August 16, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
Kitfox Aircraft said it has become one of the first manufacturers to fly one of its aircraft powered by Lycoming's new O-233 engine, a 115-horsepower powerplant with a Champion electronic ignition system designed for the light sport market.
The Lycoming powered a Kitfox S7 Super Sport during test and performance-gathering flights. After about 20 hours of local flying, the aircraft flew from the Kitfox base in Homedale, Idaho, to EAA AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wis., where the aircraft was displayed in front of Lycoming's tent, said a Kitfox spokesman.
“We did not want to release information until we were sure we were ready,” said John McBean of Kitfox, who added that the aircraft's being on display “front row, center stage” at the Lycoming installation attracted a lot of attention from LSA pilots.
Lycoming, of Williamsport, Pa., announced in July 2010 that it had begun taking orders for the O-233 engine. Lycoming described the engine, with a 2,400 time before overhaul and capability to run on auto fuel or avgas, an important new engine to meet the needs of “a whole new segment of the flying public.”
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
Congress has passed an omnibus spending bill that keeps the FAA, and other government agencies, funded through September 2015.
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