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Old 07-18-2014, 10:54 AM
RV3bpilot's Avatar
RV3bpilot RV3bpilot is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: New Ulm, Minnesota
Posts: 269
Smile Corvair Engine

I took some time but I have my Corvair engine running great in my RV3. It's climb rate is like that of a 100 hp. Continental engine but it keeps climbing even at high altitudes because it is turbo charged, I have taken it up to 14,000 ft. the other day without any problems and still had a climb rate of 700 ft. per min..
It's speed it like that of a 125 hp. Lycoming at low altitudes, and like that of a 150 hp. Lycoming at high altitudes.
It took about one year to work out all the issues with different stuff to include how to drive the propeller safely. But now it is just like any other aircraft engine just change the oil and put in fuel.
Robin Mckee
New Ulm, MN 56073
RV3b N219BB
318 hours and counting
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:05 AM
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DougJ DougJ is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Prather, CA
Posts: 192

Let's see some pictures of the install!
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:24 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,870

How much time do you have on it and what sort of prop are you using?

And here's another request for photos.

RV-3B still on wings....
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:38 AM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 4,964

Corvair - now there is a blast from the past - - I bet it is smoooooth.

Just keep good oil in there and get a good oil analysis program going. Those main bearings are quite small, smaller than the VW of the era.

Yes, Lets see some pictures!!!

1st Flight 1-27-18
Phase II 8-3-18
Repairman 11-15-18
Instrument Currency 12-17-18
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No Photo? => PM me.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:11 PM
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rv7boy rv7boy is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Austinville, Alabama
Posts: 2,393

Yes, a few photos would answer a lot of questions. I'd be interested in knowing if you went direct drive to the prop or if you have a gearbox. What type of prop? What attention to bearing loads at the prop end of the engine did you provide? Etc., etc.,
We'd like to hear (and see) more.
Don Hull
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“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." Miriam Beard

"It should be added that the sublime beauty of the facture brings within the realm of discourse the substructure of critical thinking. " -using Doug's Art Critique jargon link and my birthday, I get this!
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:51 PM
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RV3bpilot RV3bpilot is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: New Ulm, Minnesota
Posts: 269
Default Corvair Install

I had to make my own motor mount and a lot of other stuff to make it fit.
It is direct drive per my homemade parts. The drive hub has a bearing as same as a Lycoming for stability of the prop. and it has a thrust bearing to keep the prop from pulling on the crank.
It is a Catto prop. 66" long 60" pitch counter rotation. It was damaged on my second forced landing so I repaired it using vacuum bagging process and it is working great.
So far I have 112.2 hours on it.
Here are a few pictures of the installation of the motor. Yes it has fuel injection too.
I use Mobil one synthetic oil in it 10-30wt.
The crankshaft is made by Corvair Specialties, it is 4340 steel billet that have been line-bored, undercut pendulums, knife- edge machined, and partially drilled rod journals, all to keep the weight down to a mere 2oz. heavier than the original crankshaft. The crankshafts have also been heat treated, shot peened, nitrided, and micro-polished.

Robin Mckee
New Ulm, MN 56073
RV3b N219BB
318 hours and counting

Last edited by RV3bpilot : 07-18-2014 at 02:14 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:40 PM
dlomheim dlomheim is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: (2OK2) OK City, OK
Posts: 373
Default Corvair Power Now!

Robin: Fabulous job on the installation and final tweaking to make it a "turn the key and fly" a/c! If i remember right, you used to have a GM ECO engine in it didn't you, with the less than sexy looking cowling. Why did you do it again after getting that one flying? Also, what performance differences have you seen between the two installations? Is it harder to make some heat for the cabin with air-cooling vs. water?

Great job, and fly safe!

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