July 24, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
Usually pilots roll their eyes at the poor mileage they get from the airplane they own or rent. The number is usually bad, but that’s not the case with the Continental 125-hp IOF240 engine recently tested by the manufacturer. A recent test in level cruise shows the FADEC computer-controlled engine got 30.7 mpg.
On the return flight there were altitude changes and diversions because of weather, so the mileage dropped to 24.4 mpg. Think of it as “city” mileage. The engine was aboard a Diamond DA20 that was flown from Mobile, Ala., (Continental headquarters) to Jacksonville, Fla. Lest you think the pilot simply pulled the throttle back so the engine would sip gas, instead of chug it, the average speed over the full 678.6 nm course was 119 KTAS. The manufacturer claims 138 KTAS at 75 percent power. The DA20 Continental used was flown at the FADEC best-economy setting, which is 50 percent power.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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