If your car’s engine quit functioning normally, you can pop the car in neutral and let it drift to a stop. You can press the brakes gradually and pull over by the side of the road. You are able to halt your forward momentum safely without compromising yourself or your passengers. But cars only go forward, backward, and side to side. They don’t go up and down.
Airplanes have many advantages over cars: they can go faster, further, and complete this transit with what many argue is greater overall efficiency despite the cost of Avgas. But they do have one disadvantage: should a problem crop up with your engine while you fly, you can’t just let it slow to a stop and pull over. As a matter of fact, a safe landing post engine failure is considered a feat.
The plane will have to glide, and a lot of airplanes glide like a lead balloon—that is to say: poorly. But this can still be done if necessary. Still, its danger and inconvenience have led aviation engineers to design components which allow engine operation even under conditions that aren’t ideal.
Prevent Damaging Vibrations
Airplane engines operate at very high RPMs, and so the potential for adverse vibration is great. Additionally, there are many integral, critical components common to a variety of aircraft which are contained in the engine. Should a problem arise, it may lead to further problems in functionality if the engine isn’t properly mounted.
The best mounts are designed in conjunction with FAA, PMA, and OEM regulations. They’ve been approved on multiple engine models, most notably Lycoming and Continental. Such mounts use mounting systems employing shock attenuation for vibration control that’s superior to more antiquated methods. One exceptional producer of such solutions is Hutchinson Aerospace.
Hutchinson Aerospace was previously known as Barry Controls. For this reason, their mounts are often still called Barry mounts; and they have an incredible reputation because they offer, as AeroInStock.com puts it, “…superior vibration control for most general aviation applications.”
You want to go with top-tier solutions like these when it comes to core components of your aircraft. Certainly there are instruments which need not necessarily be the most expensive, cutting-edge option available. You can get by with sub-par headphones, antiquated cushions, and a lack of plug-ins for your MP3 player. But sub-par engine mounts?
A tiny issue with poor mounts could vibrate your engine so bad not only does it quit working, but it damages critical components and makes a safe landing impossible. Now, if you’ve got more than one engine on your aircraft, you’ve still got options. A twin-engine can still fly on only one of its two propellers, though that certainly isn’t ideal. But a single-engine?
Planning For All Exigencies
With aviation, there are quite a few difficulties that arise throughout normal, expected operations. From freak weather patterns to bird-strikes, new pilots, and the compromise of trustworthy airports through things like protests, it can be hard enough to operate your airplane when everything is functioning as it should.
You want as many protections as you can get for when you’re in the sky, because with aviation, it’s not a question of “if” something goes wrong, it’s a question of “when”, and how you’re going to deal with it. From equipment failure to instrument malfunction to engine compromise, negative possibilities are quite expansive.
For your protection and any passengers who may be depending on you, if you can get superior engine components, this is definitely a worthwhile thing to do for your aircraft.