Any VW Powered Aircraft Owners Here?

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by FormerHangie, May 1, 2017.

  1. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,975
    Location:
    Roswell, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FormerHangie
    Does anyone here own or has owned a VW powered airplane? I've been hearing about VW power in homebuilts for decades now, and they don't seem to have either caught on or died out, they just seem to stay in the background.

    If you have any experiences with them, I'd love to hear about it. It's just for curiosity's sake, I'm not planning on getting back into power flying.
     
  2. 1600vw

    1600vw Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2,004
    Location:
    Central IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    H.A.S.
  3. 1600vw

    1600vw Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2,004
    Location:
    Central IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    H.A.S.
  4. 1600vw

    1600vw Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2,004
    Location:
    Central IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    H.A.S.
    The first video the airplane has 1/2 vw. The second video the airplane uses a full VW.
     
  5. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,710
    Location:
    I19 & SBS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geezer
    The vast majority of the Sonex fleet is VW Powered. sonexbuilders.net has lots of discussion about VW engines. Mine will be VW power but not sure from where, Sonex, Hummel, Revmaster, Great Plains ?

    Cheers
     
  6. Dana

    Dana Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    CT & NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dana
    VWs are fairly small engines, so they'll always be relegated to relatively small one or two place aircraft that aren't sexy enough for much attention in the aviation media. I just sold my half VW powered Fisher 404. It was reliable, extremely economical, and low performance.
     
  7. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    11,556
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weilke
  8. 1600vw

    1600vw Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2,004
    Location:
    Central IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    H.A.S.
    Kit planes just did an article on the Cygnet. It's not a bad little airplane and draws a lot of attention wherever it goes.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. 1600vw

    1600vw Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2,004
    Location:
    Central IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    H.A.S.
    I flew in Jerry's other Cygnet. It flew with two aboard at 105 on the ASI. When we flew mine to my home we had her at 90 ASI. with two aboard. She has the smallest VW they make. The 1700cc version.
     
  10. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,460
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    17
    Years ago my uncle put one in his KR-2, which he built from plans. He liked the VW engine because it was cheap and he knew it well, after having rebuilt one for his car.

    It did not speed his project, to use this engine. In fact, if had used a ready-made engine he might have been able to actually fly his plane. As it was, he got sick (in his early 80s) and passed away while trying to resolve fueling problems with the engine, testing it with high-speed taxiing. His decades-long project was almost ready for flight, but just didn't quite make it in time.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  11. RogerT

    RogerT Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,375
    Location:
    Lake Placid, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RogerT
    I've had two Sonex. The first was built by someone else. The second I built. Both had the Aerovee. They work
    ok but they're finicky
     
  12. ybitz

    ybitz Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ybitz
    how are they finicky?
     
  13. kmacht

    kmacht Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    97
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kmacht
    I have one in the Sonex I built. There are still a popular engine. Aerovee, Great Planes, and Revmaster seem to make the majority of the conversions. I wouldn't say that they are finicky. Cooling is a common issue but that is because most people are running 80hp versions of a motor that was originally designed for 36hp. They are also sensitive to valve adjustments which must be done every 50 hours. It is a simple process that takes about a half hour but is absolutely necessary to keep a smooth running engine.

    Performance for cost is what the engines are mostly about. My engine was $7500 all in including intake, exhaust, cooling baffles, etc. A new set of pistons and cylinders can be had for $150 (for all 4). Cam's are $75, etc. The whole engine can be overhauled for a few hundred bucks. The power isn't the same as a Lycoming but the weight isn't either. My aervoee engine puts out 80hp and weighs 170lbs full up. flying solo my sonex climbs out at around 800FPM and cruises at 135MPH. Where it suffers is when you get closer to gross weight. At gross weight my climb drops off to 300 FPM. Sonex has come out with a turbo that helps but I think the limits are already being pushed at 80hp and won't consider it until they have been flying for a few years and we can see if there are any reliability issues.

    Keith
     
  14. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    Messages:
    1,547
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tim
    I used to have a Revmaster 2100 in a Tri-Q2...very efficient, and ran well, although as kmacht mentioned it liked to run hot.

    Pic of me in 1996 with the Tri-Q2:

    upload_2017-7-20_10-12-5.png
     
  15. MikeS

    MikeS Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Messages:
    229
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MikeS
    It's the Rev-Flo or Posa carbs that are finicky, not the engines. Put an Ellison Throttle Body EF-2 and you'll never need to touch it again once it's set where you want it.

    Heat will kill a VW and running them faster than 3100 for extended periods will cause failures eventually. Heat is generated from internal friction. Keep the RPM's below 3100 with a nice coarse prop that gives you full throttle at that RPM, check the valves at 25 hour oil changes, and it'll run as long as a Lyc or Continental. VW's love running at 3000-3100. Use Manley valves or whatever you think is as good, make sure your guides are perfect to start with (they are often not - even with Lycs and Continentals), use elephant feet (swivels) on the tappets (or rollers) and as long as you chose a good engine to start with - which means either Great Plains or Revmaster - you've got a really excellent, trustworthy engine.
     
    Brad Smith and FormerHangie like this.