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.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has awarded its third annual Flight Training Excellence Awards to top flight schools and flight instructors ranked by more than 3,600 flight students who voluntarily reviewed their flight training experience through an AOPA online poll.
For decades, pilots have headed to Bay Bridge Airport in the Chesapeake Bay for scenic coastal flying and great seafood. Check it out after attending the AOPA Homecoming Fly-In on Oct. 4.
Maintenance experts have asked the FAA to clarify whether recurring inspections of Cessna 210-series aircraft can be mandated without following required rulemaking procedures.
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