O-100-- interesting new engine

Discussion in 'Firewall Forward / Props / Fuel system' started by Dana, Jul 19, 2012.

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  1. Jan 4, 2018 #701

    BJC

    BJC

    BJC

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    VB: I agree with you that Pete has done something rare and special.

    But you did ask, so here are two that come to mind.

    John Chotia (Weedhopper, and marginal performance, but it did fly) and B J Schramm (Rotorway).

    Not to mention Orville and Wilbur and their machinist.


    BJC
     
  2. Jan 4, 2018 #702

    Pops

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    If I owned one, I would have to start it up each week just to hear it run. Like to have one on a SSSC.
     
  3. Jan 4, 2018 #703

    Pete Plumb

    Pete Plumb

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    You guys are way too kind.

    I would be remiss if I took ALL the credit. If it weren't for Rick Claspy, John Lynch, Bob Hockenberry, Roger Hewett, my team at Harmony Castings, the brilliant engineers at Continental Motors that worked most of this stuff out way back when and many others, I could not have gotten to this point. Yes, I had the vision and the passion to see this through but behind the scenes, other factors were in play. I had the good fortune of having my own aviation business for 40 years (not to mention a wife that helped me and allowed me the time to stay out here and work all hours!), but also financial woes that were always looming that kept fire lit under my butt! I will say that I didn't mind going deep into debt and risk damaging my reputation in my wing business (which happened) to see it through. I have always believed that this engine could help so many people to fly inexpensively plus - very selfishly - I wanted it for MY OWN flying enjoyment!

    As all of you know, any worthwhile en devour takes a burning desire, a positive attitude, belief that you can do it and tenacity. All the people you mentioned BJC had those qualities. Most of you do too. I'm just a regular guy that loves to fly and design and build stuff.

    Last but not least, thanks go out to Dana for starting this thread and thank you VERY MUCH for your kind words on this thread EVERYONE. The encouragement I've received over the years from you guys has been INCREDIBLE. I don't know about you guys but for me, 1 DIS-couraging comment unravels 100 EN-couraging ones so pat yourselves on your back for helping to get the DP-1 flying too!

    We still have a long way to go so no relaxing yet :ban:

    Pete

    Follow your dreams and never give up!
     
    Joe Fisher, delta, Marc W and 7 others like this.
  4. Jan 5, 2018 #704

    Vigilant1

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    Pete,
    It was good to see the concise but positive write-up on the DP-1 program in the Feb 2018 Kitplanes Aircraft Engines Buyer's Guide. It's another good way to spread the word about your work. There's "Pegasus Power" listed right alongside Lycoming, Jabiru, Continental, etc.
     
    Pops and cluttonfred like this.
  5. Jan 5, 2018 #705

    Pete Plumb

    Pete Plumb

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    Man, that's good news. Thanks for the heads up!
     
  6. Jan 5, 2018 #706

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    The great aerospace engineer MC Hammer said it best: Too legit to quit :)
     
  7. Jan 5, 2018 #707

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

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    C'mon, VB, you can tell us, admit it, you have Hammer pants, don't you? ;-)
     
    dragon2knight likes this.
  8. Jan 5, 2018 #708

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    Guilty, Your Honor! Had a pair way back when. They're floating around somewhere in the distant past with my size 34 jeans, my 20-20 vision, and my youthful vigor.
     
  9. Feb 26, 2018 #709

    galapoola

    galapoola

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    Hey Pete, any updates for us?
     
  10. Apr 2, 2018 #710

    hangarrat101

    hangarrat101

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    I've been following this thread since its inception, it's been a fascinating project to watch grow and I'm genuinely excited to see it coming closer to fruition. Would be awesome to see an update with progress!
     
  11. Apr 5, 2018 #711

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    I've spoken to Pete just now, and have been authorized to report some very exciting news and updates on the O-100 project:

    1) Pete has just gotten the final version prototypes of the dual-mount crankcase. All production O-100 engine kits will have the ability to mount either on a standard "Continental" style firewall mount or a Rotax style "bed mount".

    2) Pete has been in contact with Rotec Radial and he will soon be testing the Rotec model 34 throttle body injection unit on the O-100. This can possibly provide several significant improvements including modest improvements in power and fuel burn.

    3) The flight prototype engine completed its first 50 hours of in flight testing, and both the O-100 flight prototype engine and the Cracker Jack test aircraft have been taken down for a full teardown inspection and analysis.

    4) The later flight tests with the Cracker Jack, with the optional side windows installed on the cabin, showed cruise speeds of 93 miles perhour with a fuel burn of 2 1/2 gallons per hour at that same cruise setting. It is absolutely clear that the engine "pulls" and pulls well.

    5) Just about every foundry in the United States is operating at its full or nearly full manufactring capacity. That is making it difficult for Pete to get competitively priced quotes on the large parts. It is not possible for Pete to make any honest predictions on delivery times.

    6) Many people are impatient because they want to order an engine kit, but please understand nobody wants to sell these kits tomorrow and get the money more than Pete does. He's "eating beans and ramen" because everything incuding his house has gone into this project. Every dime he gets in (from his wood wing business, contributions, "angel investors", and lottery tickets) goes right into buying parts or materials, doing ground and air testing, etc.

    7) After consulting with his lawyers, insurance people, and other "old school" aviation people like himself who have been around for a while... Pete is absolutely adamant that he will not sell one engine kit until the final "production" version of the engine has completed a full test program, including a full "torture test" series.

    8) The "torture test" is that Pete will be putting the engine through the current ASTM F2339-17 certification test program which is what is used by the LSA engine manufacturers. You heard that right. The O-100 will go through the same testing and validation that Rotax or Jabiru or anyone else would go through in order to sell an LSA certified engine.

    9) Even though this engine will be launched and sold as a "home assembly kit" for experimental aircraft, the parts sold for these kits will have met and demonstrated the same rigorous testing as if it were built as a certified LSA "factory built" engine! From day one, this is the level of safety, reliability, and trustworthiness that Pete has been driven by. This is why Pete refuses to have the castings or any other parts made inexpensively overseas... he will sell only the highest quality parts, because it's his ass flying behind it too.

    10) Because the cost associated with this level of testing is high, and Pete does not want to delay it by self-funding it (out of his wood wing business), he is considering starting a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo or Kickstarter. The crowdfunding would cover these costs of testing much faster than self-funding (self-funding is why the O-100 project has progressed so slowly thus far). Pete and his close supporters (myself included) are interested to hear the opinions, reactions, objections and/or support for this idea, because it represents a different path than was first intended.

    11) Since all the parts of the engine kit are going through the "torture test", and the most appropriate torture test is the current ASTM standard for this category of engine, this raises the possibility that a factory built version of the engine using the same parts can be considered after the kit version is in production. (!!!!)
     
    hangarrat101, Cy V, BJC and 5 others like this.
  12. Apr 5, 2018 #712

    dragon2knight

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    To be honest, I'm surprised that Pete didn't think of going the crowdfunding route sooner....but do know that that route can be a double edged sword. If this pans out okay, and all the ducks are lined up properly and all production goals can confidently be met, than crowdfunding will pay off. But in reality(see Pebble smartwatches for an excellent example here), that can be a difficult thing to achieve. Even if it goes well, as the saying goes "poo happens". I've been following this project almost from the beginning and think that Pete has a really great project here, I'd love nothing more than to see him succeed and have no doubt at this point that he wont...I just see crowdfunding as a fast fix, something that might just backfire if anything goes wrong, and I'd hate to see this project end, instead of flourish, because of it. Tread lightly and do your homework, as you so diligently do, before jumping here Pete.
     
  13. Apr 5, 2018 #713

    TFF

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    I think it is admirable that he has put in the effort to make it right before he sells one. I got to see it at OSH last year, and it is nice. Making one LSA certified would be impressive too. I see a kit version being dragged down if he does though. Each direction he can take with it has pluses and minuses. Right now, many want a kit. I think he needs to get a good number out there as soon as he thinks he can, before loosing his momentum. Certifying it would be great, but I think he would have to kill the kit version for liability then. He would probably have to sell the concept to someone in the end too to carry that bigger liability load too. Sad part of that is he would probably loose control. The direction to make money with it, as LSA or maybe a drone engine, will inevitably kill it as a kit. He is going to have to pick the life he wants the engine to live in. I dont think he can pull off multiple directions like you could before the 1950s. I do hope it succeeds.
     
    rv6ejguy, Topaz and Pops like this.
  14. Apr 5, 2018 #714

    Little Scrapper

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    Just do your own testing .
     
  15. Apr 5, 2018 #715

    Topaz

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    Get to market. Get the kit version out there and be very clear up front that none of the ASTM testing has been done.

    GET. TO. MARKET.

    It doesn't have to be perfect out of the gate, and I don't have enough fingers and toes - and neither does the sum total of all the HBA members together - to count the number of potentially awesome products that have been sunk because the originator insisted it had to be perfect from the very first sold example.

    Don't be Babbage, endlessly perfecting and refining the invention, so that nothing is ever finished and put out there for the world. GET. TO. MARKET. The engine runs and does the job right now, even if it's not "perfect". Homebuilders are willing to accept some warts along the way, provided the company backs up the product with improvements as they're developed. Don't be Babbage. GET. TO. MARKET. Crowdfunding is awesome, and a great resource. Nothing is a better resource, however, than actual positive cash-flow from sold products. GET. TO. MARKET.

    Don't get me wrong. I think Pete is a great guy, and absolutely capable of pulling this off. But the constant tinkering and refining has already delayed this engine well over a year. Somebody tie Pete up and let the "Version 1.0" engine out of the gate. He can perfect it for v2.0.
     
  16. Apr 5, 2018 #716

    addicted2climbing

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    Hey Topaz,

    While I agree with all of what your saying do keep this in mind. You cant fault Pete for taking the time to get the ASTM certification and also run it through a litany of tests for both the lawyers and his piece of mind. This is his butt on the line here and he has done better and gotten farther than most. Pete is a Doer for sure. He got us all excited on this engine and may be behind his timeframe as any new project of this size would be, but he was smart and did not take anyone's money in advance and there can be a lot said of that. He is only late on everyone's expectations.

    On the flip side of this coin, I worked for a big Film Camera company and they always promised big and took funds in advance to help seed their development and in doing so soured peoples opinion of them. Also in doing so they chose to hide and not attend the big tradeshows until it was shipping for fear of being called out on "where is my camera, you took my money and I have no update". In the end Camera (RED Epic and Dragon) was not as great as it could have been and the company culture even worse...

    Pete at least is keeping everything on him and nobody but him and perhaps his investors are funding this thing so all we have to lose is a bit of time waiting which in many ways makes me want it even more...
     
  17. Apr 5, 2018 #717

    BBerson

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    As I recall, the ASTM standard requires a crankshaft vibration survey. Might be rather expensive.
    Very few engines meet the standard, which is virtually same as FAR 33.
     
  18. Apr 5, 2018 #718

    rv6ejguy

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    Pete's taking the high road with everything on this project and is to be commended for that but I worry what might happen as things are further delayed with regards to other competitors emerging in this hp range. At least 2 others I know of are in the wings. I've seen too many new engine designs and other products fizzle out when the companies developing them chose to certify them. They simply ran out of time and cash and pissed off the many customers who had been waiting for engines too long and lost interest. Planes under construction can't wait forever for the engine to be available.
     
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  19. Apr 5, 2018 #719

    BJC

    BJC

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    I suspect that Pete could could find several willing and capable “beta testers” who would get a half dozen engines in the air quickly and amass enough operational experience to reduce the time-to-market.


    BJC
     
  20. Apr 5, 2018 #720

    Topaz

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    And learn more from the experiences of other people, other installations, and other operations than all the ASTM testing in the world. I'm not saying "don't do ASTM". And I"m not saying "Don't test". But a lot of real-world testing has already been done and will continue to be done even if he went straight to market today. Pete wants to set up a dealership network, and that's not going to be overnight.

    But as rv6ejguy said (for some reason, the "like" button isn't working for me today), other competitors aren't necessarily going to wait. And cash-flow certainly isn't going to wait. If a person has burned through all their own money developing an engine, such that they're now at Plan B (crowdfunding), then the project is getting into the danger zone. You can't keep putting money out the door on testing and refinement, and not bringing in any on sales. Not for very long, anyway. Not if you're legit, like Pete is. (Mosler and those like him are another story.)

    I totally understand the very legitimate fear of lawsuits, of hurting a customer in an engine failure, and of losing sales because the engine isn't "as good as it could be." Well, guess what? Every single one of those fears is going to be there no matter how much the engine is perfected and refined. There's no end to this, until either you go to market or the money runs out and the whole project fails. Version 1.0 of anything, even the really great products in our lives, was not perfect and as refined as it currently is now. That's okay.

    Useful aviation example: Human Powered Aircraft were attempted by universities time and time again. They'd design the things to perfection, every strut and twig exactly engineered and refined. And when, in the course of actual testing, they discovered that something had to be changed, making that change was a massive undertaking that consumed weeks and lots of cash they didn't have to spend. They all wallowed and failed. The late, great, Paul MacCready was probably the biggest advocate of, "Build the first one JUST good enough to do the job, then refine later." When HIS team needed to make a change, the simplicity and "sloppiness" of the early versions meant it took hours instead of weeks, and cost almost nothing to try multiple variations. And their team won the Kremer Prize.

    Nobody is advocating for inadequate testing. Pete's already doing good testing. I've been there in person. Seen it, in person. I think the ASTM testing thing is a great idea - for down the road once the engine has been established in the homebuilt market and lots of "real world" experience developed by fifty or a hundred people for a year or two. In the meantime, Pete's business gets a positive cash flow that doesn't require money from outside investors, to whom he will be beholden to one degree or another, requiring more of his time and efforts (crowdfunding) or simple control over the enterprise (traditional investors.)
     

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