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Old 12-03-2010, 09:06 PM
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Mounting a propeller to a chevy engine

I'm not really sure where i should post this question so if it's in the wrong place the go ahead and move it. Thanks.

I have recently become interested in airplanes and i want to build one. Yes, i know it sounds crazy but it seems like it would be pretty cool if it works. The problem is that airplane engine, for some reason, are extremely expensive so i want to use a small block chevy with a tbi setup. Now my question: Does anyone know how i would go about mounting a fixed-pitch propeller to a chevy engine? I would think it would have to be mounted to the rear on the engine so it would be in the plane backwards? Thanks for any help you guys may be able to give me.

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Old 12-04-2010, 01:23 AM
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I see that you are going to be off to Oskosh for the airpalne guys gathering.. lotof guys have had that idea so what we know about this is one you need an aluminum block engine for the weight factor and you will need a gear or belt drive to match propellor speeds to engine speeds in an auto conversion just for the starts..probably have to dry sump the engine.. you really need dual ignition. and there are a number of other issues involved in doing an aircraft conversion of an auto engine..

Good luck with your project
Sam
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:30 AM
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Not to mention the cooling....Rads and coolant weigh a lot.....You will want an air cooled engine.

Guys used to use Corvair engines in planes
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:49 AM
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There have been a lot of Chevy engines used in planes, in fact there used to be a company called Thunder Engines that built aluminum turbocharged 454s for aircraft use. Talk to someone with an A&P certification for this.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:28 AM
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I have the heads from an aircraft BBC 454 engine in the shop right now.. They are dual spark plug. Aftermkt aluminum. Spark plugs look like weed wacker plugs..

I haven't seen the application. But, I'm told the aluminum engine is inverted in the chassis and runs dry sump.. My first thoughts were "Why would anyone want to fly a BBC" I guess they are an economical alternative to aircraft engines..
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog7373
I'm not really sure where i should post this question so if it's in the wrong place the go ahead and move it. Thanks.

I have recently become interested in airplanes and i want to build one. Yes, i know it sounds crazy but it seems like it would be pretty cool if it works. The problem is that airplane engine, for some reason, are extremely expensive so i want to use a small block chevy with a tbi setup. Now my question: Does anyone know how i would go about mounting a fixed-pitch propeller to a chevy engine? I would think it would have to be mounted to the rear on the engine so it would be in the plane backwards? Thanks for any help you guys may be able to give me.
You're gonna love the sound of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpZYfd0GzuQ

Bogie
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:22 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys. I have been at pictures of airboats and i see that there is something that bolts on to the bell housing flange and connects the prop to the engine somehow. Maybe i could use that design with a prop that would pull air instead of push? If anyone out there has an airboat then could you take some pictures so i can see how you have it mounted.
I have seen a few videos on youtube of people running chevy engines in planes. For the cooling system, they put a rad on either side on the engine with an electric fan. That's what i would like to do also.

Bogie, that is exactly what i want to do except in a different plane. Thanks for the link.
For those of you who know airplanes, i want to, in the future, build a replica f4u corsair but without the folding wings to simplify the design. I would like to buy one but i don't think i will ever have $6 million to spend on it so i am going to try to build one. I know some airplane mechanics that will be able to give me guidance. You may think i'm crazy, but i think i can do it. I might as well try.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:58 PM
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I was doing some research and it looks like you can mount a prop directly to the flex plate with this adaptor: http://www.classicairboats.com/Prop-...1889.Item.html
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:25 PM
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Interesting. I've built a Long-Ez and a Glasair. Both used aircraft powerplants. What scale are you building the F4 to, and what are you estimating the empty weight and gross weight to be?

Automotive engines have been used for a long time in amateur-built Experimental certified aircraft. I've seen Volkswagen, Mazda rotary, and an Aluminum Olds 215 ci V8. There are many challenges to automotive engines; cooling, automotive fuel behavior at altitude, ignition systems, alternate air induction, and especially gearing them down to an RPM that is efficient for the prop. The weight of the engines and the gear reduction device are going to need a somewhat larger wing (and consequently airframe) to be practical. The reduction device, even in production aircraft (I've flown Cessna 421s and the old single-engine Skylark) requires additional maintenance and generally have shorter overhaul intervals than their non-geared brothers. Then, if you want the aircraft to be efficient at even moderate altitudes, then induction boosting is beneficial for the automotive engine. You might also check with your local FAA MIDO office and get an idea of the requirements and amount of time you'll need to fly off the local restrictions during the test flight period and get the aircraft's permanent airworthiness certificate and your Repairman's ticket so you can maintain it. A healthy dose of perseverance will be needed.

Good luck to you and I hope you pull it off. Let us know how it's going.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:37 PM
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vw engines are great too, just have to make sure and get the crank x-rayed and make sure they arnt cracked. magnaflux isnt enough to detect internal flaws...know this from experience!
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:51 PM
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Aoto/aircraft engines

One thing to consider. The prop will be either be pulling or pushing on the end of the crankshaft to generate the thrust unless you have some sort of thrust bearing between them. The thrust generated to move the plane will be what you need the horsepower (or torque) for.

A prop is most efficient at low (comparatively) speeds - often in the 2,000-2,300 range, so your engine will have to red-lined at about those speeds (or, as been said already) you will need a gear reducer, and that is where you would then put the thrust bearings as well. Just bolting a prop to the flexplate will pull (or push) the crank out of position in a VERY short timeframe.

(and the more parts you install, the more things can go wrong)

As my instructor said - if something goes wrong in your car, you can pull over to the side of the road. Doing that in a airplane is just about guaranteed to get your name in the paper.

I'd start looking in various experimental aircraft enthusiast magazines, join a club and take some course before pursuing this much further
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog7373
For those of you who know airplanes, i want to, in the future, build a replica f4u corsair but without the folding wings to simplify the design.
Also for those who may not know, the original F4U was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8 Double Wasp 18 cylinder radial which produced 2,000 horsepower.
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by techinspector1
Also for those who may not know, the original F4U was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8 Double Wasp 18 cylinder radial which produced 2,000 horsepower.
Yes, and for you aviation enthusiasts, if you've never heard one go overhead or idling on the ramp, you're in for a treat. I could sit and listen to those all day long.

The OP didn't say what scale he was planning on building, but I'm assuming it isn't to 100% (just as a practical assumption - the original Corsair was a large and heavy aircraft). Most vintage warbird replica aircraft are built to scales such as 80%, 75%, 66% and some at 50%. Once you start coming down in scale, you start to exponentially reduce the amount of power needed to fly. 80% scale may only need 500 hp at the prop to be practical. That's still a large aircraft. The larger the aircraft, the heavier it is, the more wing it needs, the more induced drag the wing generates, the more power it requires, and so on. So scaling down makes a lot of sense. There is a guy who is building a replica Corsair at 82% who chose that scale only because he chose his engine and then scaled the airframe to match the available power, size etc.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:26 AM
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Yeah, I agree, those old aircraft engines sound pretty radical. But if you ever take a look at them closely, you'll see where most of the "modifications" we have on our street rods or race cars came from.

Those old engines, some from the '40's, had roller cams (and lifters), overhead cams, sodium-filled valves, superchargers, turbochargers, water injection, aluminum (or titanium) blocks, heads, etc., fuel injection, tuned exhaust....and more stuff that eventually found its way into our high performance automobiles.

For the builder, I'd suggest maybe looking at some of the late-model automobile engines that have been using aluminum blocks and heads. Weight is always a factor in planes, particularly nose weight.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by cucumber1949
Yes, and for you aviation enthusiasts, if you've never heard one go overhead or idling on the ramp, you're in for a treat. I could sit and listen to those all day long.
.
Yep they do sound sweet, but do not compare to a high speed low pass by a Merlin powered P51 Mustang. The V12 is a sound you will never forget .

Vince
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