Experimenter

FEB 2015

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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20 Vol.4 No.2 / Februar y 2015 ENGINES FOR HOMEBUILDERS ON A BUDGET As we look at engines somewhat more outside the conven- tional realm, the D-motor will be our fi rst step on the wild side. It is a fl at four from Belgium with the seemingly retrograde use of the fl at head confi guration that is no longer used even for lawnmower engines. Flat heads are more compact and lighter than the now universal overhead valve (OHV) heads, so more displacement can be put into a compact, lightweight, direct- drive package. They are also liquid cooled. A six-cylinder version is in the works. This one has potential, but being made in small numbers, is not inexpensive. www.D-motor.eu/nl/home-1.htm Also harkening back to an earlier age are a number of radial engines: The M14 series radials from Romania and Russia of 360 to 400 hp are available, although not likely at the bargain prices of the past. http://MotorstarNA.com , www.SteenAero. com/Products/engine_m14p.cfm , www.Yak-Aviation.com/index. php/engine The Rotec radials of 110 and 150 hp come from Australia. It also makes liquid-cooled heads for the Jabiru engines. www.RotecRadialEngines.com/index.htm Verner Engines from the Czech Republic also is making a line of radials from 25 to 150 hp. http://VernerMotor.eu MWfl y's engines from Italy start at 95 hp in direct-drive ver- sions and higher in geared versions. They are fl at four-cylinder engines with liquid cooling and SOHC heads. Some unique features are roller bearing cranks and a low-speed decompres- sion device to eliminate gear rattle. MWfl y is hunting for some of Rotax's market share. www.MWfl y.it/index_fi le/homemwfy.htm Another Rotax competitor on display, in mockup form, at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 was the Sodemo V-2, a motor- cyclelike, liquid-cooled engine from France with all the modern bells and whistles. Whether it will have enough weight and/ or cost advantage to compete remains to be seen. Availability is expected in the spring of 2016. www.Sodemo.com DIESELS AND JETS Before we search for more af ordable engines for homebuilders, let's take a look at engines at the expensive end of the spectrum— diesels and jets. What they have in common is the ability to run on jet or diesel fuel. Hopefully the panic over the loss of 100LL has passed. A 100 NL is within sight in the United States. In other parts of the world, avgas is very expensive or not available, so turbines or diesels are needed. We all know of P&W Canada, Rolls-Royce, Walter-GE, and Williams engines. Even if found surplus at a reasonable price, their fuel burns are not af ordable by most homebuilders. There were two exhibitors of small turbine engines at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014—PBS from the Czech Republic and JetBeetle from Taiwan. They both have 250-pound-thrust en- gines that weigh under 50 pounds, but they are fuel hogs; fi gure about 40 gallons/hour for takeof power. The PBS TJ 100 is more than $50,000 and powers the SubSonex and some self-launching sailplanes. The JetBeetle H250 is about half the price. Both com- panies' engines would be great for launching sailplanes, where Motorav has beefed up its VW-based engine components. The normal VW heads are considered to be under-fi nned; Motorav has addressed that as you can see. Jet Beetle has some grown-up model jet engines, the largest of which can easily launch a sailplane or fl y a light, single-seat aircraft. Like all small jet engines, these are fuel-hungry little beasts. AutoPSRU's centrifugal clutch is a key element in avoiding resonance problems with its gearboxes. Photography courtesy of Murry Rozansky

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