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Press Release

      DATE:  August 19, 1999
      TELEPHONE:  334-438-3411


Piston aircraft engines equipped with modern electronic engine controls are a giant step closer to reality with the announcement today of key product development milestones by Aerosance, Inc. and its parent Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM). Equipped with Aerosance four cylinder pre-production control units, two aircraft were flown cross-country to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for display at the EAA Air Venture Air Show. A Diamond Katana C1 powered by a Continental Motors IO-240-B made the flight from its test base in Mobile, Alabama. Simultaneously, a Cessna C172K powered by a unique Mattituck Red Gold Lycoming O-320 conversion flew to Oshkosh from Mattituck Airbase, Long Island New York. Spark timing and fuel injection for both aircraft were totally controlled with the Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).
"These flights represent significant milestones in the program to achieve FAA certification of the Aerosance FADEC", said Steve Smith, President of Aerosance, Inc. In preparing for these flights to Air Venture, approximately 100 hours of flight-testing and over 1000 hours of component testing was accumulated on the Aerosance FADEC unit. The inaugural flight of the Aerosance electronic control took place in a Diamond Katana C1 over Mobile Bay on June 2, 1999. After almost 40 hours of flight testing on the Katana C1, the Cessna 172 flew over Long Island Sound on July 20, 1999. Development of the Cessna 172 installation was cosponsored by Mattituck Aviation.

Initial flight tests were piloted by test pilot Pat Moe of Starflight Consultants. After pronouncing the FADEC fit for open flight testing, Pat commented on his participation in these significant milestones for piston-powered General Aviation. "The Aerosance electronic control worked as planned. The engine started like a modern automobile, the need to adjust mixture control was eliminated, and the control helped prevent over speed for these fixed propeller installations. This technology has been a long time coming and it will be well received. The initial flight tests for both aircraft cleared the aircraft flight envelopes and successfully demonstrated important safety and reliability design features of the FADEC. Low and high-speed taxi tests were followed by service ceiling demonstrations, in-flight engine shut downs and restarts, stalls, spins, and limited aerobatics. The FADEC operated normally for over two hours after simulated loss of aircraft primary power, and demonstrated its redundancy by operating nominally with one half of the FADEC's microcomputers, sensor set, and speed signaling units inoperative. "The FADEC annunciator panel provides the pilot with data that is easy to interpret," said test pilot Pat Moe. "This is a tremendous step in reducing pilot workload. Starting is simple, you push to go, pull to slow, and occasionally scan the annunciator panel. This makes piston engine operation easier than what you see in military and commercial turbine operations."
The Aerosance FADEC incorporates an innovative microprocessor architecture that is designed to provide a high degree of redundancy in engine operation. Each engine cylinder is controlled by a dedicated microprocessor and is backed by a second microprocessor. In addition to the Katana C1 and Cessna 172 four cylinder installations, TCM and Aerosance are currently testing the six-cylinder version on TCM's big bore engines. The companies are expecting to fly the six cylinder FADEC units on four separate test aircraft in the fourth quarter of this year. With FAA certification expected late this year, sales of the Aerosance system could begin as early as January of 2000. Anticipated initial aftermarket installations will be for Barons, Bonanzas, Cessna 172, 182, 206, and 210, and most of the TCM IO-240-B powered installations. Although the initial Aerosance FADEC installations are expected to be in the aftermarket, OEM interest in the FADEC has been expressed by Cirrus Design, Lancair, Diamond Aircraft Canada and others. Cirrus Design is considering making the new Aerosance FADEC standard equipment on the IO-550 powered model, which will be rolled out later this year. Assuming certification on schedule, OEM installation could occur in the 2001 model year products.
Installation of the Aerosance FADEC is straight-forward. Firewall mounted, the system replaces both magnetos, making obsolete repetitive and costly magneto maintenance, and eliminates carburetor heat, mixture controls and engine priming. By controlling each cylinder of the engine independently for optimum fuel injection and spark timing, the need for the pilot to monitor and control mixture is eliminated. Because imprecise mixture operation can affect engine life, the Aerosance FADEC has the potential to reduce operating costs and increase engine life for the average General Aviation pilot. Preliminary tests have also shown significant fuel savings potential. Steve Smith of Aerosance commented "If the results of our initial tests of these two aircraft are confirmed, the Aerosance FADEC may largely pay for itself in reduced operating costs."

Status reports on development testing and progress towards FAA certification of the Aerosance FADEC will be available on the newly updated TCM Web Site at after August 15,1999. Visitors to the site will be able to find the Aerosance FADEC information by clicking on Aerosance in "About TCM". Assuming formal certification as planned, Aerosance expects to begin taking orders for the new FADEC in November of this year.

Teledyne Continental Motors is an Allegheny Teledyne Incorporated company. Allegheny Teledyne Incorporated is a diversified manufacturing company serving global markets with specialty metals, aerospace, electronic, industrial, and consumer products. The company is one of the largest and most diversified specialty metals producers in the world. With talented people using innovative technologies and systems, Allegheny Teledyne's goal is to be the low cost, high quality supplier to global markets. Allegheny Teledyne's web-site can be found at

History in the making - 1st maiden flight of TCM's new Electronic controlled engine system known to the general aviation industry as FADEC.

Typical IOF-240-B Installation in Diamond Katana DA20-C1. Note the lack of magnetos, now replaced by the Master Power Control towers shown in the lower right section of the cowling.

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