Vw power for Pietenpol.

Discussion in 'Volkswagen' started by Natty Bumpo, Jan 4, 2011.

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes Forum by donating:

  1. Jan 4, 2011 #1

    Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Respublica de Veridimontana
    I have recently been given a 1970cc vw type 4 that a friend removed from a '79 vw bus. I have been doing a lot of reading about whether or not this engine will be appropriate for my air camper.

    I did not build this airframe, rather I bought it for a song out of a barn where it had languished since 1981, which is tha last time that a flight entry was made in the logbook. It originally had a 65 continental, but it was long gone by the time I discovered the aircraft and sold my car to my ex to generate the funds, (half of what the car was worth, but her check worked).

    I have gotten differing opinions about whether or not this will suffice, either with or without redrive. Could some of you guys give me some of your learned advice?

    Nathan,
    Republic of the Green Mountains.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  2. Jan 4, 2011 #2

    TFF

    TFF

    TFF

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    11,717
    Likes Received:
    3,317
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Too much airplane for a VDub. What ever engine, you want to swing a big prop because the plane is draggy. When the 65 Cont. was new the other engine option was the Lycoming 0-145. Both were 65 hp and both were options in many planes, but you will rarely see a 0-145 anywhere anymore because it had to have tiny prop which made the Continental look like it had 100 hp; they all through the years converted the planes to the Continentals and threw away the 0-145. You might be able to do it with a drive but it would cost a bunch and the engine would be screaming to make the power. The Corvair would be the way to go if you want a modern car engine. A guy here has 2 Petes one with a Ford B model and one with a Kinner radial.
     
  3. Jan 4, 2011 #3

    Topaz

    Topaz

    Topaz

    Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    13,832
    Likes Received:
    5,464
    Location:
    Orange County, California
    My larger concern than power is the flogging the engine may have gotten in its auto/bus life. At the very least you're going to want to rebuild the engine, and at that point, you might as well get a ground-up conversion from Great Plains or AeroVee.

    The Type 4 is capable of more power output (continuous) than your basic Type 1 VW engine, and may well have enough power for your Piet, especially with a redrive (available from Great Plains). But again, a tired, seen-its-day engine pulled from a thirty-year-old bus may not be the way to go unless you know for a fact that the motor was given proper care and service. It's your life up there in the sky. Reliability counts.

    IMHO, sell the motor you've got to someone looking to restore their VW bus, and use the money towards a ground-up VW or Corvair conversion.
     
  4. Jan 5, 2011 #4

    Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Respublica de Veridimontana
    Of course I wouldn't fly the thing without a complete and careful overhaul. Sorry I didn't say so, but in my mind it was a given. I do expect to find it in good order, as I overhauled it at length two winters ago for him. We didn't cheap it out either. I spoke with someone at GP, and they do not offer a redrive for the type 4. The person I spoke to was adamant that my piet is too heavy for a direct drive VW even if it is a type 4.

    I need an engine...still. I am aware that many powerplants have flown these things in their long history, and most of them would be satisfactory to me. I am an auto mechanic by trade, although my first mechanical experiences were building small Continentals to earn flight time. Confidence is taking your basic instruction in a J-3 that you built the spars and engine in!

    My sense is that it would probably cost the same to do a nice Corvair as it would to get an o-200 used. Yes or no? Part of my hesitation about the 'vair is that I've never been in one. Here in the land of roadsalt, they're all gone. Made into frying pans in China.

    Any suggestions from anyone regarding some of the less widely seen installations would be greatly appreciated. This airplane will be completed with a heavy dose of creativity, scrounging, and talent to offset the pockets I don't have.
     
  5. Jan 5, 2011 #5

    Topaz

    Topaz

    Topaz

    Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    13,832
    Likes Received:
    5,464
    Location:
    Orange County, California
    Well, that may be true, but my equivocation reflects more of my ignorance of the Piet than the motor. Power-required is mostly a function of MTOW and wing area/geometry. What do the plans call out, in terms of engine weight and continuous power output?

    As for the rest, it might be best to approach the Piet forum on Yahoo and see what most of them are using. There are a couple of people here building Piets, but we haven't heard from them yet.
     
  6. Jan 5, 2011 #6

    TFF

    TFF

    TFF

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    11,717
    Likes Received:
    3,317
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I believe the Corvair as airplane was first seen in a Pete. The biggest problem of changing to a different engine is how much of the airframe has to be changed. Most of the Corvair/ Continental Petes have longer noses for the CG. The Old A/B Ford engines are pretty heavy and have shorter noses for the most part. I would not think when after all the money is spent it could be done cheaper than getting a Continental. A bigger chunk up front but I bet the cost is really the same unless you can make all the parts from scratch. Being ready to pounce on one with the right price can be hard; it is hard to tie up a bunch of money waiting. Cheap ones do come through if you wait long enough.
     
  7. Apr 20, 2011 #7

    pie_row

    pie_row

    pie_row

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    salt lake city Ut
    It is a type IV not too much for one of those. As has been said in other threads the exact type needs to be taken into consideration. But a type IV is a good choice for a starting point.
     
  8. May 1, 2011 #8

    Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Respublica de Veridimontana
    yeah, but type 4 redrives are like 1 in 8" twist AR barrels. I've heard of them but they're almost fabulously hard to pin down....
    I sem to have at long last located an A-65 that Imay Aquire.
     
  9. May 1, 2011 #9

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Messages:
    6,432
    Likes Received:
    2,281
    Location:
    World traveler
    The conventional wisdom for as long as I have been reading about Pietenpols (about 20 years now) is that the relatively small and fast-turning prop used by most direct-drive VWs just does not put out enough thrust for the draggy Air Camper airframe. That said, the guys flying the aluminum-and-fabric WWI replicas (Kansas City Dawn Patrol, etc.) now seem to swear by the reduction drive-VWs swinging big, slow-turning props as the best way to pull their draggy airframes through the air without the buzz saw two-cycle sound effects.

    If I were you, I'd contact Steve Bennett at Great Plains to find out how much it would cost to overhaul and convert for direct drive your Type IV, and how much static thrust you might get out of it, and then compare that with the reduction-drive Type I and A-65 options. Steve sells Type IV parts, too, and he has always been very frank in my experience. For example, when I consulted him about a good VW set-up for a Clutton FRED, he recommended an inexpensive distributor ignition, battery and wind generator combination rather than the far more expensive and sophisticated options he also sells.
     
  10. May 9, 2011 #10

    Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Respublica de Veridimontana
    Actually according to their FAQ section, the dawn patrol is using Direct drive 1835cc vw type 1's with 60" props turning approx 2950 static max. Interesting to me as I also have one of the same Graham Lee Nieuports that they do and I am about to power it with the same.
     
  11. May 10, 2011 #11

    rheuschele

    rheuschele

    rheuschele

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Chicago Il. USA.
    I'm just going to chime in with my 2 cents worth. When I started to get into homebuilt aviation I also wanted to use a type IV VW engine. It was the biggest, strongest of the vw's and still inexpensive. After about a year of investigating what it would take to convert it, I found it would be heavier, and more expensive than a corvair, but with less power. The initial cost of the engine was nothing compared to everything else to convert it. Being a type IV, you are going to spend a lot of time searching for things that either don't exist yet, or where made for other engines. By the time you adapt them for your use, it will always be in the back of your mind of whether or not it's going to fail. Again, just my 2 cents.
    Ron
     
  12. Sep 10, 2012 #12

    buzzypeterson

    buzzypeterson

    buzzypeterson

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Wausau, WI USA
    Having had VW's in my past 2 airplanes and well over 100 hours flying behind them I feel safe to say that if you called great plains and they told you no just let it go. Find yourself another option. I think a type one with a redrive would be the ticket for you.... Run it off the front so that you have the same rotation as a continental. I have always had direct drive off the accessory side (opposite direction prop) but it's an easier conversion. All mine were is a hub that I heated while the crank was in the freezer and then after it expanded slip it on. (heat shrink prop). But knowing people who have done the WW1 thing I can tell you the aerodrome guys certainly prefer the redrive over direct. In order to spin a long enough prop without a redrive the prop has to be basically flat to be able to hit rpm... then it doesn't get the bite. I wish you would prove me wrong and get a long prop with a decent blade angle to somehow swing and tell me what you did though!
     
  13. Jan 13, 2013 #13

    Pops

    Pops

    Pops

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    7,213
    Likes Received:
    6,106
    Location:
    USA.
    I fly behind a 1835 cc, VW engine in the aircraft that is pictured on the left. Using a Culver 60"X26" prop I also get 2950 rpm static. I cruise at 2650 @ 80 mph, burning 3 GPH. WOT flying is 3050 rpm. Lots of power.This is my 4th VW aircraft engine that I have built. I have 140 hrs on the engine. Pops



     
  14. Jan 14, 2013 #14

    cavelamb

    cavelamb

    cavelamb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    56
    Location:
    earth
    One way to tell if an engine will be appropriate for any other airframe is to look at the props.

    The VW makes 40 hp swinging a 54 to 60 inch diameter prop at nearly 3000 rpm.
    The Ford makes 40 hp swing a 76" (?) prop at 1800 rpm.

    Look at the difference in prop disk area.
    If these are fairly close, it should work ok.

    Richard
     

Share This Page



arrow_white