May 24, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Superior Air Parts has resumed shipping its Experimental XP series of engines. Sales stopped when the company declared bankruptcy years ago. Superior Air Parts is now a subsidiary of Superior Aviation Beijing following its purchase by a Chinese company.
The parts are the same formerly used in the company’s FAA -approved 180-horsepower Vantage engine, except for improvements unique to Superior. For example, the XP can include, if the customer desires, roller lifter bearings and a cold air induction sump. There is consideration at Superior for getting FAA approval for the two modifications so they can be included in the Vantage engine. If desired, the homebuilder can have an XP engine with all FAA-approved parts, leaving out the roller lifter bearings and the cold air induction sump.
Tim Archer, president and CEO of Superior Air Parts, said he hopes the Vantage engine can return to the market by the end of the summer.
“The resumption of engine shipments may not seem like news, but it’s a very big step for our efforts to get our business back to where it was four years ago,” Archer, said. “From a business perspective, the big picture is that we now have all of the various components and piece parts in stock to not only assemble a complete engine, but also to be able to support the needs of homebuilders and engine shops.”
Archer said the engines are approved to run on any 91-octane unleaded automotive gasoline that does not contain alcohol.
“Whether it’s the flexibility of fuel types or the ability to literally custom build their engines from a list of both experimental and FAA-approved components, what Superior’s XP-Series of engines give homebuilders is the choice to create the engine they want,” Archer said. “That’s a big advantage in today’s world.”
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.
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