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Not so complicated but proven conversion?

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Heliano

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I know a gentleman who makes the Hyundai conversion with a belt reduction drive (with hydraulic belt tensioner) and charges R$29000. That translates roughly to US$4850. The youtube link is below. Sorry: the video is in portuguese, and to make matters worse the spoken portuguese has a heavy Rio de Janeiro accent.
 

PagoBay

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Rik- said:
Just curious, why did no one recommend the viking (aka Honda) engines? Is it due to Jan's reputation
Seems to me that says it all.
No. That does NOT say really anything relevant at all in 2020. Just name calling.

Nor does this kind of cheap shot speak to the Viking Honda conversion's success over the past decade. Time to let 20 year old stories go. If you want to bring up some recent story then tell the facts in full. AND then we should balance that with a fair number of positive stories.

There are dozens of recommendations via the Zenith Forum and dozens more on the Viking company forum.
For dozens more look here.
You don't sell hundreds of engines without making owners and builders happy.

Success built on past failures is the story of what America is all about. Viking's contribution to the E-AB community should be acknowledged and appreciated.
 

TarDevil

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Success built on past failures is the story of what America is all about. Viking's contribution to the E-AB community should be acknowledged and appreciated.
Noted and acknowledged.
I would not buy a Viking engine, not because of performance and reliability. I'll leave it at that.
 

rv6ejguy

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Rik- said:
Just curious, why did no one recommend the viking (aka Honda) engines? Is it due to Jan's reputation


No. That does NOT say really anything relevant at all in 2020. Just name calling.

Nor does this kind of cheap shot speak to the Viking Honda conversion's success over the past decade. Time to let 20 year old stories go. If you want to bring up some recent story then tell the facts in full. AND then we should balance that with a fair number of positive stories.

There are dozens of recommendations via the Zenith Forum and dozens more on the Viking company forum.
For dozens more look here.
You don't sell hundreds of engines without making owners and builders happy.

Success built on past failures is the story of what America is all about. Viking's contribution to the E-AB community should be acknowledged and appreciated.
The story of the Viking engine is checkered. I know a number of people flying them NOW (latest iteration) who are happy with them and some who are not. I also know a number of people who bought the 110 engines and had nothing but miserable experiences with them as they were not developed and tested properly and again, as with the Subarus, customers were really Beta testers. The stated power clearly wasn't there as it was just a guess. Lots of things were not right and had to be updated (at customer expense), engines delivered without ECUs and then when they got those (1-2 years later!) they didn't start in cold weather (couldn't be mapped in warm Florida of course) and didn't run very well even then. He did something like 3 generations of ECU in quick succession to try to address major issues because they were hurried to market without enough flight time. We sold a number of SDS ECUs to customers who were waiting for their Viking ones or were disgusted when the engines didn't run right when they finally got them.

We and some others like Peter Krok and Mike Talmadge ended up supporting many of Jan's Subaru customers after he turned his back on them and treated them in a very shabby way (and never returned their money in many cases).

Jan was still using square tubing intake manifolds until recently (really?) Never bothers to dyno anything, continued to develop poorly thought out turbo systems which failed just like his Subaru ones because it seems he doesn't learn from the past or from people with knowledge who try to help him succeed.

Jan has always suppressed customer feedback which he deemed to be negative instead of listening to legitimate concerns and addressing them to deliver a better and more reliable product to his customers.This is what unnecessarily drew out development time to many years for Viking.

I know Jan, have spent time at his facility assisting him. He's a stubborn, smart, innovative guy with a lot of gumption but even after all his years in this business, he still doesn't understand that engine products like this need a LOT of testing before product release to the public and that admitting mistakes and treating your customers right pays huge benefits in the future for your business and reputation. Mark at Aeromomentum understands all these things plus has an engineering degree which is extremely useful in this business IMO.

Jan may have good products now but that was built on a lot of missteps which lots of customers had to pay the price for.
 
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PagoBay

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No company has a 100% perfect success rate even with a good product. Further, every business including Viking relies on both internal tests and also customer experiences to some degree. The development of Rotax, Jabiru, UL Power engines etc is an ample record of this process. How many AD's has Rotax issued to date?

Fixation on 20 year old Subaru history reveals little.

Personality jabs also the same. I know of two people who met with Viking's owner at the recent Zenith Homecoming. One got of poor impression of the man. While the other was very impressed with the information provided as well as the Viking owner personally. Just shows how this kind of personality argument is simply not helpful.

The Viking 110 went out of production in late 2015. I personally know one case of a Sonex builder who specifically requested a Viking 110 in late 2016, a year after the Viking 130 began. So these kinds of stories go both ways.

The Viking 130 has now been on sale for a full five years and is a far simpler conversion for aircraft use. That said, there are Viking 110 installations still being fully supported by the Viking factory. A few show up on YouTube from time to time.

I took time to confirm that around 50% of the aircraft that flew in for the 2020 Zenith Homecoming were Viking engine powered. The other half was a mix of Corvair, UL Power and Rotax.

In that light, prospective customers of any engine they prefer can find the opinions of actual buyers and owners directly on the independent engine forums on the Zenith web site. Easy enough for them to draw their own conclusions for EIGHT different engines including the Viking.

The Viking factory has zero ability to control what is posted on the Zenith Forum. So this oft repeated censorship line also fails to stand.

Ultimately, the proof of a company's product and mission is over the long term. So better to rely on both these measures of sales and long term success, rather than a few hearsay references and personal slights.

Jon Croke of HomebuiltHelp recommends speaking directly by telephone to at least 3 owner/operators who have been flying for some time with any engine being considered seriously. Jon presents this video while standing in front of his Viking 130HP powered aircraft, upgraded from a Rotax. That video link on how to choose an engine is earlier in this thread. I personally confirmed that Jon has full confidence in flying behind the Viking while over extensive rugged mountain terrain in his locality.

The hundreds of knowledgeable and capable owner/builders making such a substantial investment and who choose either the 90HP or larger Viking engines are just as smart and capable and discerning as anyone in this forum. They have reasonably relied on the large number of Viking customers who express unqualified satisfaction with the service provided and results in flight with their choice of the Viking product. But don't take my word for this. Go see for yourself. Here is a good example:
 

mcrae0104

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Is the OP looking for an off-the-shelf conversion (e.g. Aeromimentum, Viking, etc.) or a simple, proven auto conversion (e.g. Corvair or similar) I'm hoping the latter so that we can sidestep the Jan Eggenfelner thing which has been litigated (figuratively and literally) to death already. If it's the former, then it's straightforward. Both Corvair and Aeromomentum can be purchased assembled and running. It's just a matter of air-cooled, direct-drive vs. water-cooled and geared. The OP's tolerance for weight and simplicity can guide him to the engine he wants.
 

rv6ejguy

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Question. Have you ever met Jan personally?

No personal slights in my comments, just facts and my opinion from actually knowing and working with the guy. I gave credit where it was due. I worked with him as the ECU supplier in the Subaru era for several years, tried to help him with his turbo development but he knew better and proceeded to blown up several engines because he actually didn't know better. I cut ties with Jan because of the way he was treating his customers and wanted no part or association with that mess. It cost us lots of sales but to me, a clear conscience and doing the right thing outweighs money every time.

The Viking 130 doesn't have even a fraction of the flight time of the Rotax 9 series (tens of millions of hours) and non-certified engines don't have to comply with ADs. So not sure why you mention that?

You're right, in 5 or 10 years we can have enough flight hours to gauge the reliability of the Viking line, until then, it's unknown. They could turn out to be really good- or not. My background is engine development (40 years) and I see lots of things were not done right in this program.

For every guy you know who likes the Viking engine and Jan, I could counter with one who's had a bad experience including the Zenith guy right at Edgewater who just phoned me a few weeks back. It ain't all roses.

Folks can buy any engine they want for their plane and clearly, lots are buying Vikings now. That's great for Jan and if the engines perform well and are reliable, that's great for his customers too. That good word will spread and will feed more business. However, lots of people who never saw product or their deposit money back won't forget how they were treated. History is important and I don't like to see it erased. If Jan is doing well now, maybe he could pay back some of the customers he owes money to but I'm pretty sure the Leopard can't change its spots...

People will decide on their own through independent feedback and research on what engine they will buy. A company which has sound engineering, is transparent, owns up to problems, comes up with valid fixes to those problems (and pays for them) plus has good customer service would be the one that I would choose. (Aeromomentum) My 2 cents.
 
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PagoBay

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Question. Have you ever met Jan personally?

No personal slights in my comments, just facts and my opinion from actually knowing and working with the guy. I gave credit where it was due. I worked with him as the ECU supplier in the Subaru era for several years, tried to help him with his turbo development but he knew better and proceeded to blown up several engines because he actually didn't know better. I cut ties with Jan because of the way he was treating his customers and wanted no part or association with that mess. It cost us lots of sales but to me, a clear conscience and doing the right thing outweighs money every time.

The Viking 130 doesn't have even a fraction of the flight time of the Rotax 9 series (tens of millions of hours) and non-certified engines don't have to comply with ADs. So not sure why you mention that?

You're right, in 5 or 10 years we can have enough flight hours to gauge the reliability of the Viking line, until then, it's unknown. They could turn out to be really good- or not. My background is engine development (40 years) and I see lots of things were not done right in this program.

For every guy you know who likes the Viking engine and Jan, I could counter with one who's had a bad experience including the Zenith guy right at Edgewater who just phoned me a few weeks back. I ain't all roses.

Folks can buy any engine they want for their plane and clearly, lots are buying Vikings now. That's great for Jan and if the engines perform well and are reliable, that's great for his customers too. That good word will spread and will feed more business. However, lots of people who never saw product or their deposit money back won't forget how they were treated. History is important and I don't like to see it erased. If Jan is doing well now, maybe he could pay back some of the customers he owes money to but I'm pretty sure the Leopard can't change its spots...

People will decide on their own through independent feedback and research on what engine they will buy. A company which is transparent, owns up to problems, comes up with valid fixes to those problems (and pays for them) plus has good customer service would be the one that I would choose. My 2 cents.
Agree and appreciate your thoughts....except the "For every guy you know ... I could counter..". This line is flawed simply because the sample size is just too small to make any such conclusion. That is why personality based comments are not appropriate. That is also why I referenced the Zenith forum where more than 7,000 members congregate. The Viking factory forum has another 1,800+. So with Viking now having more than ten years of operating with five full years selling hundreds of the 130HP model, it is certainly time to look at the current picture. I follow those forums closely. Also see here: Customers — Viking & Valkyrie Power
 

pfarber

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One thing that COMPLETELY baffles me is that people will spend $10k+ on an motor from a rando on the internet and not spend another $500 to put the **** thing on a dyno and get some real world numbers and tuning.

You can bet that I have already talked to three local tuners that will take my 3.2l and put a final tune on it and give me a hp/torque/fuel graph for less than $500. Plus these guys are around engines all day, every day.

Seriously, dyno any car motor you put on an AC and KNOW what you are getting.
 

rv7charlie

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It's not really about the idea that there are happy customers now, so everything is now fine.

It's about patterns of behavior. Look at a different vendor. Jim Bede was a brilliant designer in many ways. The BD5 was a really cool a/c for its mission, as long as it has a compatible, *functional* powerplant. The BD4 was/is an ingenious design for homebuilders; very simple to construct with pretty impressive performance *for the money*. BUT. Jim Bede would do or say *anything* to get your deposit in his pocket. He never seemed to care when he didn't deliver on promised kits/components/engines/etc, and no one, to my knowledge, *ever* got back a penny from him that they paid for his unfulfilled promises. Based on his *character*, I would never have given him money for a cup of coffee and expected him to deliver. The reason that I say he didn't care, is that he repeated the behavior, over and over and over. He never made any attempt to repay anyone, that I'm aware of, and never had any qualms about taking the next deposit from the next sucker who would hand him money based on a drawing.

What I hear Ross and others saying is that when the next problem arises (and it will), the current customers will get the same treatment from Jan that all the past customers got. You might think that 'everyone does it', but that is not true. There are plenty of reputable vendors who will not take money until they at least have some confidence (through their own actual testing/use) they are selling a decent product, and if customers have issues, will do their best to make it right, at the vendor's expense. I won't support a vendor whose consistent pattern of behavior is to take money for untested products and then demand that customers pay again for yet another (and another) untested 'improvement' on the original defective product.

In cases like these, personality based issues are precisely the point.

Charlie
 
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BJC

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Anyone who is contemplating spend more than pocket change with any vendor - and especially a one man operation - owes it to himself to investigate the vendor adequately. There are several ways to do that, and each one requires diligence and judgement.

I would never have purchased a BD-5 kit, even though I really liked the concept, because the kit was being sold before there was a reliable engine and drive system. BTW, as I have posted here previously, I met Jim some years after the -5 debacle, and found him to be a good person.

I would never buy an engine from Eggenfellner because I have first hand knowledge of how he treated some good friends of mine who were trusting customers.

I would never place a deposit or provide funding for the Raptor aircraft because Muller’s projected specifications and performance claims were (are) totally unrealistic.

Some well known kit companies have exhibited behavior that has cost customers. Stoddard-Hamilton is one. After selling over 1,000 kits, then majority owner and president Bob Gavinski repeatedly lied to me, face-to-face about what he / the company was doing and their finances. People lost full kit payments in the bankruptcy. The company reemerged as New Glasair, now Glasair Aviation, and sold the Glasair rights to an Australian company, Advanced Aero Inc., who appears to be unable to answer a question via email, much less actually deliver parts.

There are similar stories for Lancair and others, too.

Bottom line: Buying E-AB kits, engines, propellers, instruments, etc., is no different from any other industry; caveat emptor.

On the positive side, I have purchased products from Sporty’s, Wicks, and Aircraft Spruce over the last half century, and, even though I haven’t always liked the price, all three have been good to deal with.

Be careful out there.

[edit. I see that Charlie made similar points while I was typing.]


BJC
 

pictsidhe

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For the OP, the argument about whether or not to use a Viking is quickly settled by its weight. It's too heavy! He would lose too much useful load. An AM10 on the other hand, is close in power and weight to the recommended 912.
 

BJC

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This line is flawed simply because the sample size is just too small to make any such conclusion.
How many customers need to be treated unfairly for you to draw a conclusion about a company’s business practices?

I have enough friends who were Eggenfellner’s customers to make my conclusion.

Do you have an Eggenfellner product that has been in operation for several hundred hours that you are pleased with? I hope that you do; I would love to learn that there is at least one.


BJC
 

rv6ejguy

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Back to the OPs question about asking for recommendations for a lightweight engine to replace his Rotax, it seems Aeromomentum has the most compatible and lightweight solution: Aeromomentum Aircraft Engines, LSA, Experimental, Airboats, Aircraft Gearbox, 1300cc, 100hp,

I have people all over the world contacting me about auto engine conversions for advice, problem solving, PSRUs, good and bad experiences, etc.. I only heard one complaint about AM and that was a slow delivery on a new engine package 2-3 years ago which I think Mark has under control now. Most other folks have said they have been happy with the product and support from AM.

As someone who's seen, flown and assisted in many auto conversions and coming from an engine building and development background, I can't think of any company who has approached this in such a scientific and methodical way. I think their prices are really fair too, considering what you get is all new.
 

Heliano

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I do not know Jan but I've met Mark Kettering (the guy behind Aeromomentum) during the 2018 Sun and Fun. We had a long chat. Then I attended to one of his lectures. I came back home impressed not only with his engineering background, but also with his attitude: demonstrating frankness, openess and humility, typical of those who are true professionals. I bought one of his PSRU's.
 

TFF

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Some house builders have a reputation of being flamboyant when things are good and cry poor when things are slow. I have seen them buy two Escalades in one day and it have seen a helicopter repoed, and of course I have not been payed. Although they can be a pain in the butt, farmers and doctors do the best for paying.

These feast or famine businesses have owners that think the first 100 ordered means they will get another 100 next month. No money is ever put back. Loans are drawn for new this and then realize they already saturated the market. They still haven’t completed the standing orders and they have spent all the money. Excuses, excuses. There are a few that never let attention go to their head and they are the ones that stay around, but they know there is only so much to pay for work, home, and family, and they are careful with the money, and they are also the ones that don’t live big. There is not the money there for that no matter what the sale price is. Margin is low. I worked for a company that had a pretty decent gross. Net no one would believe me. Only perfect track of costs allowed survival.
 

PagoBay

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With regard to the OP and weight concerns, this discussion has included the Viking 90HP 3cyl Mitsubishi auto conversion.

A bit of research shows the Viking 90HP engine's installed total weight with all accessories (exhaust/alternator/radiator etc.) and fluids ready for propeller is 193 lbs.

Comparable weight for the Rotax 912 is just a bit more at 195 to 198 and up depending on accessories.

A Kitfox and Rans S-12 installations in this thread at Post #38.
Above is post requesting successful Viking installations: See here: Newsletters — Viking & Valkyrie Power
Test installation in flight of the 90HP 3Cyl - Factory and then a Customer
 
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