Quantcast

Single-ignition VW

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,561
Location
World traveler
The traditional, bone-simple VW conversion for a Volksplane is a single magneto, on or grounded, that's it. A few years ago I started this thread sharing the recommendation from Steve Bennett of Great Plains that an ordinary 009, blue coil and battery with a wind generator or just dead-drain was his recommendation for a simple, lightweight, single-ignition VW aircraft conversion. The wind generators don't really appear to have taken off, pun intended, but there are still a host of options. What do folks think about these options or about relying on a single ignition in a VW in the first place?


1) Stock 009 distributor, blue coil, battery with or without alternator/generator (the original, points need adjustment);

2) Same as above but the with drop in electronic ignition 009 conversion and associated coil (no points to adjust, draws more current);

3) Same as above but with Davis Unified Ignition (GM HEI components) with integrated distributor/coil unit (easy to install but a big honking thing);

4) Same as above but magnetically or optically triggered electronic ignition not based on 009 distributor (more expensive, may not work for hand prop);

5) Vertex magneto (if you can find one, expensive, even bigger than the DUI, but no electric required);

6) Slick 4316 aircraft magneto (expensive but no electric required);

7) Slick 4200 industrial magneto modified for aircraft use (cheaper but olive green ;-), no electric required)

8) E-Mag self-powered electronic ignition (expensive, will still require battery for start, may not work for hand start).​
 

Wanttaja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
1,526
Location
Seattle, WA
As far as battery systems, I've wondered about using the power packs for cordless drills. You could have several charging in the hangar, drop one into a receptacle on the airplane, and load a couple of spares if you're going on a trip.

Not sure I'd want to do this for a flight-critical system, though. Not sure if it has enough amp-hours. What's the power consumption of a Bosch 009-based ignition system?

Ron Wanttaja
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,306
Location
USA.
Friend of mine put over a thousand hours on a 1/2 VW in a Mini-Max. He used a 009 dis with the VW coil. Powered the ignition system with a 12 volt, 5 amp model airplane engine starting gel-cell battery. Had a volt meter and when the volts got down to 10 volts he switched to another 12v X 5 amp backup battery. One battery would last 2 hrs of flight time. He would make long cross country trips of several hundred mile with this system.
 

fly2kads

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,680
Location
Justin, TX
What's the power consumption of a Bosch 009-based ignition system?
My understanding is that both the points distributors and the points replacement electronic modules both draw less than 5 amps. I have seen a quote from Pertronix that the total current for a 4 cylinder engine equipped with their module should be no more than 4 amps.

My other hobby is restoring and driving old air-cooled VW cars. I hear some worried hand wringing about points from time to time. This seems to arise for a couple of reasons: people who aren't familiar with them, and people who seem to think "If it's electronic, it must be better!" In my experience, points have never been a problem. It is one more item to check periodically, adjust once in a while, and replace when worn. I have never had a problem with them. Most issues seem to arise from neglect.
 

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,561
Location
World traveler
Ron, like you, I am not so sure about the cordless drill packs for keeping the engine running. Dan, that's encouraging to hear, and fly2kads I agree that folks are sometime afraid of anything that requires regular maintenance.

Something like this AEROVOLTZ 8 CELL LITHIUM BATTERY weighs less that two pounds and is the equivalent of an about 15 amp-hour lead acid battery. For less than a pound more you can move up to 20 amp-hours, about two pounds more and you're at 28 amp-hours.

I've see 2 amps quoted for the draw of an 009 distributor ignition at cruise so, even at no less than 50% capacity, either of those would last far longer than the the VP-2's 14 gallon fuel tank or your bladder, even when running a couple of electric gauges and an LED anti-collision light.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,306
Location
USA.
My understanding is that both the points distributors and the points replacement electronic modules both draw less than 5 amps. I have seen a quote from Pertronix that the total current for a 4 cylinder engine equipped with their module should be no more than 4 amps.

My other hobby is restoring and driving old air-cooled VW cars. I hear some worried hand wringing about points from time to time. This seems to arise for a couple of reasons: people who aren't familiar with them, and people who seem to think "If it's electronic, it must be better!" In my experience, points have never been a problem. It is one more item to check periodically, adjust once in a while, and replace when worn. I have never had a problem with them. Most issues seem to arise from neglect.
Correct, as long as you buy Bosh points and not some cheaper after market points where the rubbing block wears down at a fast rate. When you change oil at 25 hrs, check the points, rocker arm clearance and install new points at the conditional inspection.

BTW -- I have owned 3- 1956 VW bugs, one 1957, and owned at least one of every year to 1975. Also a 1966 Bus camper and sold my 1978 VW camper that was in show room condition about 3 years ago. Sold my 1962 aluminum block Buick V-8, 215 cc, 200 hp powered 1968 Bug about one year ago.
I also worked for VW of America.
Dan
 

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,561
Location
World traveler
Dan, based on your experience, do you recommend the stock 009 or one of the points eliminator conversions?
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,306
Location
USA.
Dan, based on your experience, do you recommend the stock 009 or one of the points eliminator conversions?
009 with points, if anything happens to the points, it will be gradual, where you will notice a gradual lower power output and land at the nearest airport. Not like turning the switch off and looking for an off field place to land.

Dan
 

Daleandee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,151
Location
SC
What do folks think about these options or about relying on a single ignition in a VW in the first place?
Would it be possible to set up a system like the William Wynne Corvair uses i.e. dual ignition distributor with points on one side and a Crane XR-i electronic ignition on the other side? The Crane unit pulls little power and is very reliable. Add dual coils with one of these:

MSD Automatic Coil Selectors 8210 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at Summit Racing

You would have to remake the breaker plate and remote mount the condenser for the points ...

Dale
N319WF
 

Dana

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Messages
9,335
Location
CT, USA
I have a single Slick 4316 (two poles shorted) on my Mosler (half VW) and though it makes me a little nervous, it's brand new and made for airplanes. And I went through a lot of ignition issues before I got to this point (search here or wait for the July issue of Kitplanes).

That said, if I was working from scratch I'd probably look into using a pair of modern small engine electronic ignition modules (Briggs and Stratton, can't find the link at the moment). Single and two cylinder versions, self powered with a magnet on a small flywheel, and you could have two of them for dual ignition with less weight than a single Slick. Or something like the ignition on the Solo engine on my paramotor (though that's only a single cylinder)... totally self contained, the electronics are potted into the coil which is fired by the magnet on a tiny 4" flywheel, only three wires: a ground, a kill switch, and the high tension lead.

Dana
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,306
Location
USA.
I was working on a system for non-electric VW engines, but have not done anything since last fall because trying to finish the JMR. My VW engine is non-electric with a Slick 4316 mag. Plan on putting a distributor in the VW engine with a circuit that will turn the distributor on when the mag fails after about .5 seconds. Will have a switch on the panel for off/ arm/ on. Will be able to use dual ignition for take-off or any time you want but with battery drain, or run on the Slick mag only and the system will be armed to turn on if the mag fails before the engine can stop. Also a LED on the panel showing of a mag failure. So the small battery will not be used when on the arm position until the mag fails and with a small 5 amp battery, you will be able to fly to the nearest airport instead of an engine out and an off field landing .
Back up ignition when you really need it.

Dan
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
13,563
Location
Port Townsend WA
Motorgliders can be Type certificated with just single ignition. The Limbach L2000 is single ignition (Slick mag)
Mine is 35 years old.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
13,456
Location
Memphis, TN
I would want the mag first, but the 009 with a Aerovoltz like battery would be fine. On longer flights make it quick release and bring a battery charger and charge at fuel stops or some solar setup could be tried.
 

radfordc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
1,407
I had a 1/2 VW with 009 dist and coil. Small 4 amp/hr battery, Key West reg/rectifier, and a home made wind generator. No problems.
 

dino

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Messages
680
Location
florida
Mine was a 009 with 7 Ahr gel battery and rewound model airplane engine running off the prop hub with an o-ring belt as a generator. It would run either on battery or generator or both. Later I changed to a Kubota tractor permanent magnet alternator with a Kubota voltage regulator instead of the RC motor.
 

Daleandee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,151
Location
SC
Later I changed to a Kubota tractor permanent magnet alternator with a Kubota voltage regulator instead of the RC motor.
The 20 amp John Deere setup (dynamo & regulator) used on Corvairs is very small and together they weigh about 3.5 lbs. Smaller/lighter units are available. If carrying extra batteries needs to be done for longer flights, why not make that extra weight a PM alternator (generator/dynamo)?

00112804.jpg

Dale
N319WF
 

gtae07

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2012
Messages
2,001
Location
Savannah, Georgia
The 20 amp John Deere setup (dynamo & regulator) used on Corvairs is very small and together they weigh about 3.5 lbs. Smaller/lighter units are available. If carrying extra batteries needs to be done for longer flights, why not make that extra weight a PM alternator (generator/dynamo)?
I think people are trying to avoid having an engine-driven electrical system, because then that brings other equipment requirements into play.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
13,456
Location
Memphis, TN
No generator, equals no requirement to have transponder or ADSB unless you have to fly in B or C airspace.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,306
Location
USA.
No generator, equals no requirement to have transponder or ADSB unless you have to fly in B or C airspace.
Us old F***'s don't want any stinking generators. Never saw a pterodactyl with one.

Dan
 

Daleandee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,151
Location
SC
No generator, equals no requirement to have transponder or ADSB unless you have to fly in B or C airspace.
Actually, even with a generator there is no requirement to have a transponder or ADS-B outside of B or C airspace. There is some clarification i.e. mode C veil, above 10,000 ft, etc, ...

More specifics are here:

https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/aviation-communities-and-interests/homebuilt-aircraft-and-homebuilt-aircraft-kits/frequently-asked-questions/transponder-requirements

But for the most part ...

Dale
N319WF
 
Last edited:
Top