Are High Performance Oil Hoses Worth It?

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There has been a recent rise in pilots using high performance oil hoses on their aircraft.  These newer, lighter hoses are made from a high temperature polymer braiding and can save a few pounds for the aerobatic pilot looking to eliminate any unnecessary weight. However, the reliability of these hoses in the air show environment has recently been called into question. In several recent cases, the constant vibrations of the engine and propeller have caused the hoses rubbing against each other to break in flight.

Depending on your aircraft, the net weight savings of using these hoses is between 5 and 15 pounds, but if they are not properly secured the abrasion can cause failure. It is strongly advised that — if you have switched your aircraft to these lighter hoses — you constantly check them to make sure that there is no contact with any other components in the engine compartment. At the very least, a constant watch should be placed on them to assess their integrity before and after every flight.

Another option is a slightly heavier stainless steel hose which still save 2-10 pounds over standard hosing and provide a much higher tolerance to abrasion.

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ICAS
The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) is a trade association dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant air show industry to support its membership. To achieve this goal, ICAS demands its members operate their air show business at only the highest levels of safety, professionalism, and integrity.