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Old 02-08-2021, 06:38 AM
airguy's Avatar
airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 5,359

Originally Posted by terrye View Post

Early in the build of my RV-9A (still ongoing) I became enamored with the Wilksh aerodiesel and the designer Mark Wilksh. The three cylinder was in production and the 4 cylinder (160 hp) was just about to be released. Modern tech, turbo, single lever, Jet-A. The 4 cylinder never was released to production. The designer went on to other things. I have a Superior IO-320 sitting in my living room ready to hang. I'm going to be very happy with it.
Same here. I had my eye on that 4-cylinder really hard, but it never happened. The base power is about 20 less than I have installed now but I would go for the turbodiesel in a heartbeat for the high cruise numbers, that's my main mission.
Greg Niehues - SEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2021 dues paid
N16GN flying 750 hrs and counting; IO360, SDS, WWRV200, Dynon HDX, IFD440
Built an off-plan RV9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.

Last edited by airguy : 02-08-2021 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:10 AM
spatsch spatsch is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 257

Originally Posted by Rob_The_Builder View Post
Obviously a reliable plane is good. Sometimes we need to "experiment" with other options to improve the technology and with enough testing can prove to be reliable, or not.
I think the main question you need to ask yourself is how much of that you want to do.

If you are looking for a nice cross country airplane you can take your family on vacation in ready within a few years buy a Lycoming for all the reasons listed in this thread.

If you are willing to experiment for a decade or two (your experimentation will just start with the first flight) before you reach that point with a good chance of failures (9 out of 10 startups fail as a reference point and for some reason that number feels worse in aviation..). Then by all means go for a diesel. That is what experimental aviation was founded on. I would certainly be following you with interest and you will find many people willing to help you with technical questions.

Also nobody so far was able to show any actual (not projected) financial benefit of the experimentation approach on larger engine either. By the time you pay for R&D (all the expensive custom fabrication and mistakes you will make) and get it reliable into an airplane you have spent more money then a lifetime supply of Avgas and would have payed for the Lycoming to boot. The difference in insurance alone might pay for your avgas. So if you think about saving $$ you are very likely mistaken.

Oliver Spatscheck
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:54 AM
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DanH DanH is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 9,887

Originally Posted by Rob_The_Builder View Post
I've seen this engine briefly, before. For some reason, I thought it was a discontinued project. I'll have to look into it again. Definitely going with something that has a team of engineers to support you would be great.
In some respects, it's harder. They will have restrictions, require more data, and use a decision system with multiple levels. There will be some CYA factor.

Terry's contact is more recent than mine. Previously SMA wasn't interested in EAB.

Continental made a great many changes to their version of the engine, and perhaps has made more. I have not spoken with a Jet-A contact in a while.

Even with corporate support, it requires serious commitment.
Dan Horton
Barrett IO-390
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:16 AM
12vaitor 12vaitor is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Panama City, FL
Posts: 160

Originally Posted by Freemasm View Post
Electricity is far more economical and safe to transport (transmit) than a pipeline of H2. Tankering would be even more expensive and probably bring the total cycle efficiency to near zero; this assuming the H2 would have to be liquified.

Ignoring the idiocy surrounding the efficiency of the total H2 cycle, burning it in an end user is still not the great environmental benefit that people are lead to believe. As the oxidizer in the combustion process is atmospheric air, Nitrogen is still part of the process. NOx, an Ozone depleter, is a byproduct. NOx is mostly thermally driven and it so happens that H2 has a relatively hot flame. That said, NOx emissions are easier to reduce than capturing carbon. Like everything else, if you squeeze the balloon in one place it gets bigger (worse) in another. Don't believe everything you hear. Assume everything you hear is a sales job and chances are you'll be right.
Welcome to the world of environmental politics. First, throw out any ideas about economics and efficiency and focus only on CO emission numbers.

If you read Aviation Week and Space Technology with any regularity, CO emissions reduction is the holy grail of the airlines, which forces the airframes' and engine manufactures down the H2/electric power road. Same with the Urban Air Mobility crowd, battery electric power, fuel cells, hybrid sustainers, and H2 turbines are currently getting $Bs in investment to develop the technology.

The political goal is to kill the IC engine along with gasoline and diesel fuels and that goal is backed by the social trend. GM is going all electric, as is Ford, Toyota, etc. Ampaire, Bye Aerospace, and Pipistrel are not the odd balls, its where the action is. If someone has a spare 20K of Euros, Pipistrel will be happy to sell you a complete 60Kw electric propulsion system you might be able to install in an RV-12.

Looking at the political trend, you are more likely going to end up with an all electric or electric hybrid powerplant in 5 years. With a $50K+ price tag on the IO-540s, that is a very attractive price target for an electric alternative.

One other item to going against a new Jet-A IC engine is the EPA Tier 4 emissions, which typically require some form of after treatment system to capture particulates. If you think a diesel is heavy now, wait till you see the after treatment add on. Tier 4 is killing segments of the Marine industry and that appears to be fine with the government. How far behind will GA be in this environment?

I wish I knew the answer to where this is going, I am only observing the larger political and social trends that will dictate the the technology answer, good or bad. If you follow the money, you will most likely get your answer.

John Salak
RV-12 N896HS
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:53 AM
Freemasm Freemasm is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Orlando
Posts: 322
Default Apples, Oranges, and other fruit

Particulate (soot) is not a green house gas though it does contribute to acid rain. Current carbon capture (think CO2 primarily) approaches are mostly exclusive to ChemE processes. You can't make a chemical plant fly. Electric cars have little common application relative to anything that could possibly fly. Electric aircraft were beaten to death in another thread here this sub-category.

Of course we should strive to eliminate pollution but the whole energy cycle has to be considered. Carbon capture on an industrial scale has potential but is a long way off. CC on a consumer scale end-user makes no sense. Who knows once politics are involved. Ultimately, the producer of the battery with the best life cycle costs will probably be the economic victor, aviation aside.
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:25 PM
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airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 5,359

Originally Posted by DanH View Post
Continental made a great many changes to their version of the engine, and perhaps has made more. I have not spoken with a Jet-A contact in a while.
I have, as recently as two months ago. Their position has not changed.
Greg Niehues - SEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2021 dues paid
N16GN flying 750 hrs and counting; IO360, SDS, WWRV200, Dynon HDX, IFD440
Built an off-plan RV9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:13 AM
Mike Houston Mike Houston is offline
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Bushmills
Posts: 34

I think 12vaitor is correct on this, pretty soon Lycoming are going to find there cosy world upset by electric aircraft. First viable kitplane which uses electric will probably do huge business. 2 x 60kw electric motors, about 160/170 Hp, one on each wing pushing rather than pulling for 5 hrs flight @ 80% you need about 500kwh of electric. Thats 5 x a model S. Tesla make their batteries $100 A KWH at present so the battery plus electronics and two motors $60,000 at present (not that much more than FWF kit on a RV14-RV10. But in 3 yrs Tesla expect $50-60 a kwh. Then we are talking $30-40K.

Another issue is the weight currently about 300watts per the battery weighs about 1600 lbs but we dont need the 50 galls of fuel at 300lbs and the 350lb engine. So 900-1000lbs heavier than an ice engine plane but a much more efficient airframe with no holes for air intakes exhaust etc

filling it up will be about $60 to travel 1000 miles. Number of moving parts will be far less so much better reliability. 10YRS from now the thought of investing in a liquid fuel GAA plane will seem crazy stupid
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:59 PM
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gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,328

Originally Posted by rmartingt View Post
The Raptor is hardly a good example of proper development and testing. Indeed, it's a good example of how NOT to do it.
I think you are wrong with respect. Peter is a talented guy who is doing amazing work. With all his technical capabilities, time, money, tenacity he still has a heavy poor performing prototype aircraft. He is giving it a good shot and makes my point below.

As far as Peter and the "Raptor" he has the same issue all auto engines conversions have, weight, cooling drag and PSRU (and lower actual thrust). The (PSRU) Prop Speed Reduction Unit is the achilles heel of almost all car to aircraft engine conversions. As you know Automotive engines make their power and much higher RPM than an aircraft direct drive engine. So they require a speed reduction unit to slow the speed of the propeller which can't turn faster than about 2700 RPM or suffer significant loss of efficiency.

For all of you who don't follow Peter's Raptor YouTube channel, he had a seal leak on his custom designed PSRU. He lost oil and eventually engine oil pressure. The Raptor is a carbon fiber 4 place Canard like a pressurized wide body "Velocity" looking canard retractable prototype with an Audi TDI V6 Diesel and a custom PSRU with hydraulic CS Prop. The PSRU is his own design. The PSRU seal allowed engine oil to be puked out. He made a safe dead stick landing at his home airport. The engine was damaged and is being replaced and PSRU seal issue addressed. Peter wants to produce a kit to sell.

First self disclosure, in the last 35 years I have followed, researched many (many) auto engine conversions. I'm not a big fan but admire the effort. The best engine conversion is to take $35,000 and converted it into a Lycoming ( significantly less $$$ is you source a used engine). So I am not promoting Auto engines in PLANES, petrol or diesel. However no need to bash Peter and his Raptor.

With that said with Peter's never give up attitude, apparently endless time and money, methodical approach, he show Auto Engine conversions require tremendous amount of extra time and no real money savings in an aircraft that's not going to perform as well with a Lycoming.

If you deviate from Van's Aircraft plans and install some custom engine you will spend 100's or 1,000's of hours hours of extra build time and 1000's of dollars more than if you just went with the Lycoming.
Raleigh, NC Area
RV-4, RV-7, ATP, CFII, MEI, 737/757/767

2020 Dues Paid

Last edited by gmcjetpilot : 03-05-2021 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:26 AM
RV10Man RV10Man is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 1,097

Chris, I don't remember his last name, at Turbine Solutions in Deland, Florida bought my RV 10 a few years ago. He installed a turboprop on it. It was at OSH a few times.
He/they were, at the time, working on a FWF package for the RV10.

2 or 3 years ago I was in Daytona Beach, I called him and got to go fly "my" airplane. It was great.

Give him a call (386) 804-1824.
N781DM became an airplane 2/8/2021
First flight 03/01/2021
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:58 AM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 5,831

Originally Posted by Freemasm View Post
If someone believes in the economics or the “greenness” of Hydrogen, you should
Invest your retirement savings In it. I did energy balances for a living, H2 makes zero environmental or economic sense.
Indeed . . . . . !

Lord Kelvin:
“I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about,
and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you
cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge
is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind.”
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