Experimenter

October 2012

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

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What our Members are Bui lding Dan has also developed and is marketing a "fifth bearing" adapter plate for the aero-converted, direct- drive Corvair engine that's designed to reduce some of the troublesome propeller loads from the prop end of the stock Corvair crankshaft. Although the stock General Motors crankshaft is forged and in some cases even nitrided, it was never designed to handle the gyroscopic loads imposed by the prop, so it only makes sense to increase the length of the front bearing to be more in tune with what we find in certified aircraft engines, and that's what Dan accomplished with his simple design. And Dan has recently taken the Corvair conversion to the next level by creating (and marketing) a new billet cranksha┼┐t for aviation and automobile use. T e 3,100-cc Corvair engine is the staple for this design, although the airplane is tolerant of higher power, heavier powerplants; smaller, low-power engines can be used by those with a budget in mind. And Dan has recently taken the Corvair conversion to the next level by creating (and marketing) a new billet crankshaft for aviation and automobile use. He's even gone as far as to offer the option to add stroke length, further increasing the displacement (and power) of the little horizontally opposed six- cylinder to a full 3400 cc (207.5 cubic inches), making approximately 134 hp at 3400 rpm, the normal speed for the direct-drive Corvair engine. But Dan's aim for this displacement increase is to provide the typical 120 hp at a reduced rpm, potentially upping the time between overhaul. This will work well in all LSA air- Video of the Month George Richards of New Zealand recalls his adventures building and flying his all-wood Falco homebuilt. George shipped his aircraft from New Zealand to California and then flew it to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012. That's quite a story, too! planes, especially high-drag aircraft like the Zenith 750. Three Different Panthers There are three different models in the making. The Panther LSA ver- sion has a wingspan of 23.5 feet, can use engines ranging from 80 to 120 hp, and will be offered with conventional gear or with a nose wheel. This will be the first of the three offerings to fly. The Panther Long LSA is the same as the LSA version but with extended wings and horizontal stabilizer, each with tapered tips. It's designed to use smaller engines, including electric motors, for the most effi cient fl ight. These will be tested on the prototype LSA airframe in the future, based on customer interest. The Panther Sport version will have a wingspan of 21.5 feet but won't fit in the LSA category. It can handle anything from a stock 2700-cc Cor- vair to the 160-hp Lycoming O-320, and it will only be available with conventional landing gear. ┬╗ For more information, visit www.SportPerformanceAviation.com/ panther.html. 26 NO. 2/OCTOBER 2012

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