I would venture to guess that pops knows more about building VW engines for aircraft than anyone here... show him a little respect...Whatever. I was going by the prop being at the front.
On their full VW engines, Great Plains has the option of mounting the prop on either end, with the flywheel drive being a little lighter. It looks like that is what their full-case 1/2 VW is based on. Still, they could not have cut the crank.
By the way, they have a kit of parts for the full case 1/2 VW.
Don't recall if it was them, or someone else, but there was a mention of being able to add the missing cylinders back at a later time. That would be more difficult if the crank were cut. And if the crank were cut, how would it be supported in the middle?
there are three bearings that support the crank in a VW... on of which is in the middle between the cylinders.. all you have to do is find a picture of a case to see