V8 engine Cessna 172

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skydawg

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Sorry for late reply to some questions asked here and by email. our c172 has a multi category AC, and typically now operated in exhibition which as about same ops limits as amateur builts. Exhibition airworthiness cert does not expire, similar to standard AC. we are performing private and commercial pilot training in it as we build time in different environments, and even FAA check rides, and missions such as 3 straight hours of touch and goes which are tough on an engine To simulate training mission.

RE question of STC….the STC would allow our engine to be be installed on legacy airframes, such as c172/182/220,PA28…ect. Currently looking for a Aztec twin airframe as well. The idea is for someone to buy a beat up airframe with damaged or worn out engine and bolt our kit on it. Project already has FAA G1 issue paper but executing the cert plan takes $ and have not yet found a good fit for investor yet, and still can’t figure out how to get any reasonable form of product liability insurance for a certified product (last quote was twice cost of the kit for each sold), or the company is put into a complicated maze of shell corporations, companies and trusts to curtail civil actions. My intent was to just make a simple solution to allow more people to fly, not become a lawyer and spend time maintaining the shell game.

RE other car conversion engines currently in exp and trying to cert those. There are some nice exp engine engines sold in the exp community, and I looked at a few. But our plan was to certify an engine by STC which requires more than just a solid engine. Most of the cert exp engines couldn’t meet part QC pedigree and EEC not likely meet redundancy requirements, which were first obstacle. When I spoke to a few of the manufacturers about making a version I could potentially certify, none of them wanted anything to do with it mostly due to liability reasons; I couldn’t blame them. There is a lot more required for certification beyond

RE liability issue, yet again, this is a huge obstacle for a small company, and touted as a huge barrier of entry for established manufacturers in the sector. If you don’t buy the excuse, go shop around the small aviation insurance market for a new critical component for a class 1 certified aircraft….try to explain it will enhance safety, maybe something like a simple low fuel warning lamp that’s in billions of cars worldwide. Before they inspect your foolproof design-say it’s the exact part used in millions of cars in the 1970-1980s with no history of failure- they will ask, what happens if someone crashes due to fuel exhaustion as they were relying on your lamp, instead of the gauge or time log, to illuminate and say it never did….what if there were passengers on board, what if it crashes into a school full of kids, ect….. then they will explain something about your light may only be partially attributed to the accident and your documents clearly state it’s not to be used as a primary indication of fuel remaining,…. but still you get hit with a big judgement, and even if your product worked perfectly and you can likely prove it in court, legal cost will likely be far more than you will ever make on selling them….and thats just one claim. Huge companies like garmin can and it’s just cost of doing business And built into retail cost. So you anyone still doesn’t buy the liability cost factors, I would appreciate hearing an informed and experienced solution rather than opinions. BTW, the liability issue is also a significant issue when seeking investment, as they do their own research and recognize it as a considerable risk.

RE prop type certificate… there are certification basis that don’t require specific prop TC for STC, as well as other components. It depends on how the cert plan was written and it’s certification basis proposal and checklist. if the FAA issues a G1 paper for that cert plan that does not require separate TC, then it’s not required.

RE selling the plans to build the engine. Our mission was to reignite GA by making GA affordable again. I think few would want to take the time and learn the skills required to make the thing, so there wouldn’t be much of an impact on rental fleet. I do think that those with the skills would likely buy a beat up old Cessna or piper and put the engine kit on, hang an experimental airworthiness on it, and have fun, and could train and build time in it for cheap…open to everyone’s thoughts on this issue. I think it would cost less than $35k for the kit, and you could sell it after you are done building time to someone needing same mission for at least same cost. I. Our case, we bought a beat up c172 with well over TBO engine for less than $18k, sold the engine and other unneeded components for over $10k, so airframe cost us about $8k. So, for cost about $44k, it’s not a bad deal for flying for about $20/hr. So the kit may have some merit. Our first website did have a lot of technical info about making your own auto conversion, but when we began shopping for liability insurance, it was highly recommended we take it off (seems that people have followed instructions on websites and sued source of info after they got injured….. so we removed it).

RE flying clubs with experimentals….again, a lot of misinformation here. Yes, its allowed AS LONG as the club is equity based, meaning members own part of the aircrafts, and rental/use cost is reasonable to run the operation. I’m thinking of starting a Corsair club with a c172 and c182 with V8’s. Rental cost would be about $40 and $50/hr wet.

I also get a lot of messages RE putting a cert aircraft into amateur built category. Again, not likely due to long standing FAA policies. And yes, a few have in the past, but most were rescinded as issued in error, along with some field approvals. I posted relative info on www.corsairv8.com but still get folks saying I am wrong and they can get AB exp. on their Cessna with my engine. As a former FAA DER I have seen a lot of applicants try to circumvent regulations with creative arguments, the only ones I have seen sneaked by FAA was from very resourceful applicants…. But good luck to anyone wanting to try.

RE what’s status of Corsair…. the engine is running flawless, all routine oil analysis suggest a 200 hour change interval if leaded gas isn’t used, and mostly putting on flight hours in demanding operations, such as training actual private and commercial pilots which is demanding on the engine. Our focus is on seeking the right investor that is an aviation enthusiasts and shares our mission, mostly to fund STC cert. and set up manufacturing. Most VC firms are interested given the cost savings , but don’t understand GA and what it takes to make it work, and usually concentrate on the liability risk more than the opportunity. If anyone here has any suggestion for potential investors, drop me a line. Otherwise, we’ll keep looking at other models to bolt our engine on. We are currently planning on taking a Prius hybrid and converting it for a c152 application, which would sole the battery range and charging infrastructure limitations. We also get a lot of inquires from Vans and other kit planes for using our engine…. Reached out to Vans about any Interest in working with us to build a mounting kit, but never heard back. But do have a couple of Vans owners offering up their plane as a test bed, so maybe will go in that direction.

we Get a lot of emails and apologize not answering questions quicker, and actually got some great ideas from followers on forums as HBA, as well as some offering their professional services for free…..currently got a structural engineer performing FEA on some components. So maybe the project becomes an open source? We recently added a new video on YouTube channel and on website as a results of questions and request for more info…hope it’s helpful and interesting.

thanks again for the interest.
 

tspear

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@skydawg

There are only a few ways to avoid the liability game.
1. Have lots of money and lawyers
2. Do NOT play in the USA. e.g. establish a blind trust and make everything from Brazil (for example), and have the customer pay for shipping to the USA. Not sure how doable this is, while holding the FAA STC....
3. Stay in the experimental space. e.g. sell to Van's.
4. Have no money, so you are not worth suing.

Good luck,

Tim
 

Turd Ferguson

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Tempest selected a variation on #4.
They are manufacturing a product without the hassle of liability insurance. They bought the rights to AC aviation sparkplugs. They improved on the carbon resistor AC plugs had but retained FAA approval to manufacture spark plugs. They formed a separate LLC company that only makes sparkplugs. They have zero liability insurance. They are in a leased building with a couple rented machine tools. The only tangible assets they own is some hex bar stock lying on the floor. I would wager the bank account does not have much surplus. If they get sued, they are folding up shop and going home.
I buy their products whenever I can.
 

rv7charlie

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I'd imagine Skydawg is more up to speed than me on this, but there really is a somewhat hopeful future on the certification front. Apparently the FAA has been very pleased with the 'Consensus Standards' methods used for Light Sport, and there is rule making in process to allow a similar system for at least some part 23 certification, which hopefully, would include powerplants, like Light Sport.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Part 23 certification can be accomplished by consensus standards today. That's why Part 23 has less than a dozen pages now.


§ 23.2010 Accepted means of compliance.

(a) An applicant must comply with this part using a means of compliance, which may include consensus standards, accepted by the Administrator.
 

Hot Wings

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So maybe the project becomes an open source?
Have you considered crowd funding rather than traditional investors? If you already have some qualified volunteers I would think that indicates there may be enough interest in the aviation community to fund this way?
 

rv7charlie

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TF,

Thanks for the update; didn't realize it had been finalized. Now lets all join ASTM & vote for Skydawg's certification methods.
;-)
 

skydawg

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the part 23 rewrite a few years back will help for sure. Essentially, it allows applicant to propose alternative means of compliance and ELOS findings using more modern (cheaper) methods. AS far as the LSA rewrite goes and increasing LSA weight/seats/ect....last I heard FAA plans on publishing PRM summer 2023.... I expect add 2 years to that, and that just starts the comment process..... don't hold your breath. Although LSA uses more of a self cert declaration based on ASTM, ASTM is mostly a reprint of part 33 (engine cert).

Never thought about the crowd funding angle, will have to look into it. A bit of background. ...when we started the project, the FAA and EPA had (and still does) millions in funding to eliminate need for leaded fuel. There were some practical requirements, such as it had to be economically viable for the aging GA fleet (cheap enough to deploy considering age of fleet and value). When we had the C172 flying on cheap ethanol MOGAS with better performance at at half the cost, I reached out to FAA grants department thinking they were going to welcome me with open arms and fund the development. When I finally got someone on the phone (after sending several unanswered emails and voice mails to the departments contact over months time, named Tiffany), they seemed very interested and connected me to someone up the totem pole. I simply said I have a flying prototype C172 that can run on car gas, performs better, cost 1/3 to operate and acquire and does not need any lead, and can make it work for the majority of the GA fleet! When they found out it was an alternative engine and not a modification to existing legacy engines, I was told they had no interest and that they were seeking solutions that will allow existing, new and future aircraft engines to not burn unleaded fuels. And that was pretty much it. I get the feeling we will have the same engines for another 20-30 years until there's a practical electric option conversion.

The FAA has been less than helpful or encouraging, aside from a few at the MIDO. Thanks for suggestions.
 

PMD

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Reading through this MOST interesting thread, it once again brings up the #1 problem in genav today (and several other busiunesses): The "LLL" (Legal Liability Lottery). From one of the twists and turns in this discussion, there was an exchange about the liability costs decreasing with certification vs. non-certified - and the truth is exactly the opposite. A type certificate or PMA approval simply identifies as a fully qualified target for ambulance chasing and petitfoggery.

The result is that anything new in aviation is going to come from a massively funded (military contracts or government strategic "funding or encouragement) from another safe country. Best example: who makes more aircraft engines than anyone else on Earth? Where are they made? Where was the business itself developed?

I would never try to discourage Skydog or anyone else who clearly demonstrates the best of intentions but the harsh reality of the business is unless you have a military contract or the government of China behind you, you are not going to be doing this in the USofA - unless of course the LSA rules are expanded to suit - but that still does nothing about the largest single cost - the effing lawyers and their insurance enablers.
 
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Vigilant1

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- but that still does nothing about the largest single cost - the effing lawyers and their insurance enablers.
You won't find me defending these lawyers, but their behavior is a symptom, not the cause. As long as the tort lottery exists in its present form there will be folks hoping for a jackpot. We have to close the casino.
 
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tspear

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@skydawg

If you can find the budget or funding information for the grant, post it here. It has been a number of years, but I have read the official legal funding for grants, and challanged an agency on the interpretation they used. I eventually got my congressional critters involved, and the agency finally changed their mind. In my case, I never went forward with the grant app because another federal agency decided to just fund it. :)

I say this, because likely the legal requirement/funding says absolutely nothing about the existing engines.

Tim
 

rv6ejguy

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Either the first lawsuit or the liability insurance cost (if you can even get it) will finish you if you ever get the STC approved. Seems like a non-starter to me right there unfortunately after all your work. Why not aim for the Experimental market first and see how it goes? Far less liability exposure and sounds like you could supply engines almost immediately without expensive cert costs. Would give you field experience which you could show to the FAA after a few years too.
 

thjakits

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I am not sure about the details - but have a look at how Robinson Helicopters does insurance/liability - ...I think their insurance is based offshore (Virgin Islands??) - ....somehow they are well insured and it's not 2x the sales price...
[...or was that for pilots and they fight liability when it comes up...??]

thjakits
 

Pops

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When you come down to the main root of the problem in aviation, it always comes down to politics that we are not allowed to discuss on this site.
 

rv7charlie

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Meh. I consider politics a minor issue, at most. We likely have the most liberal, nonrestrictive set of laws/regulations related to aviation in the entire world. It's not even about the money. The primary issue here in the USA, in my opinion, is terminal indifference. We are an instant gratification culture. If your plastic card doesn't melt, you can be bass fishing, water skiing, 4wheeling, horseback riding, golfing, etc etc etc within an hour of swiping your card, with, for all practical purposes, no training or certification of any sort. We lack the discipline and perseverance to participate in fields which take months of commitment and study for entry.

In my opinion, it's a cultural problem; not a political one.
 
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Hot Wings

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When you come down to the main root of the problem in aviation, it always comes down to politics that we are not allowed to discuss on this site.
And the root problem of politics is the simple old fashion greed for work credits..................and how to collect them without actually creating any wealth.


*The statement above is a philosophical one, not a political one - though the width of the line separating the two is often very narrow.
 

lelievre12

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If we don't, will likely keep it as a toy and I would like to install the engine on something like a C210 with a MT electric prop.
I'd love to try a V8 in my P210N however alas, the nose gear tucks under the current engine sump and makes it hard for a tall engine profile. In addition the engine mounts on the 210 are tied to this structure and not a custom steel frame to the firewall. This would make it a tricky conversion.

1635276354043.png
 

rv7charlie

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You know you can buy dry sum....
No wait. Since nothing will work for you, do you need someone to take the project off your hands?

;-)
 
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