Hypermiling Plane Gets 45 MPG at 207 MPH, Capable of 100 MPG (That's Better Than Most Cars!)

fuel efficient plane modified VariEze photo

Photo: AOPA
With 2 People on Board (Unlike Photo Above)
Klaus Savier likes to have his cake and eat it too. Usually with airplanes, speed and efficiency are a tradeoff. You go slower and burn less fuel, or you go faster and burn more fuel (all else being equal). This is why it is impressive that Mr. Savier won this year's Fuelventure 400 in his modified VariEze (originally designed by the famous Burt Rutan) by getting 45 MPG at 207 MPH, and this with two people on board (and for those wondering, there were no massive tailwinds or anything of the sort).
fuel efficient plane modified VariEze photo

Photo: AOPA

The AOPA writes:

Savier has altered his Vari-EZ and its Continental 0-200 engine by adding computerized fuel injection and ignition systems of his own design. He typically flies at 190 KTAS while getting a Prius-like 50 miles per gallon. If he slows to extend range, Savier's mileage approaches 100 miles per gallon.

Although his Vari-EZ carries just 30 gallons of fuel, Savier has flown it nonstop to Oshkosh, Wis., (1,522 nm) and Panama City, Fla., (1,700 nm).

To improve the flight efficiency of the GA fleet, Savier says magnetos need to be replaced, once and for all, with electronic ignitions, and engines need the kinds of precise fuel injection that allows his Continental to run an almost incomprehensible 300 degrees lean of peak. In fact, Savier says his engine runs so lean, and so cool, that he has trouble keeping cylinder heads and oil temperatures warm enough at altitude--even though his engine has no oil cooler.

Savier is not a newcomer to the field. He has flown his Vari-EZ "about 4,500 hours during 20-plus years of ownership" and during that time he has collected "mountains of data." He claims that switching to electronic ignition and computerized fuel injection would improve the GA fleet's flight efficiency 20% without any airframe modifications.

Time to modernize those engines!

See also: Sky's the Limit: SkySpark 100% Electric Airplane Sets New Speed Record
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Via AOPA, Wired
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