Lycoming Reclaims In-House Piston Manufacturing

Scott Miller, a Lycoming spokesman, said, "Now we don't have to worry if there is a supplier out there to fill our needs. We can fill our own needs." He referred to an announcement last week that the engine maker has begun to produce pistons for its engines in-house for the first time in more than 40 years. A new process, developed in conjunction with Cosworth Group of England and Japanese machinery manufacturer Takisawa, pushes a single raw billet through four independent but interconnected machine tools. The process takes as little as two minutes. At the other end, a single piston emerges having undergone automated quality control. Every fifth piston is manually inspected as well to ensure consistency. The manufacturing standards are said to be "far in excess of anything Lycoming's competitors have."

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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