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Thread: Dose auto engine available to convert to aero using?

  1. #1

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    Dose auto engine available to convert to aero using?

    I had hear differet opinions on differet people, some said it can be down verywell on some particular engine, but other few dont think so.
    Mainly problem of the conversion was to improve cooling system's effect, to allow engine output power as high RPM for much longger time compare to automobile. This is what I know.
    So what is the turth? How they convert?

  2. #2
    Dana's Avatar
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    Many people have converted auto engines for aircraft use, but the only two in widespread use are Volkswagen and Corvair... both air cooled engines already similar to aircraft engines. Others have been used, for example Mazda rotaries, various V-8s, Model A Fords back in the old days, and some others, with varying degrees of success. As you say, cooling at sustained high power settings is usually the biggest issue, with torsional resonance issues also being a frequent problem (broken crankshafts, etc.).

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    Many people have converted auto engines for aircraft use, but the only two in widespread use are Volkswagen and Corvair... both air cooled engines already similar to aircraft engines. Others have been used, for example Mazda rotaries, various V-8s, Model A Fords back in the old days, and some others, with varying degrees of success. As you say, cooling at sustained high power settings is usually the biggest issue, with torsional resonance issues also being a frequent problem (broken crankshafts, etc.).
    So what did they do on thouse engines have already same cooling performance as aeroengine? Do they keep the original cooling system?

  4. #4

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    Well, yes, they keep the same cooling system.

    Let's look at the VW engine, which is opposed cylinders cooled in the automobile with air coming from above and down through cooling fins.

    In an aircraft, it's the same, but done slightly differently. The air coming into the cowling from the front is cut in two horizontally, with baffling put between the layers. The top section is blocked off, making it high pressure, and the air has only one place to go - through the cooling fins of the cylinders. It works really well.

    If RPMs are too high for the desired propeller, a Prop Speed Reduction Unit is used. It's essentially two pulleys of different sizes (the prop being put on the larger one) being driven by a belt (or even a gear).
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  5. #5
    DaleB's Avatar
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    There are a couple of companies selling converted Honda Fit engines for aircraft use. Time will tell us how well they work. The one vendor I spoke with at Oshkosh told me there were a few flying, and many more in air boats where they have been doing their development and testing.

    From what I have read, the biggest problems with higher power installations has been the prop speed reduction units. People seem to have pretty good success with properly converted VW and Corvair engines.
    Measure twice, cut once...
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  6. #6

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    Subaru engines are also very popular for use in aircraft.

    Check out the FlySoob Yahoo group if you are curious:

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FlySoob/info

    -Dj

  7. #7

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    I don't think cooling is the major obstacle for converting an auto powerplant to aircraft use.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by deej View Post
    Subaru engines are also very popular for use in aircraft.

    Check out the FlySoob Yahoo group if you are curious:

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FlySoob/info

    -Dj
    Thanks for recommond, It will be very helpful!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    Well, yes, they keep the same cooling system.

    Let's look at the VW engine, which is opposed cylinders cooled in the automobile with air coming from above and down through cooling fins.

    In an aircraft, it's the same, but done slightly differently. The air coming into the cowling from the front is cut in two horizontally, with baffling put between the layers. The top section is blocked off, making it high pressure, and the air has only one place to go - through the cooling fins of the cylinders. It works really well.

    If RPMs are too high for the desired propeller, a Prop Speed Reduction Unit is used. It's essentially two pulleys of different sizes (the prop being put on the larger one) being driven by a belt (or even a gear).
    I just checked out the 914 VW engine maybe is you talk about, the vw company has several differet types of engines. 1991 cc, 81 kW (110 PS; 109 hp) at 5800rpm. I really want to know the actually temp during take off and cruise. Taking off usually use full power for approximately 5 min, I had see some auto oil cooling engine overheat during 5 min by output 100%power(ground test). And how many time can VW engine run as 80%power? I dont thinks without cooling upgrade It can keep normal temp too long. Because the performence like this will never be applied on automobile. Otherwise can i say air cooling has higher efficient than oil cooling?

  10. #10

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    Well, let's talk about the standard Type I Volkswagen engine, which is the most commonly used one.

    Since I have one installed in my Nieuport 11, here's some pictures:

    First up, here's how it's baffled - aluminum sheeting goes around the cylinders, cutting the engine compartment into two halves with the cowl.



    The air is trapped in the upper portion, forming a high pressure area, and is forced downwards through the cooling fins.

    I put my oil cooler beneath out in the prop wash for best effect, but loads of people put it back on the firewall for a cleaner look:



    I have the biggest oil cooler on the market, as I live in Alabama and it gets darned hot down here.

    With my present setup, I am actually a bit too efficient, the oil temps never getting above 160 degrees.

    My engine is bored out to 1915cc, and on climb out I run about 3300 RPM.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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