# Why aren't more auto engines being used

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#### Swampyankee

##### Well-Known Member
General aviation also had a lot of other things going on, partly due to the changed business and tax climate of the 1980's. The companies that made the small aircraft got bought, frequently in leveraged buyouts, and profitable, but low margin product lines would be shut down to pay off the arbs. Many, perhaps most, of the publicly-held forced takeovers were not of tottering mis-managed ruins, but of companies profitable companies which had assets that could be sold for cash.

#### Turd Ferguson

##### Well-Known Member
To please the FAA Cessna is not going to spend $10 million on selling 200 airplanes a year. In the hay day when they sold 3-4 thousand planes a year maybe. Which is where we are today, the proverbial "Which comes first, chicken or egg?" syndrome. If there was a market, cost would not be an obstacle to new development, manufacturers would do whatever necessary to fill the demand. The market is saying if there were new products, buyers would come. (build it and they will come) We're not buying until there are new products and we're not building until there are buyers. LSA has shown that it costs$150k to build a modern 2 place RTF airplane, despite very little regulatory burden, yet people still believe that if regs were relaxed, airplane prices would drop. Not happening.

#### mcrae0104

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
LSA has shown that it costs $150k to build a modern 2 place RTF airplane, despite very little regulatory burden, yet people still believe that if regs were relaxed, airplane prices would drop. Not happening. Interestingly, the cost per pound of a 162 was roughly the same as a 172 (in the range of$175/lb). I would have hoped the simplified regulations would bring this down some.

But if you consider that an RV costs around $75-100/lb (materials only of course) then it's probably not realistic to expect that manufactured planes could drop much below double this cost (barring rapid expansion of the market or some disruptive manufacturing or material science breakthrough). #### BBerson ##### Light Plane Philosopher HBA Supporter Auto engines are not used much because they are too durable. They last for 300,000 miles. Too heavy for aviation. We need lighter less durable engines to get a more favorable power to weight ratio. The average Homebuilt probably flies 10 hours a year. So life before replacement of 300 hrs is 30 years. It needs to be cheap, not durable, so a replacement can be made for whatever reason. My friends$18,000 Jabiru was trashed after an oil line came loose and lost oil. Things happen.

The Continental A40 was an example of cheap. 250 hours between overhaul. The VW was cheap, light and used in homebuilts. Corvair is another example of cheap and lighter than average car.
Need a source of cheap, light, disposable engines for Cub-like airplanes that can handle an ocassional dead stick landing.

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#### cheapracer

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
As long as Lycoming and Continental make only a few hundred engines a year, and face big liabilities, the prices aren't going to come down.
Exactly, defending and justifying it, never questioning it. What is Lyc/Contis insurance bill each year exactly? Yup, you don't know, therefore your point is moot.

Does anyone bother to ask why Viking's kit is aprox $10,000? I'm not talking about the engine, they are sub$1K, I'm talking about the kit.

They profit off cheap Asian labor (some of it children), and low pay for the employees.
I live in "Asia" and let's guess that 90% of goods come from China so specific to the China part of Asia, eg; 90% of the goods you are referring to; Nonsense.

Without a doubt the median starting age of Chinese workers would be around 2 to 4 years higher than that of Australia. I've lived in both Countries long enough to know.

I can't vouch for the other 10% of Asian countries though, no idea.

poor quality,

Nope, only people choose to purchase rubbish, Asia (wherever) and Walmart (whoever) are only guilty of meeting those people's purchasing demands.

I live in Asia and I don't buy rubbish, because I choose not to, as you all should choose not to. Time and time again the longer term economics prove it not to be good value.

Be smart, don't be a tightwad then blame a whole Country, hell a whole Continent in this case, for your own ineptitude - you're welcome. :gig:

#### mcrae0104

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Corvair is another example of cheap and lighter than average car.
Need a source of cheap, light, disposable engines for Cub-like airplanes that can handle an ocassional dead stick landing.
That is probably exactly what Bernie Pietenpol had in mind (except perhaps the disposable part) by putting the first flying Corvair into a Cub.

Does anyone bother to ask why Viking's kit is aprox $10,000? I'm not talking about the engine, they are sub$1K, I'm talking about the kit.
Yes, I think they do bother to ask such questions; for example, recall the recent Suzuki discussion here on HBA.

But I'm curious, are you bothered by the Viking price, and if so, why? I'd like to understand your mindset.

#### Chris In Marshfield

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
It's another one of those "How much is your time worth" arguments.

#### RJW

##### Well-Known Member
I know Lycoming and Continental machine to the same quality machine work as any of the car companies.
Really? And how do you know this?

Rob

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#### BBerson

##### Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Not sure what is meant by "quality machining".
The tolerance of fit needed is much looser (required) for aircooled engines because of heat and expansion. That's why they burn more oil.

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
Yes the tolerances are wider. THEY HAVE TO BE BECAUSE IT IS AIRCOOLED. Does not mean they dont go for exact measurements. If you knew anything about Lycoming or Continental, you would know each bolt is torqued and recorded electronically and is given a go/no no for each step. I know Lycoming assemblers work as teams. Pretty sure Continental is the same. Depends on which side of the "house" the engine gets built. One is designated New engine and the other is the Overhauled engine builder. When the New engine builder is assembling the engine the Overhaul builder is the Quality Control Inspector or the rolls are reversed. So all those "junk" engines are put together where the new engines are. Where as an engine might get field overhauled 4-5 times by an A&P, if it goes to Lycoming it better be on the tight side of the allowance table or machinable or it gets crushed. They crush stuff that most people would love to fly behind. Maybe a trip to Pennsylvania or Alabama would be a smart thing.

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Yes the tolerances are wider. THEY HAVE TO BE BECAUSE IT IS AIRCOOLED. Does not mean they dont go for exact measurements. If you knew anything about Lycoming or Continental, you would know each bolt is torqued and recorded electronically and is given a go/no no for each step. I know Lycoming assemblers work as teams. Pretty sure Continental is the same. Depends on which side of the "house" the engine gets built. One is designated New engine and the other is the Overhauled engine builder. When the New engine builder is assembling the engine the Overhaul builder is the Quality Control Inspector or the rolls are reversed. So all those "junk" engines are put together where the new engines are. Where as an engine might get field overhauled 4-5 times by an A&P, if it goes to Lycoming it better be on the tight side of the allowance table or machinable or it gets crushed. They crush stuff that most people would love to fly behind. Maybe a trip to Pennsylvania or Alabama would be a smart thing.
I spent a day at the Lyc factory about 10 years ago and would like to go back. A learning experience. At that time there was not a LYC 320- H2AD engine in the museum. I was told with a smile that they didn't make that engine. Lots of history at that plant.

#### Swampyankee

##### Well-Known Member
I worked with gas turbines at Lycoming-Stratford and I recall a lot of engineers were disgusted with the build practices at Williamsport when they tried to get the LT-101 production moved there; costs down in Williamsport were lower but they never got the build quality they needed.