OSHKOSH 2016 UPDATE

1409Hello Everyone,

This year at Oshkosh we did things a little different- we opted to get our own booth in the ultralight area and then arranged to have Ron Jones of Thunderbird Aviation bring his original Guppy (an all-wood predecessor to the Hyperlight) to be displayed in our booth. During the week, we planned to do an on-the-spot complete tear-down of a greasy old O-200 and use those parts in conjunction with one of our beta test engine kits to build a running Pegasus DP-1 to mount on the nose of the Guppy. We had no plans to fly the plane with the untested engine of course but thought the exercise would be informative and exactly in line with the original spirit of the Pegasus DP-1/O-100 conversion. It was hot, even in the shade of our tent, but many eager EAAers came down to cheer us on and offer help and encouragement.

We’d previously made arrangements to receive the new crankshaft from our vendor who was also displaying at the show. It’s a thing of beauty and it fit PERFECTLY into Beta Test Engine #007’s beautiful crankcase!Pete, Rons crank at OSH While I was cleaning and prepping O-200 parts for assembly, our Sales Manager, Bill Vasilovich, went down to the EAA’s Aircraft  Emergency Repair Shop to cut the camshaft in half. Those poor guys down there – the hero’s they are (repairing broken aircraft for those who would be otherwise stranded without their help) – thought Bill had completely lost his mind and wanted him committed for cutting a perfectly good cam in half! He jokingly told them that we had lost two cylinders on the way in and this would fix it. No one laughed. I guess before they could call the EAA officials to bring a net and a straight-jacket, Bill had our two-cylinder cam, thanked them for the use of the cut-off saw and scurried back to the Ultralight area to the safety of our booth. LOL. Everything on the assembly went well  and, like the crankshaft, the cam and other used parts from the old O-200 fit perfectly into the new DP-1 case.

On Sunday (the last day of the show) during final assembly, we found that the oil tank filler spout wouldn’t fit with the Guppy’s new engine mount so we couldn’t start it up. But we were successful at proving the original concept of the DP-1 engine kit! I think most people were impressed. We had planned a ceremonious event with John Daum – DP-1 Serial #001 owner – there at Oshkosh, but John agreed that such an event might be a bit premature.

Although months behind our preferred schedule, we ARE making good progress and moving toward an official product launch.  Six new “Revision D” cranks have been austempered (8/10/2016) and are on their way to our machine shop and are expected to be finished and balanced the last week of August. By the way, Revision “D” added material to the thickness of the cheeks because we didn’t have enough on the Rev “C” cranks to clean them up to our standards.  Just to enlighten you on how things go when you are designing and building a product as complex as an aircraft engine from scratch, To date, we’ve ordered, produced, heat treated and shipped over 30 crankshafts which had to be scrapped.

There were also a few minor issues with the Kit’s brand new forged pistons. I found that the ring lands were machined with too little  clearance (totally my fault). We called in a change order for the ring grooves to have .007″ clearance on the stock O-200 rings instead of .0005″ (yes, that’s 1/2 a thousandth of an inch!) that the first batch had.  I also discovered the need to include in the kit a simple tool for installing the piston pin retainer clips.  All minor tweaking at this point.

We have another “Request for Quote” out to a thread roller located in Wisconsin to make our studs, and they seem to be a promising vendor. We never heard back from the guy we were previously hoping to work with so we just moved on.

In other news…
We ran the Prototype Engine with two straight pipes instead of the mufflers yesterday (8/10/2016) and we lost about a hundred RPM. (See the video) It’s  very loud without the mufflers. We might try using one muffler and having both pipes routed into it to see if that will get the RPM back to where it was with the old O-200 “can mufflers”. We’re also going to try going up in size to 1-5/8″ exhaust tubing to see if that helps. I also rebuilt the test club – sanding out all the dings and dents and fiberglassing both blades and re-balanced it. The balance was perfect and made the engine run even smoother yet.

We have an airframe ready for an engine when we get our first kit DP-1 built. It is a RANS Coyote.  It should make a great test aircraft for the engine so we can finally start a flight test program. Once the engines have accumulated several hundred trouble-free flight hour we will finally be ready to launch this excellent engine to an anxiously awaiting world. Believe me – I’m as anxious as you are to fly behind this engine!

That is about it for now. So, without making any promises I can’t keep, please rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to get the first run of production engine kits in your hands. We have a few last minute things to do and we’ll be there.  Thanks for hanging in there with us!!

Please give drop us an email if you have any questions.

Pete

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5 Responses to OSHKOSH 2016 UPDATE

  1. Hap Hazard says:

    Still following your trails with much interest Pete. During a recent visit to the States and speaking with a few of the guys who know and are based near you, also gave an update on the scale of the project. Inherent problems with a 2 cylinder horizontally, opposed engine isn’t the easiest of beasts to start from scratch with, but I still think if you can get the teething problems ironed out, you should be on a very promising little engine here that will tick a heck of a lot of boxes for the light vintage and homebuilder community….much respect to your dream and even more hopes that you finally get the thing to market, cause I’m still very interested in purchasing one…..

    • Pegasus Pete says:

      Thank you SO much for your encouraging words ‘Hap’. I will keep plugging away until I get it and I’m almost there. I’ll be waitin’ for your kit order whenever you are ready!

      Talk soon,

      Pete

      • Hap Hazard says:

        Cheers Pete. Waitin for the exchange rate to get a bit more favourable…we are at a 30 year all time low due to Brexit…..sigh. Will be looking for news on the test flights.

  2. dragon2knight says:

    Great to hear, Pete! This is a very promising concept, look forward to seeing all this hard work pay off!

    • Pegasus Pete says:

      Thanks dragon! It has been exhausting but I know it will be worth it. Can’t wait to fly this little critter! Just weeks away!

      Pete