Performance Oil Sump

 Our 4cyl. Lycoming Maxi-Sump / Cold Air Intake System is the lightest available at a system weight of 11.2 pounds.  For aerobatic engine installs, we offer the optional aerobatic oil pickup, which increases the weight to 11.9 pounds. That's 9 pounds lighter than a standard Lycoming IO-360-A1A sump/intake, while offering better engine performance and vastly superior oiling in aerobatic flight conditions. Additionally, our magnesium sump design does not sacrifice any of the structural benefits that are necessary for the engine assembly.

In the early 1980's the Maxi-Sump System was introduced to the world of aerobatics. Since then, many hours of dyno testing along with thousands of hours of flight testing have been accomplished. The Maxi-Sump system has been used throughout the world at the highest levels of aerobatic and racing competition.
With the introduction of the higher horsepower Lycomings to aerobatics, there came a need for lighter components and improved oiling systems to reduce engine temperatures. In recent years, the very popular 180 hp Lycoming has been replaced with the later 200 hp (360) and 210 hp (390) versions. Competitors looking for increased performance have opted for the extra 20+ hp but have paid a weight penalty to do so, approximately 25 lbs. Much of this weight increase is due to the standard intake and oil sump assembly. Recognizing this, we developed a new cast magnesium sump with a separate intake system to replace the standard Lycoming components. This magnesium sump contributes to a weight savings of approximately 9 lbs and importantly, it does not sacrifice component strength for this weight savings. Our Maxi-Sump system is designed to be used with the Christen inverted oil system in aerobatic installations.

As well as the lighter weight being beneficial, we thought from the onset that the most important design criterion was to improve the oiling system. Numerous features were designed into the unit, the first being a small, confined bottom as opposed to the large floor area of the stock Lycoming sump. This means that one quart of oil in the Maxi-Sump raises oil level by 1.25" instead of only 0.25" in the stock sump. This important feature helps when going from negative to positive maneuvers by allowing drainback oil to submerge the oil pickup very quickly. In addition to the small bottom, a unique swinging oil pickup is available for much improved knife-edge and transitional oiling. This pickup (pictured below), which swings approximately 3 in. either side of center, will help maintain oil pressure for longer periods. We have heard many times that pilots flying with standard sump systems won't see a dip in oil pressure during transitional events, but that is typically due to the slow response of most oil pressure instruments. Consistent oiling is essential to bearing life, and when you combine inconsistent oiling with prop loads from acro, the negative effects are obvious when the engine is disassembled at overhaul.

 On the bottom side of the Maxi-Sump, cooling fins are an integral part of the 4 cylinder sump which also has cast fingers extending up into the oil that help transmit heat to the fins for better cooling. The small, defined pocket in our oil sumps allow many aircraft to run slightly less oil quantity, which can further reduce the installed weight.

The second part of the Maxi-Sump System is the cold-air induction manifold. Our intake is separate from the oil sump and, as such, does not let the heat of the oil increase the temperature of the inlet air. On a standard Lycoming, as the oil temperature increases, the power level decreases. Pilots flying our system have noticed that the power stays consistent over a full sequence or practice session thus relieving some of the pilot's workload. 

Now for everyone's favorite subject - horsepower. As of this writing, over 900 airplanes are flying the Maxi-Sump system. This adds up to many hours of customer use -- mainly all aerobatic time. Aerobatic pilots using the Maxi-Sump system have reported from 6-17 mph increase in cruise speed along with increased vertical performance. Since the induction manifold places the fuel injector in the forward location, it provides a direct ram air boost. This feature is especially beneficial for the new breed of high speed, slippery-type aircraft. But it is important to note that this can create the need for cowling modifications when changing from a vertical or rear type intake to our forward-facing system.

Engine Dyno Test Results - Testing done in April 2010 - 10:1CR P-V 360


Standard Intake System:


Maxi-Sump System:



Sky Dynamics 6 Cylinder Maxi-Sump

After more than three years in the conception, design, and prototyping, our new Maxi-Sump System for the Lycoming 6 cylinder horizontally-opposed aircraft engine is available. This system is a clean-sheet design aimed at the aerobatic and air race marketplace.

The sump uses our unique swiveling oil pickup to support longer knife-edge and vertical maneuvers.  This pickup is located in a small defined sump pocket that requires less than ½ quart of oil to regain oil pressure when going from inverted to upright. Our sump is compatible with the Christen inverted oiling system. The intake plenum is mounted on the bottom of the sump and utilizes oversized stainless intake tubes. The tubes are heat treated in our state of the art vacuum furnace and feature o-ring grooved cylinder flanges and o-ring seals into the plenum housing. The injector mounting face is angled up 15 degrees to facilitate smaller, tighter cowls. More details on our 6 cylinder intake system can be seen here.

The 540 sump requires that special attention is paid to the structural design. Not only does it encounter the normal engine loads from cycling, but because the lower engine mount ears attach to the sump, there are significant loads transferred through the sump to the airframe during flight.

The final complement to this system is our unique 6/1 exhaust with vacuum breather system. This is the system that is used by top aerobatic pilots and Red Bull race planes. Like our intake system, all critical components are vacuum heat treated for dimensional stability and longevity.

At Sky Dynamics Corporation, we are proud of our 30+ year history of supplying exhaust and engine parts to the world’s best pilots. 






Leave your comments

terms and conditions.