A Daytona Beach, Florida, firm that began selling tuned exhausts for the Cessna 172 in 1999 has now sold 1,500 of those kits, with pipes for 16 aircraft models now available. Power Flow tuned exhaust systems typically reduce fuel consumption by 1 gph, or more.
Sales Manager Jim Shafer said the magnitude of the performance boost depends on how well-tuned (or not) the factory system is. In the case of the Cessna 177RG, he said, the factory version “is just so horrendous that we look like heroes every time we bolt one on.”
The Skyhawk tuned exhaust for Lycoming O-320 and O-360 installations can reduce fuel burn by 1.2 to 2.2 gallons per hour, the company noted in a recent press release, with other benefits including a climb rate increase up to 300 fpm, and a reduction in engine temperatures and temperature extremes. Tuning the exhaust system increases air flow through the engine, making it more efficient. Resulting increased horsepower helps get a Skyhawk off the ground four to six seconds sooner, the company noted.
Power Flow has a flexible pricing system that offers discounts based on lead time. Shafer said those who need a kit immediately pay full list price, $4,025, while those who can afford to wait a few weeks choose options in the “Pick Your Price” program. Typically, that amounts to a $200 discount if the customer can wait four to six weeks, and a $400 reduction if six to eight weeks will do.
“We found out about three years ago the further out we can plan our production schedule, the lower our costs get,” Shafer said. For those in a hurry, “We drop everything that we’re doing and get it out the door, usually in a day or two.”