Design Group, March 1992

Vernon Blomquist

Originally published March 1992

We had an excellent turnout for the design group after our chapter meeting last month and I would like to thank everyone who joined us. One of the major topics was the Tower Flyby Device (TFD) that was described by Scott Horowitz during the regular chapter meeting. We discussed the design and then a group agreed to meet at Fox Field on Saturday to actually build the TFD. We met at Bob and Norm's hanger, and the TFD is now a reality. A good time was had by all and a useful device is now available to chapter members. I hope this will be just the first in a long line of projects and activities for the design group.

Along a different line, engines are an area of continued interest on my part. I have several to comment on this month. The first is described in the March 1992 issue of Petersen's 4 WHEEL & OFF-ROAD magazine. It is a little out of the practical and affordable range for most of us, but still very interesting. It is an aluminum block V-12 based on the GM small block. It is a custom engine that uses a lot of GM parts and is produced by Ryan Falconer Industries, Inc. in Salinas California. It is 600 cubic inches, puts out 700 horsepower at 5200 rpm and weighs in at 520 pounds. If any of you out there were looking for an engine for your 3/4 scale Mustang or Spitfire replica, this one would really do the trick. To top it all off, the engine is being produced in a small production run of 50 to 100 which they say will keep the price reasonable. That probably means less than a large Lycoming would run you (which is still a lot). The other two engines that I saw were from Kawasaki. They both look like they would make great ducted fan motors. The first one is the new Jet Ski motor for this year. It is a 750cc two stroke with a microprocessor controlled ignition, oil injection and an 8000 rpm redline. It is also two cylinders, in line, water cooled and has a drive shaft to a torsion damper that goes to the impeller. This is just about perfect to connect directly to a ducted fan. They don't publish horsepower numbers, but my guess would be somewhere in the 70-80 range. I don't know how much one of these engines would cost but the whole Jet Ski is in the $5000 range, so it can't be more than that. The other engine is a two cylinder, four stroke 250cc engine that is used on a street bike. It has a 14,000 rpm redline and is around the 40 horsepower range. It would take more work to adapt, but at lower power settings only uses one gallon per hour. This could also make an interesting ducted fan engine.

To finish for this month, there are a lot of interesting things out there. If you see something, let me know and I'll pass it on to the group. See you at Burger King after the chapter meeting!

Note: We still need to test the Tower Flyby Device so sometime soon we'll need to do some real life tower fly-bys in real life airplanes. I think we're gonna end up with some of the best tested homebuilts ever to be tested--ed.


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