Sun, Jul 31, 2011
Chabord Creates Lightweight Aircraft Headers For Popular
Automotive performance enthusiasts have appreciated the benefits
of tuned exhaust systems for decades. By optimizing the timing of
the arrival of exhaust gas pulses from the various cylinders at the
collector, and sizing individual tubes for the desired power band,
a properly designed set of headers can be a very cost effective,
bolt-on modification for aircraft owners seeking better performance
and fuel economy.
Aftermarket performance exhaust systems for aircraft engines are
not new, and can be installed under STC. What is new about the
headers designed by Chabord High Performance Manufacturing is their
weight. At AirVenture Friday, Chabord displayed a tuned system for
the Lycoming 540- and 580-cubic-inch engines used in air racing
which its says weighs just 4 kg (8.8 lb), including the collectors.
Another system (below) designed for the Lycoming 360 CID engines in
a Vans RV-8 cowl includes a muffler, yet claims a weight of just
7.5 kg (16.5 lb).
RV-12 System &
Both systems are constructed of 316L stainless steel with some
parts made from 625 Inconel sheet. The materials are chosen for
temperature resistance, and joints feature shoulders at weld points
and rolled lips at pipe outlets for strength.
Chabord, which calls its header product "Eco-Exhaust," reports a
customer's RV-8 with a 200-hp Lycoming IO-360 improved by 10
percent in fuel consumption (comparing identical missions), five
knots in cruise speed, and was 3-10 dB quieter depending on
frequency. On an already optimized high performance aerobatic
competition aircraft powered by an IO-540, takeoff and climb
performance reportedly improved five percent.
Chabord has EASA STCs for a variety of popular aircraft with
powerplants including TCM, Lycoming and Rotax models, and says it
can provide custom tuned exhausts for any engine. Prices were not
specified at AirVenture.
As a demonstration of the company's precision welding
capabilities, Chabord is displaying a complex titanium part (shown
on finger) which doubles as an engine mount and pressurized
oil reservoir in a race car, yet weighs just ounces.
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