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  #16  
Old 06-26-2005, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
I find Ed Anderson's recent story interesting.
I've been following that, It seems one of the key indicator of "something isn't right" was after initial assembly, the engine was hard to turn by hand!

Waiter
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  #17  
Old 06-27-2005, 10:17 AM
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The planes are falling out of the sky

The planes are falling out of the sky

All the airplane engines are failing every day

Every repair is 20,000 dollars

Enough with the scare tactics, it does more harm to aviation, and that we do not need. If i were a newbie, i might read about the trials and tribulations of getting an alternative engine going AND the continual failures of "ALL" lycomings and decide not to build.

Plenty of people get plenty of life out of lycomings and continentals, end of story.

Fast to install AND reliable systems.

Some do not want to take a year to fly off their forty and think that building a plane from scratch is enough experimentation.

Plenty go over TBO, end of story. And on the prop strike - my prop will be 10,000, don't want no prop strike, that is why i am raising up the prop position.
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  #18  
Old 06-27-2005, 11:27 AM
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I think John hit it several posts ago;

Quote:
It really is a matter of the uniqueness of the installation.
If its just another copy of thousands of other firewall forward packages, then you are probably going to have minimal problems with the engine/propeller, and most of your Phase 1 will be spent performing airframe testing.

If your doing a unique installation, or major changes to an existing package, then expect to spend time evaluating and refining the package.

Personally, I would rather fly then experiment, so I chose a well proven engine/propeller firewall forward package. This package is exactly as defined in the plans, there are no alterations to the engine, propeller, ignition, fuel systems, or cooling configuration. If you change any of these components, expect teething pains.

Regardless of selection, you will pay the piper, one way or the other, with time , money, or both.

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Last edited by Waiter : 06-27-2005 at 01:07 PM.
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2005, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dust
The planes are falling out of the sky

The planes are falling out of the sky

All the airplane engines are failing every day

Every repair is 20,000 dollars

Enough with the scare tactics,
It's not a scare tactic when you get the bill for a major overhaul and have to replace a crank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dust
Some do not want to take a year to fly off their forty and think that building a plane from scratch is enough experimentation.
I think you can agree that John is anything but typical in regards to the average experimental builder, and I do not consider his 1 year saga to fly off his phase one hours to be a benchmark by any means. I consider it to be more of an outlier.

I plan on having the 40 flown off in a month.. 2 weeks if I can pull it off. And the reason I think I can do that is, 1) I am learning from John's mistakes and 2) I am planning on designing out the problems that have come to bear so far - cooling, power generation, etc

And again, as I have said earlier.. you can have a phase 1 test of less than 40 hours if you do it right.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dust
Plenty go over TBO, end of story. And on the prop strike - my prop will be 10,000, don't want no prop strike, that is why i am raising up the prop position.
Good. Go to TBO. With the Lycoming, Continental. By the way.. whats the cost of a replacement or major overhaul to service tolerances on one of those engines? You are still gonna drop 5 digits worth of greenbacks. Thats not a scare tactic.. thats the plain truth.

Mike.. you are doing a disservice by being one sided about this. No, rotaries arent perfect. But neither are the status quo purpose built aviation engines. And so 2000 hrs down the road.. when its time for you and I to rebuild... whats the cost gonna be for you and for me? I will likely do it for $1000 or less. How about you? No smoke.. No mirrors.. just cold hard cash..?

Dave
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  #20  
Old 06-27-2005, 03:51 PM
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you are just not getting it. engines can be had for a reasonable amount of dollars.

i do not have it in for any engine, auto conversion or aircraft, just looking around and reading it the way a newbie might read what is said here.

the aircraft/aircraft is not nearly as

bad

as it is constantly being made out here, they work and they work well. do you wish to turn off a potential builder because they are afraid to go the conversion route AND the old fashioned aircraft engine route.

thousands of these planes are flying quite nicely on aircraft engines, they are making it to TBO, constantly trashing the standard/simple way to go gets us nowhere, for most, building a scratch built plane to plans specs is experimentation enough.

I am just bring balance into consideration. there is nothing wrong with putting a lycoming into a plane, its a good thing, they are reliable and they are not that expensive for the normal flyer to maintain. the costs can be projected and handled, well for the most part anyway heh heh heh
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  #21  
Old 06-27-2005, 04:05 PM
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Being one of the suckers that went out and bought a Lycon for his plane, let me note that most folks that don't do it for a living fly in the neighborhood of 100 hours/year or less. Now, I'd like to fly more than that, but that's supposedly average. And at that rate, if I get to TBO, which I think I have a right to do, that's 15-20 years. Personally, I can live with that, and don't want to futz around with a an auto conversion and all that entails.
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  #22  
Old 06-27-2005, 04:15 PM
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Ah ha. I'm an "outlier" now, am I?
Let's look at why it's taken so long and see if that's going to apply to others.
1. Turbo.
I blew the stock turbo, took a month to obtain and install a replacement, then blew the second one. It took 3 months to get the modified replacement back from Oz. and then I discovered it'd taken an apex seal out when it blew. That took another month. Interestingly, Mistral went through the same learning curve.
Answer - don't use the stock turbo. Save yourself 6 months.

2. Wiring problems.
I experienced data corruption and unpredicatble behaviour in the ECU. I searched and searched, rewired the whole plane twice, sent the ECU back four (count 'em) times, then finally discovered an intermittent connection in a badly seated 37 pin connector. One way or another this probably cost me 6 - 8 months of frustration or more.
Answer - make sure your connector is properly seated. Save yourself 8 months.

3. Location.
Some may wonder why I'm particularly twitchy about launching under less than perfect conditions. This is because I'm operating from a 3000' runway under class C airspace and surrounded on all sides by apartments and houses. There have been many times when I've delayed for weeks at a time waiting for improved conditions.
Answer - do your testing at a field with a LONG runway and lots of off-field landing opportunities. If you can climb to pattern altitude and still have enough runway left to land straight ahead this would remove a lot of the pucker factor. Save yourself 3 months.

Quote:
Enough with the scare tactics
That wasnt a scare tactic. It was an actual personal experience - one of the many that led me to tread the somewhat untrodden path and take the calculated risks I'm taking.

Although maintenance costs are clearly drastically lower, (brand new engine for $5k) I still think the bottom line here isnt cost, The main issue for me is long term reliability. Once the bugs are out of the periforals I believe my rotary will be the energizer bunny of airplane engines.

The really funny part of all this is that, as I said and others have agreed, the danger is in the innovation ...... and here we have a guy arguing that innovation is bad while busy doing the most extreme innovation ever attempted on a Cozy bar the twin suzuki. I hope you stick with it, Mike, and tell us the intricate details of all your trials and tribulations as the months and years pass
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  #23  
Old 06-27-2005, 04:29 PM
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I think the clencher for me was when I was sitting in a Cozy with a standard Lycoming engine on startup. The whole thing shook like a wet dog. I swear I saw the AI spinning circles around the center axis!

Not trying to scare anyone... just an observation!
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  #24  
Old 06-27-2005, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dust
you are just not getting it. engines can be had for a reasonable amount of dollars.
I get it fine... You arent listening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dust
the costs can be projected and handled, well for the most part anyway heh heh heh
And I would rather amortize a $1000 overhaul over 20 years than a $12,000 top overhaul or a $25,000 replacement over 20 years. The experimental lycoming "kit build" engine is over $20,000, not assembled.

I will bet you dimes to donuts that my engine reserve will be exponentially smaller than yours. My reliability has yet to be seen. And Yes.. I do know what I am trading for.. I have contemplated ownership of certified airframes for 5 years now. I have been in a flying club with leasebacks and several flight schools. The Flying club is meticulous about the maintenance: we "fire" airplane owners (and their planes) who cant keep it right. We have had a C172 that has had its O-320 go to TBO (2000 hrs) 3 times.. and it failed (thrown rod) at 1800 hrs on its fouth life. That was a good life if I say so myself. And yes, the failure resulted in a forced landing not far from the failure point.

On the flip side, we have also had an engine tank within 300 hrs of overhaul or coming in the club. Its one thing to have to amortize your engine reserve over 2000 operating hours. Its another when you have to cough up the full amount unexpectedly, many many hours before you were planning on it.

So far, Ed Anderson has had two unexpected rebuilds. Granted.. one of them was the result of a bad rebuild. Slade had a rebuild he wasnt planning on either, and that was because he farmed the initial build out to "experts" who didnt measure up... Ed rebuilt his engine in a tractor barn 30-40 miles from the nearest mazda dealership, for a few hundred dollars, and FLEW IT HOME for the break in. Had he had a certified engine and sent it to an engine shop, he would have been waiting far longer than he did doing his own rebuild.

Tracy has not had a rebuild due to failure yet, and he has 1400 plus hours so far.. he also is meticulous about his work. That tells me that the rotary install CAN be as reliable as some of the most reliable existing aviation engines.

You also keep saying "people are going to get the wrong impression". Well.. if THIS is the only source of info that someone is using, they get what they deserve. This is but one of MANY sources that I use for peer review and experimental information. I gather my own data, as well as review others data, and I make my own decisions. Anyone else here would be prudent to do the same. Get two or three opinions. Check your data.. check your facts.

I know that I am venturing into the possibility of decreased reliability and teething problems. I am willing to accept that risk. If you arent.. then get the lycoming, put the prop on it, and cross your fingers. Chances are in your favor if you do everything right you will make TBO without a problem. But if you dont make it to TBO, be ready to pay. and wait...
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  #25  
Old 06-27-2005, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Ah ha. I'm an "outlier" now, am I?
You are kinda 'Out There"

Quote:
The main issue for me is long term reliability..
I'm known to be "Mr. Certified Airplane Only". When you look at the overall track record, theres nothing that comes close to a Lycoming or a Continental.

Quote:
Once the bugs are out of the periforals I believe my rotary will be the energizer bunny of airplane engines.
I don't think you'll find a more reliable "piston" engine than one of the certified. Please note I said "piston". Although the jury is still out, From all the evidence that I've been able to gather over the last year or so, I think I have to agree with you. So much so, that I'm starting to acquire the components to set up a firewall conversion for my LongEZ.

OH YAH, I already purchased a $7,000 crankshaft. Look at my web site under PHOTO's CRACKED FLANGE

www.iflyez.com

Waiter

Last edited by Waiter : 06-27-2005 at 05:42 PM.
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  #26  
Old 06-27-2005, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Slade
The really funny part of all this is that, as I said and others have agreed, the danger is in the innovation ...... and here we have a guy arguing that innovation is bad while busy doing the most extreme innovation ever attempted on a Cozy bar the twin suzuki.
i think you are talking about what i have said - I just did not say it.

Must we critisize others to justify ourselves?

I did not say that it is bad to experiment, just said that we need not critisize others or berate others for thier decisions. i do not want lycoming users to shy away from this forum because of the continual trashing they get, not between the lines, but out and out stupid blasting.

you rotar heads can justify yourselves all you want, but you do not have to do it at the expense of certificated guys.

The fact remains that if you want a simple, reliable engine on these birds - hang a lycoming on it and go flying.

As far as sources of info go - just because there are many, many sources of info, does that mean that we can let this one go too far to the edge and make it appear that you may be nuts for putting a lycoming on and need to be a super duper engine figur outer to not!
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  #27  
Old 06-27-2005, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Slade
Ah ha. I'm an "outlier" now, am I?


Its an statistical and medical term.. We use it in healthcare in the context of procedures and expected hospital stays for given conditions...

So.. lets say a heart bypass normally is out of ICU on day 3.. and looking at home within the week... (as an example)... an outlier would be someone who is in the ICU for WEEKS and in the hospital for months.

Given the current healthcare financing environment where the insurers and medicare are reimbursing based on the average patient, outliers end up getting extended care that exceeds the revenue they provide. (Kinda like "doing the job a second time for free" type stuff)

Completely off topic to this thread, but is where I got that term

It's ok John... I told Ed Anderson my new nickname for you was "Beta Tester", because you seem to be good at finding failure modes in new products. You've got the Midas Touch..



Dave
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  #28  
Old 06-27-2005, 06:48 PM
Nathan Gifford Nathan Gifford is offline
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AT some point peoples tempers get pretty raw. Some of it is from pure frustration 'that you just don't see it my way.'

The basic facts are that certified engines, in general, are pretty darn reliable. It is also true that they are very expensive to repair. Finally a number of users have had their certified engine never even getting close to TBO.

Alternative engines are improving every day. They are cheaper to repair and frequently use newer technology than certified engines do. Their power per dollar may be higher. The most frequent problem alternative engines have, is that many people regard them as reliable before they have proven themselves so. Without some standard configurations for a guide, it difficult for the average homebuilder to have an uneventful installation.

If you decide to do a little analysis, alternative engines are nowhere close to certified engines in the arena of reliability. Plenty of alternative engine users have had problems. I believe that percentage is far higher than it is for certified engine users. Development process aside, a failure is a failure.

The other thing to remember and acknowledge is that standard engines are getting far closer to being very very reliable. I don't know what the Subie failure rate is for Egglefeller 9forgive the misspelling) but I think it is low. Rotary engines are getting close to having right and when they do they are going to be quite popular.

As far as maintaining a certified engine, I wonder if its not just wiser to chuck a serious sick engine and just get another engine. It seems to me that you can get another engine for less than the repair bill for the sick core, plus you can sell the sick core to help offset the cost.
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  #29  
Old 06-27-2005, 07:10 PM
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Nathan sums this topic up quite well I think. The Egg subes have had only 2 failures that I am aware of- a supercharger belt broke and took out the timing belt and a vapor lock issue. Both resulted in forced landings. Fixes were made and the fleet continues to accumulate hours with the lessons learned. No reports on total fleet flight time but dozens have hundreds of hours and a few have in the thousand+range.

Even mature systems can still have failures ie. Lyc. crankshafts, Space Shuttles etc. We learn, make the fix and continue on.

The RAF Sube powered gyros have an estimated 100,000+ flight hours in the last decade. No catastrophic failures that I'm aware of but I'm sure there have been some system failures causing power loss.

The core Wankels and Subes are likely more reliable than a cert engine, unfortunately the supporting systems are not as pointed out. Vapor lock will stop the engine as sure as a broken crank so these are just as important.

Using an auto engine will certainly lead to more headaches initially as almost anyone who has actually done it will attest to. The payoff hopefully will be lower operational/ overhaul costs when the bugs are worked out. I'm building an RV10 right now (sorry guys) and I'm installing a Sube , knowing full well what I'm getting into. I just refuse to plunk down $40,000 for a new IO-540. My core Sube EG33 was $100!

Cost is a big factor here but so is taking the perceived risk for others. To each their own.
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  #30  
Old 06-27-2005, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
I don't think you'll find a more reliable "piston" engine than one of the certified.
Wrong! I'd bet the Chevrolet LS1 V8 is more reliable!

There... it's official. We all agree on nothing!!!
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