Chapter 23
Engine Installation


The engine I'm going to use in "Web-Slinger" is a Lycoming IO-320-B-1-B with Performance Airflow fuel injection with an MT Constant Speed Propeller.

I thought I would do a short narrative here to bring you up to speed on how I FINALLY arrived at this engine choice.

My first choice for a power plant for "Web-Slinger" was the Renesis engine. I still believe the Rotary engine is a great way to turn a propellor. The problem is, I am not an engineer, and I don’t want to take the time and effort to learn what I need to learn to make the Rotary work in a reliable fashion. The final decision not to use the Renesis engine was made after my visit with Chrissi and Randi, (the CozyGirrrls). I took a commercial flight to St. Louis for the express purpose of seeing their project. And what a project it was! I’m sure their engine package, and for that matter their entire plane, will be the subject of much discussion, praise, and publicity when they make it to the airport. Their power plant is such a "one off" design, that I realized immediately, that if I plan on having a reliable power plant, I was in way over my head.

What to do next? Well, the Eggenfeller engine looked like a good alternative, but that was out of my price range. The Subaru engine looks pretty good too. In my price range, but once again, a little too "experimental" for me. That left me with the Lycoming route. So I commenced my search.

To make a long story short, I came across a deal on an IO-320 with an electric constant speed prop. The price was right, so I took it. I’m hoping I’ll have comparable performance to the 0-360.

Here, you see the crates which our holding I0-320-B1B with Performance  Flow Fuel Injection and the MT Constant Speed Prop.  I had to go to Kansas City to inspect it prior to shipment.  They came off of a flying Cozy III.

I use a company called Craters and Freighters.  If you are ever in an area where you need to have something crated and shipped, but have no resources to crate it yourself, use these people.  They did a great job and I would not hesitate to use them again or emphatically recommend them to other people.

Here is a side shot of the engine with the Millennium cylinders.  The engine comes with all the accessories.  I'm having the Cozygirrrls make an engine mount for me.

The MT Electric Speed Constant Speed Prop.

Now all I have to do, is fugue out how to use it!

Seriously though, I plan on taking it to one of their authorized representatives, and having them overhauling it.  They tell me it will cost about $1300. Later note: Surprise!! It turned out to be $1900. OUCH!!!

Here's a shot of the CozyGirrrls  Engine Mount.

I must say, They did a great job at a fair price.
If you look closely, you can see the increases radius of the AeroCanard firewall. no regrets yet.


I finally got around to bringing the engine to the shop. Here you see my truck backed up to the "tent". The hoist borrowed from Ed and Sue Richards really came in handy here.

I used Clecos to initially set the lower cowling. It really was amazing how stiff the cowling installation was after putting 3 clecos each port/starboard.


I feel really fortunate I was able to stumble across a lower cowl cheap. It sure will make things easier when it comes to making the upper cowl.


After wrapping the engine with pallet wrap, Debbi and I began finding all the scrap foam that I saved from years ago, and placing it in to all the nooks and crannies in the engine.  I used expanding urethane foam called "Great Stuff" to bond all the pieces together.  I chose the foam that has medium to minimal expansion rate and supposedly cures rigid.  Warning!  It does not cure rigid.   Therefore, it doesn't sand well. But, it does have a nice long nozzle onto that allows you to get down into the nooks and crannies.  My advice is to use the stuff down deep where you won't be sanding.  Then later, use pour foam to fill in the cracks which you will be sanding.  Pour foam is pretty expensive, and it can be finicky (ie: density) for large areas.  There are more than a couple of builders out there who would like the inventor to be burned at the stake because it seems to change shape with temperature. But it does work well to fill in the areas which you'll be sanding, because it really does cure rigidly and sands well.

At left, is a shot of the first layer of joint compound over top of the foam.  I used to the "light weight" iteration of the joint compound available at Home Depot.  I thought I would try to help the drying process, so I set up a fan to blow over the cowling plug.  I came back 45 minutes later, and much to my dismay, there were a number of cracks forming.  Needless to say, I turned off the fan and the air conditioner and decided tomorrow might be a better day to look forward to sanding the cowling.


At right, you can see the fruits of my labor.

I didn't have any BID the left over, so I went on to my local fiberglass store and bought the closest thing.  It was 8 oz/yd and 60" wide, which made it a lot easier to layout with fewer joints.  I removed the foam and plaster from the horizontal surfaces so that I could layout the flanges from the wing root and turtle back.  My plan is to leave the rest of the plug on the engine until after I finish it at least with micro.

The only mistake I've caught myself making so far is when I was applying the duct tape to the plug, I overlapped them about 1/16 of an inch.  Don't ask me why, but I was worried about the resin from the layouts softening the joint compound.  This resulted in very small longitudinal ridges in the finished product.  The smart thing would've been to butt the edges of the duct tape together.  If I had done so, the finished product would have required little, if ay, micro for finishing. 

It probably cost me about $100-$125 to make the top cowling.  Featherlight wanted about $350 for the top cowling and another $350 to ship it, (why they don't endeavor to find it cheaper shipper, I'll never know.).  In my case though, having the Aerocanard upper firewall meant having to do major surgery to get the darn thing to fit.

My advice: making a cowling is relatively easy, as long as you're able to work on a flat horizontal surface gravity.  If you're going to make your bottom cowling make sure that you're able to flip the plane upside down.  I can imagine trying to make the bottom cowling in the upside down mode.

he shot and left, shows the cowling with some additional "framery".  What I mean by that, is that the four plies of BID were not enough to keep things as rigid as I had hoped.  My theory is the lower cowling is more rigid due to the increased number of convolutions. Anyway, when it's convenient, I'll be putting corresponding braces on the underside of the cowling to keep things nice and rigid.

Below, I'm showing you where I fixed a couple of mistakes I made when I first laid up the upper coming.  When I made the mold, I thought for sure I had checked it 14 ways for linearity.  But, as you can see, there were two areas I never looked at until after it was too late.


And now comes the moment where I should announce the biggest departure from plans  to date:

  Down Draft Cooling!

I know, I know.  Blasphemy!  But, here goes anyway.

There are number reasons I've decided to go with this modification.  First, and foremost, the cooling issues which plague the majority of Canardians. I'm not the first one to do this.  A guy by the name of Ken Laundrie has been flying with the arrangement I'm going to do for the past six years.  If you've kept up with my progress, you know I am not interested in blazing new trails in uncharted territory.  I'm more like the Japanese. I take existing technology and see if I can make it better.  Although, I do have one particular modification which I'm not sure anyone else has to date.  But I'll leave that for a surprise in later web pages. Below, you'll see a few pictures of my progress so far.  In a nutshell, I'm constructing ducts 4" in diameter to route and air from the belly NACA scoop to the top side of the engine.  I used the flexible metal ducting you see below at left. I then filled the tubing with "pour-foam" and let it cure. After which, I removed the now stiff ducting and coated it with more of the joint compound used in creating the cowling. 

Next, I sanded the ducts as smooth as possible and applied a layer of pure epoxy mixed with Cabosil to provide a nice smooth finish.  I then put about three layers of mold release compound and applied three layers of BID.  After cure, I plan to cut the ducts in half, remove them from the plug, and tape them back together with a couple of strips of BID.

After cure, I split the side with the Fein, and gently popped them off.


The Blood Donor shirt is worn in honor of all the cuts I received from working with " Friendly Fiberglass .


Next, I painted the inside of the ducts with a thin coat of pure epoxy mixed with a small amount of Cabosil for a real shiny surface. I decided I'd rather have too much cooling than not enough, so, I'm going the extra mile to let the air flow smoothly. I figure I can easily decrease the flow, if necessary.

I'm sure I'll get some grief from the CozyGirrls for this shot, but what the hell.

What you see here, is the the manifold I made taking the air from the NACA Scoop, going left/right to the top of the cylinders. The center is for the intake and the oil cooler.

Dan Cruger, another mentor of mine, came over one weekend with his wife Lori, to offer some advice and do some building with me. We had a great time, and I got a lot of good advice..... Like: You have the wrong fuel pump. That's the $28 one... You need the $400 one. And... You need to move the fuel divider to the top of the engine from the bottom... which will cost another $300.  Dan and Lori will not be visiting again... I can't afford it!

Really though, it sure is nice to have friends like those two, helping you get thru some of the more difficult times.

Well, here's the finished product! Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself!

This aspect of the construction os on hold for now... Next, I get to remove the engine/mount and finish the fuselage!!

Oh what fun!!

Later Note: My plenums were MUCH too curvy. After first flight, I had to redo them. I’ll post pictures later...

Right and below are the result of  a FULL DAY'S LABOR to get the throttle and mixture cables mounted correctly. As you can see, my installation requires a different approach due to the use of IP mounted throttle/mixture cables.
The credit for this job goes to Ed Richards. He's been one of my mentors for the past 9 years, and he really came through for me on this one! I had a "Plane Day", which he attended, and after one look at the list, he volunteered for the bracket job. (And a fine piece of work it is!) All that's left, is to hook up the last of the sensors and fuel lines. Then we start the engine!

But NOT before I buy a fire extinguisher!

I was on the phone with Don Rivera of Airflow Performance, he said I should be able to just bolt the servo on and try it.... unless it more than 10 years old....... Yep. 10 years and 6 months. I finally got the  fuel servo back from the rebuild shop. They told me it would be $385 + parts. The parts were $200!

I'm only @$10,00 over expected budget. But then again, I'm only 4 years past my expected completion date. In my defense, "Life" got in the way a couple of times, and I've added a number of extra features, (Like Autotpilot, Altitude hold, and a couple of safety gizmos), I hadn't planned on. If I ever get this thing done, this will be one cool plane

Engine Started on the first crank, after sitting for @4 years!. She purred like a kitten after coughing out the cobwebs. Here's the video:

Now that I know I have an operational engine, I need to start tightening things up and rigging things for "angles-n-dangles". A June trip to the airport is looking better all the time !

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