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The Pilots and Planes of Double M Aviation: Piper Arrow

The Pilots and Planes of Double M AviationAt Double M, we truly enjoy hearing from our customers about what makes general aviation special to them. So we sat down with Jeff Hibbard, the owner and pilot of a Piper PA28R-200 we have maintained since 2016, to talk about his start in aviation and what makes owning this beautiful Piper Arrow so great.

The Piper Arrow–A General Aviation favorite

 

How did you get into aviation?

I’ve been into aviation as long as I can remember. I think the real genesis was my dad would take us out to the airport to watch the airplanes fly in and listen to the radios. That was our entertainment. I always knew since I was a young kid I wanted to be a pilot.

Why do you fly now? Is it more work or recreational?

A mixture of both. I do fly a lot for recreation, like sight-seeing. And I fly for business meetings up in Virginia. It’s a great way to avoid the hassle of commercial airliners. I also volunteer for Pilots N Paws to help bring animals from over-filled shelters to rescues in other areas. ((To read more about Jeff’s volunteer work with Pilots N Paws –and for adorable puppy pictures– check out our previous blog post.))

What do you enjoy most about YOUR airplane?

That it’s mine! I enjoy the freedom it allows me. I wanted an intermediate plane as my first, and the Arrow fits that niche of speed, performance, and complexity for me. It’s been a great fit for my needs. I had previously rented and had to book way in advance, you don’t know the maintenance and what has been done to the airplane. It just wasn’t convenient.

How long have we been maintaining your airplane?

Side view of Piper Arrow

Since I bought it, actually. March 2016. I found you guys when I saw this beautiful red Arrow and noticed the Double M maintenance sticker. I spoke with Audrey and she had such a great attitude, I was convinced. Then Mike came out with me to pick it up from Zephyrhills and bring it back here to Lakeland for the annual. It was that extra service that made me sure I wanted my maintenance done here.

What are you up to now with the Arrow? Any future plans?

Right now we are doing the annual and putting in all new windows, a new ELT emergency beacon, and a new wing walk. We’re also changing out some structural hinges, worn components, some small stuff like that. And in two weeks, I am taking a business trip to Norfolk that will segue into a pleasure trip up to Little Rock, Arkansas. I’m looking forward to that.

Piper Arrow in front of Double M Aviation hangar

Want to see your aircraft featured by Double M Aviation?
Contact Justine and Audrey at 863-940-3450!

Electroair Electronic Ignition System Install

 Piper Service Center Florida

This week at Double M Aviation we installed one of the newest technological advances for general aviation aircraft! This Piper Arrow is the proud new owner of an electronic ignition system (EIS).

Piper Maintenance Center Tampa

Electroair is a company that focuses on electronic ignitions (EIS) for general aviation aircraft. For our readers that aren’t familiar with how general aviation airplane ignitions work, let me explain:  “Airplanes have two magnetos, left and right, each of which fires one spark plug per cylinder, creating a redundant system that allows the engine to operate at full power independent of the engine-driven alternator. Each magneto features a permanent magnet on a rotor that spins in close proximity to a high-output coil of wire with two windings: a primary winding made of heavy copper wire and a secondary winding of fine wire with an exponentially higher number of turns. The magnetic flux lines that pass through the turns of the primary winding create what are called “magnetic flux linkages.” As the magnet moves, the number of magnetic flux linkages changes, creating voltage.” 1 (www.flyingmag.com)

In layman’s terms, the spark plug’s “spark” is controlled by the magnetos which are run by magnets.

Piper Service Center Orlando

Now that we know how magneto run airplanes work, lets see how an electronic ignition changes things. Electroair developed a EIS-41000 Lycoming 4cyl Electronic Ignition Kit that is a Direct Drive ( non-impulse coupled ) Magneto Replacement.

“This is a fully STC’d kit for most Lycoming 4cyl engines. Replacing one magneto with the EIS-41000 will typically improve fuel economy on average by 10-15% (many operators have reported consistent fuel savings of 1gph or greater). Additionally, there will be an improvement in horsepower, smoother engine operation, and improved high altitude performance. The EIS-41000 adjusts spark timing automatically by way of our MAP Sensor – timing is adjusted with altitude. Most parts on the EIS-41000 are not life limited (the MTH is recommended to be changed at overhaul of the engine; spark plug wires on a regular interval) – this combined with reduced spark plug fouling means lower maintenance costs. This kit can be used on either 12V or 24V systems.” 2 (www.electroair.net)

Piper Annual Inspection Central Florida

In our Piper Arrow project, the right magneto has been replaced with Electroair’s EIS. Each cylinder has two spark plugs; one controlled by the left magneto and the other by the EIS. As always in aviation, redundancy is the name of the game.

As a result, in the cockpit the right magneto switch has now been replaced by an “EIS switch”. The installation also replaces the traditional keyed ignition to a push button start.

It was a very exciting opportunity to take part of the new EIS technological advance of one of our customer’s Piper Arrow aircraft. We hope to continue updating more airplanes with the Electroair electronic ignition systems.

Sources

1: http://www.flyingmag.com/how-it-works-magneto

2: http://www.electroair.net/stc_ignition_kit.html