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Unread 07-05-2013, 11:16 AM
cujet cujet is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Default Powerflow installation on 177RG, S/N 00018

Last fall (2012) I installed the Powerflow tuned exhaust on my Cardinal RG. Initially, I had not been flying much and did not have any input to post.

However, this past spring, I've been flying quite a bit more and I have some (somewhat) objective data.

The Powerflow does increase climb power. At my local field, I often note altitude over landmarks on straight out departures at 120MPH. I've gone from 800-900 feet in one particular position, to 1300-1500 feet. While that seems like a remarkable increase, the modest increase in HP simply converts to altitude directly. Put another way, I can always make 1500 feet in the pattern, and overfly the West end of the field. Something that was impossible before.

Also, climb rate is notably better all the way up.

I've not been able to achieve a higher top speed. My aircraft will achieve 170MPH down the beach, and not a bit more. There has not been an increase in top speed at 5000 feet either. My aircraft can achieve "top of the green" airspeed at WOT, max power mixture, 2700RPM. That is unchanged from the stock exhaust. EDIT: I do in fact, now see 180+ MPH in straight and level flight. So, there has been a gain of low altitude airspeed. Not sure why I was unable to achieve better speeds shortly after install. One thing I did differently was to carefully clean the "Challenger" air filter.

I do see a 2 or 3 MPH increase at 7500 feet, if I run it at 2500-2600 RPM, max power mixture (which is typically how and where I operate it)

I do not see any practical increase in service ceiling at 2700RPM, max power mixture. My airplane simply won't go above 12,000, feet here in sunny, hot, humid South Florida. The highest I've been able to achieve is 13,700 feet, solo. 12,000 dual.

Interestingly, I burn 2 additional gallons on my typical 700 mile trip.

Edit to add: I'm very pleased with the significantly improved additional climb and the 3Kts additional cruise speed. In addition, the exhaust sounds better and the engine runs smoother. I'm able to match EGT's peaks with the GAMI injectors now.

Last edited by cujet; 12-13-2013 at 05:46 PM.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 08:33 PM
cujet cujet is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Default Re: Powerflow installation on 177RG, S/N 00018

I wanted to add that I have the K+N air filter.

I also tried the Powerflow with the insert removed. While I did not do back to back testing, I did not notice any significant change in performance. It's simply quieter and more pleasant with the insert in place.

More than anything else, the Cardinal RG has a restrictive air box and filter plumbing. I put a water manometer hookup on both sides of the Challenger K+N and did not notice a pressure differential at take off power. Meaning, a clean Challenger airfilter is not a significant source of restriction.

Still, on my bird, the maximum manifold pressure indicates 19.8-20.0 at 8500 feet, even with 160MPH of ram pressure. That's nearly 2 inches of mercury lower than the outside pressure.
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Unread 12-13-2013, 05:43 PM
cujet cujet is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Default Re: Powerflow installation on 177RG, S/N 00018

Another update, after having a full year of Powerflow exhaust under my belt.

The improvement in climb performance remains impressive. And, I've finally been able to do some high altitude work. I made it to 14,700 feet with 2 aboard. It's possible it could have gone a few hundred higher, but I was light on fuel and wanted to make it back to my home airport and to avoid an early stop.

While my review above seems to show that I did not see any top speed improvement, I now believe there are some very significant differences.

At low altitude, I paired up with a local 1975 Cardinal RG, with fresh engine and stock exhaust. We did a number of 2500 foot, top speed runs. My aircraft was clearly faster. And, not by a minor difference. The stock aircraft was markedly slower in all aspects of flight. Including acceleration from 80 up to top speed. I do know that in the past, we were well matched. It's hard to describe the differences, so I'll put it this way, within a few minutes, I had to pull the power to idle to let him catch up. Otherwise, he was falling behind even at slightly less than full throttle. And during our casual competition, I saw indicated airspeeds in excess of 180MPH. Something I had never seen before.

Yes, it's faster. And, I feel the Cardinal RG should have performed like this all along. Might have made all the difference in "reputation".

Last edited by cujet; 12-13-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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