O-100-- interesting new engine

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Victor Bravo

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The number of buyers is of course not yet known, just like any new "niche market" product. Some of you may be surprised, horrified, and disappointed, but unfortunately Pete did not spend $50 Million to do a Rand Corporation global market study like Coke or Pepsi would have on a new product.

Anyone wishing to estimate the size of the market should consider this:

First, the engine as it stands now is a viable replacement (viable... not perfect in every way, but competitive on at least two or three levels) for 52-64HP Rotax 2 strokes, 45-65HP Volkswagen derivatives, and a small percentage of aircraft with Continental or Lycoming 55-65HP "airplane" engines.

Second, the size, weight, power, and trustworthiness will create viable opportunities for the modification/updating of existing E-AB designs... and for new "clean sheet" designs.

To my best guess, that means there is certainly at least 20,000 possible customers, let's say half of those would be halfway reasonable, and one out of ten of those people would be realistically able to spend the money on a replacement upgrade engine.

So that would yield a conservative guess that there is a viable market of 1,000 engines. I think it's likely more than that, but I am totally and admittedly biased in favor of this product.

The fact that an O-200 weighs between 225 and 190 pounds depending on stuff installed or removed is irrelevant. The fact that there is an engine that weighs "around half" of an O-200, and still (very likely) has all of the reliability and safety... that is why the engine has generated so much interest.
 
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jedi

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Except, for all intents and purposes, they are out of business. No one answers the phone or returns messages left since before Christmas. That's not too unusual with the Covid. I have the same problem with more than one government agency and it appears the government is still in buisness if only to protect and enrich itself at taxpayer expense.

How many are wanting to purchase engines or get information on the future of the company?

I think it may help if HBAers would show a sign of support. Can we get a dedicated list for the 0-100 if requested by the company?
 

blane.c

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I have always been interested in this engine since first being aware of it. It is a great idea. I hope the interest and finance are obtained so that it does not fade away and become just another footnote of aviation. This engine (and Pete Plumb) deserves better than that, it is like a child of the mans mind and his memory will persevere with the success of it.

“There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

― Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
 

Victor Bravo

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Let's all just be patient and see if the family is going to officially move forward with the project and/or when that becomes official. There is no doubt that there is significant interest in the community. There is no doubt that it will make a perfectly good engine.

Please trust me, the family is interested in the engine becoming an ongoing and flying legacy for Pete. I've had several off-line inquiries and contacts about this, and I'm in good contact with the family and Pete's closest associate. So you will all just have to trust me that this is not "hanging in limbo" or anything like that. But there's not going to be a formal resolution or engine delivery schedules within a week either.

Steps have been taken to secure all engine parts, pieces, etc.

Steps have been taken to prevent loss or hijacking of intellectual property, both on the engine and the Cracker Jack design.

Steps are being taken now to get Pete's wood wing business all settled and return wings and parts to customers who had brought in Staggerwing and Stearman wings for repair
 
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Mike von S.

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I, for one, have serious interest in the O-100. I spoke with Pete twice during the fall expressing this. We had a wonderful time chatting about my project and his engine. I was sad to hear he passed, and also, selfishly, disappointed. I am building a Flitzer K-1 "Goblin". This is the smallest and lightest of Lynn Williams' line of Flitzer designs. See Flitzer Sportflug Verein The DP-1 would be perfect for this aircraft: enough torque to swing a good sized wood prop, the right sort of vintage sound, and light weight. The Verner 5V would have been a good choice, too, but as has been noted, they stopped taking orders for the 3V and 5V in November. (Another Flitzer Goblin builder, in Canada, got his order in on time for one of the last 5Vs). The Verner 5S would make this aircraft a "Pitts eater", in the right hands, but that is more than I need and possibly more than I could handle. Also, Lynn originally designed this aircraft, like most of his Flitzers, around an aero VW (in this case, an 1834 would work well). The Goblin therefore has a bullet nose, better suited to Pete's O-100 than to a radial.
VB - please keep us posted.Goblin - Natural Linen.jpg
 

Victor Bravo

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I am (still) in the process of attempting to connect Pete's family with someone who I strongly believe can take over this project and move it forward successfully.

However, not all is rose-colored sunshine in this situation. There are encumbrances and debts associated with the engine and the business entity that could easily prevent it from succeeding. Those problems are not insurmountable, but they're not insignificant.

I apologize again for the mystery and high drama, but I won't say any more until the person I am trying to "plug in" to this project wishes to discuss it publicly. And in that case, he could speak for himself without any help from me.
 

sotaro

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Wish it had direct injection instead of carbs. How much do should the starter and alternator weight to get to the total dry weight? 8000$ is a bargain.
The weight makes it unique for single pilot aircrafts.
To me it seems very unlikely for direct injection to appear on a dedicated aircraft or similarly low volume engine. The costs of development are so high. Direct injection has yet to appear on a four stroke motorcycle and only briefly on a two stroke scooter (that I can recall). Was that scooter a Derbi? I have great hopes for a two stroke Direct Injection engine to escape the confines of winter and embrace the wheel, but so far those engines seem to be found only on snow and water, alas.
 

Victor Bravo

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There will be a celebration of life event for Pete in Shafter Saturday June 5 at about 10AM if any friends wish to attend. There will be NO resolution or status change info about the engine at this event, so anyone coming to try and recover a deposit, or complain about a wood wing project, will be wasting their time.
 

Victor Bravo

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On June 5th, myself, addicted2climbing, and maybe 50 other people attended a 'celebration of life' service for Pete Plumb at Shafter airport here in California.

All of us who knew Pete were aware of just how much of an asset he was to aviation, but all of us probably learned some other detail we hadn't known, from so me other part of his life. At the end, few of us stood up to tell a story, or a humorous anecdote about one thing or another that involved Pete.

His ex-wife Robin, his daughter Kelly, and his son Nick were very grateful for the show of support. It is a very good measure of the man that people who went all the way back to high school with Pete were still close to him and there to share their stories. Pete's original home-built 50 year old lashed bamboo hang glider hang cage was on display; the rest of the original bamboo glider is still stored up in the rafters of his hangar. His home-made "Star-Guitar", closed-circuit electric guitar training simulator (waaay ahead of its time) was there; I hadn't seen it in 20+ years. Many of you might not know this but a young Pete Plumb was one of the primary team members on Paul MacCready's Gossamer Condor, and the record breaking Kremer Prize flight was done right there at Shafter. The photo of him in the Condor at Shafter was on the display table as well. Pete's son Nick is a team leader at the company that Dr. MacCready founded, which was a source or pride to Pete.

His beautiful licensed reproductions of the famous "Toby Mug" beer stein from the movie "12 O'Clock High" were there, and I am pleased to report that they will still be available from the family under the "Archbury" brand name. These are the coolest possible gift for an aviation movie buff. They come in two sizes, I'm definitely getting one myself.

The big take-away for all of us was the we had lost one of aviation's great craftsmen and innovators, whose heart and soul was built of balsa and spruce fibers.

Pete's right hand man over the last 5 years Bill Vasilovich did a very dignified and heartfelt job of leading the discussion and eulogizing Pete. We were treated to the coolest, most outside the box, totally Pete Plumb "missing man formation" I've ever seen... a Pawnee towing a Libelle sailplane, with a gorgeous Cessna 180 on one side of the diamond and a Meyers OTW on the other side. The Libelle released and pulled up into a wingover as the 'missing man'.

And for the record and thread relevance, I have to once again deliver the aggravating and unwelcome news that (as of last week) there is not yet any substantive progress to report on the fate of the O-100 engine. There are several significant financial and legal difficulties that simply have to be sorted out and dealt with, before any announcements can be made if and/or who will continue that project.

All I can say at this moment is that the family wants the engine to continue but only if it is viable and can continue correctly. They want to get all the baggage disconnected from the engine project so it can move forward, and they do indeed see the O-100 as something that is worth continuing as Pete's legacy. But the sad truth is that it might move forward, and it equally might not move forward, and it might be mired down in that baggage until the cows come home.
 
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Toobuilder

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Stopped by Bakersfield Muni last weekend and had a brief chat with Mr. Harmon at the gas pump. Among the stories he told was the Rocket formation flight he was recently involved with that was in honor of Mr Plumb. Bummed I missed that one.
 

Rhino

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Ken Wallis Franklin twin-cylinder-powered Gyro picture in this vid:

Now I'm dying to put missiles and rocket launchers on my 750. :D As if it doesn't have enough drag already. But I'd love to see the faces at the Zenith factory if I flew that to one of their events! Might be worth it.
 

addicted2climbing

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On June 5th, myself, addicted2climbing, and maybe 50 other people attended a 'celebration of life' service for Pete Plumb at Shafter airport here in California.

All of us who knew Pete were aware of just how much of an asset he was to aviation, but all of us probably learned some other detail we hadn't known, from so me other part of his life. At the end, few of us stood up to tell a story, or a humorous anecdote about one thing or another that involved Pete.

His ex-wife Robin, his daughter Kelly, and his son Nick were very grateful for the show of support. It is a very good measure of the man that people who went all the way back to high school with Pete were still close to him and there to share their stories. Pete's original home-built 50 year old lashed bamboo hang glider hang cage was on display; the rest of the original bamboo glider is still stored up in the rafters of his hangar. His home-made "Star-Guitar", closed-circuit electric guitar training simulator (waaay ahead of its time) was there; I hadn't seen it in 20+ years. Many of you might not know this but a young Pete Plumb was one of the primary team members on Paul MacCready's Gossamer Condor, and the record breaking Kremer Prize flight was done right there at Shafter. The photo of him in the Condor at Shafter was on the display table as well. Pete's son Nick is a team leader at the company that Dr. MacCready founded, which was a source or pride to Pete.

His beautiful licensed reproductions of the famous "Toby Mug" beer stein from the movie "12 O'Clock High" were there, and I am pleased to report that they will still be available from the family under the "Archbury" brand name. These are the coolest possible gift for an aviation movie buff. They come in two sizes, I'm definitely getting one myself.

The big take-away for all of us was the we had lost one of aviation's great craftsmen and innovators, whose heart and soul was built of balsa and spruce fibers.

Pete's right hand man over the last 5 years Bill Vasilovich did a very dignified and heartfelt job of leading the discussion and eulogizing Pete. We were treated to the coolest, most outside the box, totally Pete Plumb "missing man formation" I've ever seen... a Pawnee towing a Libelle sailplane, with a gorgeous Cessna 180 on one side of the diamond and a Meyers OTW on the other side. The Libelle released and pulled up into a wingover as the 'missing man'.

And for the record and thread relevance, I have to once again deliver the aggravating and unwelcome news that (as of last week) there is not yet any substantive progress to report on the fate of the O-100 engine. There are several significant financial and legal difficulties that simply have to be sorted out and dealt with, before any announcements can be made if and/or who will continue that project.

All I can say at this moment is that the family wants the engine to continue but only if it is viable and can continue correctly. They want to get all the baggage disconnected from the engine project so it can move forward, and they do indeed see the O-100 as something that is worth continuing as Pete's legacy. But the sad truth is that it might move forward, and it equally might not move forward, and it might be mired down in that baggage until the cows come home.
As VB said the ceremony was very well done and I learned so much about Pete that I never knew. I was looking forward to spending more time with Pete in the coming months as he agreed to mentor me in aircraft structures design so that I could upsize the Skylite a bit to use his DP1 engine. In return I would continue to help him with CAD work on his engine and accessories. Such a missed opportunity and the world is a much lessor place without him in it. He really lived and accomplished the things that would take others two lifetimes to accomplish. He will be sorely missed in the aviation community.
 
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