Update: October 23 2014

O-100The first thing I had to do when I returned from Oshkosh is figure out the carburetor issue. The Zenith-Bendix Model 68 I had on it originally was too small. Those of you that saw it run there may have noticed I was tweaking with the mixture all through the range of RPM. Additionally, at full throttle, it was only turning 2600 and about 26” manifold pressure and running VERY rich. Just for fun, I borrowed an old Marvel-Schebler MA-2 from Norm Douthit (of Stits/Poly Fiber fame),cleaned it up, made a simple adapter plate and hung it on the engine. It fired right up, ran smooth through the entire RPM range and was turning the exact same test club at 2900 RPM – a gain of 300 RPM -with no other changes!! Manifold pressure was up at 28.5”. With this carb installed, I proceeded to put the engine through the recommended break-in procedure for the O-200 which, basically is 200 RPM increases to full power with 10 minutes at each setting then a cool down and an oil change. I did not video these tests because they are pretty mundane and uneventful. Excited about the Marvel, I contacted MSA Carburetors and it looks like they are on-board to produce a Pegasus carburetor for us. I’ll have more info on that as it develops. Yes, I am still going to look into fuel injection as many of you were interested in that and is a great option to explore.

My recent activity regarding the O-100 development has been focusing on production logistics. Plan “A”was to produce a limited run in the foundries that made the prototype parts but this required a tremendous amount of shipping and handling just to get the parts from one place to another around California.The biggest challenge was that the ONLY austempering house in the States worth looking at is in Detroit! More shipping costs and right in the middle of the crankshaft’s production sequence. Another big issue I have to deal with is QUANTITY! If the numbers are too low,nobody will take it seriously and the cost is prohibitive; too high is risky if changes are required. The trick will be to find places that will do small quantities and have the ability to ramp-up as demand grows. GOOD NEWS: I “think” I found everything I need in one pocket of industry – Detroit. My old Plan”A” just went to Plan “B” and Plan”A” is now to manufacture in the greater Detroit area.

I just returned last Thursday from a VERY productive trip to Detroit where I met with several foundries,machine shops and Applied Process, Inc. (appliedprocess.com if you want more info on ADI). I am looking forward to bids from all these capable manufacturers with high hopes, at this time, of keeping the price of the kit to the promised “under 3 grand”. I know your next question is WHEN can we expect production parts and complete kits. Again, not making promises, but it looks real good for releasing some beta test engines around the first of the year. My team and I unanimously agree that we HAVE to show up to AirVenture 2015 with several FLYING examples and kits for sale so this is a fixed goal.

Speaking of the kit, I have come a long way on refining the contents of the kit since our original introduction at AirVenture 2012. Obviously the custom crankcase,crankshaft and two-cylinder “spider” (intake manifold) are the primary components but, due to the heavy weight of the original O-200 rods and cast pistons (which presented balancing issues), we are supplying light weight “H beam” rods and light weight forged pistons made for us by CP Carrillo. CP Carrillo is known for their high quality racing components and we are honored and pleased to include their high quality components in our kit. The crank will come as a dynamically balanced unit which includes our special,counterbalanced starter/cam drive gear. With our Carrillo rods and pistons holding to a few grams weight difference across the production run, every engine should run as smooth as the next.Additionally, to eliminate extra work and frustration on the consumer end, all studs will be installed in the case which will be ready for assembly. The rest of the stuff you’ll need to build a twin-opposed LSA engine is off-the-shelf O-200 parts. Eventually, we will have our online store stocked with everything you will need – new and used –to get you going.

Look, I’ve been in aviation all my life. I’m sure I haven’t seen it all yet but I can smell a rat with the best of ’em. This engine was created out of MY necessity for it.I needed a new powerplant for my new Crackerjack 2. In creating it,my desire is to share it with whomever can benefit from it and I truly just want a SAFE and RELIABLE and ECONOMICAL solution to the 50-60 HP engine genre. I don’t have a huge bank account to throw at this so I’m going to have to do the crawl-walk-run approach to manufacturing and with any luck and with your support, I know I can make a GO of this project. Stay “guarded” if you must but please give me a chance to do my best. Thank you for your interest in the Pegasus DP-1 O-100 LSA Engine!

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