Franklin Sport 4 engine

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Tom DM

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
No idea where you're going with the shoe thing--I was just trying to make the point that if an airplane engine cost the same as a decent car in 1971, it's likely going to be roughly the same in 2022 since there's been no huge technological breakthroughs that would make them much cheaper.

The London suit, priced in gold, may have been a poor analogy and I denounce myself.

Please: google a picture of an O-200d and then google a photo of a 52.500 US$car. If comparing both has the reaction: "Yeah, that is equivalent", then you need shoes... the handmade kind. KAF Well-Known Member Tom, you have once again lost me. Having no google in 1971, I could have gone to the library and looked at pictures of a new$4,200 IO-360 and a new $4,200 Oldsmobile and they would absolutely be equivalent in dollar terms. If you are trying to say that because an airplane engine is so much smaller and less complicated than an entire automobile so it should cost much less, I agree and wish it were true. However, if BJC is correct in his recollection of the IO-360 price, that hasn't been the case for at least a half-century. Dan Thomas Well-Known Member With the O-200, the C-162 had an empty weight of 830 lbs and an MTOW of 1320 lbs, so the useful load was just 490 lbs. Very marginal, and another reason for lost sales. Add the ELT, wheel pants, primer system, and other stuff not included in the official EW and the real useful load was really about 455. Add just 20 gal of fuel and there's just 335 (legal) pounds for people headphones, coats, kneeboards, iPads, luggage etc. Ridiculous. With the heavier O-235 the situation would have been even worse (unless they had enough structural strength to go with a higher MTOW and just forget about meeting LSA limits. Or just buy, err "get", an LSA waiver like Icon and others have done). Yup. Just one more example of weight making an airplane useless. It happens so easily. Just a little more upholstery, another coat of paint, a couple more instruments or radios, fir instead of spruce, 1020 steel instead of 4130 (has to be thicker), metal prop instead of wood, stuff like that. Every ounce (gram!) matters. I have some flight time in the world's oldest airworthy Cessna 180. Its empty weight was less than a mid-70s 172's. Nothing fancy in it. Much bigger engine, seaplane prop, and it was still lighter than the 172. It flew very well. The original 150s had decent performance on the O-200 because they were light, and didn't have that silly rear window that added a bunch of drag and weight. Pops Well-Known Member Supporting Member I have flown every year of C-172's from 1956 ( built Nov, 1955 , 226th built) to 1979. The 1956 was the best handling, ROC , Takeoff, etc. We restored the 1956 to factory new from a bare fuselage in a chicken house and wings and engine in another building and everything else in boxes. Started on Sept 3th and trailered to airport with the wings off on Dec 3 rd. Flew it for about 4 years and sold. Also have flown most years of C-150's and the first year of 1959 is the best year. Of all the C-182's I have flown , the earliest is a 1959, and it was also the best flying. Of the C-310's, I like the 1959 the best. Last edited: Dan Thomas Well-Known Member However, if BJC is correct in his recollection of the IO-360 price, that hasn't been the case for at least a half-century. I've told this story before. In 1973 when I was learning to fly, I went over to the Cessna dealer and asked how much a new 172 would cost me. "It's terrible," he said. "$23,000." And that was terrible. A new three-bedroom house with full basement could be had for that $23K, or less, in that town. Now the new 172 is around$500K or more in Canada, and that same three-bedroom house, now 49 years old, will sell for $500K in that same town. The housing market is stupid right now, of course, but if I was to compare the new 172 to a NEW three-bedroom house, the house would be$700K. In other words, the airplane is less now, and it has a whole suite of goodies that it didn't in 1973.

Don't expect the prices of new airplanes and engines to drop. The numbers produced are far too small. If CessPipBeechMoo were still each building thousands of airplanes a year instead of a handful or none at all, automation and volumes would have helped lower the prices. Even then, they're not like cars, where robots weld thing together. Can't weld 2024 reliably without some impractically expensive stuff. Might be able to automate some composite stuff. But there will never be the volumes to pay for the robotics that Ford or GM use.

Dan Thomas

Well-Known Member
I have flown every year of C-172's from 1956 ( built Nov, 1955 , 226th built) to 1979. The 1956 was the best handling, ROC , Takeoff, etc.
We restored the 1956 to factory new from a bare fuselage in a chicken house and wings and engine in another building and everything else in boxes.
Started on Sept 3th and trailered to airport with the wings off on Dec 3 rd. Flew it for about 4 years and sold.
Also have flown most years of C-150's and the first year of 1959 is the best year. Of all the C-180's I have flown , the earliest is a 1959, and it was also the best flying.
Of the C-310's, I like the 1959 the best.
The 180 I flew was a 1953, serial number 4. Its registration is still active.

Pops

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
The 180 I flew was a 1953, serial number 4. Its registration is still active.
And I'm sure that it was a better flying 180 than the latter models.

Dan Thomas

Well-Known Member
And I'm sure that it was a better flying 180 than the latter models.
It sure was.

Aviacs

Well-Known Member
Before CNC, screw machines made all the hardware and fittings we've taken for granted all our lives. No electronics at all, just rotating cams.

On many products suitable for mass production, old cam autos such as B & S are still running profitably for parts that repeat for years. Multi spindle machines like Davenports and Acme Gridleys for larger parts are still common workhorses that will beat single spindle cnc all hollow on the right parts. Fewer people to run them, let alone tool and set up. A guy just mentioned to me at EAA meeting they were having trouble getting people in their local plant/part of a national firm that understood the machines I know several who do. (My personal speed is old small hand turret lathes with a bar feed, though)

smt

Pops

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
I worked for Westinghouse Corp in Pittsburgh, Pa in part of the 1960's. They made every part they used in the Standard Control Division. Had rows, and rows of screw machines in a large building. I liked to go and just watch .
I worked in the molding dept running the molding machines.

Mflyer

Active Member
Supporting Member
What technology is the franklins? There is no profit for a small run engine. They can barely keep the doors open with what they do. They definitely can’t supply parts on any type of schedule. Has nothing to do with physical engines. When the Tucker auto company bought Franklin for the factory to make their engines in, Tucker did not care about it he airplane engines. It’s been picking up pieces ever sense. If you got 2000 people who like the design, 20 of them have the cash. You can’t make money selling 20 engines unless it’s a one man show.
Jabiru 3300, 120hp Generation 4 engines are built on order, not waiting to be sold on the shelf for about $20,000. They've been in business for 34 years and have a business model that apparently works. Not a "one man show". TFF Well-Known Member The Jabiru is kind of a necessity for Australia like Rotax is for Austria and Europe. Importing and strategic needs for manufacturing. There is nothing special and a Jabiru is no hot rod engine. They got problems. They fill a hole. CASA has to keep from putting them out of business with ADs. Its a high RPM motor to get the horsepower, which means small props. The Franklin is 35 cubic inches bigger. The prop would be bigger While new, it pretty much specs out as a$20k Corvair motor.

My points have been economic. I like engines. I like bad engines. They can be entertaining at the gearhead level. Because it would be nice to have doesn’t make it worth while. Not today. You would be better off buying mills, lathes, and chunks of aluminum and steel. That engine would happen way before a new engine surfaces.

Erik Snyman

Well-Known Member
It sure was.
Same with the V-tail Bonanza. The 1947 model was the best (or so THEY say).
Erik in Oz.

pfarber

Well-Known Member
So, buy the rights, and the production equipment, and bring it back to the market.

Legally anyone could produce any motor in service now. Almost every patent is gonna be long expired. Problem is your gonna need to build name recognition, brand loyalty and prove reliability. LS1's a very good motors. They are even STC'd into multiple certificated AC.

No one ever seems to ever put to the cost of the STC online... so they must not be cheap.

challenger_II

Well-Known Member
Actually, I was being facetious, as the gent I was responding to was lamenting over the fact that Franklin stopped selling the engine kits.

Legally anyone could produce any motor in service now. Almost every patent is gonna be long expired. Problem is your gonna need to build name recognition, brand loyalty and prove reliability. LS1's a very good motors. They are even STC'd into multiple certificated AC.

No one ever seems to ever put to the cost of the STC online... so they must not be cheap.

Tom DM

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
(from the inside) that is one of the most interesting/good looking hangars i have ever seen.
smt

Well spotted: those hangars are world heritage and the foundation of one of largest construction companies of Europ.

The structure is designed like a mushroom with as only support the central part. Nowhere in the roofsection the concrete is thicker than 10 cm (4 inch). All concrete was poured manually (wheelborrows)

I have briefly known the designer/ maker, who was quite excentric at the end of his life (I automated for him a 6 m high bronze "Prancing Horse" (a personal gift of a that Italian car maker he raced and won for) so the horse would look at the room (in the castle) where he was. How strange he could be to others, how normal he was with me: sharing pictures and anecdotes about the construction, how everybody refused to remove scaffolding after the concrete had hardened (fear of collapse) He did that alone and claimed being 3 days being drunk on champagne afterwards.

On the other hand : the "small" job (1 hour) of greasing the ring wheel of the horse I always did on saturday or sunday because he would keep me the day. He would fly back from the South of France "to supervise"

The round hangars (each shelters about 40-60 aiplanes) proved valid and time resistant yet no big commercial succes, there is a small one at Antwerp and a (farm equipment housing) one in the North of France. They required minimal construction materials yet maximum labor.

He also had an ugly appartement building (very little to no visitors allowed) in a "lesser part" of Brussels with several floors of racing cars (le Mans , Formula 1 etc) all ready to start. He raced them under a fake name "so his familiy would know him racing". Let's say he (nor his family) were poor.

Normally I refuse fees on the job, paying the invoice on time is more than enough. However everytime I worked for him , I got "drink money" of about 20000 fr (in 1994-1997) , that is about 1000-1500 USD now. Always the same words: "Don't tell your boss!"

As of now: Hangar 1 at EBGB is in restauration: at the outside (ground level) there is a concrete ring / steel rail on which the gliding doors rest. These are only guided at the top. That ring / steel rail needed work and also some minimalist concrete repair at the "edge" of the mushroom.

Aviacs

Well-Known Member
what a cool guy!
if you scroll through the pix here,

it looks like his personal house/office is still in use. Probably by someone with small kids, judging by playground & toys out side.
Do you know if it is still in his family?

If he had not been killed in the car crash in 65, many more of us might be parking in round hangars as an option.

smt

Aviacs

Well-Known Member
just trying to make the point that if an airplane engine cost the same as a decent car in 1971, it's likely going to be roughly the same in 2022 since there's been no huge technological breakthroughs that would make them much cheaper

yabbut i have a bunch of chainsaws from the mid 40's that each cost about as much as a consumer grade automobile at the time (\$1,400-ish). There's even an aviation connection since Kiekhafer used them either directly, or as development for larger drone engines for the military. Now chainsaws are cheaper, better, lighter. New saws might even be more reliable, certainly not worse. That's what -I- want out of my next airplane engine!

smt

Tom DM

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
what a cool guy!
if you scroll through the pix here,

it looks like his personal house/office is still in use. Probably by someone with small kids, judging by playground & toys out side.
Do you know if it is still in his family?

If he had not been killed in the car crash in 65, many more of us might be parking in round hangars as an option.

smt

Hardy was the brains, had the ideas. He was not the builder/maker nor had he the (family) money and the politic strings to become the builder. If behind brains there is somebody with balls and money, some rather special things happen.

I saw him silence a university professor to hear out an idea of one of the lowest workers on a building site. He also walked up to that Moroccan 3 weeks later handing him the keys of a brand new Mercedes.

EBGB has build 3 new hangars to store airplanes while H1 and H2 were to be renovated. I was a bit involved before and advised something daring (geodesic dome or something you could fly over and say "Yep, I am home") but that was shot at .Maybe it was shot at because I had no intention to work for free
It was to be big ugly boxy things of which already some parts of the roof flew away after the first storm. It has symbolism: after WOII there was nothing but also no fear ( the worst you could have was dying and plenty of that was seen), some great ideas were tested, some worked out.

Those halls are among the reasons why the airfield survived.

Now we have everything, including fear of our own shadow and nothing is dared, it seems one has to fill in forms to go to the toilet.
So I see from my window 3 square hangars with holes in their roof as ugly as a low cost industrial hangar can be.

Mflyer

Active Member
Supporting Member
Now, tell me about lightweight carburetors and magnetos. I hadn't seen any of those up until I retired four years ago.
If you only worked on certified airplanes you may not be aware of Ellison throttle body injectors, light weight starters, electronic mags, alternators and permanent magnet generators that weight only 3 pounds and put out 30 amps. These all reduce weight by at least 20 lbs. some available 20 years ago. Welcome to the world of homebuilt airplanes! Kitplanes mag is the best source of the latest technology.