Non- Biased Engine Reviews -Viking

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Voidhawk9

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Funny thing about the Voyager engine that ran for the whole flight...
ALMOST the whole flight! :D Then dumped it's coolant on short final to Mojave when it was ferried home.
Recently finished reading Dick's latest book, 'The Next Five Minutes' which is centered on the Voyager project.
 

Alessandre

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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:
I trusted in my memory instead of google ☺ , another thing, I thought off topic should be if I shared a cake recipe here, while engines be the main theme we were still in topic, examples are related with the main theme of the topic...

Thanks for everyone that share relevant information about Viking experience use (theme of the topic) or other options like cheap Lycoming used engines.👍

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.
I follow Viking and Aeromomentum youtube channels, there is a lot of new users of Viking include a BD-4, this was the sign that excited me the most, that there are people already using it on planes that are no-stol already adhering to the viking engines.
I'll attend Oshkosh next Saturday and I was there in 2019, I visited both. I'll try to get more information this year. 👍


EDIT: this guy showed me the kind of adventure I was wanting to see with Viking engine:
 
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Arkan

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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.

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

Here is the problem with your statement, there is a lot of videos, but finding independent information is difficult. Most of the videos I have found are from Viking or Zenith. I have searched through a lot of videos and forums. In this day and age there is no such thing as 100% customer satisfaction. I do not care how great your product is, but yet in all I researched over several weeks, I only found one guy complaining and it was on his own site.

Viking has done a good job flooding the net with good reports, but a lot of what I have seen are scripted puff pieces.

Finding someone who has installed it, flown it, gone through the fist over haul, give me characteristics of how the engine works, problems they faced, and solutions or recommendations.

I bet on here if I asked, I could get a hundred suggestions on getting better performance out of any traditional engine.

I can videos of individuals building with several non traditional engines, and a variety of conversion engines, using everything from snow mobile engines to LS1 Chevy engines. I have even found old plans on converting a Ford model-t plans to use on a home built wooden airplane from the 30's or 40's (was a very interesting article).

But I found it hard to find reviews or videos not on Zeniths or Vikings forums. Even harder to find those that didn't seem like an interview or scripted accounts. I am sure they have a good customer base, and sure they produce a good product, but let me hear the good and bad experiences.

I have chosen a different route for my plans and build after my research, but I do hold that auto conversion engines will be a larger and larger part of the home built market.
 

Victor Bravo

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In this day and age there is no such thing as 100% customer satisfaction. I do not care how great your product is, but yet in all I researched over several weeks, I only found one guy complaining and it was on his own site.

Finding someone who has installed it, flown it, gone through the fist over haul, give me characteristics of how the engine works, problems they faced, and solutions or recommendations.
There is close to 100% actual customer satisfaction (98+%) on one small aviation product (which I happen to manufacture). But... you will have no trouble at all finding hundreds of complaints, arguments, and online debate over that very same product (and about me as the manufacturer), which would easily give a lot of people the impression that it is a terrible product. So the first point is that the product quality and the public perception can be polar opposites in reality.

The second point is that at one stage of the game nobody cares how great a product is, then at another stage they might care one way or another, and then at another stage (after they have installed and flown it) they probably care a lot and eventually tell others to buy it.

How much truth, BS, facts, opinions, personality, and marketing methodology that has gone into it at various points up to the actual sale winds up having as much more more effect on its success than the actual product. The infomercial and advertising people have known and exploited this for 1000 years of course.
 

Rhino

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Zenith doesn't have a forum. The builder's site is independently owned and managed. You can find negative reviews of Viking and other engines there, and on other forum sites, which sort of refutes your claim of editorial bias. All engines have their pros and cons, adherents and detractors, and Viking is no exception. But to suggest the internet content is being deliberately manipulated just doesn't hold water. On the Viking site, quite possibly so, but that's true for any manufacturer. No engine maker is going to tout horror storied about their products on their own site or video channel. If you search YouTube for videos about Viking engines, you'll find the majority to be posted by Viking themselves, with a fair proportion from Zenith, but the same principle holds true. Any manufacturer is naturally going to accentuate the positives when marketing their product, and that what their channel is designed to do. I checked the Lycoming channel on YouTube, and guess what? Their videos all portray their engines in a positive light. Go figure. Do you maybe think YouTube has a secret agenda to promote Viking engines? Zenith portrays Viking engines positively because that's the feedback they get from their customers who use them. They don't recommend Viking over any other engine.
 

tspear

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@Arkan

Only comment I would give is seriously consider a EFII system over a carb. Carbs have lots of issues that EFII solves and provides a more reliable engine and solution. No idea on the price difference (if any)..

Tim
 

Arkan

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Zenith doesn't have a forum. The builder's site is independently owned and managed. You can find negative reviews of Viking and other engines there, and on other forum sites, which sort of refutes your claim of editorial bias. All engines have their pros and cons, adherents and detractors, and Viking is no exception. But to suggest the internet content is being deliberately manipulated just doesn't hold water. On the Viking site, quite possibly so, but that's true for any manufacturer. No engine maker is going to tout horror storied about their products on their own site or video channel. If you search YouTube for videos about Viking engines, you'll find the majority to be posted by Viking themselves, with a fair proportion from Zenith, but the same principle holds true. Any manufacturer is naturally going to accentuate the positives when marketing their product, and that what their channel is designed to do. I checked the Lycoming channel on YouTube, and guess what? Their videos all portray their engines in a positive light. Go figure. Do you maybe think YouTube has a secret agenda to promote Viking engines? Zenith portrays Viking engines positively because that's the feedback they get from their customers who use them. They don't recommend Viking over any other engine.
I never suggested it was being censored or manipulated, what I said is they have done a good job on the internet to put a lot of their marketing and videos out there. You run a search for Viking engine problems, issues or failures, and more often than not 98 percent of your search results bring you to their site. They obviously have spent some money on their marketing and who ever is setting up their keywords, and search tags knows what they are doing. Even on YouTube. You get the one guy I was talking about and another hit with Jan talking about investigating an engine failure of a "close friend". In the end he gives his conclusion.

All web sites are set up with key words, and search tags written into the site code. Even when you post a video on YouTube, you can set these up to help find your video's subject. This is how you Market your site, also you can pay money to google, yahoo, bing and so on to give your site a higher priority.

As I said, I have no personal knowledge of their products, I based my personal decision on a couple conversations with Jan himself, (asking about the engines) and a search of his Subaru venture.

He may have fixed those problems with his new engines, I don't know, but I did not get clear answers to my questions when I spoke with him either.
 

Vigilant1

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Zenith doesn't have a forum. The builder's site is independently owned and managed.
Independent?
The Zenith Aircraft Builders and Flyers forum at the site "zenith.aero" is managed by Sebastien Heintz, CEO of Zenith Aircraft Company. He picks the moderators and presumably sets editorial policy.
Profile options update? – Zenith Aircraft Builders and Flyers

I'm sure that, from a legal structure standpoint, the forum is separate from the Zenith Aircraft Company. If somebody wants to believe that a forum that was established by and is managed by the CEO of Zenith, will be doing anything that doesn't advance the interests of Zenith Aircraft Company, well....we probably just differ on what "independent" means.
 
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Arkan

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@Arkan

Only comment I would give is seriously consider a EFII system over a carb. Carbs have lots of issues that EFII solves and provides a more reliable engine and solution. No idea on the price difference (if any)..

Tim
I agree with the EFI and I will go to Electric ignition systems as well. I am not opposed to water cooling either. A water cooled engine with an external oil cooler as well... there are a lot of improvement to more efficient aviation engines that can be made.
 

Rhino

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I never suggested it was being censored or manipulated, what I said is they have done a good job on the internet to put a lot of their marketing and videos out there...
Mea culpa.

He may have fixed those problems with his new engines, I don't know, but I did not get clear answers to my questions when I spoke with him either.
Communication is not one of Jan's strong suits. I think that's one reason why Alissa handles so much of the correspondence.
 
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Rhino

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...If somebody wants to believe that a forum that was established by and is managed by the CEO of Zenith, will be doing anything that doesn't advance the interests of Zenith Aircraft Company, well....we probably just differ on what "independent" means.
Read what you posted. Zenith bought the software and set up the site, but they don't manage the forum. They don't even visit very often. They do PR postings, but it's extremely rare to see them comment directly. It's extremely rare to even get an answer from them there. I don't recall ever seeing it happen. You have to contact them through their web site or email/phone. There's criticism of Zenith there. The content isn't censored or editorialized. But if you have any evidence to the contrary, I'd be happy to see it. Mere supposition doesn't count.

ZENITH.AERO is an online community for active Zenith aircraft builders and flyers, and is to promote this very worthwhile and rewarding hobby. While independent of Zenith Aircraft Company and Zenair, we welcome their active participation and support, as well as contributions from other professionals.

Out of curiosity, if you have such a negative opinion of the site, why are you a member there?
 

PagoBay

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Here is one builder/owner/operator with 424 hours in 18 months. Flies daily. No exaggerations. Just plain talk.
Speaks highly of the Cruzer design and fire wall forward.
 

Vigilant1

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Out of curiosity, if you have such a negative opinion of the site, why are you a member there?
? I am not a member there.
The moderators of the site are selected by and work for the CEO of Zenith Aircraft Company.
Maybe the site is wonderful. I do find it valuable to know the interests of those who are providing information to me. My opinion is that the "Zenith Owners and Flyers" forum does not do a sufficient job of disclosing that the whole site and the forum is owned and managed by people with an ownership interest in Zenith Aircraft Company. It is something that should be featured prominently, and their "about Zenith Aero' page obscures rather than highlights that fact.
 
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Rhino

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There's only one admin I know of, and he doesn't work for Zenith. He doesn't live very far from me here in Tennessee, and he manages the site. He just doesn't own the software or the servers. That isn't all that uncommon on the internet, but many people aren't aware of it. You're making an assumption unsupported by facts, and you seem to have a pretty strong bias in that regard so I have no illusions I'm going to change your mind. I'm just pointing out that what you're saying is an opinion rather than a fact, even though you're stating it as if it is fact, and that I disagree.
 

Vigilant1

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A bit of follow-up: The Zenith.Aero domain (where the "Zenith Owners and Flyers" forum is hosted) is registered to Zenith Aircraft Company.

That's how "independent" the two entities are.

IMO, Zenith's ownership of the site and the forum should be prominently disclosed on the site. It is, in fact, a company site.

WHOIS search results
Domain Name: ZENITH.AERO
Registry Domain ID: D108300000000001888-AGRS
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.101domain.com
Registrar URL: 101domain - Domain Names - Website Services - Brand and Corporate Solutions - Domain Management & Security
Updated Date: 2019-07-31T18:58:10Z
Creation Date: 2002-08-29T18:00:49Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2024-08-29T18:00:49Z
....
Registrant Organization: Zenith Aircraft Company
Registrant State/Province: MO
Registrant Country: US
 

Rhino

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Zenith owns the domain and the software. We already established that. They don't manage the forum or control the content. They don't use their 'power' as domain owners to force or manipulate the forum to make it pro Zenith, all the time, which was your original assertion. You hate Zenith, and apparently anything to do with them. We get it. But that doesn't turn your assumptions into fact. That's all I'm saying. I have no idea what you think they did to get your dander up so much, but why don't you give it a rest?
 

Vigilant1

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I'm not making this personal. I've said nothing about you or your motivations. As a matter of honesty and openness I think it important that there be transparency about the ownership and ultimate control of the "Zenith Builders and Flyers" forum. This shouldn't be contentious.
 
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Rhino

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Agreed. We simply disagree. That doesn't need to be contentious. I'm good with that.
 
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