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Thread: Harley engine on a sport plane

  1. #1

    Harley engine on a sport plane

    I want to put a 95 cubic inch Twin cam Harley engine on a sport plane such as the Sky Raider or Kit
    Fox etc. Would like to buy a used plane minus engine. Any advise or suggestions welcome

  2. #2
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    You'll need to find something that can take an engine. The problem is the thing puts out what 70HP at 140 pounds of dry weight. That's about twice as heavy as most of the engines typically put in a homebuilt.

  3. #3
    Aaron Novak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    You'll need to find something that can take an engine. The problem is the thing puts out what 70HP at 140 pounds of dry weight. That's about twice as heavy as most of the engines typically put in a homebuilt.
    Oooooh the Hardly Ableson II .........I like it

    In all seriousness......I have to ask why one would pick one of the worst engine designs out there for an aircraft engine???? Power is going to be close to 70 ( probably closer to 60 ) if you expect any kind of durability, they vibe levels are going to be horrific ( yes even the balanced one ) etc etc. The crank design has some severe torsional issues if you add a whole lot of mass to it ( i.e. direct drive ). Like I said.....im curious as to why???
    Last edited by Aaron Novak; 01-22-2013 at 10:40 PM.

  4. #4

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    Didn't Steve Whitman try that idea? I seem to recall a magazine article where the Harley powered engine was dubbed the "Barely Ableson".

    Perhaps one of the current generation Prop Speed Reduction units could isolate the engine from the prop. And there are racing Harley parts that might take care of the engine's mechanical issues.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

  5. #5
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    But I bet it would sound really cool!

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    Aaron Novak's Avatar
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    Wes,
    It was the Hardly Ableson. The flaws as I see them in the harley engine are not specific to the actual components, but to the overall design. Heat rejection from the heads will be marginal, the roller bearing built up crankshaft I see having issues.

  7. #7

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    "YOU MEET THE NICEST PEOPLE ON A HONDA" was the slogan for years.
    But if you are bored with the nicest people, maybe a Harley will help you meet some of the others.
    Course if you really want to race or ride cross country touring,there are better bikes than the old 2 cylinder shaker.
    A cycle magazine did a recent test ride on an old vintage H D 750 road racer probably circa 1969 . It had good power but was so rough that the rider described the feel as like "two giant hammers beating on the same anvil".
    By the way if you like motorcycle racing , look up the history of Cal Rayborn. He was a young guy from San Diego who was a factory rider for Harley and won Daytona in 1968 and 1969, at a time when the Japanese bikes were starting to take over, he could compete due to sheer riding skill. He even went to England with a private race bike and won 3 of 6 races against elite riders there.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 01-23-2013 at 04:53 PM.

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    New guy posts and gets beat up by the elitist bully pulpit. Nice job guys.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrodrainey View Post
    I want to put a 95 cubic inch Twin cam Harley engine on a sport plane such as the Sky Raider or Kit
    Fox etc. Would like to buy a used plane minus engine. Any advise or suggestions welcome
    There was a company called "Hog Air" that developed a V-Twin (Harley based) engine for sport airplanes. They installed one on a Zenith 600 series. You can see it on this you tube video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSTRlAx_YSc

    The company is now operating under the name of "Sky Ray" http://www.skyray.us/index.htm . Click on the video section if you want to see it in action. The rumor I heard was H.D. had legal send all kind of threat letters for any use or reference to harley, hog, etc.

    I think it's pretty cool and it sounds great!
    Last edited by martymayes; 01-23-2013 at 08:37 PM.

  10. #10
    Aaron Novak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58boner View Post
    New guy posts and gets beat up by the elitist bully pulpit. Nice job guys.
    No Bullying here. I just happen to work with a bunch of guys that used to be at Harley engineering before they closed down most of their engineering facility. We talk daily about the issues and design shortfalls of things when taken outside the scope of their original design. I myself used to work on these engines.....and so armed with my personal experiences, and the knowledge of my co-workers that were in Harleys engine design group....I feel justified in asking why the heck you would want to do this?

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