EI Commander Review.
Unlike the US we have get approval for modification to our aircraft in the UK.
Having fitted and gained approval for dual PMags in my 4 I became interested in the EI Commander.
It seemed a sensible addition to me as it would allow me to monitor my PMags, would replace the Van's 55mm Tacho, and provide information on MAP, carb and OAT. It also checks timing divergence, ignition lead and plug condition.
Ok, so I have built 5 aeroplanes, but multi functIonal kit like this confuses the **** out of me. Here is where I found what a great guy Bill Repucci the maker of the commander is. He responded to all my questions usually within hours. The Light Aircraft Association threw in a few questions before approving testing, again these were answered within a an hour.
I think all of us will returN to a vendor who gives great service, that is exactly what Bill does!
Now, the flight testing. Well the first thing I notIced was that I was reading 60 or more RPM max static. I generally climb out at about 120 mph and get 1500 fpm climate or more. The Tacho was reading up to 2400 rpm where I normally get 2300 on the Van's Tacho.
I had previously been running the b curve but had changed to the A just to see if it had any effect. It felt like I had more power, but I suspect the old Van's Tacho was undereading. I have to do more testing and will use an optical prop speed tester to confirm my suspicions, but if I an correct this has implications for anyone running a Van's Tacho with a Sensenich metal prop.
When I ran the engine in I did it mostly at 2400 RPM and only hit 2500 for a few seconds. If the Tacho was undereading by 100 RPM I had hit the RPM restriction on the prop. So, my advice to anyone running this combination is to to an optical check on the prop RPM to ensure the Tacho is reading accurately or you could be entering the restricted range without knowing.
Back to the EI Commander, well it does what it says on the tin! I can check all the parameters befor flight, it's easy to see and read even for someone like me who is getting a bit long in the tooth. I was happily banging round the circuit today. On occasion when on my own 175mph down wind. When I had company going round at 400 ft doing 65mph watching a Cessna land beneath me. Power on and into the climb hitting well over 2000fpm several times.
The RV4 is a fantastic aeroplane and PMags and the commander provide confidence that all is well! Neither missed a beat!
In case anyone asks I have no connection with Bill Repucci or Emagair I am just a happy customer. I have however asked Bill to become a friend on Facebook because I am so happy with his support.
We have frozen fog in the UK over the next few days which will delay a further report on tho optical prop test, but as soon as I can I will update.
In completion stage of Loehle P5151
Built and now Flying G.BVLR Vans RV4
Rebuilt G.BDBD Tailwind
Rebuilt G BVTN Kitfox
Built G CDCD RV9A with WAM120
Riveted wings on Glastar G.LEZZ Now (G. SKUA)