Direct Drive VW Engines | Aircraft Systems

Direct Drive VW Engines

Revmaster R-2300 Engine

The Revmaster R-2300 engine maintains Revmaster’s systems and parts, including its RM-049 heads that feature large fins and a hemispherical combustion chamber. [Figure 1] It maintains the earlier R-2200 engine’s top horsepower (82) at 2950 rpm continuous. [Figure 2]

Direct Drive VW Light-sport Aircraft Engines
Figure 1. Revmaster R-2300 engine

Direct Drive VW Light-sport Aircraft Engines
Figure 2. Hemispherical combustion chamber within the Revmaster R-2300 Heads

Takeoff power is rated at 85 at 3350 rpm. The additional power comes from a bore of 94mm plus lengthening of the R-2200’s connecting rods, plus increasing the stroke from 78 to 84 mm. The longer stroke results in more displacement, and longer connecting rods yield better vibration and power characteristics. The lower cruise rpm allows the use of longer propellers, and the higher peak horsepower can be felt in shorter takeoffs and steeper climbs.

The Revmaster’s four main bearing crankshaft runs on a 60 mm center main bearing, is forged from 4340 steel, and uses nitrided journals. Thrust is handled by the 55 mm #3 bearing at the propeller end of the crank. Fully utilizing its robust #4 main bearing, the Revmaster crank has built in oil-controlled propeller capability, a feature unique in this horsepower range; non-wood props are usable with these engines.

Moving from the crankcase and main bearings, the cylinders are made by using centrifugally cast chilled iron. The pistons are forged out of high quality aluminum alloy, machined and balanced in a set of four. There are two sizes of pistons, 92mm and 94mm, designed to be compatible with a 78mm to 82mm stroke crankshafts. The cylinder set also contains piston rings, wrist pins, and locks. The direct-drive R-2300 uses a dual CDI ignition with eight coil spark to eight spark plugs, dual 20-amp alternators, oil cooler, and its proprietary Rev-Flo carburetor, while introducing the longer cylinders that do not require spacers. The automotive-based bearings, valves, valve springs, and piston rings (among others) make rebuilds easy and inexpensive.

Great Plains Aircraft Volkswagen (VW) Conversions

Great Plains Aircraft is one company that offers several configurations of the Volkswagen (VW) aircraft engine conversion. One very popular model is the front drive long block kits that offer a four-cycle, four-cylinder opposed engine with horsepower ranges from approximately 60-100. [Figure 3] 

Direct Drive VW Light-sport Aircraft Engines
Figure 3. Great Plain’s Volkswagen conversion

The long block engine kits, which are the complete engine kits that are assembled, in the field or can be shipped completely assembled, are available from 1600 cc up through 2276 cc. All the engine kits are built from proven time tested components and are shipped with a Type One VW Engine Assembly Manual. This manual was written by the manufacturer, specifically for the assembly of their engine kits. Also included are how to determine service and maintenance procedures and many tips on how to set up and operate the engine correctly. The crankshaft used in the 2180 cc to 2276 cc engines is a 82 mm crankshaft made from a forged billet of E4340 steel, machined and magnafluxed twice. The end of the crankshaft features a ½-inch fine thread versus a 20 mm thread found on the standard automotive crank.

Teledyne Continental 0-200 Engine

The 0-200 Series engine has become a popular engine for use in light-sport aircraft. The 0-200-A/B is a four-cylinder, carbureted engine producing 100 brake hp and has a crankshaft speed of 2750 rpm. [Figure 4] The engine has horizontally opposed air cooled cylinders. The engine cylinders have an overhead valve design with updraft intake inlets and downdraft exhaust outlets mounted on the bottom of the cylinder. The 0-200-A/B engines have a 201 cubic inch displacement achieved by using a cylinder design with a 4.06-inch diameter bore and a 3.88-inch stroke. The dry weight of the engine is 170.18 pounds without accessories. The weight of the engine with installed accessories is approximately 215 pounds. Developed specifically for light aircraft, the 0-200-D engine has a dry weight with installed accessories of approximately 199 pounds. The engine is provided with four integral rear engine mounts. A crankcase breather port is located on the 1-3 side of the crankcase forward of the number 3 cylinder.

Direct Drive VW Light-sport Aircraft Engines
Figure 4. 0-200 Continental Engine

The engine lubrication system is a wet sump, high-pressure oil system. The engine lubrication system includes the internal engine-driven pressure oil pump, oil pressure relief valve, pressure oil screen mounted on the rear of the accessory case and pressure instrumentation. A fitting is provided at the 1-3 side of the crankcase for oil pressure measurement. The oil sump capacity is six quarts maximum. The 0-200-A/B induction system consists of an updraft intake manifold with the air intake and throttle mounted below the engine. Engine manifold pressure is measured at a port located on the 2-4 side of the intake air manifold. The 0-200-A/B is equipped with a carburetor that meters fuel flow as the flightdeck throttle and mixture controls are changed.

Lycoming 0-233 Series Light-Sport Aircraft Engine

Lycoming Engines, a Textron Inc. company, produces an experimental non-certified version of its 233 series light-sport aircraft engine. [Figure 5] The engine is light and capable of running on unleaded automotive fuels, as well as AVGAS. The engine features dual CDI spark ignition, an optimized oil sump, a streamlined accessory housing, hydraulically adjusted tappets, a lightweight starter, and a lightweight alternator with integral voltage regulator.

Direct Drive VW Light-sport Aircraft Engines
Figure 5. Lycoming 0-233 engine

It has a dry weight of 213 pounds (including the fuel pump) and offers continuous power ratings up to 115 hp at 2800 rpm. In addition to its multi-gasoline fuel capability, it has proven to be very reliable with a TBO of 2,400 hours. The initial standard version of the engine is carbureted, but fuel injected configurations of the engine are also available.