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Thread: porche engines in planes

  1. #1

    Default porche engines in planes

    I have heard that porche makes an engine that is very similar to the lycoming as far as the size and shape but produce way more HP and have more advanced features for MUCH less money than lycoming. Does anyone else think that lycoming is way out into space as far as thier higher HP engines (like the AEIO-540).

    Could an experemental be build with a 400+ HP porche engine that burns car gas. Just seems there are too many angles that drive up the cost of the lycomings and the overhauls to the lycomings.

    Is there a lagit technical reason for the outragious 50k+ price tag on a nice AEIO-540 or is it just because it goes on a plane so they hike the prices WAY up.

  2. #2
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    Mooney used Porsche engines for a while. I don't think that worked out too well for them.

  3. #3

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    Yea I was thinking about it some more and I would probably be better off buying a run out core and rebuilding it rather than trying to convert a car engine for a plane. My only worry would be cost run up when I started buying things like seals, pistons, rings, etc. You can go to napa and get car parts for reasonable prices but I worry about cost of parts for a rebuild of an AEIO-540 block running well above 10k.

    Does anyone know what the costs for parts are for a AEIO-540 engine overhaul is?

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    All depends. There are parts on an aircraft engine that are automatically tossed when the engine is timed out, and there are parts that are measured and retained if they are within specs. Every engine is different and it's nearly impossible to guess on a price. Seems like an average price of an overhaul is $20K...parts and labor, so your guess of over $10k in parts is probably a good guess.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    All depends. There are parts on an aircraft engine that are automatically tossed when the engine is timed out, and there are parts that are measured and retained if they are within specs. Every engine is different and it's nearly impossible to guess on a price. Seems like an average price of an overhaul is $20K...parts and labor, so your guess of over $10k in parts is probably a good guess.
    How difficult is it to covert a car engine to aviation, I was reading that car engines fail when they are ran at 90-100% power for long periods, other issues with mixture and altitude, etc. May be better to bite the bullet and overhaul one, however the costs are so astronomical that it would take years to save the cash. Has anyone successfully converted a car engine to an air craft, the parts would be dirt cheap when you had to make a repair. I guess I just dont understand the reasons for the cost run up, I know that aircraft engines are not any more difficult to repair than say a 454 big block yet the labor is 10 grand? I am guessing the parts are so expensive because of the economies of scale. Just seems like there is a better cost alternative for an engine that has existed since WW2.

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    Aircraft propellers are most efficient at 2800rpm and below. Aircraft engines are built to achieve rated horsepower at an rpm that suits a prop's best thrust range. The engines are also made to run at 65-75% power for continuous use. Car engines aren't built for those conditions, plus most car engines are liquid cooled which isn't the best design for weight-sensitive airplanes. Carbs need leaning control, space usually dictates updraft induction, ignitions in airplanes are redundant and have dual spark plugs in the heads, etc, etc. You can find suppliers who convert Subaru engines but they aren't very common in the fleet.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Once again, Google is your friend. Their is a ton of information on converting car engines to aircraft use. Every imaginable thing has been done from aluminum block Rover v-8's, Chevy Corvette engines, Subaru engines, Corvair engines from the 60's, you name it. It appears that the most popular current engine is the Subaru. There are actually companies building them for aviation use with full electronics, gear reduction and cooling systems designed around aircraft. http://www.eggenfellneraircraft.com/Subaru/Subaru.html

    The one I know that is flying in the Anchorage area with a Subaru is on N61AK, a Bearhawk parked at Merrill. Drive past the UAA building and keep going. Parked out on the left before you get to the taxi way stop sign. It's a yellow and blue taildragger.
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    As Mr. Pid mentioned, car engines make their power at much higher rpms than aircraft engines. So right off the bat you need a reduction gear. Seems simple enough, but this often ends up being the downfall, both in cost and reliability, for an auto-aircraft conversion.

    Also, you are limited to sticking a car engine in an experimental aircraft. Can't just go buy a Cessna with a worn out engine and slap an auto engine on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rppearso View Post
    How difficult is it to covert a car engine to aviation, I was reading that car engines fail when they are ran at 90-100% power for long periods, other issues with mixture and altitude, etc. May be better to bite the bullet and overhaul one, however the costs are so astronomical that it would take years to save the cash. Has anyone successfully converted a car engine to an air craft, the parts would be dirt cheap when you had to make a repair. I guess I just dont understand the reasons for the cost run up, I know that aircraft engines are not any more difficult to repair than say a 454 big block yet the labor is 10 grand? I am guessing the parts are so expensive because of the economies of scale. Just seems like there is a better cost alternative for an engine that has existed since WW2.
    They have to be "stamped" as aircraft parts.

  11. #11
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    I thought about going the auto convert. route when I was building a CA-7 (compair 7 ). I also had friends building other A/C looking into it. The bottom line , no matter how much you don't like it or don't have the money there isn't any cheep way to build a A/C engine.
    Let me run just a few items by you that have to be addressed when converting over: PSRU(prop speed reduction unit), Prop and hub, cooling, radator's,engine mount,ignition unit, computer to run it,fuel injection unit & controls or carb that can be adjusted for alt.,Alt. and regulator, mounting same and designing cooling for it,making it compatible to A/C equipment,redesigning the oil system and oil cooling (keeping in mind +&- G's), building a cowling. This is the short list and from what I have read from you, you haven't even begun to research. You will get lots of very good advise here but it isn't the engineering advise you need. It will take you 20-30 Grand to build and convert a engine. It will also take a long time to install it and cowl it and make it work. Yes you can buy a complete firewall forward unit for a mere &40,000. If you can't afford to build a AEIO-540 you can't afford to own, maintain and fly it, its that simple.
    If you are going to build a plane build something that you can afford to build , maintain and FLY. That would be maybe something with a O-200 in it. Another thing would be to buy a used engine that is low time and airworthy. That way you don't have to worry about breaking it in and test fly the plane at the same time. As a finial note a good friend of mine is finishing up a Lanceair W/ a 350 ci in it. He told me that if he had it to do over he would have just put in an aircraft engine and would have been flying a year sooner. Been there and this is just my 2C Tom

  12. #12

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    "MUCH less money than lycoming. Does anyone else think that lycoming is way out into space as far as thier higher HP engines (like the AEIO-540)."

    There isn't anything cheap in aviation.

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