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.
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?
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.”
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
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.
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.