Teledyne Continental Motors is celebrating 100 years of making
In his introduction at a "birthday" ceremony of sorts at
AirVenture 2006, Tom Poberezny pointed out that aviation has been
around for 103 years... and Continental has been powering aircraft
for 100 of those years -- a significant milestone.
Brian Lewis, the President and CEO of Teledyne Continental,
began the festivities with a brief history of the company,
surrounded by some of the aircraft originally been manufactured
using Continental Engines. These included a Swallow which had the
first 670 high horsepower radial engine, a Swift sporting a
Continental 300 and a Taylor Craft with an A-40.
Today, the Columbia 400 and the Cirrus are powered by
Continental started as a company in 1905-1906 and by 1917, it
was one of the largest engine manufacturing companies in the
world producing 150,000 engines. In 1929, the company introduced
its first aviation radial engine.
There have been some improvements at Continental over the past
ten years. First was in manufacturing where they leaned their
production and became more efficient in producing engines.
Continental also introduced an internet based communication
system which allows real time assistance to Fixed Base Operators.
To expand on this technology, Continental is introducing the Power
Link Full Authority Electronic control system.
Teledyne is copying what is happening in the automobile
industry. The electronic control system will monitor the engine and
will store the data which can be accessed by Continetal to help
diagnose how the engine is running and figuring out problems.
The new system is called Alpha Products and Services. The
electronic control system will be introduced first to the OEMs.
What it will come down to is an engine which is extraordinarily
easy to operate. Turn the key and it starts, pull the throttle to
slow it down. No more leaning the engine, the electronic control
system will take care of these sorts of details.
Continental is also working with the FAA to see if the new
system will allow a redefinition on overhauls and replacements of
engines as these new engines will not need to be rebuilt for 2200
to 2400 hours.