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Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson
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Pumping avgas and waxing flight school airplanes got Tom into general aviation in 1973, but the lure of racing cars and motorcycles sent him down a motor journalism career heavy on engines and racing. Today he still writes for peanuts and flies for fun.

Bullish on Weight

For Red Bull racing professionals, reducing the engine weight in their aircraft is serious business. We can learn from their experience.

Electronic Ignitions

As electronic ignitions become more popular, some homebuilders will want to consider making the switch (especially given the potential savings in fuel costs). Tom Wilson provides an overview of the marketplace and offers a “cost-benefit” analysis.

Electronic Ignitions

Electronic ignitions can offer benefits over the standard magnetos, including lower maintenance and better fuel economy.

Switch Blade

Weighing just 11 pounds for a hub and three blades, the new carbon-fiber prop from Whirl Wind Propellers improves the performance in both climb and cruise on a RANS S-7.

Efficient Engines

There are many ways to increase an engine’s efficiency when rebuilding. Tom Wilson reviews the options, along with the costs involved and the expected returns.

Headlong For Headers

Tom Wilson, an avowed hot rodder, details his foray into the world of custom exhausts and the performance gains found on his Lycoming IO-540.

Detail Man

Master craftsman Andy Paterson's innovative finish work on a GlaStar Sportsman polished the airplane to near perfection.

Air Power

The art of porting cylinder heads, whether by hand or by CNC machine, is a valuable part of blueprinting detailed engine builds or overhauls, and surprisingly subtle changes can determine how efficiently the engine will breathe.

In Case You Missed it

Engine Swap Time

Exploring the many different options.

Ask the DAR

SLSA max empty weight, sailplane condition inspections, licensing a RANS S-7LS as an ELSA.

Unairworthy

Improper routing.

Kit Stuff

Drawing on experience; by cartoonist Robrucha.