Looking for Fuel

Fuel is what Andy Chiavetta is looking for at Reno this year. The ace Sport class crew chief is concentrating on Lynn Farnsworth Lancair Legacy this year, and like others with modified Continental TSIO-550 power getting enough fuel into the combustion chambers is the latest challenge.

Andy Chiavetta, in green shirt, installs an intercooler on Lynn Farnsworth’s Lancair Legacy in the Reno pits.
Andy Chiavetta, in green shirt, installs an intercooler on Lynn Farnsworth’s Lancair Legacy in the Reno pits.

Fuel is in short supply because improved turbocharger installations are allowing more boost - air - and that air needs corresponding fuel. But the Continental fuel systems can only supply so much, and with power reaching over the 700 hp mark, the stock fuel systems are running out of both capacity and control.

Chiavetta is planning on a larger fuel pump installation to fill his social calendar tonight. He says he’s all set, having had a full night’s sleep after changing two cylinders on Farnsworth’s Legacy Thursday night following an ADI pump failure that torched two jugs in an eye-opening 10 seconds. Things go south fast at the new high boost pressures.

To put things in perspective, Farnsworth is burning 71 gph when racing and he wishes it was 79 gph!

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson is a professional magazine writer and nurtures an ongoing affair with all things internal combustion. His writing is most often found in automotive magazines, but aviation is his first love. Working as a line boy, he learned to fly while in high school, but still hasn't mastered the art of keeping a paper chart in an open cockpit.

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