Continental or Lycoming

buddybbuddyb Member Posts: 3,868 ✭✭✭
edited November 2010 in General Discussion
Are one of the engines better than the other?


  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
  • ljwrenchljwrench Member Posts: 5,053
    edited November -1
    The big Continentals sound better.
  • WarbirdsWarbirds Member Posts: 15,520 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    I will admit I am biased on this issue.
  • givettegivette Member Posts: 10,886
    edited November -1
    I believe there are more Lycomings in privately-owned light aircraft than Continentals. However, it may be economics more than engine quality.

    Several auto manufacturers had [liquid cooled] Continentals back in the '40's through the '60's. The now defunct Checker sedan comes to mind. There are others.

    If you're gonna buy an airplane, I don't think you have a choice. Adjust your A/C purchase decision by the engine that has the least time on it since overhaul, weighed against the recommended TBO (total time allowed prior to overhaul). Joe
  • blackhawk45blackhawk45 Member Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I remember the Checkers having a straight six,dont actually know for sure ,but I'm thinking they were the Chevy 235 C.I.
  • Pistollero1050Pistollero1050 Member Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As an long time aircraft mechanic, no compition, Lycoming for sure.
  • Wyatt EarpWyatt Earp Member Posts: 5,871
    edited November -1
    It doesn't matter, they all start making funny noises as soon as you get over water.
  • Pistollero1050Pistollero1050 Member Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
  • mk19mk19 Member Posts: 92 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Both of them are useless slabs of iron compared to a
    Franklin, real aircraft engines are painted green
  • nordnord Member Posts: 6,106
    edited November -1
    Since all three of the above are just glorified VW air cooled engines, I'm not sure there's much of a difference overall... And I've owned all but the Franklin.

    Lycoming made some mistakes along the way. O-320 H2AD was one. Lifter spalling and magneto mounting in particular. I experienced both problems with the O-320 but never had the sense it would let me down.

    The O-470 Continental had a somewhat shorter TBO and met those expectations. Even exceeded them in a negative way! In all fairness this was likely due to a cracked ring during its previous overhaul. The end result was both #5 and #6 cylinders being replaced. And even then it was quite a few hours before I really trusted her again. NOT THE ENGINE'S FAULT!

    Unlike the O-470 my O-300 was flawless if not a performance star. She'd lift that '66 Skyhawk off the ground unbelievably well and was quiet and smooth. It's just that the slightly larger O-320 Lycoming was a better performer.

    The Lycomings and the Continentals I've had are externally similar, except for the number of cylinders and color. Internal components are much the same as we're speaking of horizontally opposed engines and they're about as simple as an engine could ever be. Power vs. displacement is roughly the same but the Continentals have had a somewhat shorter TBO than their Lycoming cousins in the past.

    One last comment is that I found (normally aspirated) Lycomings to be much less prone to carb ice than the Continentals. This especially the case in that I could have made ice cubes with the O-470. On at least one occasion I remember having considered putting down as I couldn't seem to clear the carb ice.

    Economy? The O-300 was the star if 6 gph is good. The O-320 wanted 7 or 8 gph and the O-470 was good for 13-15 gph depending on what you were doing. Of course the 470 was pulling a Skylane around at least 40 mph faster than the Skyhawk most of the time.

    Given the choice I'd probably go for the Lycoming with very few exceptions. Just my personal opinion.
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