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Thread: New Piston Engine Feedback/Advice Request

  1. #1

    New Piston Engine Feedback/Advice Request

    Hello Fellow Experimenters

    We are completing development on a new piston engine product line for aircraft up to 350 HP. The engine uses an aluminum V8 marine engine foundation, modified for the aircraft mission. The engine is controlled by a redundant electronic fuel injection system and other engineered components to meet FAA part 33 and 23 standards. The engine controller is software controlled and can be quickly programmed to meet optimum performance for multiple aircraft types, weights, and prop designs. We use a blank GM Delphi ECM we source directly that is without any automotive programming; we developed our own aircraft mission specific calibration files using the same engineering firms GM uses. Additionally, the engine controller can wirelessly connect to our service app that not only allows quick and precise troubleshooting and tuning, but can be connected by WIFI for remote tuning and escalated diagnosis by our technicians if needed.

    The FADEC engine is matched to a PSRU (optional) with several different gear ratios available. It is clutch-less, low maintenance and has chip detector monitored by the ECM. Each engine, PSRU and prop combo is tested by vibration analysis and by finite element analysis for structural requirements to part 23 standards. A digital engine display can be customized to display over 50 engine parameters, even fuel consumed or fuel levels. Additionally, the display monitors over 75 parameters and will annunciate an alert when any programmed levels are exceeded. Each alert indicates description of issue and specific trouble code until acknowledged by pilot. Each fault remains in the maintenance page with further info such as time stamp and specific service manual reference and troubleshooting tree.

    The engine is flex fuel rated, so can consume several gasoline types, including AVGAS. Real flight performance numbers indicate it is more than 20% efficient (fuel flow vs. TAS), and cost 60% less to operate than O-360 legacy engines. Our C172 test aircraft operates for less than $19/hr compared to over $60/hr with original engine, while still far exceeding stock performance.

    We would like to seek some input from the experimental community on what features are most important for such an experimental crate engine product, and gauge level of interest within the experimental market. We realize most auto conversions are home -grown, and many have negative perceptions of them for a number of reasons, so looking forward to gauging how many experimenters may see value in a more developed conversion and their suggestions of what features, capabilities and price point it should have.

    Covid has left us about 6 months behind on C172 and C182 flight testing program, but anticipate product will be launched by next summer, and experimental crate engine soon after.

    We will monitor this thread regularly and look forward to hearing your thoughts/advice/ and ideas.

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Sounds very thorough, thank you. "features, capabilities and price point" ?

    Features: easy installation. If it can't fit the standard mounts currently in service (not expecting it to) have a standard mount replacement or at the very least a knowledgeable vendor with full engineering specs for the engine end of the mount. Use current throttle and prop controls or have the controls in the same cockpit position and actuate the same way. Fit inside standard cowling for the planned installation after no or minimal cowling mods, with thrust line at same point. No "quirks" requiring increased operational awareness - floating redlines, prohibited rpms and the like. No special fluids, preservatives, gaskets, bolts, etc etc required. All parts available from multiple sources not just the original manufacturer. Full and complete parts listing and manufacturing data for any parts not available "off the shelf" as standard "milspec" parts. Might be some things I forgot.

    Capabilities: thrust profile and engine output comparable to the engine the advertising brochure says it matches.

    Price point? Free, of course.

    Thanks for asking and the opportunity to ask for free unobtaineum.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Does this engine have dual independent ignition systems?

    Edit: Just found this, sounds reasonable:

    No, each cylinder has one spark plug and its own ignition coil that is controlled and powered by either EFI ignition system and/or either battery. Unlike distributor-type automotive ignition systems that use a common ignition coil and single power source, the Corsair REFI system incorporates multiple redundancies, and capable of producing more than 150 HP with 4 cylinders failed for sustained flight.
    Last edited by ahramin; 09-17-2020 at 05:18 PM.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Corsairpower--- The thrust bearing is always a high concern for auto/marine conversions. Needs to be robust. And that bearing design needs some thought given to pusher applications.

  5. #5
    How about 125 HP at half the cost of a new Continental? We're all not dreaming of a fast 4 seater or unlimited acrobatics........

  6. #6
    Thanks for feedback. As far as a 125 HP conversion: We found that operating an engine near its automotive operating limit with the stresses of aircraft operations considerably reduced not only TBO but reliability, so such an engine of our design would need to be rated almost 40% more HP, which limits viable options. Our core focus was replacing the O320-O540's as option for certified air frames. We did look at some VW turbo charged engines in that HP range, but not a good fit for the certified aircraft we also wanted to target. We are considering using a Prius hybrid motor on a C152, which may be a good fit.

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