Ever try to find a big ol' radial engine for your biplane
Not an easy task
Try doing a search on the internet for a
radial engine. You're lucky to get a few sites with the M14P
Russian engine. Only really one other site that has any useful
information about some of the older round engines, Pratt and
Whitney, Jacobs, Wright, Warner, Kinner, and LeBlond. Their
site can be found at Radial
It'll be a learning process for me and I'll
document it here for anyone that follows after to make life
just a little bit easier.
As I find information on different round
engines and mainatinence I'll post the links here.
Most of the information I've found out there
is on the Vendeneyev M14 Radial. Not a bad engine, and you
can get them new. But I'd like to say, when they ask what
kind of radial do you have, that I hung a P&W R985 that
spits out 400 horses, or a Shaky Jake or a big ol' Wright
In addition to the usual Trade-A-Plane, and asking others if
they know of any radial engines just lying around, I have two other resources
to find a radial engine for the Skybolt. One is ebay. Great way to see what the going price of a
radial engine is in the market place. What I do is find a radial on there and just watch bidding.
I've seen several radial tank engines on there but they have been too far away to take a look at so I've passed
on them. Nobody really bidding on them. Looks like you can get them at the "Buy Now" price at around
$1000.00. It's an unknown commodity at that point with no engine logs, etc.
The other source would be barnstormers.com. Always a few of them up on
there for sale. Usually the Vendenyev M14. Ocassionally I'll see a P & W R985, but my pockets
just can't afford one of those right now.
The search continues...
July 30, 2008
It all comes down to...
money and power !
I don't know what brought it on...
Maybe it's the fact that I'll be welding up the fuselage in a day or two and in order to work on a lot of the projects on
the fuselage, I need to have the engine that I'll be hanging onto it.
I pretty much ruled out the Ven. You see those all over the place, but, and it's a BIG BUT, they're all new or being pulled off of a certified aircraft
so the price tag is up there pretty high. I'm not one of those guys that can just pull 20 G's out of my pocket. I'm one of those homebuilders that... if I can save a few hundred dollars buying something, I can put that towards something else.
Example... I bought my Cessna 185 6.oo x 6 wheels for $300.00. They're pretty much new. Gus, the guy I bought them from threw in about two dozen brake pads and the rivets to attach them. Well, I think these go for close to $1000.00, not counting all those pads that I
got with the deal. That $300.00 actually gave me $700.00 to put towards my engine, or flying wires, or... (I'm getting off track here.)
Where was I ??? oh yeah...
Me without 20 thousand dollars to put towards an engine, I had to look elsewhere. That leaves pretty much three other engines for me to pick from; the Continentals you find in tanks, Lycomings like you find on Stearmans, and Jacobs like you find on Wacos and 190/195s.
I took a look at the weight of a Ven and then looked at the other three options. Most of them are up there in the 500 pound range. The Ven weighs in at 472 pounds. What's that extra 25 or 50 pounds going to do to the weight and balance ? How much room will there be to move the engine for or aft to
adjust the weight and balance before I hang it on ?
The Continentals put out between 210 and 240 hp.
The Lycoming puts out between 225 and 300 hp.
And the Jake puts out between 245 and 275 hp.
I originally wanted this to fly off the ground with 360 hp. Reality sets in as far as my funds go, but I don't want to end up with an engine that is only putting out a little over 200 hp, so I'm ruling out the Continental. That leaves the Lycoming and Jacobs.
Both of these engines are closer to what I'm looking to hang
on my Skybolt. From what I gather so far, the Lycoming R680-BA
weighs in at 505 pounds and puts out 240 hp. Haven't found
any information as to whether or not you can increase that
up closer to 300 hp. The Jacobs R755-9 (L-4) puts out 245
hp, BUT by changing a few things on it you can increase
that to 275 hp (actually it's 282 hp.) This little beaut weighs
in at 415 pounds. That's 57 pounds lighter than the Ven. (Update: The 755 actually weighs in at 505 lbs - it's not lighter than the Ven. Although, when you attach all the accessories to it, I'd be interested in each of the engine's total weights.)
Let's see 57 pounds lighter and 78 hp less. Hmmmm.... about $10,000.oo cheaper. That's a no brainer for me.
Decision has been made, unless I'm convinced otherwise, to begin the search for a Shaky Jake.
August 9, 2008
Do I hear....
Road Trip ?
So, now that I've decided on which engine... (It's the Jake, by the way.) I begin my search.
Nothing hard... just looking at EVERY SINGLE thing I can get my eyes on to. And it's not just the usual searches... everyone does that. Google Radial Engine, Jacobs, Jacobs R755, Jacobs R755 for sale. Can't really find any deals like that. Find a lot of useful information about the engine though. I take my search up a notch or two.
I know which airplanes, from my previous Googles and also from me just absorbing information on any airplane for the past 40 years, use which engines. I start searching for planes that are for sale that have those engines. I've seen in the past where guys who own these older planes have spare engines that they're looking to sell either with the plane they're selling or, in many instances,
by itself. JACKPOT !
I didn't find a Jake for sale like this right away. Took a few days of intense searching. And the R755-9 engine that I found wasn't just a core. Oh, no... it's got everything on it except the starter. If everything goes as planned, I'll be picking this Jake up for a little more than what the ignition system on it is worth. Am I a happy boy or what ?
Now, the R755-9 engine puts out 245 hp on take-off and then you need to bring it back to 225 hp for continuous running. But, remember, I can do a few things to it to have it pumping out 275 hp. And to push that up to a little over 300, there are a few more things that you can do to it. And these few things to make it 300 - 330hp ain't cheap if you have to buy it from one of the suppliers.
August 9, 2008 :: Update: Spoke to Bob tonight. I've agreed to the price and I'll be heading up there this Saturday with Denise. Road Trip !