Purdue University operates a fleet of Cirrus SR20s as training aircraft. Standard operating procedures for the cruise portion of cross country training flights call for 65% power with a best power mixture, also called rich of peak, as opposed to a best economy setting, also called lean of peak. Previous work demonstrated that fuel consumption rates, cylinder head temperatures, and true airspeeds are lower when best economy is employed compared to best power for the same power output. This study confirmed that best economy is associated with a lower fuel consumption rate and lower cylinder head temperatures but was unable to show that true airspeeds were different.


best economy, lean of peak, best power, rich of peak, piston aircraft performance, piston aircraft engine performance

Date of this Version



Aviation Technology

Department Head

Dr. Brent Bowen

Month of Graduation


Year of Graduation



Master of Technology

Degree Type

Directed Project

Head of Graduate Program

Dr. Richard Fanjoy

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Dr. Mary E. Johnson

Committee Member 1

Denver W. Lopp

Committee Member 2

Michael W. Suckow