650 HP Rotary Time To Climb record attempt

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Will Aldridge

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I'm really surprised that nobody else has posted this so here goes.

The infamous Paul Lamar is actually building a working rotary and he's going big. I phrased it that way since I've heard the claim that he's never worked on a flyable aircraft. While I believe that Mr Lamar is overly biased about the rotary and makes a lot of claims and thinks he is the smartest guy about everything he thinks he knows stuff about, after reading enough of his news letter I think he really has had a hand in the design and some actual hands on experience with a few rotaries installed in aircraft. Well if it were true that he's never worked on a flyable rotary he has now and there is plenty of evidence to prove it. Unfortunately I've deleted most of the emails that have the pictures of this project. In the future as he posts pictures I'll be sure to add them here if there is sufficient interest. Also I know that I'm not the only one on Mr Lamar's email list so if others have those emails feel free to post some pics here.

Mr Lamar is going for the time to climb record (not certain which class) but he says he intends to beat Rare Bears record.

He is modifying a Harmon Rocket and has installed an all aluminum 650 hp Turbocharged rotary with the redrive off a Bell 47 that is supposedly good for 1000 hp. The front cockpit is being occupied by various oil and coolant tanks including spraybar water. If I remember right he is using Motec EFI and they just started their first engine runs within the last month. I usually delete most emails from the newsletter and so I only have 1 pic that isn't very revealing but there have been a lot more and I do have an MP4 of an engine runup but I don't know how to post it here.

The pic below is the left side of the aircraft. Bell 47 redrive is in the upper left corner of the image and the turbo is below and to the right. There are 2 large dodge truck radiators configured for cross counter flow cooling mounted on the bottom of the engine and you can see the wedge diffuser that he is so fond of between the engine and the radiators.

ttc rotary.jpg
 

rv6ejguy

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Interesting project. A few observations from the info presented here:

650hp in a Rocket won't nearly match the power to weight ratio of Rare Bear for these record attempts.

I'm not sure why a Bell 47 gearbox (280hp) would be so overbuilt to be able to handle 1000hp but it might handle 650hp for the few minutes needed here.

No mention of intercooling? Compressor discharge temps at say 8000 feet would be around 350F.

If this is a 2 rotor, my guess is it won't live long enough at this power level to attempt this record.

Any idea on the turbo model used?

Anyway, power to him to get this far and hope to see it flying soon and prove me wrong. Would be very interested to see more specs and photos on this project.
 

Will Aldridge

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No mention of intercooling? Compressor discharge temps at say 8000 feet would be around 350F.

If this is a 2 rotor, my guess is it won't live long enough at this power level to attempt this record.

Any idea on the turbo model used?

Anyway, power to him to get this far and hope to see it flying soon and prove me wrong. Would be very interested to see more specs and photos on this project.
A lot of this stuff goes way over my head so I won't pretend to know anything about until I see more emails come through. Having said that I do recognize the stuff on top of the engine (from other pictures I don't have anymore) as an intercooler. Yes it is a 2 rotor. Don't know what model Turbo they're using. I do know that a lot of effort has gone into keeping the engine alive at these power levels although the only specifics I can remember is they expect the spark plugs to melt without cooling which they provided for in some way that I can't remember.

One other modification to the aircraft is to add extensions to the wings to give greater aspect ratio. Not sure if that has been done yet as I haven't seen any pictures just remember reading about it.
 

rv6ejguy

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Thanks for posting this Will. I tend to ignore Paul's site because of the dreaming and not enough doing aspect plus a lot of dubious info there but the fact that this is actually built and running moves it up a notch in credibility. It's a cool project whether it takes the records or not. We learn as much or more from failing with an experiment as succeeding. I do hope they succeed here and do well.
 

Will Aldridge

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Well you won't find this stuff on the website at least if it's there I haven't seen it it's only come through the email list
 

don january

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From someone like me that is actually building a craft I'm proud of each step he does. So many thing's to doubt when a person is just looking and wishing.
 

Lendo

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Will,
I like the Bell Rotary reduction unit, very robust, the Mistral Planetary seems to me a more sophisticated design but large like the Bell. I believe straight cut gears from memory, so no thrust. This will be a reality check for Paul and it's timely IMHO. Glad he didn't depend on a Ford Planetary for this attempt.
George (down under)
 

bmcj

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Are we talking about a ROTARY in the traditional (historic) sense - crankcase and cylinders rotate? Or are we talking about a radial or a Wankel rotary? I think calling the Wankel a rotary leads to confusion in aviation circle... I would prefer to call it an 'orbital'.
 

don january

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Mazda, Wankel. I do believe that is a 13-b in the picture?? appears to be a duel rotory engine
 

Will Aldridge

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And still more. I guess I need to learn to use the search function better.


60-P1160788s.jpg Craig Cato Prop

55-Bell-47-GB.jpg Bell 47 Planetary gear set

54-P1160576.jpg The oil tank I think

52-IMG_20150527_130304.jpg Coolant tanks maybe?

44-TTC-Rocket2.jpg

42-ROCKET.JPG The rocket before its refit
 

rv6ejguy

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Thanks for posting more pix Will.

I suspect the black tanks are ADI and spray bar water tanks. You can see the rad spray bar in one photo. Fixed pitch prop though? That won't work well for this mission with a turbo and the initial acceleration to climb speed. You're giving up many seconds here and a bunch of performance at altitude. I'll go out on a limb and say with the inferior power to weight ratio and a FP, prop, no way they are going to beat the old record on 650hp. The record is 92 seconds to 3000M from a standing start.

That gearbox does indeed look beefy.

Anyway, fascinating work in the photos. Can't wait to see it flying.
 

Will Aldridge

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Couple things to add. I think this engine is turbo compounded. Can't post pics at the moment but have a couple that show an interesting device bolted to the aft end of the engine in line with the eshaft that looks like it has a turbo on the very end of it.

Second item of note is that they must have decided not to extend the wings since they have bolted them back on and are working on the plumbing. They have also scheduled a tow truck so they can do a full power test at a 45 degree angle.
 

Will Aldridge

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I last posted that they were getting ready for the first full power run up. It didn't go as well as planned. They could only get about 4300 rpm, not near the power they were hoping for. Also found out the engine is not turbo compounded, What I thought was the turbo was a strange looking water pump. Anyway below is cut and pasted from the most recent news on the engine:

We had the waste gate controller disconnected from the manifold
pressure
in the Motec software.

This Motec stuff is so complicated and there is no good book
on it. There is a real NEED!!!!!!! FOR A MOTEC BOOK.

I am kind of surprised. I guess they wanted to make sure you hire
one of their $75 an hour dealers.


This is a 68 inch prop 50 pitch so it went to 6000 static at 55
inches of Hg

We are really getting there now.

More data shortly with the big prop.

Imagine the 1.25 open hole is still in the exhaust manifold.

The noise is amazingly painful. Even with a turbo charger.
Even with ear muffs. You have to press the ear muffs to your head
and it still HURTS!!!!!!.

No wonder my hearing is shot :)

Paul Lamar


Here is the big prop data. We are seeing 36 inches of HG at 40% throttle.
We need to run this test configuration over at 100% throttle.

What is amazing is the water cooling system. The engine is barely getting
over body temperature :) I am beginning to think I over designed it.
This is the "hot" water out of the block. We may not need the spray bar.

Paul Lamar
The 1.25" hole in the exhaust is a poor mans waste gate to make sure they don't over boost the engine.

attached below is a screen cap of the engine data monitor.

Scr-Cap-big-prop-6-30-16 [14642].jpg
 
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