• Become a Subscribing Member today!

    The Biplane Forum is a large global active community of biplane builders, owners and pilots. From Pitts to Skybolts, to older barnstormers, all types are welcome.

    The Biplane Forum is a private community. Subscriptions are only $49.99/year or $6.99/month to gain access to this great community and unmatched source of information not found anywhere else on the web.

    Why become a Subscribing Member?

    • In addition to our active community, our content boasts exhaustive technical information which is often sought after for projects and maintenance. This information has accumulated over the 12+ years the forum has been in existence.
    • We are also a great resource for non biplane users, since many GA aircraft are built the same way (fabric and tube construction).
    • Annual membership also comes with two BiplaneForum.com decals.

    Become a Subscribing Member and access the Biplane Forum in full!

    Subscribe Now

Why not a 550?

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Grum.man

Well-Known Member
*
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
374
Reaction score
245
Location
Sanford, NC
Without getting into all the details let's assume you have an IO-550N/G that you could or want to use in something like a Skybolt/Raven/Ultimate/S1-11 type biplane. I'm curious as to the many people on here who are smarter than me would not do so? I assume the natural reason it hasn't been done is simply... why would you. Most people don't have one already and usually buy an appropriate engine when you reach that phase of the build. In my case I have the engine and would like to build something for it. The biggest drawback I can come up with is engineering an engine mount for it. There are no inverted oil systems designed for it but that seems like a fairly easy hurdle to overcome knowing the design of the engine. I often hear people quote the weight as a deterrent but at least according to the TCDS it's on par or less than a 300 hp 540. There are obviously differences in how Continental and Lycoming quote their dry weights that is really hard to decipher but swapping out some accessories for light weight pieces and I think given the packaging of the 550 it would be the same or perhaps even lighter when installed. With the forward facing mags, cold side induction, integrated oil cooler, and gear driven alternator it's actually a really tidy and easy to package engine. It's incredibly efficient for the power it makes and if you desire more, 340-350 hp should be pretty easy to obtain if you want to turn it up to 3000 rpm. There are obviously some unknowns as to how well it would hold up to hard acro use but if that isn't on your priority list then maybe not a concern. So what did I miss? If you had it, would you try to use it?
 

Latest posts

Back
Top