Lycoming focused on four-cylinder, noncertified markets

Optionally piloted Firebird runs on Lycoming

July 26, 2011

Interruptions with FAA approval and the agency’s recent shutdown have led Lycoming Engines to forego Part 33 certification of its 233 series engine until “after things settle down” and focus on the light sport aircraft market, Senior Vice President Mike Kraft said July 25 at EAA AirVenture.

The company will pursue the ASTM process used for LSAs; several aircraft were on display at the show with the four-cylinder, 115 horsepower engine. Kraft said the company’s presence at AirVenture is focused on four-cylinder engines, another of which (the IO-360) powers the Zeppelin NT on the grounds.

Kraft also discussed the Lycoming TEO-540 engine powering a Northrop Grumman intelligence-gathering optionally piloted vehicle, the Firebird.

“Quite easily this is the most expensive aircraft ever to be powered by a Lycoming,” he said. The aircraft has a maximum endurance of 24 to 40 hours, a wingspan of 65 feet, and a ceiling of 30,000 feet, according to a Lycoming data sheet.