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Zongshen aero engines available in Europe

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Victor Bravo

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Jul 30, 2014
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8,060
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KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Or written instructions...🙃
My favorite job I ever had was being one of two guys writing R/C airplane instruction manuals for Hobby Shack. They got the prototype ARF model from China, and told them to not bother to even include a manual. I got to figure out the assembly sequence, take the photos, and create the instructions for the American market.

Paying the rent, building model airplanes, with my dog curled up under the workbench. I loved it!
 

Aesquire

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Jul 28, 2014
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2,446
Location
Rochester, NY, USA
"American companies are now copying Japanese business/manufacturing practices."

Which was taught to them by Americans ( Deming ) W. Edwards Deming - Wikipedia who were ignored at home after WW2. Ironic, eh?

I actually heard "It was good enough for granddad, it was good enough for Dad, it's good enough for me" from the owner of the machine shop I worked at. Just before he changed his mind and adopted 40+ year old concepts. ( a vast improvement on the 19th century model he'd been using )

Full disclosure, Although I never met Deming, I did study under one of his acolytes, who did for China what Deming did for Japan. So I'm a third generation proselytizer for Process Control and modern Quality Control.

So it's true that many American companies resisted change, just look at Detroit. ( Auto industry )
 

AdrianS

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Jul 5, 2014
Messages
572
Location
Australia
A few years ago my boss bought a Chinese balancing machine, against all advice (including from the machinist who would be using it), because cheap.

It was nicely built (for the price), but the manuals and software were indecipherable.
I'm sure it would have worked fine, if anyone could sort out how.

The manufacturer offered to send someone over (to Aus) to train our guys at our expense, but the boss refused*, and sold the machine at a significant loss to someone with more patience.

If I'd been on HBA at the time I'd have got work to pay cheapracer to sort it out.


* boss has a short temper, and doesn't like looking foolish, so the machine had to be got rid of and the whole episode forgotten ASAP.
 

jsharp

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Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Augusta, GA / USA
The Chinese have owned Rotorway for some years now. Rotorway had developed its own aircraft engine for their helicopters. The Chinese now own the rights and have had the manufacturing tooling and design drawings more than long enough to start selling variants of what was/is a very acceptable aircraft and light helicopter engine.
Those engines referenced at the beginning of this thread sure look like Rotax knock offs to me. However, I have no idea what the patent dates are for the Rotax models the Chinese are making. Its possible they are copying versions of the engines that are now off patent protection. Newer designed components that are patented and still under patent protection would be risky for them to produce. Off patent earlier designs would be fair game. The Chinese have made and sold millions of the little Japanese Kubota engine. The earlier small Honda engines are off patent and China now makes and sells exact engines down to being interchangeable with original Honda parts.
My eldest son received his first patent last year in Sweden. There was much discussion about manufacturing sooner rather than later due to patent expiration, and the best strategy to keep the design out of the hands of Chinese IP thief's. Sweden depends so much on local manufacturing that they are forced to protect IP from especially the Chinese. One of the coolest machines they have designed, was to fix tens of thousands of stamped parts that provide the timing signal for large Volvo trucks. The company had outsourced this somewhat simple stamped and formed stainless relatively thick sheet metal (cant remember the gauge but we talked metric anyway) as the initial discussions with the customer indicated this massive pile of parts was out of tolerance with the most critical part of the component. They were ever so slightly out of spec. During our discussion we learned a lot about the quality of parts coming out of China and India as well. India was felt to provide better quality than China on most metal component manufacturing. So we designed a machine to rigidly handle the part, used optical sensors to measure, automated the bending (adjusting) of the critical parts of the component. What made this work so well was the software learning how much to bend the part based on its initial measurements. Over just minutes, the machine had learned how to correct just about every possible scenario when correcting that part of the components. They did learn their lesson that they need a more reliable supplier in the EU but also lacked diversity in their supply chain which I found unbelievable. Sorry to drift but I believe we need to find out some more about these engines if at all possible ... Joe
 

pfarber

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Feb 21, 2019
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611
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Pennsylvania
Pretty overt even for china. Have the patents timed out?
You cannot patent an engine. You can patent a part, or a process, but not an engine. The ICE patenent ran out long before China even knew what an airplane was.
 

rv6ejguy

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Jun 26, 2012
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3,923
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
People can sell any engine they want to the HB market and for low priced copies like this, there certainly will be a market.

The engine will never be certified however with all that involves and with the required traceability of parts and process control. I don't imagine this company is aiming for the certified market though as that is a lot of hassle and expense. The HB market is big enough to make some money at this if users embrace this engine and they have good support.
 

BJC

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Oct 7, 2013
Messages
12,011
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
Hopefully this will put some downward pressure on Rotax's prices.
IIRC, Lycoming clones and parts sold by Superior didn’t affect Lycoming TC engine costs much, but clones eventually led to factory new, non-TC’ed, Lycomings.


BJC
 
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