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Electronic ignition for D3000 single shaft dual magneto engines

Just seen this on a US site:

Latest from Mike Kobylik [Electroair] is that they hope to complete 4-cyl replacement by this summer. The development of the six cylinder replacement will begin after that with 1.5 years development time, which means completion by the end of 2020.

So, 2022 perhaps? I still wonder how Electroair plan to address the single point of failure issue. On the dual mag versions they do it by retaining one of the old mags.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

More info from the US:

So another update, after Electroair called me this AM. To avoid confusion, it is the 4 cylinder dual mag ignition they are hoping will be certified next month. He tells me that the six cylinder version will probably not be available until early next year. They made some significant changes and now will not be leaving a conventional mag in place. There will be two independent electronic sources with independent power being required. This power source can be a generator or another battery and it is unclear at this point if it will be sold as part of the system.

This is interesting, but not surprising. Think about it for 10 seconds. It would be very messy to make a D3000 electronic replacement while leaving one magneto in the dual-mag housing, and having the electronic “stuff” in the other half. They would still need the distributor – nobody AFAIK is doing what they do on modern hi-perf car engines i.e. a dedicated ignition coil for each spark plug – so would need to leave that in place, while extracting the unused items underneath it, and removing one of the two sets of contact points and replacing it with some sort of electronic sensor. Even if they planned to put all their electronics in a separate box, they still have the issue of what to do with the unused parts; leaving them in place is not ideal since their disintegration would still generate debris which could damage other stuff.

What is surprising is that it has taken them years to reach this really obvious conclusion; that tells me they were not actually working on it but just talked-up the product to keep people interested and stop competitors from having a go.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Very interesting, this would take the first spot on my ‘get ASAP’ list along with the lithium battery.

Please let us know if you have any news regarding the D3000 version.

LRIA, Romania

Here is a bit of history I found in the US, dating from July 2020:

We have made quite a bit of progress on the replacement for the Bendix Dual Magneto. Our solution will be a dual electronic ignition system that uses two separate trigger mechanisms, thereby completely separating the ignitions and solving one of the biggest problems with the dual magneto. Our dual electronic ignition systems will require some sort of approved back-up power system (we will have recommendations the closer we get to certification). We hope to have final certification completed sometime this fall. While we have not finalized the pricing yet, our target user price for this kit is in the range of $4,800 (there will also be a $1,000 core charge refundable with the return of the removed dual magneto).

and a couple of pics

This looks like a conventional magneto or maybe a power generator, and electronic ignition in the same package. But where is the distributor? I also read they were going to have a coil per cylinder, like modern cars, which would been revolutionary, but this was abandoned.

They now say the application is with the FAA. I don’t think anybody knows what it will look like!

Apparently they are calling it RC4000.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

This was posted on a US site by an Electroair distributor:

Electroair abandoned the original design which would have been a combination of an electronic ignition as well as a hybrid magneto. This system also produced it’s own power. After building the unit and doing extensive testing it quickly became apparent that this system was going to simply be too expensive for the market to bear. The new approach is going to be a dual fully electronic system with two separate trigger systems as well as two separate controllers. To do this Electroair was required by the FAA to go to a higher level of DO 178 certification which deals with software. That exercise is nearing completion and approval. The four cylinder systems will come out first as the trigger mechanism that replaces the existing magneto is already approved. The six cylinder system should follow shortly thereafter as the trigger that replaces the magneto is still being designed and tested. Both the four and six cylinder systems will use the traditional trigger wheel on the crankshaft as the other trigger. You will be required to install either a backup battery system or a stand by alternator. Electroair is working with the companies that offer these to make sure we have coverage for all of the aircraft that use the Bendix dual magneto.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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