Modern Aircooled 4-Cylinder Aircraft Engine Using Contemporary Engine Technology

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Toobuilder

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Id like to meet the guy that pays 71k for an engine that everyone else pays 30k.

...I have some stuff to sell him
 

TFF

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Vans gets the volume discount. Just make sure you dont buy a X engine. The Rebuilt one can be just as new as a new engine. No under cranks and the case may be new if it needed work. Once they start cutting on them, they go into the Overhaul pool. The volume buyers are the manufacturers and when you buy a new aircraft, you payed $71K for it even if the factory got a discount; Vans just sells at about the discount price
 

wsimpso1

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Sort of:

The 260i through 520i require 95 octane fuel. I am not entirely sure how that relates to Swift Fuel and Unleaded Premium (we call it 91 octane in the US) but I have asked. If they require what we in the US call 95 octane, we are already out of business;

The higher power versions require 98 octane. Question in on that too;

Their claimed horsepower is at 3300 rpm, an unrealistic rpm for most of us. Scaling back to the claimed rpm of torque peak, the 260i is 83 hp at 2700 rpm, the 350i is 103 at 2400, the 390i is 126 at 2800, and the 520i is 155 hp at 2600 rpm;

There appears to be no option for a prop governor and hydraulic constant speed prop;

A UL520i is $30k!

Hmmm, a used O-320 with EFI and spark timing begins to look like a bargain next to a UL520i.

Billski
My inquiry at UL engines is the i engines use 91 octane unleaded premium. The iS and iSA engines I asked about.

No hydraulic props, but electric props work.

$33000 for the UL520i

Billski
 

wsimpso1

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I throw the B.S. flag; that's not a fair comparison. How about comparing a new 520 to a new O320 at $70,000?
If you are throwing the B.S. flag, I hope it stands for Bill Simpson...

Seriously, If you want to compare 155 hp options, let's look at them from the perspective of us homebuilders. I do not know about you, but I am drawing money from my retirement investments when it comes time for engine, prop, governor, fuel and spark systems, that Dynon panel, even the parts to build the airframe. So I look at what does what and for how much money...

No UL520i's out there used. New is $33k;

New O-320's through Vans for $27k. Adequate reman and overhaul copies for similar money;

Used serviceable O-320's for $10-15k;

All will power the same plane with reliability for years and years. But one option leaves a bunch of money on the table to buy a governor, constant speed prop, SDS fuel and spark system, and have some left over to get started on that Dynon panel. The used O-320 is looking like quite a bargain...

Billski
 

Wayne

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With regard to the UL Power engines and the Continental O200, based on my thoughts & experience with Experimental Aviation thus far:


Airframe - Zenith Cruzer, 1 completed and part of a flying club www.accessaero.org. ** Advertisement- If you are in the Chicago area and want to fly cost effectively feel free to PM me. - AD OFF **. Next airplane is mine and it will be ready soon."

O200 Performance & Thoughts:
In the Cruzer we are getting about 550-650 fpm climb at gross weight with temps in the 80's here in Chicago around 700 MSL. The plane is operated at 1320 pounds - Light Sport. Still working on exact fuel burn - maybe 6 an hour or thereabouts. We have a 3 blade warp drive ground adjustable prop set to approx 12 degrees. Plane flies comfortably at 100 mph around 2,500 RPM in the above conditions at 2000 feet MSL. We will continue to work on fine tuning prop & rpm.

Useable load is 1320 - 850 (EW) = 470 pounds, with oil, no gas.
O200 is 199 pounds dry, with 5 quarts of oil at 8.5 brings the total to 207.5 pounds

The Cruzer and O200 combination is lovely - it's like a wider version (50 inches - bigger than a 172) of a 150/152 but with slightly better performance and maneuverability. It is very easy to fly and gets off the ground in about 500 feet or so (guessing and I'm flying heavy and not that experienced but it's fast off) and lands in only a little more. Very comfortable on grass and asphalt. The O200 sounds like a real aircraft engine - throaty and bad ass!

We do have to really watch our weights due to the 470 pound usable load. Since it's an O200 we have to make sure we are watching for Carb ice - I suppose this applies to all carb. engines but I have personally had carb ice in a 150 (same engine) so am mindful of it.

The O200 was chosen as a bullet proof engine that any A&P can work on in any airport in the US. It is a solid choice for resale. The biggest drawback is it's weight in the weight constrained Light Sport category.

Despite Basic Med in the USA we still see value for resale and use flexibility with Light Sport, especially for the more mature aviator who is learning and will fly daylight trips for burgers and Young Eagles.

With the O200 you are also burdened with a primer pump, mixture, and carb heat which may or may not be a big deal for you. It adds mechanical complexity to the install. Our new "Sky Catcher" D model O200 is "lightweight" and it had an unusual prop flange that required an adaptor and also did not come with an alternator that we had to buy. I'm not sure what those two parts add to the weight, but they added to the cost for sure - around another $1,000 or so I think (I didn't buy it).

Overall the UL Power 350is my Dad and I bought was less than the O200 and came fully equipped (we used the Euro exchange rate to our advantage).

UL Power Performance & Thoughts:
I can't speak to the real world performance of the UL Power 350is Cruzer yet as I have not flown one but the factory does and I know they cite very short take offs and landings and good economy. I'll let you all know when I get mine in the air!

Key Points about the UL engine that can make a big difference in the Light Sport aircraft IMHO:

There are a range of engines available from the 260 series 97-107 up through the UL Power 350is which tops out at 130 hp. Having choices is always good and the lower power engines in their range only need lower Octane auto gas which is easier to find across the country. The 350is needs US 93 Octane pump gas. There are different units for Octane in Europe which is confusing when comparing to US units. We have 93 Octane at the pump here in the Chicago area, your mileage might vary.

The small engine experimental market is important to UL, I'm not sure that it is to Continental. UL is extremely responsive - I usually get responses to questions via email within hours. I'm installing right now so have up to date contact.

The UL Power will require top end maintenance if you use leaded fuel in it - this is a potential limiter/disadvantage given US infrastructure and lack of MoGas at the airport. TSP does not help apparently. If the engine works with unleaded aviation fuels (Swift etc.) it will be nicely future proofed and moving into improved infrastructure.

Horsepower is at it's peak at 3,300 RPM with a 5 minute use limit. For the Ul Power 350is this is 130 hp at 3,300 and then at 2,700 it is about 117 hp. Similar to a Lycoming 0235. The O200 is rated at 100 hp but I'm not sure of the RPM and whether it produces that much or not.

UL Power 350is = 173 pounds including oil, accessories. This makes it 34.5 pounds lighter than the Continental and that is probably generous given that I don't think the alternator weight is included. Let's assume for sake of discussion it's 40 pounds lighter allowing for the prop adaptor and alternator. In a Light Sport - that is a lot of gas or jiggly tummy you can carry.

The UL is FADEC so it manages mixture, priming, and there is no risk of carb ice. There are lot's of wires to let the smoke out and also a return line to the tanks or header tank are required. Therefore UL installation is electrically more complex than the O200, and requires more fuel line plumbing.

Fuel burn will be in the 5 g/per hour range (I'll verify with real world numbers) and it's burning pump gas which is less expensive than Av fuel. I will have to hump the fuel to the airport though. This is partly my fault for getting the 350is, there is MoGas at a nearby airport but it is only 89 Octane and I need 93. I'll talk to them when the time is right to see if they can get higher Octane, or ask around about the Swift lead free fuels.

My Dad has his A&P and didn't like the Rotax - he felt it was overly complex with it's blend of water cooling, tubes everywhere, carbs, gearbox etc. and he greatly preferred the traditional air cooled updated design of the UL.

Conclusion
I'll update the forum over time but at this point I'm happy with the Access Aero plane with the O200 as it is an excellent and proven combination. You get in, fly off, and have fun. The UL will get me 30-40 pounds of extra weight carrying capacity which will be great, and fewer knobs to pull plus it should be reliable and efficient.
 

wsimpso1

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Let's all remember a few things about that $12000 suggestion.

The sponsors are in the engine business, and they plan to make some money the thing. In order to get to the first engine saleable to a customer, they have some costs that EPI probably was not thinking about:

The sponsors (whoever they are) paid EPI some serious bucks to design and build a few prototypes. There was a pile of dollars on engineering time, prototype castings and forgings and machining, then test time and any redesign and rebuilds;

Then they gotta source the parts, tool up for the castings and forgings, machining fixtures, assembly tools, train people, develop QC processes and record keeping with sourced and internal parts, retrain as you develop and replace the inevitable folks who go elsewhere or prove incapable. Then there is compliance with OSHA and environmental rules, taxes, etc that businesses must show compliance with. Production people cost about twice their salary;

They gotta keep the lights and heat and taxes paid in all of these places while they get ready for production;

Then the folks that pony up all of this money want it back in a couple years;

Now with the market for an electronically controlled spark and fuel modern 120 hp engine currently paying $24k for a new engine, why would they go half of that? Naw, if theirs is up to par, they could eat a bunch of the volume out there at a price of $21k, and they might even be financially viable at that price.

I do know this. If they are not viable at $24k, they are DOA. The market price is already set there. And if they get into a price war with Bombardier, we will all get cheap engines until one abandons the market, then prices will go back up to $24k.

Realistically, hope for $20k and healthy competition between Rotax and Jabiru and whoever commissioned this engine at EPI.

Billski
 

tspear

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Billski,

A counter, that I have not seen any evidence of, is this is part of a loss leader to enter a new market. It could be a new plane, or it could be a new territory (e.g. India).
So, if there is an established player in the US Market, that has been using O-200 and/Rotax engines; but would like to sell the planes in South Africa and India; they may want/need a new engine that is much cheaper to build. As such, all the R&D costs you mentioned could be sunk costs under marketing as a loss lead to lower the price of the plane overall to get into those markets. Also, since this is not a certified engine, they may want to sell a few units in the experimental space to reduce the amount of the loss.

Or, it could be an existing player like Continental or Lycoming which wants to take out the competition. e.g. Lycoming is not really in the small motor space, and Rotax is slowly moving up the power chain. Lycoming may view them as a threat and do this a "cheap" way to suck the cash out of Rotax to prevent them from working there way up to the real profit areas for Lycoming (and/or Continental).

Tim
 

Mreinh3233

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They might be able to build a stronger, lighter, longer lasting engine, but no way will they be able to sell it for $12K. The going market price for their product is $24K, why would they start a price war and lose $12K on every engine they sell. Makes no business sense. Their share holders want to make money, that's why they invest in companies. In addition a good SBC auto engine (New in the box) costs $8-10K. So your telling me they will sell an "Aircraft Quality" engine with a lot fewer numbers sold each year than an auto engine (Read supply and demand here), we know that aircraft engines don't sell in high volume, for $12K? No way! I believe all their claims except the sale price. Believe me I hope I'm wrong but I don't see it.
 

tspear

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They might be able to build a stronger, lighter, longer lasting engine, but no way will they be able to sell it for $12K. The going market price for their product is $24K, why would they start a price war and lose $12K on every engine they sell. Makes no business sense. Their share holders want to make money, that's why they invest in companies. In addition a good SBC auto engine (New in the box) costs $8-10K. So your telling me they will sell an "Aircraft Quality" engine with a lot fewer numbers sold each year than an auto engine (Read supply and demand here), we know that aircraft engines don't sell in high volume, for $12K? No way! I believe all their claims except the sale price. Believe me I hope I'm wrong but I don't see it.
There we go with the aircraft quality thing. What exactly is aircraft quality? The amount of paper that follows a part? What does it really represent?

Tim
 

TFF

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$12,000 means volume. GM sells a LS-3 for close to $7,000. Including engines in cars they probably make 200,000 engines. They also offset cost with parts crossover to all the other modern LS engines which is probably 6,000,000 other V8s a year. There is not 200,000 buyers, not at least short term. 50 years worth maybe. You would be good to be successful at 500 engines a year.
 

tspear

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$12,000 means volume. GM sells a LS-3 for close to $7,000. Including engines in cars they probably make 200,000 engines. They also offset cost with parts crossover to all the other modern LS engines which is probably 6,000,000 other V8s a year. There is not 200,000 buyers, not at least short term. 50 years worth maybe. You would be good to be successful at 500 engines a year.
How much does volume really change the cost?
Look at this way, ignore R&D.
What is the cost the build a hundred, or a thousand, or ten thousand, or a million engines....
At which point, is the cost of the raw materials, the blade replacement on the CNC... does it dominate the price?

My cousin works a CNC operator doing custom one off parts in some niche industry. I have had the discussion with him before, if you ignore spreading out the setup and testing costs, the incremental savings when producing a part at the company he works for is basically flat after you reach ten units. Once the kinks are worked out, does not matter if you produce 15 or a hundred. the cost per unit is the same. At what point in the number of engines for cast parts do you hit the plateau?

Tim
 

Toobuilder

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That's 10 units per run. If you change the setup, do some other parts, then come back to the original parts, you've lost most of your advantage. The next 10 parts is like starting over. That's what volume gets you. Sure the parts are flat after a few of them, but each "first" part kills you. Do 10 runs of ten, and you have ten "firsts". You really want to do a run of 100, but what small engine maker is going to want that much inventory around?
 

Hot Wings

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does not matter if you produce 15 or a hundred. the cost per unit is the same. At what point in the number of engines
All CNC is not created equal. Job shops working for a niche market and low production use multipurpose CNC machines - ones that can do just about anything the software can handle.

For high production that CNC machine may just do one little part of the job, but do it very well and far faster than the universal CNC could do. For example there can be no tool changes or part re-positioning. That difference can allow a significant cost savings if there is enough volume to justify the one-of-a-kind tooling.

For aircraft engines your point is valid. The only way we are ever going to see the kind of cost/part is if the aircraft engine industry finds a way to to Remora onto the auto industry. The O-100 is a step in the right direction, just the wrong industry onto which to suck.
 

BBerson

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Is Continental selling any new certified o-200 engines now since Cessna canceled the Skycatcher?
Are they selling non-certified o-200 engines for less price?
 

tspear

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All CNC is not created equal. Job shops working for a niche market and low production use multipurpose CNC machines - ones that can do just about anything the software can handle.

For high production that CNC machine may just do one little part of the job, but do it very well and far faster than the universal CNC could do. For example there can be no tool changes or part re-positioning. That difference can allow a significant cost savings if there is enough volume to justify the one-of-a-kind tooling.

For aircraft engines your point is valid. The only way we are ever going to see the kind of cost/part is if the aircraft engine industry finds a way to to Remora onto the auto industry. The O-100 is a step in the right direction, just the wrong industry onto which to suck.
How does far faster equate to cheaper?

Tim
 

BoKu

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How does far faster equate to cheaper?
I have direct experience with that. We refer to it as "transposition rate."

Moving things across machines faster, and moving them out the door faster, means that you need fewer machines to do the work, and less square footage dedicated to the machines and processes.

The latter might sound trivial, but square footage can actually be pretty expensive. You have to buy it or rent it, heat it, cool it, clean it, light it, and keep it weather tight.

--Bob K.
 

rv6ejguy

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We do CNC runs of one to 200 parts. I can tell you one complex prototype part costs a lot more than 10 or 100 per unit. The drafting time on complex parts and the custom fixtures required can quintuple the unit price.

Every time you break down a setup and have to change tooling, takes up time you could be having the spindle turning.

Simple parts like a fuel pump cover don't require much CAD or machining time but if you really counted all costs from drafting to setup, a one-off FP cover might cost over $100. Few people would pay that price. Make 10 and that comes down $25, make 100 and it can come down to $15.

Now go make a crankcase/ block or cylinder head. That first one is gonna cost $10K maybe. Now add up every part going into a 4 cylinder engine.

To say there is no significant savings with volume is simply not true. We live it every day at my business. Prototypes kill us but are necessary.
 

Kyle Boatright

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To say there is no significant savings with volume is simply not true. We live it every day at my business. Prototypes kill us but are necessary.
I work in a large manufacturing organization and am very involved in establishing the costs of our products. Volume makes a HUGE difference in my world. That's the biggest problem in aviation - the volumes are sized for a cottage industry instead of mass production.
 
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Toobuilder

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Yep, set up and run factors are a huge contributor to product cost. Add in the planning and paperwork for a certification or configuration controlled product and it gets significantly worse. Its a hard concept to grasp unless you live it every day - and even then it doesn't make sense unless you do the detailed cost breakdowns.
 

wsimpso1

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Geez, some of you guys talk like doing a new engine only takes a few thousand dollars. I will give it to you from the other side.

New engine's at the automakers run 2 to 3 times what a new tranny runs to develop, tool and source, get a factory ready to go, etc. I know the tranny numbers, so I will share some with you. Remember, engines are more....

At Ford, when we did a new transmission, we were planning on 500,000 units a year, amortizing in three years of production. Total cost sunk to go from "Built it!" to first saleable unit was about a billion dollars. Yeah, a thousand million dollars. 400 million for the the factory to do a bunch of machining and heat treat and assembly and testing. The tooling for the suppliers was a bunch. One die set for the case is about a million bucks, and we had 17 sets on one program, plus a bunch of other dies cast parts. Then there were the prototypes, development builds, testing. A modern dynamometer cell runs about a million dollars to buy or about $500-1000 an hour to occupy. Set up and engine, develop it, then run a couple engines to 400 hours, you are talking a half million right there...

So let's say 1.5 million trannies and 1000 million dollars investment, plus a thousand in direct cost to build each one. That is $667 a unit in investment and $1000 in direct costs. Build 1.5 million, and your investment is 67% above your direct cost. And that is efficient high volume production, running two shifts and one shift most Saturdays. Big shipping racks, train cars full of the things going between plants. Then there is indirect cost, like taxes and power and heat keeping the building and grounds up and paying for the folks who make the factory operate, keep it organized and the suppliers on track, etc.

Now do something on a smaller scale. Between dies for the left and right halves of the crankcase, the sump, the cylinders, accessory case, and few other items, they will have a couple million in dies. A couple million more for machining fixtures and assembly tools. And we have not gotten into the prototype charges. Let's just say they get by for $8,000,000 (dream land) to be ready to go for production build this engine. And they make 500 a year, and amortize in three years. That is $5333 a unit. Yep, the smaller volume means a lot more for up front costs. Then there are small batch costs for all of your parts and other work. Get up to 1000 a year (dream land again) and you are going to need to spend more money in your factory so your tooling and fixed costs go up again, but atleast you have more product to spread it around on.

So, back to $12k per unit. Nice. Toss on that $5333 per unit for the up front costs and you are looking at $17.3k, dyno run, crate, and ready for shipping, more money, 15% to do the rest of the plant (that would be very lean), 5% for warranty and 5% for profit, and you run towards the $24k...

New engines are pricey things to get ready. Risky too. Don't expect anyone to take on all of this and not charge you close to what the other guys are charging. They have to or they will go bust in short order...

Billski
 
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