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Keeping it light

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Premium Member
Jan 3, 2007
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A continuation of this thread:



The direction of the idler arm thread was branching into weight gain/weight savings based on plans modifications and engine choice. I had a couple of comments and i'm sure others do also so i thought i'd start this thread.

I made a comment that more power is only a good thing until the mill stops. I should be more specific. What i'm saying is i'd rather have a relatively light enginemade toperform its best rather than to bolt up a bigger heavier engine to a point of diminishing returns, lower useful load, higher stall speed, and for me what boils down to a less survivable situation shouldan engine failure take place. (Scottlys comment to go witha Barrett engine is in my mind an argument towards little wasted weight per HP..just so you'll know i'm not slamming that engine or comment)

To get to the meat of it.... we are worrying about the weight of the bearings in the idler arm, aileron bellcranks, and torque tube while there are obvious other places that efficiency can be found. The first that sticks out in my mind is that we are probably all planning to use magnetos. Replacing one or both magnetos with Light Speed Engineering electronic ignitions would offset the weight of every bearing in the plane...then some.

I'll be the first to admit i'm not even in the game as far as efficiency..I'm definitely not building for extreme performance...just extreme fun. i dont have an electronic ignition that will run my radial...dont want to take the time to work out fuel injection...etc. It seems though that if you want to really get into performance its more about cowlings, wheelpants, fairings, internal wire fittings, lightweight finish, etc.

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