Race 84 is Back!

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rv6ejguy

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A few weeks ago we had people with no Subaru experience disparaging these engines in aircraft. I'll present a counterpoint here. Russell Sherwood has been flying his Subaru EG33 powered Glasair for over 15 years- not just flying it, but racing it in SARL cross country races with high continuous power. Not just racing it, but winning many races in class and sometimes even overall. 2016 Mark Hardin Memorial Air Race | Sport Air Racing League

The Lyconental guys scoffed at auto engine entries initially but soon became rather quiet as Russell blew them away- repeatedly. In racing we have an old saying- when the flag drops, the BS stops. Never more apt here.

Russell is a very smart ME who has refined his installation over the years. Initially, he had many issues with Ross and GAP planetary gearboxes failing despite oiling improvements made to them. A few years back, he switched to the internal helical gear Marcotte M300 box and has had no more issues. I use the same box and also have never touched it internally.

Russell has had a few setbacks along the way. The aircraft was damaged by a falling hangar door several years ago during a storm and suffered a brake line failure a few years ago, again seriously damaging the aircraft when it departed the runway. Both of these incidents were turned into mod sessions to improve things while the rebuilds were happening. He's back racing in SARL again now and still winning as you can see from the stats above.

Russell was instrumental in showing people how to cool their liquid cooled engines properly with low drag with his ventral rad setup. I got many ideas from him for my RV6.

Anyway, Russell's EG33 works just fine. I believe he has over 550 hours on the latest setup and more than that on the Subaru installation as a whole.

EG-33++Right+3.jpg
 

max_burke

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Very nice! I dig the radiator scoop, cleans up the engine bay nicely too compared to some auto engine conversions.

Is it naturally aspirated? Any dyno numbers?
 

rv6ejguy

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Very nice! I dig the radiator scoop, cleans up the engine bay nicely too compared to some auto engine conversions.

Is it naturally aspirated? Any dyno numbers?
The engine is dead stock except for a composite intake manifold which Russell fabbed up. No turbo or supercharger or cams. Stock output is 230hp at 5400 rpm.
 

Winginit

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Ross, isn't this about the place where all the Lycosarus guys jump in and tell everyone :


1. Auto engines aren't designed to be used in airplanes

2. Auto engines are not as reliable as LyConts

3. Auto engines can't match the power of an equivalent LyCont

4. Auto engines are too heavy

5. Its too difficult

6. AdInfinitum

That is one very clean and well executed conversion. I liked it when the video showed the plenum opening further. I'd just luv to be a fly on the wall when all the LyCont guys get together after the race to lick their wounds and exchange excuses.:roll: I'm looking forward to seeing how TxFlyGuy's LS3 Titan performs.
 

rv6ejguy

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I believe it would be around 370 pounds minus accessories- engine, M300 gearbox, 12 pound flywheel, composite intake manifold, exhaust system. Add alternator, starter, coolant and radiator system to that to compare to finished Lycoming weights. This engine splits the difference in hp and weight between 360s and 540s for the most part but only displaces 202 cubic inches.
 
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Vector

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I believe it would be around 370 pounds minus accessories- engine, M300 gearbox, 12 pound flywheel, composite intake manifold, exhaust system. Add alternator, starter, coolant and radiator system to that to compare to finished Lycoming weights. This engine splits the difference in hp and weight between 360s and 540s for the most part but only displaces 202 cubic inches.
Can I possibly look at your installation and re-create your or Race 84 success/performance without endless tinkering?
 

rv6ejguy

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Can I possibly look at your installation and re-create your or Race 84 success/performance without endless tinkering?
Unless you have a solid background in engines, design and fabrication, your likelihood of success would not be great. It's a lot of extra work to do successful conversions like these. Truthfully, most people are better off bolting a Lycoming on the front.

I just post these examples to show how successful auto conversions can be, if done correctly.
 

Vector

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Unless you have a solid background in engines, design and fabrication, your likelihood of success would not be great. It's a lot of extra work to do successful conversions like these. Truthfully, most people are better off bolting a Lycoming on the front.

I just post these examples to show how successful auto conversions can be, if done correctly.
But if I am copying your installation, I should be able to bolt and play with little to no issues. Is it naive on my part to think that?
 

rv6ejguy

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But if I am copying your installation, I should be able to bolt and play with little to no issues. Is it naive on my part to think that?
Custom engine build, custom engine mount, custom exhaust system with turbocharger, custom intake manifold, custom induction tubing, custom intercooler, custom radiator scoop, custom flywheel, custom alternator mount etc. Do you have the design, machining and welding skills to make these parts?

As these are one-offs, there are no plans available for these, you'd have to duplicate from photos. A tall order even for someone with the complete skill set.
 

cheapracer

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But if I am copying your installation, I should be able to bolt and play with little to no issues. Is it naive on my part to think that?
The turbo Viking is going to be a darn hard product to beat if it's sorted.

170hp out of the box, massive torque at cruise, and I'm guessing 200hp with only minor mods.

And I have finally seen a complete Viking 130 on a set of scales, 224lbs no radiator or ECU. So I would think 250lbs installed and running? Turbo will be a bit more again.
 

Vector

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Custom engine build, custom engine mount, custom exhaust system with turbocharger, custom intake manifold, custom induction tubing, custom intercooler, custom radiator scoop, custom flywheel, custom alternator mount etc. Do you have the design, machining and welding skills to make these parts?

As these are one-offs, there are no plans available for these, you'd have to duplicate from photos. A tall order even for someone with the complete skill set.
In essence an unrealistic pursuit for the vast majority of home builders.
 

Vector

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The turbo Viking is going to be a darn hard product to beat if it's sorted.

170hp out of the box, massive torque at cruise, and I'm guessing 200hp with only minor mods.

And I have finally seen a complete Viking 130 on a set of scales, 224lbs no radiator or ECU. So I would think 250lbs installed and running? Turbo will be a bit more again.
No ECU; interesting.
 

rv6ejguy

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The turbo Viking is going to be a darn hard product to beat if it's sorted.

170hp out of the box, massive torque at cruise, and I'm guessing 200hp with only minor mods.

And I have finally seen a complete Viking 130 on a set of scales, 224lbs no radiator or ECU. So I would think 250lbs installed and running? Turbo will be a bit more again.
Call me skeptical but I don't give a 200hp, 1500cc engine a long lifespan in aircraft use. Jan's previous turbo experiments have all led to broken engines as he has little experience in the field and doesn't listen to the advice of those who do.
 
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Marc Bourget

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Don't know the level of Viking's recent "development program" but, historically, I formed the opinion from personal inspection and various public and private responses, that everything he learned came from automotive "performance" magazine articles.

Do your own "due diligence" for me, I'll let someone else assume the risk !!
 

Winginit

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In essence an unrealistic pursuit for the vast majority of home builders.
Actually it is often a labor of love which results in having a superior product once complete. Ross, in my opinion is trying to be extremely open in his assessment of the problems to be dealt with. He is correct in his assessment that if you aren't familiar with engines in general and methods of construction, you stand a good chance of being disappointed.
On the other hand, as you pointed out, there is someone who has successfully solved all of those problems and can be used as an example...if he is willing to share that knowledge and experience.

Lets look a little closer at what Ross said.

Custom engine build: There is the elephant in the room. If you have the ability to work on and with engines, it should be easy to assemble a viable engine.
If you do not have any experience, you will have to pay someone to do it for you. If you get involved with an engine builder who will
teach you how to build your engine as it is put together, you will improve your knowledge. Its up to each builder to decide how comfortable
they are, and if they are willing to learn. To me this is the basic deal breaker decision on the whole thing.

As with any experimental, when viewed as a whole it can be daunting. What you will find is that like life in general you will deal with most of the other problems as you go along, and it is not insurmountable.

Custom Engine Mount and custom exhaust system: You can either weld or you can't . If not, you have to be able to cut and fit tubes and put a simple tack weld in place...then pay someone to weld it for you. You will often face the same problems when using an aero engine, so the additional problem is really kind of a wash. Remember that many builders weld their own fuselages, and therefore make their own mounts and exhausts as well.

Turbocharger: Yes, that will take some effort, but it should be a simple copycat exercise if you are building the same engine/airplane combination. He already has identified the type of turbo that works well with the combo.

Custom intake manifold: Not really something that most builders couldn't learn to do, but it does require some effort. Might be able to purchase one from the original builder. Probably a weekend build.

Custom Induction tubing: Not sure how difficult that is, but I would think its reasonably simple.

Custom intercooler: Not something you normally build at home. You just tell some radiator company what you want and they supply it. Sometimes you can adapt a ready made and similar unit cheaply since you will already know what it takes.

Custom Radiator scoop: Even non-watercooled engines require some fabrication to accomodate airflow.

Custom Flywheel: Shouldn't be much of an issue. Get the specs and see what is needed. If its just lightening, a clutch shop will modify and balance it cheaply.

Custom alternator mount: Again, easy fabbed, and often needed for aero engines too.

My point is that Ross is trying not to convince anyone to dismiss all these things, but to realistically consider what a conversion encompasses. Good for him. But also don't decide to be another person who is easily dissuaded from building a superior airplane to fly and enjoy, simply because it does entail more effort to realize that goal.

When your airplane is completed you can line it up with numerous other copycat examples at the airshows, or you can become the innovator that everyone stops to look at. It really depends not only on familiarity with building, but the willingness to learn and grow as you build.:)

Marc Bourget
Don't know the level of Viking's recent "development program" but, historically, I formed the opinion from personal inspection and various public and private responses, that everything he learned came from automotive "performance" magazine articles.
Actually I think virtually everyone who is honest would admit to gaining much of their mechanical knowledge from automotive high performance magazines. Many of them have excellent technical articles, and most of the popular technical publications on engines, turbo's , superchargers, exhaust systems, camshaft tech, etc. originate from authors working in the automotive field. Since we are discussing a turboed automotive engine conversion it would seem likely that much was gleaned from auto performance magazines, and the resulting airplane seems to be an excellent result of that transference of information.
 
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