My 13B engine configuration (tentative)

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dwalker

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I feel like I should know better but here it goes- the following is the list of parts that I either currently have or in the process of acquiring to build up the 13B-T for my Long-EZ.

Engine-
13B Series 5 semi-P-Port side housings, studded, P-Port tubes are steel and the intake side O-ringed to prevent coolant leaking or being pressurized.
13B Series 6 Ported rotor housings
Renesis rotors, cut for "RX7" 13B apex seals, balanced
Renesis E-shaft, counterweight, and front stack, balanced
Goopy Performance Apex seals
Cryo treated front and rear stationary gears
Cryo treated corner and side seals

Fabricated intake manifold
Billet throttle body
Intercooler
T4 turbocharger
Fabricated 321 Stainless exhaust manifold
Manual waste gate

AEM Infinity ECU
AEM CD7 display
AEM wideband controller
redundant 320lph fuel pumps
Aeromotive AFPR
IGN-A1 ignition coils (coil per plug)

Formula Car (for lack of a better name) radiator cores from Ron Davis
Twin oil coolers


This is the "bare bones" of the system. I will go into more detail when I can.
 

dwalker

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Mar 6, 2021
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So to put some context to the parts, now that I have a few minutes and am winding down, I can share my thought process here.

First, I am using the Semi-P-Port irons because I have them and they are exceedingly well done. They were done for a race engine that never happened, and *should* work well in this application. The Renesis rotors,e-shaft,etc. are lighter than the Series 6 (FD3S) rotors normally used. These will be trued, balanced, and then coated- a thermal barrier coat on the rotor faces and a dry film lubricant on the sides. The e-shaft will be new OEM. The rotor housings are pretty standard Series 6 housings with a light port done to the exhaust. Apex seals will be from my friends at Goopy performance and are exceedingly durable. They will not say they are unbreakable, but I have really really tried and the best I could do is warp one. Temperature Processing in Colorado will cryo the wear parts- side and corner seals- as well as the stationary gears, and all springs will be new OEM. The engine is already set up with studs to hold it together. As of this moment I have all of the engine components on hand, and will be sending the rotating assembly and other bits out for machine work etc. soon.

I will fabricate an aluminum intake manifold and plenum as well as the intercooler piping, intercooler, turbo manifold, etc. as needed. The turbo will be a T4 variant, non-ball bearing with both water and oil cooled CHRA. I am exploring the option to use a VATN turbo to maintain efficiency at higher altitudes, which will prevent the turbo from overspeeding and prolong its life. I have most of the bits on hand to build the intake manifold including the injector bungs, along with the intercooler piping and most of the stainless steel bits to fabricate the turbo manifold, but will wait until I have a false firewall available to do a mock up before buying the intercooler core and welding it up.


To control the engine I am turning to AEM and the Infinity EMS. Over the last couple of decades I have worked with AEM a lot, including beta testing multiple race and platform specific ECUs. I will use the canbus to link to a CD7 display, which can be configured to show any parameter the ECU sees, along with those derived from math functions etc., as well as data from its own internal and external sensors. An AEM wideband 02 sensor will be used along with two EGT's. The wiring harness will be constructed using Tefzel wire and new connectors, with DTM harness connectors and AMP/Tyco injector plugs etc. Power for the ECU/engine systems will be from the main battery on its own bus.

At this point I am leaning towards the Marcotte PSRU, as itis the only one available with the 2.4 ratio I want. I would LOVE to use Neil Ungers PSRU, and have considered buying parts from him and constructing my own 2.8 PSRU.

To try and make the most of space and "packaging", dual rads and dual oil coolers will be used, and very likely an electric water pump will be used as well. The oil coolers and rads will be along the lines of those used in the Pro Formula Mazda cars, from Ron Davis. I have read about all sorts of other solutions, but this is the way I think I will go,
 

athomp58

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Hi dwalker,
I'm the guy (Aubrey Thompson) who has been doing the Rotary Engines for Aircraft forums at Sun N Fun for the past four or five years since Paul Lamar stopped doing them. I've advocated that any experimental engine system MUST include robust data logging that can be studied between test runs. I've recommended the AEM ECU's and the MGL EFIS system because they both use CAN bus and both can keep detailed data logs.

A question posed at one of the forums last month was: How feasible is it to use the CAN bus to interconnect two systems of different brands? Have the car racing guys tried this?

Aubrey
 

dwalker

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Messages
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Hi dwalker,
I'm the guy (Aubrey Thompson) who has been doing the Rotary Engines for Aircraft forums at Sun N Fun for the past four or five years since Paul Lamar stopped doing them. I've advocated that any experimental engine system MUST include robust data logging that can be studied between test runs. I've recommended the AEM ECU's and the MGL EFIS system because they both use CAN bus and both can keep detailed data logs.

A question posed at one of the forums last month was: How feasible is it to use the CAN bus to interconnect two systems of different brands? Have the car racing guys tried this?

Aubrey

I've run the AIM Sports dash with the AEM dash, the Motec dash with the AEM, etc. It is simply a matter of having the CAN protocols.
 

Lendo

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dwalker, I love it when you talk racing mods to the Rotary Aviation application - however I wonder if you're looking at creating something that's just a one off and way to complicated for the average Light /Light Sport Aircraft builder/ designer and way too expensive to emulate without your obvious experience and resources.

On the PSRU The Marcotte looks a good design and seems well proven, I think Neil Ungers PSRU is similar to Tracy Crooks, with the Ford Planetary, with Thrust being an issue with the gears. I believe there is a later larger Ford straight cut gearing, I have it noted somewhere, but I have been advised that Car gears are just not up to required longevity. The Powersport design seems the better of what has been available.
George
 

wsimpso1

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Ambitious!

How much boost are you planning on? Or will it just be turbonormalized for altitude?

Given the already high EGT's of a rotary, and then running it boosted, will 321 be durable in the exhaust? I know that Ev Hatch had switched to Inconel for all of his builds. Was Ev Hatch overdoing it?

Marcotte appears to have gone out of the PSRU business. If you must have one, you may need to find one already extant.

Billski
 
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dwalker

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Mar 6, 2021
Messages
99
dwalker, I love it when you talk racing mods to the Rotary Aviation application - however I wonder if you're looking at creating something that's just a one off and way to complicated for the average Light /Light Sport Aircraft builder/ designer and way too expensive to emulate without your obvious experience and resources.

On the PSRU The Marcotte looks a good design and seems well proven, I think Neil Ungers PSRU is similar to Tracy Crooks, with the Ford Planetary, with Thrust being an issue with the gears. I believe there is a later larger Ford straight cut gearing, I have it noted somewhere, but I have been advised that Car gears are just not up to required longevity. The Powersport design seems the better of what has been available.
George
Lendo, this is going to be a great way to start my day, so let me settle in over my eggs and bacon, and we will get into it!

First, nothing I am doing is new, controversial, or even super specialized. Most of the components are off the shelf and already well developed. If anything I am doing my best to use off the shelf parts and proven suppliers rather than invent any wheels or go "full custom"!

Lets start with the AEM INFINITY ECU and CD7 dashlogger. Already being used in flight engines (Yamaha APEX), AEM has an unterminated harness available for the rotary with a proven wiring schematic and initial setup. Super simple and easy to get the harness wired up and the engine running for the average end user. It can be remote tuned if necessary. The real magic is the advanced auto-tune feature, which would allow a homebuilder to simply set his engine up in a test stand, fit the motor with a test club in place of the prop, start the engine and run the engine through its power settings allowing the ECU to tune itself. Once on the plane using 02 feedback the ECU will continue to adjust the AFR to the target AFR continuously and seamlessly. If you still felt a need for a mixture control, a simple rotary or linear pot will "trim" the fuel based on a trim table in the ecu as a percentage of fuel. But honestly there is no real reason to. Also, no need for carb heat.
Ok lets move to the engine and its components, starting with the processes. Rotary Science in Virginia and several other machine shops i the country are capable of performing the modifications to the rotors and e-shaft, and it is not super expensive. I 100% believe that most builders are too cavalier when it comes to balance and checking dimensions, and skip over a lot of important things when "building" a rotary engine, s these things add time and expense, which they are less than thrilled to tell customers about. Which is wrong. A well balanced and dimensionally correct rotary will live a long time. One slopped together may or may not live a long time.
Embee Performance is just one company among many that provide hi-tech coatings. The use of the coatings is simple- just call them, tell you what you want done, and then send them your parts in the condition they ask for them in (usually clean) and wait for them to come back. It is also a bit of an experiment and extravagance on my part. A "Because I can", if you will.
Temperature Processing for the cryo-treating is the tough one, because they do mostly .gov/.mil and OEM contracting. Things like pistons for UAV's, parts for various firearm manufacturers, etc., so for the average builder this might be a tough company to get to help them with thier project, but on the other hand I have never known Eric (the owner) to turn down good money, and he likes cool stuff. For the "average" homebuilder assembling a rotary flight engine, Atkins Rotary has cryo'ed parts on the shelf, and Dan is still flying with rotary power.

The intake manifold is a tough one, but this is possibly where the "homebuilt" is put into homebuilt aircraft! Might need to learn to TIG aluminum OR learn to make good mock-ups to send off to a fabricator OR find someone local that can do it. I will give you this one as on the "tough, but doable" side. The Billet throttle body is an off the shelf item.

The turbo system is actually the hardest part of this entire setup. On the one hand, the rotary produces enough exhaust energy to push a massive turbine and large compressor, which means a simple single turbo hanging off the side of it on a fabricated 321SS manifold will be fine for most uses. The problem comes in if you want to legitimately go where you need oxygen regularly, and need more. The rotary *should* be able to easily push the turbo and make 44-90 inches below 10K feet. The turbo for the Pikes Peak car was a "medium" turbo and was able to make good boost all the way to 14K feet. However, much above 10K feet a really good argument is made for compound turbocharging and I have not decided which side of that fence I fall on as yet. It adds a slight amount of complexity and weight, but delivers more efficiency and increased reliability. Other than the manifold though, it is all off the shelf parts that can be ordered through Garrett, Precision, ormost other turbocharger manufacturers.

The wiring harness is simple, but expensive, to build. Each connector is probably $15-20 bucks, and maybe a little more if you use the gold-plated pins. The DMC crimper is like $400, but a one-time expense.. or you might find one you can borrow or maybe even one on ebay. I am building the entire airframe harness this way, because I have a lot of faith and experience with these techniques not rattling apart, corroding, or doing weird things.


Even the rads are easy, you just do a little research into radiator fin design, pick what you feel will be best in your application- high and fast benefits from one fin design, slow and low benefits from another- determine the size rads you need, call Ron Davis,Griffin, or C&R and before you know it radiators will arrive. Not cheap radiators, but they will work!

Again, like 99% of this stuff is off the shelf, go to website and hit "ADD TO CART" or send your stuff in and wait for it to come back sort of things.
 

dwalker

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Messages
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Ambitious!

How much boost are you planning on? Or will it just be turbonormalized for altitude?

Given the already high EGT's of a rotary, and then running it boosted, will 321 be durable in the exhaust. I know that Ev Hatch had switched to Inconel for all of his builds because 300 series stainless. Was Ev Hatch overdoing it?

Marcotte appears to have gone out of the PSRU business. If you must have one, you may need to find one already extant.

Billski
Morning Bill!

In my head I am building to be able to support 44" of MAP up to 18K or higher, but honestly will be happy with normalization initially.

I have no idea why EV Hatch switched to inconel, but I could see a change to inconel with the rotary for sure.
We will see what the EGTs show, but I have never seen particularly high EGT with a properly tuned turbo rotary. I have seen more cases of exceedingly high EGTs with a poorly tuned NA motors, including the Renesis.
My experience when running the rotary boosted is the manifold needs to be made of SCH40 321SS pipe, not tubing, and welded together using best practices, including purge welding and proper rod. The bracing of the turbocharge is also a key concern. If the turbo- especially a large, heavy turbo- is left unsupported the manifold is going to have a short life. Drawing on having run a bunch of turbo cars up Pikes Peak, starting at 8k ft and ending at 14K feet, I am really considering a compound turbo setup. If intercooling becomes an issue I will take a page from history and add meth injection.


As of 6 weeks-ish ago Guy Marcotte told me the foundry was starting a run of his 13B castings, with a current price of $4500 USD and in theory they should just about be in his hands, so I should probably figure out what I am going to do and either send him a check or find something else! At this point I am on the fence as to buying parts from Neil Unger and having parts made and assembling my own, buying a flown 4 hours Ross 2.1 local to me, buying a never flown RWS 2.1, or buying the Marcotte.

Cheers!
 

wsimpso1

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Your engine sounds like about 200-215 hp NA, and with 44 in Hg, that is about 300 hp. That is a lot of poop for a Long EZ. As to what else might run well, the various Ford planetary based PSRU's seem to run OK at 150 hp, but we don't have much basis at twice that power. Marcotte has a good history, but what do we know at two pulses per rev and 300 hp? Anecdotal info with LS3's is making me skeptical on the big Autoflight. What is left? Airboat drives and AeroMomentum. Sounds like we will all learn a lot more soon. Here is hoping it is a good news story.

Billski
 

dwalker

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Your engine sounds like about 200-215 hp NA, and with 44 in Hg, that is about 300 hp. That is a lot of poop for a Long EZ. As to what else might run well, the various Ford planetary based PSRU's seem to run OK at 150 hp, but we don't have much basis at twice that power. Marcotte has a good history, but what do we know at two pulses per rev and 300 hp? Anecdotal info with LS3's is making me skeptical on the big Autoflight. What is left? Airboat drives and AeroMomentum. Sounds like we will all learn a lot more soon. Here is hoping it is a good news story.

Billski
John Slade ran roughly the same power level in his 13B on a Tracy Crook RWS PSRU and it seemed to give him no issues, and the Marcotte is rated at 400hp, I believe based on the V8 or Flat4 applications. I do however agree with you that its going to be an adventure!

Also agree that it is a fair amount of power for the platform!
 

Marc Zeitlin

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John Slade ran roughly the same power level in his 13B on a Tracy Crook RWS PSRU and it seemed to give him no issues...
Please don't use John Slade as an example of anything (RIP). John would take off at 75% power (his reasoning, such as it was, was that the runway was long enough that he didn't need more) and AFAIK, never ran at full power for any length of time. Also, in the 10 or so years that John ran his plane, he put a total of about 125 hours on it. Hardly long enough to call anything a success.

This doesn't mean YOU won't be successful - it just means that there are **** few successful Rotary engine installs in canard aircraft - I can really only think of one (Perry Mick) who's still got the rotary in their plane (although he hardly flies it anymore, he did put over 700 hours on it).

9 of the 20 canards with rotaries that I know of have removed them for other engines (8 standard engines and one jet). The rest are either low time, still building projects, crashed, or Mick/Slade.
 

Lendo

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dwalker, I agree with Billski and others, we are all going to learn a lot from your development, you may well be the the man to turn to for advice, however I would have to procure locally, so your contacts are only good for you chaps as exchange rate puts a damper on everything from from up there. I am really looking forward to future results. I have had discussions with Neil Unger (an Aussie) and a nice fellow, I offered him all my Ford Gear sets but it seems alike he feels it's too hard to get a reliable result I suspect. I would cut to the chase and get the Marcotte, unless you can make something better, cheaper and lighter :)
George
 

rv6ejguy

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Pulling 44 inches at 18,000 feet (pressure ratio around 2.9) is no problem with a modern single turbo. Compound turbos will add complexity and weight for no gain in this application. You'd better have a very good background in turbocharger theory and real world matching to get compound turbos right the first time around.

321 may be marginal with the typical 1800F EGTs of a turbo Wankel, although schedule 40 pipe may make it last ok. Inconel is safer at those temps and lighter using .063 wall tubing, though much more expensive.

The Marcotte M-300 is rated at 300hp max and I wouldn't take it any higher than this (I fly one and have other friends flying them). The M-450 would be a better choice for you your project IMO.

Looking forward to your posts on how this all works in the air. Interesting project!
 
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dwalker

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Pulling 44 inches at 18,000 feet (pressure ratio around 2.9) is no problem with a modern single turbo. Compound turbos will add complexity and weight for no gain in this application. You'd better have a very good background in turbocharger theory and real world matching to get compound turbos right the first time around.

321 may be marginal with the typical 1800F EGTs of a turbo Wankel, although schedule 40 pipe may make it last ok. Inconel is safer at those temps and lighter using .063 wall tubing, though much more expensive.

Looking forward to your posts on how this all works in the air. Interesting project!
I agree that up to 18,000 feet the single will be ok, just wondering if "ok" can be made better with a compound setup. My personal experience with compound turbos is.. not a ton, but I have done compound boost- turbo over turbo and turbo over supercharger, a few times with reasonable success. 100% agree about the complexity and weight issues.

Also agree on the inconel vs SS, and I am prepared to go that route if necessary.

Cheers!
 

Lendo

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dwalker, I believe the 13B exhaust insert is Inconel and I believe the thicker SS needed to stand up to exhaust temps of the non turbo 13B was heavy, but that was all 13B applications the Turbo housing (when used) did the work of taking the high exhaust temps, even when used by itself (without the Turbo), but it's also heavy. I just don't know about the RX8 exhaust temps.
Given the power you have available perhaps the Supercharge would be a better alternative?
George
 

dwalker

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George-

All peripheral exhaust ports from the factory had Inconel inserts for the 13B's, and there are titanium inserts available in the aftermarket now.I have used 321SS Tubing and 321SS pipe for 13B Turbo applications, as well as cast iron exhaust as well. I have as yet never had any issues with the exhaust manifolds cracking or breaking when made of pipe, and have had reasonable life out of tubing ones.
Being honest, if I had to build a new turbo manifold every 500 flight hours due to cracking, I would consider it a part of doing business and live with it over taking the weight penalty of using a cast iron manifold or the much higher cost of the Inconel manifold.

Cheers!
 

dwalker

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Lest anyone infer anything from this, John Slade died of cancer.

Agreed, but it is on me, I brought him up in the conversation. I think the point Marc was making is that John's plane still had very low hours and it would be hard to infer much from that. Personally I read his webpage while he was building and really enjoyed the honesty he presented his work -and mistakes- with. I still read back through it from time to time in the hope I do not repeat any of his learning experiences.
I was very sad to learn he passed. At one point I was hoping to buy his Cozy a few years ago when it was on the market, but lost track of it.
 

Lendo

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dwalker, I've never had to exchange an Exhaust insert, is it difficult - I do like Ti. ? Pity about the cost.
George
 
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