FADEC and Cirrus?

The www.fadec.com website shows that they’re “in testing” with Cirrus, and they project a mid-2004 delivery timeframe.

Anyone know? I’d love better fuel efficiency, automatic engine management, and perhaps a little better speed and power too!

-Dane

Last I heard it added 50 lbs and didn’t give any better fuel efficiency or power and cost on the order of $8k. So it is not compelling, yet.

If that is what you are looking for, get Emax with your Cirrus and follow the lean of peak precedures outlined and you will do as well or better than FADEC.

In reply to:


The www.fadec.com website shows that they’re “in testing” with Cirrus, and they project a mid-2004 delivery timeframe.
Anyone know? I’d love better fuel efficiency, automatic engine management, and perhaps a little better speed and power too!
-Dane


Be careful what you wish for. When I was flying the first EMB-145’s to come out of the factory we had many a FADEC shut down a perfectly good engine becuase of software glitches. And to make things redundant we had two FADEC’s per engine.

I would not get into a single engine airplane with one FADEC much less two. Not worth it. Some things are not meant to be automated in my opinion.

William

Ooooh - I can’t wait to hear Walter’s response…

In reply to:


Last I heard it added 50 lbs and didn’t give any better fuel efficiency or power and cost on the order of $8k. So it is not compelling, yet.


50lbs, what? How could something like FADEC weigh that much?

In reply to:


50lbs, what? How could something like FADEC weigh that much?


I can’t imagine. The FADEC write-ups I’ve seen by others seem to indicate that about as much is taken out in weight in the conventional ignition and mixture system as is put in with FADEC.

The FADEC system in other airplanes seems to increase efficiency by 10% to 15% on fuel, plus add as much as 5% at full power (useful for takeoff). More range, more power and a little more speed.

The reason I ask about FADEC is that while I found the workload on a demo flight to be really low (I’m used to the Garmin system, and the PFD is a dream!), I did notice Walt frequently adjusting the mixture. The Emax system is wonderful, don’t get me wrong - I just wonder why we as pilots accept that we’ve got to constantly be adjusting a fuel/air mixture when it’s a job that can be done automaticly and arguably better by a microprocessor.

I don’t have any info on reliability - but I’d rather see FADEC in a Cirrus where you’ve got a CAPS than in a RV-8 or Bonanza where others are installing them. They must have pretty high confidence in the reliability.

-Dane

Dane:
In theory what you say makes sense but the real live world of FADEC has not panned out to expectations and our Emax system in the Cirrus, although manuel, is still better as far as efficientcy is concerned. I suspect part of the problem is the fact that the same folks writing the software for FADEC programs are the same folks taking leads from the engine manufacturers on how to operate the engine at paek efficientcy. So far, they seem to have it all wrong. Just ask the APS folks.

Dane - my flip comment about “Walter” is a reference to Walter Atkinson of APS. Those boys have a great deal of research and data regarding how to efficiently and safely run our engines. If you read Avweb - check out the various John Deakin articles which address these topics. As Brian mentions, FADEC sounds wonderful on paper, but so far broad success and acceptance has been elusive. GAMI is working to finalize a system which at a very high level is similar, but as you “peel the layers off the onion” is very different - called PRISM. All of this is a bit new and relatively untested in terms of flight hours. I’m with Brian for now. Give me a mixture knob, a good tuned induction or GAMIjector equipped engine and a good engine monitor, and I’ll run it. And I work with computers for a living.

Tom

I think you’ll find if you purchase a cirrus that having that little red knob is an absolute
godsend.

I don’t know in what flight regime you saw walt adjusting the mixture, in climbout on an
sr22 there are some adjustments to make, but they are pretty trivial. At cruise, you set it
and can forget it.

Cirrus drivers are (generally) blessed that our engines will run smoothly from rich to
very lean of peak. That means that one little knob allows you to pretty much choose
exactly when you land, or how much fuel you have in the tank when you do. There’s
not a FADEC system on earth which will do that, nor one in the works I know of.

If it’s workload you’re worried about, don’t. I have found that, when you are trained on
the systems, the cirrus cockpit is VERY low workload, perhaps that’s why people
mess with the mixture, there isn’t a lot else to do but look out the window.

The only benefit I can see from FADEC is what we got with the first electronic
ignitions on cars, better sparks and more dynamic timing. If that happened it might
be good, but personally I’d still want the red knob there and just have the computer
control the spark for me. You will find that you can get amazing efficiency with
that manual lever and a little reading of the COPA group lists.

I think also it’s my turn to say if you’re really serious about Cirrus, joining COPA does
open the door to the member’s archives and there is nothing I know of talked about
more there than leaning, mixture, LOP operations etc.

In reply to:


The FADEC system in other airplanes seems to increase efficiency by 10% to 15% on fuel, plus add as much as 5% at full power (useful for takeoff). More range, more power and a little more speed.


When someone has a FADEC SR22, I’ll volunteer to conduct a ‘formation’ flight with them in any configuration; I predict I’ll have lower fuel consumption and lower CHT’s using that 'ole red knob.

Thanks much everyone for the feedback and thoughts on FADEC and related types of systems. It sounds like in the long run, we are likely to see GA go more “digital”, but that the Cirrus, with it’s great MFD and EMax system is head and shoulders above most other airplanes today.

-Dane

In reply to:


I predict I’ll have lower fuel consumption and lower CHT’s using that 'ole red knob.


Maybe, but…

…it depends on how FULL the control is. In the latest BMW motorcycle (the R1200GS) the computer not only matches fuel delivery to G*d knows how many parameters, but can fire each of the 2 spark-plugs (per cylinder) at different times for most efficient combustion at different engine speed/load.

I think FADEC is the future. Might take them a while to get it right, but our current set-ups will seem positively primitive once they sort it out.

Of course, I’d still want a “knob” to set fuel flow, even if it’s digital “fly-by-wire”.