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Thread: Radial Engined Skybolt

  1. #1
    Registered User usav8or's Avatar
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    Cool Radial Engined Skybolt

    Hi all

    Found this site from seeing a post by beej in the biplane forum that he started up.

    Working on this biplane for awhile now. Just found the time to work on it even more now. Bottom wing ribs just about completed so that I can start building the wings. Got myself the use of a big 35' x 75' heated garage that I can use. So... this winter I plan on getting the fuselage built.

    Will be hanging a big ol' radial on the front for that nostalgic look and sound.

    Look forward to learning from the group.

    Jerry

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    Registered User wally's Avatar
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    Welcome and good luck. Ask questions if you have them, we have a knowlegable group here and they are pretty good with answers.
    Best wishes,
    Wally

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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    I was talking with the folks at Steen Aero Lab, and asked them that very question. Can you put a radial on a standard skybolt? here's what I was told. The Russian M-14 was entirely unacceptable too much torque for the airframe. but the cont. w670 could be used. however they have less performance and are heavier than an opposed motor. Granted way cooler

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    Registered User Dan Thomas's Avatar
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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    Weight is a big factor. The airplane can end up nose-heavy and need considerable ballast in the tail, and then the whole thing is too heavy and performance suffers. If one plans to use an engine much heavier than the airframe was designed for it might need beefing up and shortening of the forward fuselage to get the balance within limits.

    But that old radial sound! Not many heard anymore.

    Dan

  5. #5
    Moderator Dana's Avatar
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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    There used to be one at our local airport with an old Kinner K-5 radial. Big shallow spinner, close cowled, with the cylinders sticking out in the breeze, just beautiful. Though it might have been a Starduster... I always get them mixed up.

    -Dana

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    Registered User steveair2's Avatar
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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    I believe Steve Culps design is based on the Skybolt with a MP-14. I met Steve Culp at a airshow in front of his Sopwith Pup replica. He is a real nice guy. Beautiful airplane.
    www.culpsspecialties.com
    Last edited by steveair2; September 3rd, 2010 at 04:55 PM.

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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    The dry weight of a w670 is 465 lbs. the Lycoming IO 540 is 438 lbs. The Lyc has 50-80 more hp, but I think one could compensate for the 27 lbs difference.
    From the research that I have done the biggest Kinner engine was only 160 hp which in my opinion (and we all know how opinions are) that would be under powered for a skybolt. I want to try to put the 670 on my plane.

  8. #8
    Registered User Dan Thomas's Avatar
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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    Quote Originally Posted by fireboltsean View Post
    The dry weight of a w670 is 465 lbs. the Lycoming IO 540 is 438 lbs. The Lyc has 50-80 more hp, but I think one could compensate for the 27 lbs difference.
    From the research that I have done the biggest Kinner engine was only 160 hp which in my opinion (and we all know how opinions are) that would be under powered for a skybolt. I want to try to put the 670 on my plane.
    27 pounds, assuming that the engine is maybe 60" at most ahead of the CG, gives an additional moment of around 1500 inch-pounds. Not a lot, and easily fixed with moving the engine back a little or maybe a small weight right at the tailpost. And that 670 would sound much better than the Kinner.

    Dan

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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    A radial engine adds class to any Biplane. I would think that the narrower design of the Radial would allow you to move it closer to the firewall to compensate for any minor weight differences. I even saw a Pietenpol with a radial engine that gave the airplane a whole new character. Viva la radial!

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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    This fella is selling his Skybolt over in Hungary. He has a Facebook page dedicated to the entire construction of the aircraft and it indeed has a 9cyl Russian radial in it although I believe it NOT to be an M-14.
    Anyone interested may want to look up the Facebook Page under Skybolt radial., He has some amazing and comprehensive construction images detailing almost every phase of the build. I am personally interested in this
    airframe with the radial and would like to find a way through the maze of info on what modifications this airframe must have took to support that Power-plant.
    PlaneCheck Aircraft for Sale - New planes and price reductions

  11. #11
    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    Seems to make a decent looking radial plane.

  12. #12
    Registered User usav8or's Avatar
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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    Steen sells the Radial Skybolt plans. No modifications are needed.

  13. #13
    Registered User usav8or's Avatar
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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    By the way... the guy selling it is kinda like the bike builder Jesse James... over in Hungary. And you're right... its not the M14.

  14. #14
    Registered User 4trade's Avatar
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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    Quote Originally Posted by fireboltsean View Post
    I was talking with the folks at Steen Aero Lab, and asked them that very question. Can you put a radial on a standard skybolt? here's what I was told. The Russian M-14 was entirely unacceptable too much torque for the airframe. but the cont. w670 could be used. however they have less performance and are heavier than an opposed motor. Granted way cooler
    Sounds very weird. Radial engine torque moment effect is very small compared 6 G flying load. That plane airframe is design for aerobatic flight load limit. These loads exceed multiple time for any engine torque force.
    Mantra´s like: " it is too difficult" or "it is impossible" is true only for those people who use it...

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    Re: Radial Engined Skybolt

    Quote Originally Posted by fireboltsean View Post
    I was talking with the folks at Steen Aero Lab.... but the cont. w670 could be used. however they have less performance and are heavier than an opposed motor. Granted way cooler
    There is a w670 powered Skybolt at my home field. It has scared everyone who has flown it, including 2 or 3 guys who have substantial warbird experience. It is blind, stalls fast, decelerates very quickly (probably due to the uncowled engine), and sinks like a stone. <Allegedly> But it is drop dead gorgeous.

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