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Hello from an aspiring pilot and experienced DIYer

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edwisch

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Aug 11, 2020
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If you're in Europe (you referenced Euros), the rules are much more restrictive on what you can and can't do. In England, I think it's the Popular Flying Association that you'll want to talk to. And some of the information above, like needing an IA to do the condition inspection, is flat out wrong. The web can help get you started but is not as trustworthy as you will need to get your plane legal.
 

FishHawk

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Jan 20, 2021
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35
If you're in Europe (you referenced Euros), the rules are much more restrictive on what you can and can't do. In England, I think it's the Popular Flying Association that you'll want to talk to. And some of the information above, like needing an IA to do the condition inspection, is flat out wrong. The web can help get you started but is not as trustworthy as you will need to get your plane legal.
It's a pain in the ass to get a motorcycle homologation, let alone airplane. I guess I'll have to give up and buy a used airplane engine if they are making trouble. Or I could call some froends at the faculty of mechanical engineering where the inspection would take place.
 

Riggerrob

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Sep 9, 2014
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The larger, 2 litre VWs can pump out up to 85 horsepower. If run harder, they over-heat. Many light two-seaters fly well behind 2 litre VWs: Sisler Cygnet, Thatcher CX-5, and maybe the lighter Jodels. They are great light two-seaters for fun flying and visits to the next airfield over. But limited power means that they cannot fly out of the steepest valleys or out climb a steep mountain.
Is your part of the Balkans flat or mountainous?
Also read everything you can about VW conversions, especially things like extra thrust bearings to carry propeller loads, because the original crankshaft is not strong enough to hold a propeller.

When chosing between gasoline or diesel, consider fuel availability in your neighborhood. If you cannot buy 120 0ctane gasoline, then forget about high compression engines. If you can only get 87 octane gasoline, then a diesel might be better.
 

blane.c

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I don't know EU stuff very well but it seems people are using alternative engines in many craft. Find some kind of club that can help you check out the regulations that pertain to your interest. Touring motor glider may help also as they seem more popular in EU than in the USA. Anyway sometimes regulations quoted are for something entirely different than what you would be building/flying. Most people are well intended but the onus is on you to understand if what they are saying pertains to what you are doing or intend to do.
 

Vigilant1

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Also read everything you can about VW conversions, especially things like extra thrust bearings to carry propeller loads, because the original crankshaft is not strong enough to hold a propeller.
The original VW crankshafts and bearings are okay for turning a wood propeller on engines up to 1835cc (that is, the ones using a 69mm stroke). Those engines can produce up to 60 hp continuously (and reliably). As you point out, however, that power is generally not considered adequate for a two seater.
 

blane.c

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Power is not adequate for a two seat airplane, it may be adequate for a two seat motor glider but careful consideration is needed.

Air cooled engines have a significant amount of cooling done by the oil.

Airplane engines with carburetors have "carb ice" problems as moist air is cooled via the venturi and so "carb air boxes" exist, also these methods of warming the carb with engine oil (by Pops via HBA) you should look up his posts on VW if you are still interested in it.

Accessory weights in ounces.pngENGINE MOUNT.pngHOT OIL BOX 1.jpgHOT OIL BOX 2.JPGHOT OIL BOX 3.jpgHOT OIL BOX 4.jpgPOP'S HOT INTAKE BOX.pngHOT OIL BOX DISCUSSION BLURB.png
 

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narfi

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Feb 23, 2016
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I'd like a two seater
Have you looked at the Zenith CH650?
I am building a 750SD which doesn't have scratch built plans yet, but I have the blueprints for the 750stol and they are very easy to follow and there is a very good video series you can purchase for the building and scratch building and learning some of the skills for the zenith aircraft.
I am doing it the hard way, but I would highly recommend anyone who wants to scratch build to take a good look at their experienced lineup of options. 650, 701, 750 cruiser and 750STOL. I just mention the 650 because it 'looks' more like the one you are already looking at so you probably have a 'look' you want and like already.
Their blueprints and assembly instructions are very well laid out and easy to follow.
 

FishHawk

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Have you looked at the Zenith CH650?
I am building a 750SD which doesn't have scratch built plans yet, but I have the blueprints for the 750stol and they are very easy to follow and there is a very good video series you can purchase for the building and scratch building and learning some of the skills for the zenith aircraft.
I am doing it the hard way, but I would highly recommend anyone who wants to scratch build to take a good look at their experienced lineup of options. 650, 701, 750 cruiser and 750STOL. I just mention the 650 because it 'looks' more like the one you are already looking at so you probably have a 'look' you want and like already.
Their blueprints and assembly instructions are very well laid out and easy to follow.
The aesthetics are the last thing I am looking at. I am looking at those specific models because from what I've read they are the easiest to build, and good to fly for a beginner. I would also like versatility with engines, I want to be able to put a 300lbs engine. Aren't the planes you mentioned full metal? I don't have the tools to shape metal, so I need a wood and fabric or tube and fabric.
 

narfi

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You should certainly work in something you are comfortable with,
However you are wrong that you need special tools. Take a look at what I have done so far, I have made almost all of the ribs I will need so far as well as some other small pieces. Most of the forms I have made are plywood cut and shaped using wood working tools. The aluminum sheets I have cut with a draw knife and a small handheld wood working router. The riveting can be done with a hand tool or with an air tool, same "pop rivet" gun you would get from an automotive store.
Here is a link to my progress so far,


Everything so far has been done in an unheated tent in my backyard during the winter in Alaska, so I really believe you can do it in a small area(much smaller than my tent even) with simple tools.

Again, not trying to pressure you into 'my way' but presenting options and perhaps eliminating some misconceptions :)

If you do not care about looks, then the 701 or 750 would be great I think depending on your engine choices, the 701 should be a little cheaper in that regard.

To the other extreme, if you want a pure wood 2 place, the different Fisher planes are pretty fascinating to me.
The Super Koala would fit your bill, or a bit bigger I have always liked the look of the Dakota Hawk.


Edit: Cherry picked a picture from my thread so you wouldn't have to waste time digging through it if you didn't want to,
 
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sming

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Apr 10, 2019
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120
I found a diesel 1.9 td Jodel D11 on this forum. Does that mean I can use an inline engine that I know and have rebuilt and worked on extensively?
Pssst ? You're looking for a scratch build, cheap (10K€, sorry...), with a proven automotive engine ? Have a look at the french gaz'aile ;) Gaz'aile 2
 

FishHawk

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Jan 20, 2021
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Pssst ? You're looking for a scratch build, cheap (10K€, sorry...), with a proven automotive engine ? Have a look at the french gaz'aile ;) Gaz'aile 2
I love this one. No turbo, so more reliability. High altitude is problematic for naturally aspirated diesels, so I might use a different engine, but it's good to know that the aircraft can carry 300 pounds in the nose. Is the aircraft good though? I need a proven design that is safe.
 

FishHawk

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Again, not trying to pressure you into 'my way' but presenting options and perhaps eliminating some misconceptions :)
You aren't pressuring me, every bit of info is valuable. Thank you.
I thought that there are complex forms that need metal shaping, but if everything is done relatively easy, I can look at that route.
 

narfi

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Alaska
You aren't pressuring me, every bit of info is valuable. Thank you.
I thought that there are complex forms that need metal shaping, but if everything is done relatively easy, I can look at that route.
Here is a video I found with a quick google search showing a similar approach to how I made my ribs,

I purchased all of the videos relating to the Zenith 750 here, (but they have video series for other aircraft as well)
they were good information, esp. for someone who has never worked with this sort of project before.
I've worked as a small aircraft mechanic my whole life, so some of it is pretty dry and puts me to sleep, but for someone fascinated with a new field and not knowing what they don't know it is a great way to learn the simplicity of it.
 

Dana

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There are only two auto engines that have had widespread success in airplanes, namely VW and Subaru. Many others have been used, lotsa talk nowadays about the LS1 V8, but lotsa talk about redrive failures, too. As a new pilot you want something reliable... it's a really bad idea to be a student pilot and a test pilot at the same time.

Now, reliability... a reliable car engine won't necessarily be the most reliable aircraft engine, as the duty cycle is very different. VWs and Subarus are both "almost" aircraft engines, being 4 cylinder boxers, and the fact that the VW is aircooled adds to the simplicity of the conversion... but that also adds to the power limitation.

Also, an engine designed to make its power at high rpm like most modern car engines won't do well driving a propeller, unless there's a reduction drive... which adds a whole bunch more potential issues and failure modes.

The rules are different in every country... what country do you live in?
 

Vigilant1

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Is the aircraft [Gazaile 2] good though? I need a proven design that is safe.
It has a reputation as an efficient and economical-to-operate aircraft. It is not a plane that can be built quickly-- typically many thousands of hours to complete. It is built from plans, not a kit, but some specialized parts are available for purchase. You might want to search this site for Gaz'aile 2 builders, I know HBA member Markproa is going down that road.
 

Voidhawk9

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Mar 26, 2012
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462
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Timaru, NZ
lotsa talk nowadays about the LS1 V8, but lotsa talk about redrive failures, too.
LS2s and LS3s mainly. There is one particular redrive that has been problematic of late, one that is by it's own specs undersized for the application, so trouble is to be expected, I suppose. Mods to the redrive to be more suitable seems to have led to new problems. There are other, better proven redrive options, though.

it's a really bad idea to be a student pilot and a test pilot at the same time.
Absolutely agree with this. Get someone experienced to do this.
 

FishHawk

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Jan 20, 2021
Messages
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It has a reputation as an efficient and economical-to-operate aircraft. It is not a plane that can be built quickly-- typically many thousands of hours to complete. It is built from plans, not a kit, but some specialized parts are available for purchase. You might want to search this site for Gaz'aile 2 builders, I know HBA member Markproa is going down that road.
If it takes thousands of hours it's a deal breaker definitely. It has to be done within 2 years while I still have free time. After that, I hope that I'll be busy with marrying and raising children.
Is a motorcycle engine an option? A Suzuki Intruder V twin is 72 hp and develops that power at 4500 rpm, with a very linear torque curve. I hate V-twins, but it might actually be good for this if vibrations aren't a problem. Sustained milking might be a problem though, it might actually be better to go with a sports bike engine that can take it. It would have to have a gearbox though.
I know I am a bit annoying with my engine questions, but the info here is written assuming that you are from a richer more developed country. I can't get a Rotax engine without paying and arm and a leg for it. In a country where you are considered rich when you have a 15 000 dollar salary yearly, you can't really afford building everything according to western standards. On the other hand, raw materials are dirt cheap, so it kind of balances things out a little.
 
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