Phazer Build

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Daleandee

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Pat Panzera, publisher of "Contact" magazine recently did something similar with a Corvair engine. I don't remember the details but IIRC it weighed 256 lbs. I should find that again for future reference.
As the builder/owner/pilot of a Corvair powered airplane I believe Mr. Panzera's estimate on "all up" FWF weight to be spot on. I had it estimated at 255lbs as I stated in the series I wrote on another site a few years ago:

SonexBuilders.net View topic - Corvair Engines - The Justification Series

My engine weighed in at 218 lbs but once you add all the other pieces that are part of the total weight forward of the firewall then the true "installed weight" can be known.

My complaint (if I had one - and I do) is claiming that an engine is below the certain manufacturer's required FWF limit and then sell a product that those with the ability to count parts, see the added pieces that are not weighed, and add weight numbers will know they are in violation of their own FWF limit. There are a number of engine suppliers that always "massage" the weight numbers in order to sell their engines or their airframes. I came into aviation believing that because of the risks involved in powered flight that most people would be straight up and honest in order to prevent people from getting injured of killed. Yes, years ago I was quite naïve and now I find it amazing that the plain truth is sometimes so hard to come by.

Sorry about the rant but engine weights have been a thorn in the side of experimental aviation for some time ...
 

Marc W

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The little puppy is out! And what a puppy mother it was to get it out. It just barely makes it out. I have a suspicion you would have to take more of the sled frame apart to get the 3 and 4 cylinder models out.

Exhaust side.jpg

Intake side.jpg
 

wsimpso1

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I just deleted several posts. A couple appear to be more in the way of advertisements than contributions to thread. There were also unsupported commentaries on equipment suitability and the ethics of individuals. We shall remain civil and respectful to each other on the forum.

The merchants who supply our passion here and support HBA.com may contribute to our threads and discretely mention how their products suit our use within the threads. I urge all of us to leave the advertising to the Supplier/Manufacturer section of the forum. If a product is asserted to have shortfalls, that certainly can be a topic for discussion, and should be backed up proportionately to the level of assertion. Call them as you see them, but strong assertions require strong evidence... Please do not post one without the other.

Going into assertion of deliberate deception is another matter. Our members and advertisers may easily assert someone being mistaken on a topic and provide information to improve our understanding of the topic. That sort of posting is educational to us all and respectful to fellow members. Deliberate deception is tough to prove in court and equally tough here. Usually, evidence of product shortfall and mistaken "knowledge" is convincing to most of us. Evidence of deceit is usually just left alone. That is a strong hint as to acceptable behavior on the forum.

Moderator Mode OFF.
 

Marc W

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Thanks to Billski for keeping this thread on track.

The first task today was to weigh the engine as pulled. I came up with 83 lbs. This weight includes the:
1. the throttle bodies
2. the thermostat housing and the hoses connecting it to the engine and whatever residual coolant that remains
3. the oil filter with whatever residual oil that remains in the engine and filter after draining the crankcase and a couple of oil hoses
4. the starter and alternator are integral with the engine so they are included, also the starter cables and the alternator output cable
5. various sensors and the associated wiring

Weight 1.jpg

Weight 2.jpg

I also have an RX-1 engine with Skytrax adapter and modified Rotax C-box that I started to convert. The RX-1 has a similar installed weight to my 2180VW but I ran into packaging problems to mount it on the Thatcher CX4. It is also about twice the engine that the CX4 needs. Anyway, the RX-1 is sitting on the table so I took a pic of it and the Phazer just to show their relative sizes. The Apex is basically identical to the RX-1 in size. The Skytrax adapter and Rotax C-box on the RX-1 is longer than the Skytrax gearbox for the Apex so the the Apex setup will come out a few inches shorter. Not a great pic but here it is.

RX-1 Phazer.jpg

My Skytrax gearbox for the Phazer is being assembled today and will ship when completed. Next task is to clear out leftover sled parts and clear off the workbench.
 
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Vigilant1

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Thanks for the photos and weights. They are tall engines and the output shaft does sit low. Will the Skytrax PSRU raise the prop hub about as far as the Rotax C gearbox does (as shown in your photo)?
 

Marc W

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The Skytrax adapter does raise the propshaft higher than the C-box. It has an additional idler gear between the input gear and output gear. Besides raising the prop shaft it also reverses the rotation so right hand props can be used. The C-box will require a left hand prop.
 

rv7charlie

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Hi Marc,

When you next communicate with Teal Jenkins, would you please let him know that there's a pretty large segment of the homebuilding community interested in his products that are *not* Facebook users? I've never been a member (no compulsion to tell everyone what I'm eating..or expelling, or my entire life history), and I know there are many others like me. I have tried to research products (like Skytrax) via my wife's account, and I've found it impossible to glean useful info. There is no organization; it's just stream-of-consciousness posts.

Anyway, an organized website with products, what they fit, options, and prices would really be appreciated. And would likely reduce the time he has to waste in direct communication, because we wouldn't have to ask. (Or maybe not, since there's no way for us non-facebookers to contact him.)

Charlie
 

rv7charlie

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Ahhh... many thanks. Every reference I've seen has been to Facebook, and just googling 'skytrax' didn't seem to help.
 

Marc W

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When you next communicate with Teal Jenkins, would you please let him know that there's a pretty large segment of the homebuilding community interested in his products that are *not* Facebook users?
I was thinking about doing that today. I am currently in contact via email with Millie Jenkins. She apparently takes care of the office. There is a lot of interest here. I am on Facebook just for the Yamaha info. You are right, Facebook is a mess. Very hard to find anything and maintain continuity. There is also some info on the avidfoxfliers forum.
 

GTX_Engines

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Without "advertising", you'll find that the Skytrax "All-In-One" is great for most tractor aircraft, but on most pushers it works better to use a conventional gearbox and flip it upside down. Like the Quicksilver float plane we helped with the Phazer conversion early 2019 - the first successful aircraft to use a Phazer. (There were a couple of earlier gyrocopters built with Phazers, but those projects were both abandoned due to poor performance issues.)

Most high-wing pushers (from the horse's mouth, my friend Beaver who sells Quicksilver at Air-Techinc.com) are unable to use even a Rotax 912 80HP because you can't flip the gearbox. In this case Mohawk Aero is the only vendor for conventional gearbox adapters for Phazer motors, and up until recently was the only source for wire looms, though I understand that another vendor has recently joined in offering those as well.
 
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Marc W

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I received my Skytrax gearbox today. It is a thing of beauty. The housings are CNC machined from billet and anodized. It will be the prettiest part of the airplane!
Gearbox.jpg

I weighed the airframe today to get more accurate numbers for the W&B. The gearbox will add right at 20 lbs. to the engine weight. My preliminary calculations indicate the prop flange will be approximately 4" further forward than it is with the VW. I will have a "long nose" CX4. I will need to keep everything as far forward as possible to balance the airplane with this lighter engine.

Next on the list of things to do is to install the gearbox. Then I can layout the engine mount and figure out where to mount everything else. I will have at least a foot between the firewall and the back of the engine to hang the oil tank, voltage regulator, etc.
 

GTX_Engines

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With many of the Skytrax tractor FW installations I've noticed that an additional prop flange spacer is required to clear the cowl. Does yours?
 

GTX_Engines

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The gearbox could be flipped upside down on this Phazer adapter and it's not from Mohawk. It is designed for the SPG-4 gearbox.
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View attachment 107073
Please allow me to express a few thoughts on this product and post without being perceived as going on the attack or being prickly and argumentative. I'm just trying to provide some good info that is not just plain reliable, it is first-hand (not rumor) and mostly common sense.

I have been dealing with Vlad Serg continuously for 4 years - longer than anyone in the Western Hemisphere - and had numerous problems...no need to air dirty laundry here. He sent me his first Apex adapter like this one for review last year. I found several serious flaws before shipping it back to him - only to discover he simply turned around and sold the unit to some other unsuspecting fellow here in the west. I feel sorry for that guy.

1. As-built the gearbox prop shaft was located on the wrong side of the crankshaft, so for final installation the entire engine (~145 lbs.) wound up on one side of the prop shaft. Not an ideal build.

2. At first glance you can simply flip the gearbox upside down, right? Sorry, but no.
  • First, if the prop shaft is actually in the right place on this Phazer adapter (giving Vlad the benefit of the doubt that he took my advice and eventually figured out how to position the gearbox at the correct angle in order to have the prop at or close to the vertical COM of the motor) the prop shaft is not going to be in the same vertical alignment.
  • Second, if you know anything about these Airgear350 Type B gearboxes (a.k.a. SPG, SPG4, and AK7) then you know the holes are asymmetrical. That's right, they are NOT symmetrical, like a Rotax C, etc. The only two holes that are symmetrical are at 3:00 and 9:00. The rest are hit-and-miss, the top two being not even on the same radius as the bottom two. Nowhere even close to the bottom, completely different, and I've found that each individual hole will vary up to .030" from one gearbox to the very next. As for me, I locate, punch, drill and thread each adapter gearbox mounting hole to match each individual gearbox that I sell to insure the best possible fitment. In other words they are sold as a set.
3. There are basic mounting differences between a Tango SPG, Air Trikes SPG4, whatever Vlad is selling, and a Mohawk AK7. You can't just expect to interchangeably slap any of these gearboxes onto any old adapter and have it aligned, let alone fit the holes. I order my Mohawk AK7 (Airgear350 Type B) gearboxes specially cut at the same time the bearing housings are cut from the cases, with an alignment groove that precision fits the Mohawk adapter to insure a perfect centering alignment of the engine PTO and PSRU drive pinion. If you go out and buy the standard "SPG4" it will not fit this Vlad adapter, or a Mohawk, and it will not align perfectly with your PTO shaft unless you go to the time, trouble and extra expense of making a tool to align your engine and gearbox together. Now I am betting Vlad is ordering gearboxes with a similar groove pattern as I am, to align them on his adapter to the PTO. One would hope, anyway.

4. Bottom line: Vlad is in Moscow. If you have a problem, consider this: I have been waiting since last June for gearbox parts from Vlad, finally got tired of dealing with him and went back to Vasilli at Air Trikes. I have been waiting since November for gearboxes we ordered together. Blame it on COVID, blame it on whatever you like, but this is the reality we are all dealing with.
 

Marc W

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Bottom line:
All of those considerations are why I chose Skytrax. Nothing else approaches the quality and design of the Skytrax. Plus it is right next door in western US terms-only 600 miles. That means much faster ship times and much lower chance for shipping damage. I hate to order anything from east of the Mississippi any more. Stuff gets damaged or lost on the way to often when it comes from back East.

I don't have a cowl that I have any desire to use. I will make a cowl to fit the engine installation. The gearbox is so pretty that I am thinking about leaving it exposed! Kinda like the old Morgan three wheeler's, with the engine sitting exposed in front!
1612398380509.png

What I really need now is information on exhaust systems and how to disable the limp modes built into the ECU.
 
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