Low budget Ultralight Aircraft

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

choppergirl

Banned
Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
1,682
Location
Choppergirl's Flying Circus ★★☠★★ AIR-WAR.ORG
Like I always say, "It's best to gather up and tuck away all the neat stuff that I can find, before the hoarders can get it!"
This one's 1000 miles away from me in Texas, so relatively "safe" from "me" at the moment. :) But if I can find someone in Texas who can help me out... my scheming and machinations network may be deployed to find her a new home.

A retired and disabled guy 4 hours away wants her, which is how I found out about her, but he doesn't have the $300 nor do I. Trying to figure out how we can finance the little plane and retrieve it.
 

Winchester

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2010
Messages
65
Location
Kitsap County Wa.
If you are someone looking for the same, give me a shout out, I'll keep my eyes out for something near your state; I can't buy everything.
I've been lazily looking for one of these for the last 15 years. I was wondering if either of yours might be...
GYPSY CHOTIA 460 -W- MAG.jpg
A John Chotia 460 with what I believed to be an old lawn tractor magneto and aluminum cast under-slung boom mount.
Drew this up this evening from memory, so it could be quite off. :whistle:
 
Last edited:

FritzW

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Messages
3,896
Location
Las Cruces, NM
This one's 1000 miles away from me in Texas ...Trying to figure out how we can finance the little plane and retrieve it.
I'll fiance the $300 at 0% interest for a year in exchange for the right of first refusal to buy it off you guys if it doesn't work out for you. I might even be able to pick it up if it's in far wast Texas.

Fritz
 

choppergirl

Banned
Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
1,682
Location
Choppergirl's Flying Circus ★★☠★★ AIR-WAR.ORG
I've been lazily looking for one of these for the last 15 years. I was wondering if either of yours might be...

A John Chotia 460 with what I believed to be an old lawn tractor magneto and aluminum cast under-slung boom mount.
Drew this up this evening from memory, so it could be quite off.
Mine didn't come with magneto or motor mount. I'm actually not sure if they ever got around to mounting an engine to the plane because I don't remember any mounting holes on the main fuselage boom. Which is odd, because they build everything else, including a tail wheel, and even covered the wheels... did everything save for covering the main wings, mount an engine, and buy a prop. My thought is: a display model to advertise their airplane business, with engines by its side? But I wonder why they bought two motors. Got a deal, I assume, or were hedging their bets and looking to the future.

The newspapers packed with the motors were from Dec 1984... it was fun to read Dallas car dealer ads... you too can finance a new 1985 Fiero.... I have half a mind to throw them on a flatbed scanner and post them in my albums.

One of the 460's has an axle extension that it looks like would go right into your magneto (its totally round though, with no woodrow key slot or anything like that); on the other one, that extension was cut off (to save weight, ostensibly). I also have to wonder how much weight was saved by going with a D cell battery pack over a magneto...

As Dana posted somewhere, these 2 strokes like burn 4 gallons an hour, so with a 5 gallon fuel tank, I'm guessing you'd get maybe a little over an hour of flying on a tank of gas, if you want to stay up that long, so I guess the D cells worked out. Fifteen minutes in an ultralight seems like an eternity to me, but then I hope to change that view someday.

The 460 has two spark plugs and two sets of points on it; from what I *vaguely* recall, one set of points is for starting it, the other for running, and you switch over once cranked? Or, they are equally timed, and for redundancy? Need to skim the manual again, I *forgetted (forgot)*.

I'll fiance the $300 at 0% interest for a year in exchange for the right of first refusal to buy it off you guys if it doesn't work out for you. I might even be able to pick it up if it's in far wast Texas.

Fritz
You want the right to refuse to buy it? I'd give you that for free :) Maybe you meant to word that the other way. Amused by the humor either way.

No, it's in east Texas, near the coast, between Houston and Corpus Christi. Do you have a truck and trailer? Dream Classic kit from Aerodrome Airplanes is $3500-$4000, depending on if its strut braced or not. I need to call the owner and get him to email me some pictures.
 
Last edited:

PW_Plack

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2015
Messages
154
Location
West Valley City, UT
The Big Twin...even at 2gph, the cost per hour to operate is under $8/hour, which is still a pretty good deal. If a 1,200 hour TBO equates to 10 years of flying, then the advertised 3,000 tbo on the Big Twin (an presumably most other similar conversions) would be about 25 years worth of flying.
I was puttering around the office near the computer and heard the needle on the BS meter banging against the stop, so I had to look in.

Many engine converters like to advertise peak HP, but then quote GPH numbers for cruise (or lower) power settings. You won't get 2 GPH at anything close to 50 HP. Crude industrial four-strokes with carbs can be expected to achieve BSFC (brake specific fuel consumption) numbers of about 0.42-0.44 pounds per horsepower-hour. That's about 2.7 - 2.85 GPH at 40 HP assuming ordinary gasoline, which weighs about 6.2 pounds per gallon.

Working the formula backwards, 1.5 GPH at a BSFC of 0.42 comes out to 22 - 23 HP, a reasonable number for cruise in a Backyard Flyer.

The TBO (or more likely TBR) on a V-twin is very unlikely to make 3,000 hours in an aircraft application, especially if the forced-air cooling scheme is stripped to save weight. I'd be pleasantly surprised to get 900 hours, which would still be a pretty compelling value proposition.
 

Doggzilla

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
2,319
Location
Everywhere USA
I am openly wondering if somebody could take a differential and hook a pair of V motors to join them AND act as a PSRU. Differentials are super super reliable. While PSRUs are not known for their reliability. The V engines are relatively thin and could fit two with a differential between them quite easily.

If there is no issue with harmonic vibrations, it would double the safety margin, be affordable, and provide competitive power...

This would be a relatively inexpensive project, and could be interesting to test in a boat or a car.
 

Winchester

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2010
Messages
65
Location
Kitsap County Wa.
Mine didn't come with magneto or motor mount. I'm actually not sure if they ever got around to mounting an engine to the plane because I don't remember any mounting holes on the main fuselage boom. Which is odd, because they build everything else, including a tail wheel, and even covered the wheels... did everything save for covering the main wings, mount an engine, and buy a prop. My thought is: a display model to advertise their airplane business, with engines by its side? But I wonder why they bought two motors. Got a deal, I assume, or were hedging their bets and looking to the future.
Perhaps they chose to bracket mount the engine with high grade truck U-bolts? Cringe worthy but plausible.

One of the 460's has an axle extension that it looks like would go right into your magneto (its totally round though, with no woodrow key slot or anything like that); on the other one, that extension was cut off (to save weight, ostensibly). I also have to wonder how much weight was saved by going with a D cell batteries over a magneto...
It should look like this if configured for a Mag -minus the disc of course.
OLDHAM INTERCOUPLE INTERFACEl.jpg
If it is a bare rod end, then it may be mag ready, I think they are heated and pressed and not much torque is needed to drive the Mag, weighs about 10 lbs, is bolted into the engine mount so the total weight is about 6 lbs over a battery pack/coil ignition. It was weather proof too.
 

choppergirl

Banned
Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
1,682
Location
Choppergirl's Flying Circus ★★☠★★ AIR-WAR.ORG
It should look like this if configured for a Mag -minus the disc of course.
Nope, just a plain dowel like end. Though I imagine it would take not too much effort to cut a slot like that, using (maybe?) a good eye, a steady hand, and an alluminum oxide disk on a miter saw. Might not be a pretty job but might get the job done, unless your hack job was ugly and unbalanced things.
 

FritzW

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Messages
3,896
Location
Las Cruces, NM
You want the right to refuse to buy it? I'd give you that for free :) Maybe you meant to word that the other way.
Right of first refusal is just another way of saying I get to call dibs if you decide to sell it. :gig:

it's in east Texas, near the coast, between Houston and Corpus Christi.
That's out of my range, the Pecos river is my eastern limit. Where does your friend live? Can he pick it up?
 

vtul

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
366
Location
Northeast, USA
Just wondering, there was a lot of discussion of the VC460 early in this thread -- since then, has anyone gone any further with that engine?
 

AaronW

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
1
Location
N Las Vegas
Just wondering, there was a lot of discussion of the VC460 early in this thread -- since then, has anyone gone any further with that engine?
Good question...

Vegas Carts also has a new single cylinder pressure lube(oil pump) 625cc engine.
 

Topaz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,110
Location
Orange County, California
Good question...

Vegas Carts also has a new single cylinder pressure lube(oil pump) 625cc engine.
Looks to be a really nice motor. They're claiming it's better-balanced than the 460cc version, too, so smoother running. Also a little lower compression, so the components aren't being pushed quite as hard. Unfortunately, only available currently with a full installation kit for golf-cart use, at a significant (3x) price increase over the 460cc motor. VC says the 625cc will be available without the kit components "early 2018". I don't know what the "engine only" price will be.

I had a brief discussion on the VC forum with a couple of their staff. The VC 460cc is no longer recommended for use with an electric starter. They indicated that the high compression of the motor (10:1) compared to the original design means the standard starters may not last very long, so they discontinued the electric start option. It still has a recoil starter. The VC 625cc comes with electric start standard. Lower compression (9:1).
 
Last edited:

blane.c

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
3,906
Location
capital district NY
(3) DLE-120 engines @ about $750 each will net you a total of 36hp and 150lbs thrust. If one engine fails you still have 24hp and 100lbs thrust. Each engine weighs 6.38lbs so total weight for (3) engines 19.14lbs and cost $2250.00. not bad numbers for 36hp.

DLE-120 TWIN GASOLINE ENGINE
MAXIMUM POWER AT MINIMUM WEIGHT
DLEG0120
Displacement:
120.0 cc (7.4 cu in)
Bore:
1.85 in (47 mm)
Stroke:
1.38 in (35 mm)
Total Weight:
6.38 lb (2.89 kg)
Output:
12 hp @ 7500 rpm
Includes:
Electronic ignition module, mufflers,
spark plugs, mount, standoffs, spiral wire wrap
& connector safety clips
Requires:
unleaded gasoline, 2-cycle oil,
ignition battery & propeller
Suggested Propellers:
26x10, 26x12,
27x10, 28x10
 

okeydokey

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Florence, italy
You could pickup a predator 670cc for 700$, makes 22hp and weighs 100 lbs stock, probably a great deal less without the shrouds, muffler, gastank, electric start etc. and remove the governor, and maybe build it out and I bet you could get an 30hp 75lb motor for 1000$ or less.
 

Topaz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,110
Location
Orange County, California
Looks to be a really nice motor. They're claiming it's better-balanced than the 460cc version, too, so smoother running. Also a little lower compression, so the components aren't being pushed quite as hard. Unfortunately, only available currently with a full installation kit for golf-cart use, at a significant (3x) price increase over the 460cc motor. VC says the 625cc will be available without the kit components "early 2018". I don't know what the "engine only" price will be....
The Vegas Carts 625cc motor is now available for individual sale for $799. Not bad. Unfortunately, the specs listed don't include things like weight, and a question I left regarding specs has gone unanswered on their forum for about two weeks now. They're not really terribly helpful outside of the most-common golf-cart use-case. Still, it's a nice little engine for a very nice price. My only concern, really, is that they're the only distributor for this engine and what happens if they go under or drop it like they recently did their 460cc engine? Also not a viable option for someone wanting to sell plans or kits for an aircraft designed around this one.

You could pickup a predator 670cc for 700$, makes 22hp and weighs 100 lbs stock, probably a great deal less without the shrouds, muffler, gastank, electric start etc. and remove the governor, and maybe build it out and I bet you could get an 30hp 75lb motor for 1000$ or less.
There's some temptation there, simply because the engine is widely available and currently priced at $729. Even if you completely destroyed one in the course of experimentation, you don't have to worry about running down to the local HF and getting another. The weight is the potential problem. HF lists the engine at 110 lbs stock. Yes, I would imagine stripping 15-20lbs out of it wouldn't be terribly difficult, without resorting to any actual machining operations. And it's pump-lubed (no slinger), with an off-board oil cooler. Nice.

One does wonder what might come of taking one of these, stripping off the obvious items, and mounting a direct-drive prop. Not at all "the most that can be gotten from one", but the price certainly is right, and the engines are available anywhere there's a HF.
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
7,407
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
I have to disagree with using the HF engine. I am NOT an expert on these little engines by any means, and everything I know about them is hearsay.

But what I understand is that the HF engine is a cheap copy of a Honda. That's good news because the Honda is known to be a long lasting and reliable engine. One of my "hearsay" expert friends has frequently worked on the pipelines that run through Pennsylvania, and he indicated the pipeline crews use the Honda engines exclusively because of reliability.

However, I have to believe that the HF engines do not have the quality control that Honda does, and that HF will make some parts out of inferior materials. As such, if I were going to bet (my life), I would bet that the HF engine will not be as reliable or as high quality as the Honda it was copied from.

I understand that some of the little V-twin engines use plastic cams for the valve train (!!!), some of them use "splash" lubrication instead of pressure, and some of them have pot metal instead of a proper alloy in certain parts.

My main point here is that using even the best, most expensive, highest quality industrial V-twin engine already represents a huge reduction in cost from any aircraft style powerplant. So chasing after the last $500 in cost reduction, by accepting an engine that uses "splash" lubrication instead of pressure lubrication... is going to be a very bad bargain.
 
Last edited:

Highflight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
159
Location
North America, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
The Vegas Carts 625cc motor is now available for individual sale for $799. Not bad. Unfortunately, the specs listed don't include things like weight, and a question I left regarding specs has gone unanswered on their forum for about two weeks now. They're not really terribly helpful outside of the most-common golf-cart use-case. Still, it's a nice little engine for a very nice price. My only concern, really, is that they're the only distributor for this engine and what happens if they go under or drop it like they recently did their 460cc engine? Also not a viable option for someone wanting to sell plans or kits for an aircraft designed around this one.
My experience with large single cylinder engines is that they produce excessive vibration, exhaust note and tend to tear up PSRU systems because of the single power pulse. Any hot rodding of the engine for more power output will in most cases produces internal hot spots, rough running and reduce the engines lifespan considerably. I have also found that pull starting a high compression single without a compression release is a real b***h (pain) and can cause injuries.
"Your results may vary".
 
Last edited by a moderator:

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
13,220
Location
Port Townsend WA
Paging BBerson; BBerson, please pick up the red Honda V-Twin Conversion Courtesy phone...
I looked at the HF 670 a few weeks ago. Looked good on the outside. But inside is what counts. The Honda GX engines have full oil pressure, many Briggs do not and have only partial oil but claim full oil. I know nothing about HF.
I agree with VB. Hot Wings had some problems with HF, I think.
My understanding is the Honda GX 690 has a forged crank.
I would stick with Honda. It is great they have the same engine available year after year.
My two Honda cars are now 30 years old and still running and I can get lifetime Classic Car plates. :)
 
Last edited:
Top