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A concentration of the load points in regions with lowest BSFC is no longer possible, when operated without water injection.
Although widely spread, in a major share of the operation points a BSFC of < 220 g/kWh is achieved and the increase of the BSFC with higher engine speeds is limited to much lower values.
BSFC results at each part load key compared to the baseline engine Engine Nominal L3 improvement L4 improvement speed BMEP vs.
Large displacement Lycomings don't seem to do quite as well because they don't run as smoothly lean of peak and if operated according to the factory specified rich-of-peak leaning recommendation, a 300 HP IO-540 operates at a relatively gluttonous .45 to .50 BSFC.
Curiously, although the best cars get terrific fuel economy, their engines aren't impressively efficient, running in the .41 to .44 BSFC range.
Car engines seem more economical because an engine operating at a BSFC of .42 and making 25 HP to hold highway speed burns under 2 GPH, while an airplane making 225 HP at 39 BSFC burns more than 15 CPI I.
That pencils out to a BSFC of .38, which is just a sliver better than the best-case lean-of-peak large-displacement Continentals.
We don't have reliable real-world fuel specifics on this engine, but we think .38 BSFC is reasonable.
DATA 10-550 CENTURION BSFC 39 .38 ASSUMED FUEL COST $4.72 $4.68 OVERHAUL COST $32,000 $97,200 LIFECYCLE HOURLY $98.60 $118 TOTAL WEIGHT 467 LBS 600 LBS.
Because of Lycoming's adherence to rich-of-peak leaning, the IO-360 runs at a BSFC of about .45 to the diesel's .38.
The diesel fares less well when compared to the more efficient Continental 10-550 running at .39 BSFC. Because the two engines are of different horsepower classes, the only way to sustain an apples-to-apples comparison is to fabricate a horsepower/dollar relationship that includes fuel costs.
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