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Last Update Oct. 15/19


Reasons why should you consider SDS over other vendors

1. Unmatched experience- 25 years and 10,000 electronic controllers delivered

2. Unmatched reliability proven in over 650,000 flight hours

3. Best quality CNC'd parts made from the proper materials for each application

4. Best tech support in the industry

5. We fly what we sell

6. No sales hype and BS- just the facts so you can make an informed buying decision

7. Light weight

8. Logical, simple design and programming

9. Wiring is custom made to your length and termination requirements

10. Often several choices for mounting hardware to best suit YOUR needs

11. No long lead times, broken promises and missed delivery dates as with other vendors


Better Design and Materials

Our competitor says "We only use the best parts and materials available". Let's examine that statement.


Here's an example of SDS vs. the competitor's hardware. On the left is is the SDS billet throttle body specifically designed for Lycoming engines. On the right is the competitor's heavy, cast automotive TB with cast adapter. Our TB weighs 412 grams, their's weighs 1630 grams. We use an O-ring to seal all of our throttle bodies to the intake manifold. The competitor still uses paper gaskets.



Competitor uses a less expensive fuel pressure regulator with single diaphragm left, we use one with a twin diaphragm one right. This is a flight critical part. We feel only the best will do here.



Competitor supplies cheap, non-servicable fuel filters left, SDS supplies quality billet, servicable filters right



Competitor wiring (left) doesn't use heat shrink strain relief on their D Sub wiring or proper strain relief at the hood capture. SDS has both.


The competitor mounted the engine temperature sensor in the fuel pump cover originally so it was slow to react to warmup conditions for enrichment. We mount our sensor where it belongs- in the cylinder head.



Our billet flywheels won't crack or be severely out of balance in contrast to other lightweight flywheels on the market from our competitors



SDS fuel pump module has rigid frame so pumps are not loaded when mounted. Immaculate machining and anodized finish.


Countering BS Marketing and Misinformation

Bullshit marketing is a strategy of making false or misleading statements which cannot be backed up by any facts or demonstration. These false statements are carefully worded to make the product sound superior to customers who don't undertstand the technicalities involved. BS is BS, no matter how it's disguised in flowery terms. This page tackles the misinformation put forth by one competitor.

"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit."
W.C. Fields


Who Was First?

In an attempt to re-write historical fact, one competitor in 2019 claims to be producing the first, purpose-built EFI system for Experimental aviation. To put credit where it's due, Precision Airmotive introduced the Eagle EMS way back in 2005. SDS has been supplying the Experimental aviation market since 1995 and we sold our first Lycoming system in 1997- over 2 decades before this one competitor started making their own electronics.


Who Supplied Those Hundreds of "Legacy" ECUs?

Our competitor claims that "they supplied over 600 ECUs for aviation" is patently false. Every one of those ECUs from 2011 to 2017 was manufactured by SDS, not by them. They had zero experience manufacturing workable ECUs until 2018 in fact.

The SDS made EM-5 ECUs sold by our competitor and simply rebranded with their name (a fact they tried their best to hide for years) from 2011 to 2017, used a 16 bit processor, not an 8 bit as they have stated. This microprocessor was first offered in 2000, not the 1990s as they have repeatedly stated. Because of our compact code, the 16 bit CPU executes main loop in 209 millionths of a second which is more than fast enough to track any relatively glacial changes in sensor inputs on a slow turning Lycoming engine. This design came from automotive motorsports where engines have quadruple the rev range and quadruple the rate of acceleration compared to Lycomings. The same processor family was used on several other well known programmable 3D EFI systems, proving it was more than powerful enough for the task here. They tout their 32 bit processor as being far superior. Might be if you run tens of thousands of lines of bloated code but we don't have to with our compact code. Compact code executes faster, so you don't need a super fast CPU. More code REQUIRES a faster CPU to execute it in the same amount of time.


SDS Pioneered Features

SDS pioneered the first Experimental aviation, individual cylinder fuel trimming feature back in 2016. This allows the user to equalize air/ fuel ratios in each cylinder based on EGT data in flight, in only a few seconds. Our competitor told people they didn't need this feature back in 2016 but have now copied our idea and added it to their own system.

With regards to "their" "new" features, SDS has had features like closed loop since 1995, knock control 1996, aviation programmer 2006, lean warning/ auto enrichment 2007, MAP averaging/ interpolation and full data logging 2014, dual access programmer 2015, individual cylinder trim, internal digital fuel flow, baro, LOP ignition advance and cylinder mounted injectors 2016. These features are hardly new, we pioneered many of them long ago in this market and have sold almost 2000 ECUs for aviation as of August 2019.


Injector Mounting

They claim better throttle response, idle and starting over "legacy ECUs" (their word for SDS suplied ECUs)". More false information. Unlike SDS EFI aviation kits, which fitted the injectors to spray towards the valves as every automotive OEM does, our competitor, incredibly, faced them to spray AWAY from the valve and kept doing it years after we told them this was causing their cold starting and throttle response issues. SDS kits had no such issues.


Competitor mounted their injectors the wrong way for years claiming this was better than all other EFI installations in the world where the injector faces towards the port. Resulted in inferior cold starting and throttle response. Their kludged hardware (notice those Oettinger type hose clamps) and rigid mechanical layout led to a fuel fire (fortunately on the ground at that point) on one aircraft when things cracked open. The aircraft was saved and re-fitted with SDS hardware to race at Reno 2018, 2 weeks after the incident.


Closeup of competitor injector mount system with thin walled aluminum capture having sharp edged cuts in them (stress risers)and using crimp type hose clamps to hold injectors to fuel manifolds.


Our injector mount design with high strength adapter and narrow spray angle injector, positively bolted together, not kludged together with hose clamps.

SDS uses a proprietary steel alloy with far superior strength and much lower thermal conductivity (see materials comparison chart below). Finally, they use an injector with a wide spray pattern resulting in the injector spray impinging on the ID of the bore vs. the injector that we use, having a narrow pattern to avoid this issue.

Their latest system copied our basic idea from 2016 to fit the injectors into cylinders. However instead of doing it in the factory injector ports on top as SDS does, they used the primer ports. They claim that this position results in cooler running for the injectors, however this actually results in much higher temperatures for the injectors. Their claims were proven false in testing by one of our clients who instrumented his installation with thermocouples in the injectors both above and below. This testing with thermocouples on the injector housing showed a max temp of 174F after 10 minutes with the heads at about 280F on shutdown so the injectors don't get anywhere near as hot as the heads. In flight, where the engine spends most of its time, injectors temps are 150-200F cooler with the top mount position as compared to in the primer port. Top mounting bathes the injectors in ambient air rather than air passing through the head finning and adjacent to the 1200F+ exhaust stacks with the primer port location. The competitor also used aluminum alloys initially with low fatigue strength and high thermal conductivity (transferring even more heat from the hot head into the injector) for the mounts in this highly stressed design. They simply didn't know any better. Later they switched to stainless steel after people told them how scary aluminum was in this application. Even SS is far inferior in strength to the alloy that SDS uses.


Competitor's new setup. Notice the rat's nest of plumbing, clamps and fittings being bathed in hot cooling air and adjacent to the hot exhaust.


Clean SDS installation places the injectors on top in cool air and away from the exhaust stacks


Injector Firing Strategies

The competitor says their semi sequential injection is just like your modern car and offers all the benfits of sequential. More BS. Modern cars have FULL sequential injection using a cam sensor (Lycomings don't have this sensor). Semi sequential offers no tangible benefits over the batch or independently fired, non-timed injection strategies that SDS uses. Semi sequential does not offer the slight part throttle or emission advantages of full sequential injection. This is because injector flow is not timed to valve opening as in full sequential systems. No power gains are seen with sequential or semi sequential over batch fired systems. This has been extensively proven on many dynos. In fact, even full sequential injection shows no gains in WOT, high rpm power over batch firing simply because there is not enough time at higher engine rpms and high MAP to inject the required fuel in the short time the valves are open so some fuel is injected on a closed valve anyway- just like any non-timed system. Sequential injection was developed for part throttle, low speed emissions and fuel economy improvements in the automotive world. These don't apply in the aviation environment. Semi sequential advantages over other non-timed injection strategies are therefore imagined, not reality.


Reno Racing

We race at Reno to improve our products and test them in a very demanding environment and have supplied complete systems since 2008.

While our competitor hyped their debut at Reno 2019 and makes misleading, false and ridiculous claims, our results speak for themselves. SDS has won three Reno Gold Sport Class Championships, the others guys, zero. In fact, the airplanes fitted with their new "superior" system, didn't even qualify or start the races in 2018 because they had so many technical issues. SDS won Gold Sport Class in 2010, 2018 and 2019. In 2019, the SDS equipped Lancair of Andrew Findlay spanked all comers with the competitor's EFI by a large margin. In racing, we have an old saying- "When the flag drops, the bullshit stops". Our victory in 2010 was the first ever for an EFI equipped aircraft at Reno.


Fact. Andy Findlay's 2 time Reno Sport Gold class winner has posted speeds 40-90 mph faster than the competitor's EFI equipped aircraft.

See Andy's plane at Reno 2019


Delivery Times

Our competitor takes your money early and delivers late. Many people have experienced delays of months or even years in getting the system they paid for and been fed a constant stream of excuses. Their products always show as "No Stock" on Aircraft Spruce. The reason is they have no experience in producing ECUs in quantity and are not able to supply them in any reasonable time frame. Taking your money months or years before they can deliver is very poor treatment in our view. Conversely, SDS has been doing this for 25 years. We've produced over 10,000 digital controllers in that time and can deliver complete systems in 7-14 days in most cases.


At SDS, we give you real facts so you can make an informed buying decision. We think it's deceptive to make sensational and untrue claims to try to sell new and relatively unproven products. We suggest you don't take our word for things nor what the competition says. Do your own independent research before you put down your hard earned money.


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