Demonstrating the performance and fuel efficiency of its SMA powered compression-ignition Cessna 182 Skylane, Soloy Aviation Solutions flew nonstop to EAA Airventure from Soloy’s home base in Olympia, Washington; a 1,485 nautical mile flight. In an incredible display of fuel efficiency, the SMA SR305-230E engine only consumed 80 gallons of Jet-A fuel for the flight.
Crewed by Soloy pilot Tony Uhl and co-piloted by Soloy Chief Engineer Steve Phoenix, the two climbed the re-powered and EASA certified Skylane to a VFR altitude of 17,500 and set the engine power to 60%. With a small tail wind in their favor the aircraft showed a true airspeed ranging between 150 – 162 knots throughout the cruise portion of their nine hour flight. Flight planning calculated the long single-leg destination of KOSH should have taken eight hours five minutes (8:05), but traffic delays on the arrival to Airventure required more than an hour in a holding pattern before being given clearance to land.
Regardless of the nearly 1,500 nm journey or the 75 minutes of holding added to the flight time, the performance and fuel efficiency of the SMA engine was remarkable. Airborne for a total of nine hours twenty five minutes (9:25) the SMA compression-ignition powered Skylane consumed a total of 80 gallons Jet-A fuel; giving the crew approximately 18 miles per gallon fuel burn (ignoring an hour of hold time).
Commenting on the flight, Mr Uhl is pleased, but not surprised in the performance of the company’s latest STC offering. “Our flight was really unremarkable. We simply reached our cruise altitude, set the power and pointed the nose directly for Oshkosh. The flight performance is just what we expected; great speed with even better
fuel economy. During our post flight inspection, we discovered the engine consumed less than 250ml of oil for a flight lasting over nine hours. That’s less than ¼ of one quart. We couldn’t be happier.”
James Cowan, Soloy’s CEO, sees the Washington to Wisconsin nonstop flight as validation of their environmentally friendly, high performance engine conversion program. “The Cessna Skylane airframe is the perfect match for the French SMA engine. In areas of the world where 100LL avgas is becoming hard to source, the performance, reliability and hyper efficiency of the compression ignition engine is the answer. Soloy can now offer this efficient and ecofriendly solution to Cessna 182 operators worldwide.”
Soloy will have their SMA powered Skylane on display at Airventure 2017 at booth number 16. The company will be taking deposits and offering a large discount on the STC conversion kit for initial buyers.
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