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Old 03-24-2019, 02:05 PM
XLS+PAT XLS+PAT is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 41
Default Surefly electronic ignition

Has anybody had any experience with this product. It looks easy to install and the price is quite reasonable. They have a product description on Youtube.


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Old 03-24-2019, 02:14 PM
Kiwi flyer Kiwi flyer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Pell city, al
Posts: 48

I have talked to a mechanic who has heard good things about them, he is a DAR as well and said he had seen a couple on planes he expected, going to check them out at S n F. That?s all I can add .
RV10 Finishing kit done, Fwf complete, interior started. 2019 donation paid with thanks.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:23 PM
kkmarshall kkmarshall is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Central Tx
Posts: 195
Default Surefly

I installed one in place of the impulse mag on my 10 and have been very pleased,
quicker starts hot or cold and super simple install as you said. No complaints so far.
329DR RV10-bought flying
Continually upgrading/tweaking
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:57 PM
Ivan Kristensen's Avatar
Ivan Kristensen Ivan Kristensen is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Guelph Ontario
Posts: 277
Default Surefly

I installed one in my RV-10 and found it not to perform as well as my existing Light Speed EI. I sent it back and got my money back.
Subsequently I installed a SDS CPI from Racetech and it is performing perfectly.
Ivan Kristensen
Guelph, ON. Canada
RV-10 (C-GMDV) 1420hrs.
Dual GRT 8.4" HXr EFIS, VP-200, TT A/P, Avidyne IFD440, uAvionixX ADS-B out, Sky Radar WX and Traffic, Dual EI's (one Lightspeed & one SDS CPI)

RV-14A under construction.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:59 AM
pecanflyboy pecanflyboy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Granbury, Texas
Posts: 135

Excellent product! I've been running one unit on my RV6 with a high compression IO-360 for two years, and I can't wait to put on the second unit.

This is by far the most tested aircraft electronic ignition ever made. The unit was subjected to much more testing than their certified competitor (by a factor of 7!), tested thoroughly by Lycoming, and has passed with flying colors. The development of this system is a great example of how the FAA bureaucracy can ruin a company, but they persevered.

What it is: This is an easy to install, magneto replacement, that provides altitude compensated ignition advance within the detonation safe zone. In a low altitude, high manifold pressure, high power climb you are going to get 25 degree advance (base timing) just like a magneto. However, it will advance up to 38 degrees once your are in the detonation safe zone below 25" manifold pressure. Installation is just like a magneto with the addition of fused power directly from the battery, and a manifold pressure connection. You use the magneto gear, and the existing spark plug harness. It will last the life of the engine, with no maintenance. Only moving part is the geared shaft on a 50,000 hour bearing that only acts as a trigger. No external boxes or electronics, using existing ignition switch.

What it is not: This is not an electronic ignition for the "hotrodder" that wants to tweak the ignition curve and push the boundaries of detonation with their high dollar engine. Automotive engines have a "knock" sensor that advances the timing until is detonation is sensed and then backs it off. Piston aviation engines have no such system. So the philosophy was to build a KISS principled unit that is easy to install. You cannot adjust the timing curve, which also made the FAA happy during certification.

What it does: No 500 hours inspections, no impulse couplers destroying themselves and falling into the engine, no AD's, plug and play installation. I have easier starts, hot and cold. I can easily run lean of peak, seeing 7.5gph at 10,000' 165knots TAS. It runs so smooth that your mixture essentially becomes a throttle. I even know of carbureted O-360's easily running LOP with this ignition.

What to expect: Any electronic ignition system that burns the mixture more efficiently is going to highlight any deficiencies within your powerplant system. The CHT's will run slightly higher (10 degrees, below 25" MP) as you are extracting more BTU's from the fuel. In my case I found inefficiencies in my baffle that I corrected. I also needed to re-tune my GAMI's as I'd never been able to run this far LOP with mags. Finally, I discovered I had some tired spark plugs that needed replacement.

Bottom line is that I have a engine life span ignition system that costs just a little more than a magneto overhaul, makes my engine happy, and allows me to run more efficiently. I'm going to install my second Surefly SIM as soon as my RV6 comes back from the paint shop. I think you will see further product development from Surefly in the near future.

Who am I: I've been in the homebuilt game since the early 90's. My first project was a Thorp, and I've owned or flown just about every RV. I'm an A&P and an airline pilot. Full disclosure, I live in Granbury and have followed the development of this unit from the start. They are the same group that brought us Skytech and Plane Power, and are well funded. They will be around for a long time. I have no financial connection with them, and had to buy my units just like everyone else. I'm not an ignition expert, and I'm sure that those individuals can pick away at my comments.......but you get the jist.

Fly safe!
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:07 AM
Michael Burbidge Michael Burbidge is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sammamish, WA
Posts: 672
Default Auto plugs?

Can they run auto plugs?
Michael Burbidge
Sammamish, WA
RV-14A Wings
RV-9A Flying 340 hours!
Last Donation: December 2020
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Old 01-19-2021, 04:29 PM
myrv6180 myrv6180 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Blairsville,GA
Posts: 54
Default Surely

I replaced my left mag with a Surefly unit and I was well pleased with the simplicity of installation and how promptly it starts now.
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Old 01-20-2021, 01:25 AM
jliltd jliltd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
Posts: 1,003

I put a SureFly on an angle-valve IO-360 and set it up for fixed-timing at the listed 25*. No manifold pressure line attached. The reason for this was after communicating with experienced people in the field it was found angle-valve engines don't respond as favorably or innocuously to advance timing curves like the more typical parallel valve Lycoming. I think Dan was more or less alluding to the same idea above (but I haven't ever been or propose to be as technically deep as Dan). Whether at altitude or coyote-chasing levels my angle-valve stays well behaved. When I swapped a mag out for a SureFly I was looking for reliability and easy hot starting more than anything. That's what I got.

I also have an RV with dual P-Mags and with the mild-curve jumper in place and I have been very satisfied with that. The SureFly is bulkier and more mag-esque and doesn't have a built-in dynamo to keep the sparks going without battery power like the P-Mag. They each have their place. As do a good quality set of CMI/Bendix mags (sacrilege!). I have been happy with all of them. You may note I leave out mention of Slicks, which in my personal opinion are **** throw-away at 500 hours no matter the model.
(a few more airplanes too)

Last edited by jliltd : 01-20-2021 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:01 AM
DanH's Avatar
DanH DanH is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 9,876

Two examples, return flights from OSH, 2018 and 2019. It's about a four hour run for me, so I usually schedule some kind of experiment so I won't get too bored. The ignition I'm using stores two complete, independent ignition maps. For this sort of test I load one at fixed 23 BTDC, and another with the experimental schedule. Back and forth is just the flip of a switch.

A little lean of peak at 9500, a common RV cruise configuration. 28 BTDC vs 23 BTDC, same flight, back to back. Note times, CHTs, oil temps, and speeds. BTW, these temperatures were all taken with the cowl flap closed, so cooling exit area was down around 30 sq in, about half a standard RV-8.

Again a bit LOP, this time at 16,500 feet and 23 vs 35 BTDC, the kind of advanced timing typical at this altitude (i.e. manifold pressure) for several of the EIs with mystery maps. Again note CHTs and oil temps vs speeds.

The higher CHTs correspond to high peak in-cylinder pressure. It's significant additional engine stress for no gain, and quite contrary to GAMI-APS philosophy, for those who respect George Braly, John Deacon, et al.
Dan Horton
Barrett IO-390

Last edited by DanH : 01-24-2021 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:16 AM
sailvi767 sailvi767 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 1,285

I am curious why the fuel pressure is so different between the two pics. The actual fuel flow is virtually the same.
RV-6 sold
F-1 Rocket
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