Third homebuilt, Fleet model 7

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Sonny Furman, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Apr 20, 2019 #1

    Sonny Furman

    Sonny Furman

    Sonny Furman

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    I am currently building full scale replica of the 1930's Fleet model seven. While most were powered with radials, some model 7's were inline inverted Gypsy engines of 90 HP. As both radials and Gypsy majors are hard to find and expensive, I custom built a Honda 1.6 all aluminum Civic, utilizing a homebuilt reduction drive having a standard 3" belt & cogged pulleys from a Harley Davidson. Photos avail very soon. Yes, lots of machine work, but with a drive ration of 1.7 should work out well and not too heavy, with the original Honda engine rated at 120 HP more than adequate for the Fleet biplane. This is now my third and likely my last homebuilt, let's just say bucket list
    Sonny Furman, Col, USAF ret.
     
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  2. Apr 21, 2019 #2

    TFF

    TFF

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    Yes to pictures
     
  3. Apr 21, 2019 #3

    Tiger Tim

    Tiger Tim

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    Wow, a DIY Fleet 7G (or is it a 7H now?). Seconded for the pics, it sounds like quite a project.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Apr 21, 2019 #4

    blane.c

    blane.c

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  5. Apr 21, 2019 #5

    Sonny Furman

    Sonny Furman

    Sonny Furman

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    As seen by the last photo, which I believe is the H series with enclosed cowl, the finished plane will incorporate a few more modern features such as better brakes, updated nav equipment etc. Other than that, the concept is to keep it looking as original as possible. Getting good drawings and photos has not been easy, but things are moving along with the engine ready to go on the test stand. I will have photos soon. My last homebuilt was no less complicated, a Spacewalker ll powered by a Corvair. I am not 100% convinced that Corvairs are all that reliable despite having years of experience with them, hence the Honda choice.
    Sonny
     
  6. Apr 21, 2019 #6

    Sonny Furman

    Sonny Furman

    Sonny Furman

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    009.JPG 010.JPG 010.JPG 009.JPG 009.JPG 009.JPG 010.JPG 010.JPG
    010.JPG
     
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  7. Apr 21, 2019 #7

    TFF

    TFF

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    Nice. Have you run it with a prop yet? Airframe parts pics?
     
  8. Apr 21, 2019 #8

    plncraze

    plncraze

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    The reduction sort of reminds me of Raven's. Is yours an original or derived from another drive?
     
  9. Apr 21, 2019 #9

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

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    Love this thread already. Nice job!
     
  10. Apr 21, 2019 #10

    blane.c

    blane.c

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    I like that the prop drive is so nice and high up from the crankshaft.
     
  11. Apr 21, 2019 #11

    Sonny Furman

    Sonny Furman

    Sonny Furman

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    While it does resemble a Raven, I really had to design from scratch, with the major consideration that like a Gypsy major, the thrust line is very near the top of the cowl, simulating an inverted engine. the unit has triple roller bearings that are well supported, much stronger than the usual VW versions, albeit a bit heavier and a HD belt tension device. Who cares about six extra lbs. in a full size biplane?
     
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  12. Apr 21, 2019 #12

    Sonny Furman

    Sonny Furman

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    Have not run it with a prop as yet, that will be determined later after I calculate several factors. Of note: The original Honda ignitions are designed to operate with an ECU, something that I did not want. I then mated a VW Bosch 009 electronic conversion distributor to the base dizzy housing machined off, and machined custom coupling. At least my new lathe is earning its keep. While I am used to flying C-130E's this should be real fun for pancake breakfasts and my wife can be back seat driver from the front.
    Sonny
     
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  13. Apr 24, 2019 #13

    dodgedartgt

    dodgedartgt

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    Gosh Sonny,

    This is going to be amazing to watch, from a distance, instead of close up. Of course you post this AFTER we moved from North Port back to OR (we were 13 yrs there).

    I'm guessing we probably met at some point. Though I never joined the PG chapter, I stopped in for the meetings on occasion, and of course time there during the air shows.

    I'll be watching this one. Full speed ahead!

    Just read that PG is the 3rd fastest growing airport in the country.

    Mike(y) Bynum, back in God's country
     

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