The GAMA 2019 State of the Industry press conference is next week

GAMA Chairman and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. President Mark Burns and GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce will present the GAMA 2019 State of the Industry press conference on Wednesday February 20, 2019. They will also unveil the 2018 year-end aircraft shipment and billings numbers and discuss industry priorities for the year ahead.

We’ll summarize the general aviation shipments for piston engine planes, single prop turbines and light jets in future posts.

No more magnetos?

We really need electronic ignition for piston engine airplanes. Magnetos are an archaic mechanical device from a by-gone era. Magnetos drift and fail. The FAA knows this and requires mandatory 500 hour inspections and repairs.

At least two companies are working on electronic ignition replacements for piston engine airplanes: Surefly Electronic Ignition and Electroair Electronic Ignition Systems.

Surefly began operations in 2015 and have offices in Granbury Texas and Terre Haute Indiana. Their objective is an affordable drop-in solid state replacement magneto. As of January 2019, they have an engine STC but still need an airframe STC. The fly out price for their solution may be around $2,000.

Electroair is based in Howell Michigan and began operations in 1992. Several COPA members have installed Electroair’s electronic ignition system in their Cirrus airplanes. Fly out price is about $10,000.

Join Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association to see the complete member discussions of both products in the COPA online forum.

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Damn the magnetos, full speed ahead!

Magnetos are an archaic mechanical device from a by-gone era. Prone to drift and fail. The FAA knows this. That’s why the FAA requires mandatory 500 hour magneto inspections and repairs (IRANs).

Do you realize – to get 2,000 hours from a Cirrus piston engine airplane you’ll spend between $6,000 to $10,000 on magnetos alone. Piston engine manufacturers and airplane companies don’t seem to care.

It reminds me of Admiral David Farragut’s famous quote from 1864 in the battle of Mobile Bay “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” It’s from the 19th century. The same century in which the first magneto was invented – 1832.

Admiral Farragut’s shout out was on Mobile Bay in Alabama, which is the same bay that the Continental Motors factory sits across from. Here’s our shout out.

Deliver us piston electronic ignition! Come on – we’re in the 21st century! For aviation safety, reliability, and operating cost this should become a GA priority.

Copyright 2019 wikiWings LLC, All rights reserved
Connecting Aviators® and related marks and logos are property of wikiWings®