Piston Engines: A Look at New Technology

Think piston engines have changed very little in recent years? Think again.

Lycoming put its 115 hp IO-233 four-cylinder engine for the LSA market on a strict diet to reduce weight. The engine tips the scales at 213 pounds and can run on 100LL fuel or autogas, burning 5.2 gallons per hour at 65 percent power.
Continental’s TSIOF-550 six-cylinder, gasoline piston engine looks similar to versions first certified almost 30 years ago, but today it is better built while also incorporating fadec technology, twin turbochargers and advanced fuel injection.
After a rocky start with the Thielert diesel engines in its DA42 Twin Star, Diamond offers a choice of the Lycoming IO-360 or the jet-A-burning Austro Engine AE300 turbodiesel. The 170 hp diesel sips just 5.6 gph at 65 percent power.
Austro Engine’s AE300 turbodiesel is based on the engine used in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class economy sedan, which is capable of achieving 56 mpg on the highway.
The 97 hp UL260i is a four-cylinder, fuel-injected piston engine for the LSA market from ULPower Aero Engines, a new Belgian manufacturer.
Lycoming has adapted its advanced iE2 electronic engine-control technology in the new TEO-540, a twin-turbocharged and intercooled six-cylinder that pumps out 350 hp. Besides true single-lever control, the iE2 computers fully automate just about every function, from engine start to precise leaning inside each cylinder. Below: The 97 hp UL260i is a four-cylinder, fuel-injected piston engine for the LSA market from ULPower Aero Engines, a new Belgian manufacturer.
For more on piston engines, check out our feature, "Piston Engine Technology."
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