I have been a member of the Bearhawk builder’s groups for years and really admire Bob’s designs and the support he and the more experienced builders provide not to mention his character. I spoke to Bob some time ago to inquire about the possibility of hiring him to engineer a folding wings option for the LSA as I wish to pull my plane behind my motor home when I travel. He very kindly and graciously said no and suggested I buy a powered parachute. Still chuckling…
William, glad the Zenith college went so well, good to have you back! Just to let you know, I took that core off Larry’s hands about two hours ago. My original core is so badly corroded that I was never going to get it apart in time for college 27. I will keep it and continue to work on it but it is destined for something other than my 650… I am thinking maybe a Tailwind sometime in the future! Paul
William: So at EAA you would prefer Hightower over Pelton?
The Chinese are indeed very underhanded, and having spent time there I can tell you that they are very nefarious. Like you, I am concerned about the transfer of technology to China, and it usually begins with the search for cheap manufacturing; American companies begin by selling expertise and tooling to China and the products end up being cheaply made in China. Try buying an American made air compressor… And that Chinese 4130 tubing that is available is real junk, I tell builders not to use it. Almost all the tubing Wicks sells is of Chinese origin. All that said, one cannot deny the Chinese display space at Oshkosh. American companies are free to sell their stock to any buyer, and that includes the Chinese. Most business owners are fully aware of the real facts behind this situation, and they make a choice to knowingly sell to China. It’s an old trick in aviation called find a bigger sucker. I remember a phase some years ago where American companies were selling like crazy to the Japanese, that did not work out very well did it? Likely, the same will occur with respect to China, and it will be exacerbated by the huge amount of “American Paper” that they now hold. This will not end pleasantly… of that I am certain. Warm Regards, Jon Ross
When my instructor first showed me an aircraft carburetor, I laughed. Even the low end motorcycles I was riding at the time had much more sophisticated carburetors. This looked like something off a 1930′s tractor, to my untrained eye. Later, thinking on it, the words of my Dad came back to me. Dad was a combustion expert, and during long car drives I would ask a question and he would “pontificate”. I will paraphrase one of these discussions that hit me. The internal combustion engine is a constant speed device. The car is a variable speed application. Carburetor design is the art of making one fit the other. The reason we use it is because gasoline is light, compact, and powerful. A car engine runs most efficiently on a small engine with its throttle open. But we put tremendous demands for acceleration on our cars, and years of engineering have been spent adapting the engine to a task for which it is ill suited. It is much better for boats or airplanes.
So now it has become clear to me the differences in carburetor design. Freed from the constraints of acceleration against a fixed object (the road), aircraft carburetor designers can concentrate on the important factors, which are reliability, and ability to adapt to different air densities. And I no longer laugh when I see an aircraft carburetor.
And in your business, I get a better understanding of the decision making and challenges involved in taking an auto engine and converting it to an aircraft engine.
Progress – mounted my nose gear, and the motor mount, and now I can start working on the jigsaw puzzle of installing the fuel, ignition, air, and cooling flow paths.