time to place that order.
Once again, I made the rounds and looked at all the engine choices, old and new. Once again, I came to the same conclusion that I had reached the prior year, the Superior Air Parts XP-360 combined with the Aerosance FADEC System. Superior was now offering the XP-360 as both an assemble it yourself kit and in fully assembled versions. I talked with the representatives at length and attended one of their seminars but ended up leaving without having placed an order. I had made up my mind on the engine but not on the full configuration and/or rather I would try to assemble it myself. After a couple of months of discussion with Superior (and my wife) I finally placed my order last month (Nov, 2001) for the XP-IOF-360 engine. This is the fully assembled version of the XP-360 with the Aerosance FADEC system to be installed by Superior. I will hopefully will be looking for delivery sometime in February 2002.
The price? Well, lets just say that it is more than I wanted to pay but, in my opinion, the best available choice for my mission requirements. I was totally sold on the benefits of the FADEC system and when combined with the Superior XP-360 engine, produces a combination that equals (I think it exceeds) the best available from Lycoming or Continental at a substantial cost savings. I could have gotten a cheaper engine for my plane but, I don't think I could have found one any better or that represented a better value. Now on to finding a propeller which will give the maximum performance from this engine.
The choice of propeller may be almost as difficult and expensive as the
engine. My first choice was the Whirlwind Constant Speed but I have
learned that the nose gear on the KIS Cruiser is directly in the way of the
govenor and there is no way to work around it. I am now searching for
alternatives which current include the MT Propeller, an electric constant
speed, the AirMaster Propeller, another electric constant speed, or possibly
the Prince Propeller.
(Click on logos for link to their web sites.)
Superior Air Parts XP-360
AeroSance FADIC System (Fully Automatic Digital Engine Control)
If you haven't taken a good look at the AeroSance FADIC system,
do so, it is truly moving the aircraft engine into the 21st Century. It's
redundancy and control of the engine should help both fuel economy and engine
life at the same time. Just imagine being able to do an optimum lean
on ALL cylinders and not just the hottest one. (and you don't have
to do it!) What I liked most was when the pilot of an RV-6 with a FADIC equipped
O-360 described the startup as sounding like and feeling similar to a turbine
engine. It started smooth and slowly (NO not that slow!) wound up to power
instead of lurching to a start. He also indicated a much smoother operation
in all ranges, easier hot starts, and cleaner oil due to less fuel