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Turbo Charging

stewartb

MEMBER
Anyone tried a small 4-cylinder Lycoming or Continental with a turbo to boost power? I have a Ford EcoBoost truck at work and have been thoroughly impressed with the power and the fuel economy. Toyota is moving to small turbo’d engines in their trucks, too. That begs the question, why not apply that approach to an airplane engine? I wonder how much power an 0-200 could produce? In the quest to increase power and manage weight, it seems like a logical progression.
 
Ford now specs their 3.5 L V6 (213 cubic inch) Eco Boost engine at 400 Hp and 500 ft. lbs. Torque!!! I always thought it took cubic inches. My 2013
is rated 360 HP and they are all there!!
Mike
 
Ford now specs their 3.5 L V6 (213 cubic inch) Eco Boost engine at 400 Hp and 500 ft. lbs. Torque!!! I always thought it took cubic inches. My 2013
is rated 360 HP and they are all there!!
Mike

at 5000-5900 RPM. Don't think that will translate well to the lycomings or cont..
 
My EcoBoost is impressive at low RPMs, too. We tow a trailer that’s over the Ford’s tow capacity and while the suspension is anemic, the engine is not.
 
Turbo charging is a consideration at the penalty of about 50 pounds in the engine compartment. It would defeat the optimum weight and balance situation being at a forward CG which is excessive. I did this in my 185 with an intercooler. The heavily loaded ceiling capabilities and only advantage, was the ability to climb to in excess of 17,000 feet. The performance was much better when the turbo IO-520 was replaced with an IO-550 without the turbo. The fuel consumption was also 2 - 2.5 gallons higher with the turbo.
 
Turbos are cool. I have a 1987 2.2 liter 4 cylinder Turbo dodge Shelby CSX that was making just over 200 HP when I blew the head gasket. I would not use one on a back country capable airplane though. To really get the power numbers these guys are talking about requires computer controlled systems. More complexity, more things to go wrong when you are in the middle of nowhere. Best to keep your Lycoming or Continental simple.
 
No replacement for displacement. Government mandates on fuel economy has forced auto manufacturers to build small displacement turbo charged engines. I drive my vehicles till they are worn out and don't see turbo engines lasting near as long as normally aspirated. Mike Butterfield at Yakima Aerosport https://www.yakimaaerosport.com/ has played with turbos on back country airplanes.
 
Smaller turbo charged engines running at high rpm are without question much more efficient than current aircraft engines of the same horse power even taking in the weight of the turbos. Unlike the automotive industry where you have a transmission to harness the high RPM an aircraft needs a heavy gearbox to keep the prop rpm down. There are lots of engines that reliably make a lot more power than aircraft engines but if you want to bolt the propeller direct to the end of the crankshaft the best efficiency is in the 2000 rpm range. Developing big power from a light weight engine at say 2500 RPM is a fairly tall task. Big power at low RPM usually means big displacement and heavy. As an example a Cummins diesel can develop a lot of power and at an RPM that you wouldn't need a gearbox but she's a tad heavy.
 
There’s an STC to put a belt driven supercharger on the Diamond D40. I don’t know the specs but I believe it doesn’t give a lot of boost but will maintain SL manifold pressure to about 15,000’. I’ve seen it installed and it’s quite compact and doesn’t look like it weighs much. For folks operating at higher elevations it might be an option…experimental.
 
Power settings can be limited by cooling capacity. More of that is usually more weight and drag. But the big thing most manufacturers don't mention is that there are real losses due to intake air temp. Seems like I've read 20% for a turbo 206. Maybe Skywagon8a can fill us in on that. Turbos are handy when you HAVE to have them but not as great as they sound. If you need to get a 3800lb 206 with a pod to 16K on a daily basis it is a necessary compromise but a delicate dance of fuel flow and speed to keep CHTs below 400 and climb rate 250-300 fpm.

For Cubs I like displacement and high compression in that order, for altitude. Hoping to turn a 86/38 Catto at 2450+ static

Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
 
I get it. I have an IO-390 with 10-1 compression. It’s a beast but the times they are a changin’.

Toyota’s new Tacoma trucks won’t have a V6 any longer. The base engine is a 146 cubic inch 4-cylinder with turbo at 276 hp. The higher trim levels get a small electric booster motor in the transmission for over 325 hp when needed. Very interesting technology. With avgas running at $8 per gallon somebody’s going to be motivated to pack more air into a small engine to make more power with pump gas. Sort of like the 300 hp Yamaha Epex but more conventional.
 
A guy at my airport recently bought a Rans S21, fitted with a turbo'd Rotax-- 915 IS ??
He really likes it...but then again he likes most new-fangled technology.
 
Power settings can be limited by cooling capacity. More of that is usually more weight and drag. But the big thing most manufacturers don't mention is that there are real losses due to intake air temp. Seems like I've read 20% for a turbo 206. Maybe Skywagon8a can fill us in on that. Turbos are handy when you HAVE to have them but not as great as they sound. If you need to get a 3800lb 206 with a pod to 16K on a daily basis it is a necessary compromise but a delicate dance of fuel flow and speed to keep CHTs below 400 and climb rate 250-300 fpm.

For Cubs I like displacement and high compression in that order, for altitude. Hoping to turn a 86/38 Catto at 2450+ static.
All correct, induction heat is the culprit which is why I installed an intercooler. All the temperatures run high requiring extra fuel to keep it cool. The higher the altitude, the more the turbo pumps out heat. Internal combustion engines like cool induction temperatures for best power. The turbo with intercooler used an average to 2.5-3gph more than the naturally asperated IO-520 just to keep the temperatures below the limits. To say nothing of the increased maintenance required of all the turbo components. I was so happy to remove that combo. If you have a need for high altitude operations, then the turbo will be your expensive friend.
 
I was thinking about this thread as I was fencing today with my daughter. And I think the direction that we should be looking at is turbo charged diesel engines and just get away from gasoline all the way.
 
I have a friend with a turbo 470. He just can't get in and fly. Has to load everyone up and just idle for 15 minutes to get the correct temps. Additionally when the destination is reached it's another 15 minutes of cool down idle time. I love planes but sitting there for 30 minutes watching the prop spin blows goats.
 
MAF decided years ago to skip the cool down because of the chance of a dog or much worse, a villager walking into a spinning prop. No ill effects noted.. They routinely make TBO on their TU206G aircraft. Interesting data point...

Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
 
If AC Aero can get their Higgs diesel engines built and available? Game changer. 200hp from a 165# normally aspirated engine? Yes please.

I'm toying with the idea of a small Rotrex supercharger. Plenty of boost from a 6 1/2# unit. I have an old 0-320 ND sitting in a storage unit and I know who has a dyno. It'd be a fun project. Rotrex makes a very small, simple, and reliable supercharger. Dare to dream. Like Ted Lasso says, be curious.

https://www.rotrex.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Rotrex-Technical-Datasheet-C15-Rev6.0.pdf
 
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Good idea, worth a try. Notice the direction of rotation of the pulley drive. It's opposite that which would be best for a Lycoming. The turbo would interfere with the prop unless you can come up with a rear accessory case drive.
 
DJ, I never took the IO-550 to the altitudes to which I went with the turbo. As a guess the turbo would be better at the altitudes where you operate. The difference to which you would need to pay attention is the loaded CG of your airplane. The turbo and it's associated parts added 60 pounds to the nose.
 
ITM who operates a TU206G out of Cochabamba is looking into the Cyclone 185 since Bolivia has a 25 year-old import cutoff. They had another TU206G ready to go when the law went into effect and a 3rd in project stage. Both of those are gone, the choices now are 206H models, turbines or experimentals. We are wondering if the Cyclone would need a turbo to get to 16K at 3350 lbs with 300 hp and 41 feet of wing. Sure would be nice to stay away from the TSIO520.
 
Am I correct that the Cyclone is the kit built 185? If so, I understand that the increased wingspan is at the root. That all being the case, I would install the WingX extension https://www.wingxstol.com/html/products.html and use either the IO-550N or IO-550P which are 310 hp and are lighter than the normal IO-550D. The extra span along with the longer flaps will help make up for that lack of turbo at altitude. One of the advantages of the 206 is the longer flap.

Since I've never operated any airplane at the landing area elevations you use, I can only surmise that this combination would serve your purpose.
 
Yes kit built 185 with 1 ft added at each wing root. With the WingX or Flints it should have close to 200 square feet of area and 41 feet of span. ITM needs the altitude capability to cross the pass IFR at 16.5K with fairly warm temps (40F). Most of their landings are in the lowland jungle.
 
I have been to 10,000 with the IO-520 and 17,000 with the TSIO-520 at weights considerably over those you are suggesting with large amphibious floats installed. Without the floats, what you are suggesting sounds reasonable.
 
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