Non- Biased Engine Reviews -Viking

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tspear

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@Arkan

There are plenty on here that know more than I.
The issues I know of with auto conversions:
1. Computer, the stock engine systems tend to have a lot of failure modes based on sensor info. Get one that does not, e.g. it stays in at least limp mode so you can keep flying.
2. Fuel system changes, usually leads to a lot of problems. For some reason most auto conversions also seem to redesign the fuel system.
3. Cooling, usually a large problem
4. Exhaust, vibration problems
5. Prop, PRSU, and related

Those are the ones I know of. In no specific order.

Tim
 

Alessandre

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An all new design has to amortize out. If it’s someone talented in a shed doing their own thing building one, time and ideas are free. If it’s for sale in the wild, it has to be developed. If you are independently wealthy, and spent your days making twenty prototypes to get the design along, it’s a cheap test program. Pay people, tooling, buildings, subcontractors, minimum orders, raw materials, along with new ideas, and where is break even to a developed product? Break even to development is not break even to production. That’s where the Delta Hawks, Dyna Cams got stuck and where Rotax got it right. Mechanical things break, can you cover that and move on? That’s where better stops if it can’t get past that. Which means it’s not better.
That's the difference between using a shared engine and an exclusive one for a particular function, I can imagine that if there was a financial interest or a aircraft market large enough to attract their attention, any major car manufacturer would make its aeronautical conversion with the same degree of reliability of the Lyconentals It is a traditional manufacturer using the same engines as their car models, but they aren't interested.☹
Maybe this game is about to undergo a revolution with the arrival of electric cars, any electric motor surpasses the reliability even of a turbo prop, so with the popularization of electric cars it would be possible to use a car kit directly on an airplane since the torsional vibration of an electric motor is minimal. But the batteries are the issue, there is no autonomy.
 

Arkan

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I am actually going with a known auto conversion for my build, cooling issues are easy to solve, as for the ECM's most of the known auto conversion company's have produced either the fix, or their own ECM. Fuel systems are easy to manipulate and fix as well, and again those fixes are readily available with the conversion companies.

This is the point, if you have the money for a tradition engine, hats off to you. But in my home and life we make President Lincoln squeal on every penny we pinch. When my son is not here I am either searching out odd jobs or working extra shifts to find money for my flight lessons. When it comes to my plane design, I am looking at materials cost, tools costs, and what is the best methods, means, and materials for my budget. A traditional engine is beyond my reach, but an auto conversion is well within my reach,

I have cut deals with machine shops, do work now for them now for future machining of parts I will need for my design. So saving money is a must. Auto conversions make sense, plus I have the skills to do a lot of the maintenance myself with those engines. From basic maintenance to overhauls. Those tools are in my shop now.

These conversion engines are out there, they are flying. I have followed lots YouTube channels with builds using a wide variety of conversions. Those planes are flying, the owners/ builders are happy with their choice.

Ultimately what the BEST engine to use is the one you decide for your needs, means, and ability.
 

tspear

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@Arkan

I agree. Glad you are going into with your eyes open. I do NOT have the skills or knowledge to tackle many of these kinds of issues.

Tim
 

gtae07

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For curiosity this is my cost estimation for build an almost brand new Lyc O-360 (I think there is some items missing).

View attachment 113381
Obs: Before questions I'm a mechanical engineer and I did training in engine repair and I have some experience with car engines rebuilding an 4 cylinders and recently an GM V6 modern engine that is working pretty well and smooth in my car. I have never opened or even loosened a bolt on an aero engine, but I think I can learn.

In my case an O-360 could work, but I'm seeing also continental O-470 and seeing the car converted options. My options to try to keep the budget bellow 20k are there:
1- Buy an used Continental O-470, open and rebuild it;
2- Build an O or IO-360 buying the parts and join (maybe get a good core for start)
3- Buy one of these brand new auto-converted engines.

Of course there is a lot of personal choice in each situation, but all opinions and arguments are very welcome, I want to know what to expect from each choice.
I more or less did this for my engine. I'm an aerospace engineer by training and profession, but I had no engine rebuild experience beyond yard equipment and R/C glow motors so the assistance of a coworker who's an A&P with a lot of Lycoming rebuilds was practically essential--he was able to supply manuals, advice, supplier recommendations, direct assistance during the buildup, etc. I strongly recommend getting such assistance if you choose to go this route. There are a lot of little tricks and gotchas even though the engine itself is pretty darn simple.

For my engine I purchased a "core" of sorts off Barnstormers; the case, crank, cam, gears, etc. had all been inspected, reworked, and tagged already, so I wasn't rolling the dice on their condition. I still had to purchase cylinder assemblies, many of the "mandatory replacement" parts like oil pump gears, plungers, a couple of pushrods, etc. and I made a couple changes like a Superior cold air sump. I also made liberal use of PMA parts. Sold off the carb and left the mags out of the deal as I went SDS EFI.

From my experience I suspect your costs are in the rough ballpark--if you purchase a core engine it'll have many of the parts that are missing from your list, though you'll still want/need to get them inspected and may have to replace a few. I think all told my engine came out to about the same price as a stock O-360-A1A purchased through the Van's discount (at early 2020 pricing)--albeit mine has the special sump and the full EFI.

Finally, note that the oil pump drive fitting does not show up in the IPC for the O-360-A1A. That bit me. Come to think of it, the standard Lycoming documentation/manuals are awful from a user's perspective. The information is there but it's about as user-unfriendly as you can imagine. The manuals and parts lists don't get revised; you just get change notice piled on top of change notice. I highly suggest you get hold of a copy of the Superior overhaul manual if for no other reason than to better understand the process, as it's much easier to understand and actually laid out in a logical step-by-step pattern.


Basic economics are at play here. Traditional Aviation engine manufacturers are limited to a small customer base in comparison to the automotive industry.

World wide, Anyone of the major auto manufacturers will produce more new cars in a day, than all of the small aircraft manufacturers together produce planes in a year.

Aviation is a limited customer base and restricts the Aviation industry as a whole. Research and Development comes slower, not only because the funds are limited, but because retooling costs of machining equipment could sink anyone of the larger aviation engine manufacturers if they made a drastic change in design.
Actually I suspect the retooling part won't be that bad--forging costs might still be high (where they're needed) but a new design will probably make good use of CNC over casting.

Rather, the biggest killer will be the certification and testing costs. A new design will have to meet more and tougher requirements than the existing engines do--even for the same performance level and general method of operation. I strongly suspect that if you tried to certify existing carbs and mags as new products, you couldn't do it.

Remember too that certification costs accumulate over the entire development and production lifecycle of the product. You wind up locking down your configuration and you generate stunningly massive piles of paperwork for "traceability" purposes.

All told, the development and certification costs will be very high (much higher than tooling costs) and as you note, there are few sales to amortize those costs over.
(Side note: any time new designs are brought up, or restarting production on old types is brought up, everyone thinks only about The Tooling. There's so much more to producing something these days than just piles of tooling--and many newer designs aren't really that tooling-dependent).

Multi port fuel injection in the automotive industry has been around for decades, we are just beginning to see this innovation in Small craft aviation, and let's face it, the auto industry has already proven it is more efficient than carbs and manually adjusting the mixture.
Quite true. Unfortunately, the regulatory bar set for EFI-type systems is much, much higher than the one that traditional carbs and mags have been grandfathered under. That drives up development cost, as noted above. Go see AC 33.28-1 - Compliance Criteria for 14 CFR §33.28, Aircraft Engines, Electrical and Electronic Engine Control Systems – Document Information AC 33.28-2 - Guidance Material for 14 CFR 33.28, Reciprocating Engine, Electrical and Electronic Engine Control Systems – Document Information and AC 33.28-3 - Guidance Material For 14 CFR §33.28, Engine Control Systems – Document Information for high-level summaries of what's involved in certifying such systems vs. just buying off-the-shelf carbs and mags.


I am new to Aviation, and by no means have the money to throw away on high operating costs. So I look at the auto conversion engines as an alternative to traditional engines, 10 to 15 thousand dollars for a new engine, and I am flying. Parts and repair costs are lower since most of my maintenance items are readily available at the local parts store or some online auto parts supplier if I want to wait a couple days...
The trick is, integrating an auto conversion is most likely going to be a lot of work... I'm not aware of anyone offering full FWF packages for homebuilts that are as complete as the designer-supported options. And if you go your own route, that's even more work. You may find that in the added time it takes to go off-plans, you may be able to save the money to take the OEM option. In hindsight that may have been an approach for me to take with my engine (though the experience of building it up taught me a lot).


A random digression into funding a build:

Remember that you aren't just paying for an airplane. For it to be any use, you have to be able to afford to keep and fly it. Put together a realistic estimate of your total operating costs (fuel, oil, hangar/tiedown rent, insurance, maintenance reserve, taxes, database updates, etc), and how much you need to be able to save each week/month/paycheck to do that. That's your minimum contribution to your building fund. If you can't afford that (or at least, can't realistically expect to within in the next couple years) you may wish to look at other options--partnership, cheaper airport, renting, cheaper airframe, or (hopefully not) other hobbies.

(Side note: I think this may be why so many builds get sold shortly after completion - the builder failed to anticipate operating costs and/or did not budget accordingly)

Next, take that amount and divide it by the number of hours you can realistically devote to a build over that timespan, and that figure becomes your yardstick for "build vs. buy" when it comes to things like engines, interiors, etc. If pursuing one course of action will save you $X, but in the extra time it takes you to do it you can save up $1.5X, it may be worth your while to spend the money. Of course, this same argument can go towards "just buy a flying airplane instead of building" but that's a big irrational decision--we're just talking about rationalizing the little decisions, since that's easier ;)
 

Lendo

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Alessandre- lets see your design, I also have my own design - all Carbon low wing tandem, but not the development money, I'm hoping to win Lotto :) My engine choice is the Peripheral Ported Mazda Rotary, with the Powersport style PSRU. The Marcotte PSRU is also good. The beauty of the Rotary is the internals are only doing 2,000 rpm when the crank is doing 6,000. At 2,000 rpm it's the same as running a long stroke engine at 2,000 rpm - effortless. If Mistral survived there would be an engine package available, but probably expensive, but they did great work.
George
 

PagoBay

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Starting about 20 posts back, this thread has been taken far off topic. I will report my own post here to request the Mod's to get this thread back on track. Thanks.
 

PagoBay

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An exaggeration for sure. Actually the standard of interaction and also of moderation on HBA is much higher than I have seen on many forums.

Certainly going off topic occurs and on some occasions intentional hijacking, but the Moderators do intervene and even delete unhelpful posts. Just see the long Raptor thread for multiple examples.

That is the Moderators role, we have been assured, so that the discussion follows the Topic as stated in the Title.

Courtesy calls for starting a new thread if there is interest in Lycomings, and other engines, or general mechanical discussions, etc. HBA is big enough for all those to have their place and time.
 

PagoBay

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PagoBay are you Jan or Elissa?
Do you even read other threads and/or you just could not bother to click on the little "avatar" image by everyone's post? So, NO, I live in the US Territory of Guam and, Oh Yes, I also commute to Edgewater, Florida every day in my light speed aircraft wearing my Lightspeed Headset. Sheesh.

You are from NZ? Contact Deane Philip and talk to him about his STOL Zenith 701 with the Viking 130 Engine. I did.
PS - You can also ask Deane if he is Jan or Alissa.

 
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Alessandre

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Starting about 20 posts back, this thread has been taken far off topic. I will report my own post here to request the Mod's to get this thread back on track. Thanks.
I think we still discussing about engines, I think this isn't a topic to praise Viking engines, but for show experiences and alternatives.
If the price of the turbo 195 model were at least similar to the other their models it would undoubtedly be a question-proof alternative for me, but for the price they are asking of 18.5k it's interesting to see the number of options here. I don't see why the 130hp model costs 12k and the 195 6.5k more using the same PRSU.

Seeing the posts here I'm almost decided to build my own O-360. This is the engine that insurance companies trust and FAA too, then alternatives has to offer good price advantage. But I understand their side, if still selling why to reduce prices?

Other option that I was considering was build my own auto-conversion, but reading a lot of topics about new engines in new aircrafts I give up to avoid extend my project timeline.
 
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PagoBay

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Zenith Aircraft Factory on YouTube
Congratulations to Deane Philip and his Zenith STOL "Sky Jeep" for top honors at the 2021 New Zealand Bush Pilot Championships 2021. Deane placed FIRST overall, with both the SHORTEST TAKEOFF and the SHORTEST LANDING at the annual national event.
Powered by a Viking 130 HP engine with some bit of weight in the tail.
 

Alessandre

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Zenith Aircraft Factory on YouTube
Congratulations to Deane Philip and his Zenith STOL "Sky Jeep" for top honors at the 2021 New Zealand Bush Pilot Championships 2021. Deane placed FIRST overall, with both the SHORTEST TAKEOFF and the SHORTEST LANDING at the annual national event.
Powered by a Viking 130 HP engine with some bit of weight in the tail.
Any engine with the same weight and power will give the same performance, the big concern is lifespan and reliability in a long cross country flight, if this engine is reliable enough for someone cross over a sea, big lake or a big forest. These kind of data and experience are welcome.
How many operational hours without issues? Is there someone with more than 800h? 1500h? Is there someone with issues in PSRU? Fuel system? How many hours did this issues happened? These information is being hard to find.
There is a lot of videos of around the world trips with traditional engines, world records of longest time flying (Rutan Voyager).
Viking can be an exceptional engine or not, but we need to pay $$$ to figure out. The model 130hp has a excellent price to take that risk, but the 195hp no.
 

Marc Zeitlin

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...world records of longest time flying (Rutan Voyager)...
This thread is absurdly off topic, but in the interest of accuracy, the Voyager flight, at about 9 days long, is not even in the same league as the current endurance record of 64.9 days:


This took me about 14 seconds to find - let's do at least a little bit of research before claiming stuff.
 

rv7charlie

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Funny thing about the Voyager engine that ran for the whole flight (the liquid cooled one) is that it was basically an experimental engine. I'm not sure they ever sold a single copy to the flying public; if they did, there weren't many.
 

BJC

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Yes, that has been pointed out here a few times already. Moderators advised. But no action by the Moderators. Why in this particular single case is this being ignored? There is history here, but I won't go into that.
I had coffee with a moderator this morning, and, contrary to popular opinion, he seemed human.


BJC
 

PagoBay

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Any engine with the same weight and power will give the same performance, the big concern is lifespan and reliability in a long cross country flight, if this engine is reliable enough for someone cross over a sea, big lake or a big forest. These kind of data and experience are welcome.
How many operational hours without issues? Is there someone with more than 800h? 1500h? Is there someone with issues in PSRU? Fuel system? How many hours did this issues happened? These information is being hard to find.
There is a lot of videos of around the world trips with traditional engines, world records of longest time flying (Rutan Voyager).
Viking can be an exceptional engine or not, but we need to pay $$$ to figure out. The model 130hp has a excellent price to take that risk, but the 195hp no.
Deane Philip has been flying his CH701 with the Viking 130 for several years in NZ. He does backcountry flying and tours and is a consistent First Place winner in STOL competitions. I had no trouble getting Deane's phone number. Great conversation and confirmation - typical of the good hearted aviation community where people just like to help and to share.

Viking's history is not difficult to find. How to do that has also been well covered in this thread. Lots of links already here. Just takes a bit of time to read or watch a few clips.

Start first with the Zenith Aircraft factory forum. This is independent of the Viking Engine company. You will find a dedicated sub-forum for eight different engines. The Viking Engine sub-forum is very active. Plenty of owner/operators there - some with many years of flight with this engine. Generally, this is a problem solving environment. Just the place to ask your questions. Owners and builders who are red-blooded Americans just like you and know the full history would be happy to help anyone who is genuinely interested.

800 to 1500 hours, though?? This is E-AB where flying once or twice a month is not easy to schedule around work and family.

Youtube has dozens of interviews with Viking owner/operators during and after installation. Also details of the fuel and electrical systems.

How about attending the Zenith annual factory flyin? At the last Zenith Factory FlyIn in Missouri, a friend of mine who attended actually walked the line of aircraft flown in for the event. Over half were Viking powered.

At Oshkosh 2021 Viking is right next to the Zenith Booth. Several Viking owners will stage their aircraft at the booth. If you aren't attending maybe you have a friend who is. I have several who are at Oshkosh now.

Here is a note from the most recent newsletter that came to my inbox a few days ago.
Oshkosh is a Go! ...and a few updates​
Located at Booth 612, next to Zenith Aircraft. We will blend the two displays this year, displaying corner to corner of aircraft and engines.​
Stephen Aupperle will be there with his Zenith CH-750 STOL, sporting the new Viking 150 HP engine. He flew the airplane several hundred hours with a Viking 110 engine before wanting even more power. Steve is a people person and loves to talk about his airplane and plans of participating in future STOL competitions.​
 

Vigilant1

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Start first with the Zenith Aircraft factory forum. This is independent of the Viking Engine company.
In fact, Zenith and Viking are interdependent. They each benefit by the existence of the other, and their interests are advanced by promoting the other. That doesn't mean that Zenith is being dishonest about Viking, it is just an observation about incentives.
 
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