QUESTIONS concerning Spyder Corvair Engine Conversions.....Azalea Aviation

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Bill Clapp

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I am opening this thread as a Question and Answer area for anybody that has questions about our conversions. I have many made to me but they do tend to spread out all over the place. This area is to be only about the ENGINE itself. There are no stupid questions allowed....just honest learning. We will do our best to have quick and simple replies. No bloviaiting allowed! I suggest that you look at the information on our website azaleaaviation.com in the products/engine area for information as well. If you have an idea that you would like to see incorporated or discussed we may open a seperate thread about that particular idea. I will eventually take these questions and compile them into a web page... Have at it!
Bill
 

don january

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Bill, what is your thoughts on converting the 80hp 145 ci ? I see only 2 items that are different then the 164 ci, Crank+ Rods. and it's my understanding that the case needs slight modifacation to fit the desired crank. What is the true down fall of making the 145 a reliable aircarft engine ? Don
 

don january

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Sorry Bill. I see this thread is for your Spyder Conversion only. I can find out about it at your home site. Don
 

Cy V

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What differentiates the Spyder conversion from the other Corvair conversions that are on the market? Do you consider your conversion to be superior to the others? If so, why?
 

RonL

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I don't think this will be in violation of your requirements, if it is I will delete it.

How well will the Corvair engine run if it should be working on 1,3,5 or 2,4,6 only ? This is a serious question.:ponder:

Ron
 

Bill Clapp

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What differentiates the Spyder conversion from the other Corvair conversions that are on the market? Do you consider your conversion to be superior to the others? If so, why?

Our 100 HP base model engine is very similar to many others out there as far as the internals of the engine are concerned. Our real differences come in the way we approach the front IFB bearing and its design. We simplified the crankshaft to become a virtual single piece crank. It allows us to handle higher loads and increase the safety factor considerably. We also integrated the rear alternator into a higher amperage alternator driven directly off the crankshaft end - no belts or brackets. This also increases reliability and safety. Currently we are using ball bearing distributors as well for the same reasons. For us as a complany we needed to have our own direction due to our "simplification and ingenuity in design" concept and it allows us to have a reliable source for parts. Is it superior? My biggest competitor is myself - I need to trust what I build and design because I fly my stuff. Over 100 hours on my airplanes and others with our conversion in the last three months.....
There are several differences in how we approached the 120 HP design. We are using a brand new, stroked crankshaft, rods and pistons, but keep the block and heads standard. This gives us a 3.1 L displacement without having to do major machining. The 120's are now going into a production stage this year for market. There will be an update on those later.
 

don january

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What about a builder that does not want 100 plus hp. Can you build a lower hp engine at Azalea or choose not to?
 

Bill Clapp

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How well will the Corvair engine run if it should be working on 1,3,5 or 2,4,6 only ? This is a serious question.

If the engine is only running on one head it will run - but probably only at 35% power or so. Lot of drag of course. Not enough to be sustainable for level flight for certain. The question is more about virbration which you be much higher but most propably be not so severe as to shut the engine down. The closest scenario is the loss of an intake valve which causes a drop in the power one head can produce because of the common intake log. You loose about 30% power in that case. Still runable but at least you have some power for an emergency landing. Our new heads (in design yet) have individual intake runners and mechanical injection so this would not be as big of an issue.
 

Bill Clapp

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What about a builder that does not want 100 plus hp. Can you build a lower hp engine at Azalea or choose not to?


Sure, a lower HP engine can be made...just don't open the throttle so much :) Maybe your question is about using an 80 HP engine...It could be done and it has been done before. There are increased risk factors that have to be taken into account. Do you save anything cost wise? Not really. I could do a lot of flying on an older engine if I wanted but I find that it is too easy to find the better engines..
 

don january

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It appears the better engine boils down to the 5th bearing and alt. on the rear of the engine. If the corvair suppliers want to impress me, make the engine about 58 pounds lighter and I'd be glad to use the throttle for my hp. every thing added to the engine (5th br ect.)
just keeps the weight going up.
 

Vigilant1

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Bill,
About proprietary parts: All engines eventually need replacement parts, and with airplane engines, that might mean that a part is required 20 years from now. How much of the Spyder comes strictly from Azalea, and how would users be assured of being able to find these bits once you decide to roll up your tent? The same situation exists in the VW conversion world, and is a source of concern to buyers there. I would think that the relatively smaller universe of Corvair aftermarket suppliers would be even more important.

Thanks.

Mark
 
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Don, I cannot say how an engine with half of its cylinders dead would run, but I dropped a cylinder a few years back and still had enough power to climb. I lost a valve so it was a completely dead jug, but the engine was still making ~75% power. One man's personal experience. - Zip
 

Bill Clapp

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Bill,
About proprietary parts: All engines eventually need replacement parts, and with airplane engines, that might mean that a part is required 20 years from now. How much of the Spyder comes strictly from Azalea, and how would users be assured of being able to find these bits once you decide to roll up your tent? The same situation exists in the VW conversion world, and is a source of concern to buyers there. I would think that the relatively smaller universe of Corvair aftermarket suppliers would be even more important.

Very astute ! which was our concern when we were deciding to push forward in using the Corvair for our aircraft - that made us decide on increasing the availability of parts for ourselves as well as customers. We have worked toward keeping the majority parts as "off-the shelf" as possible. Even with our 5th bearing (Chevy 350 main bearing and seal) and rear alternator/regulator (Harley Davidson softtail) Starter and ring gear are from a nissan Sentra - unmodified. Most engine components can be had from any corvair parts house. Our goal is to increase our customer base to where keeping a large inventory on hand is worth the while. Because we use our own engines in our planes we have a direct interest in doing so.
 

Bill Clapp

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It appears the better engine boils down to the 5th bearing and alt. on the rear of the engine. If the corvair suppliers want to impress me, make the engine about 58 pounds lighter and I'd be glad to use the throttle for my hp. every thing added to the engine (5th br ect.)
just keeps the weight going up

Believe it or not, we lost weight with our design. Our IFB is lighter on the front (no safety shafts, hub bolts, massive aluminum hub) and our starter setup is much lighter due to incorporating our starter bracket in with the rear oil pickup. We also removed 6 lbs of harmonic balancer weight on the rear. We had one of our lighter engine come in at 198 lbs with oil while shifting the CG of the engine a little bit farther back. It can be done - but not too much or you risk safety.
 

RonL

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I'm having a hard time, trying to respect your rules in this thread :( I keep wanting to drag you out on a limb :)
 

don january

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Bill. can the jug's of the corvair be made out of ALum. and sleeved and the back housing be down sized for weight ?
 

don january

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I just figured out the bummer about the gm corvaiers, 164 or 145 there always the same weight no matter what the HP. give or take a pound or two. Will Azalea Aviation develope any other type of corvair engine 1/3-2/3 or is the Spyder engine it ?
 
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