1.9 TDI Powered Airplane

spiceredwagon

Veteran Member
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Apr 2, 2007
Location
Edmonton
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06 wagon
The March issue of EAA's Sport Aviation shows a Finnish built aircraft powered by VW 1.9 TDI-JH1. Googling JH1 does not find any thing related to VW but the picture in the magazine looks like a PD engine. The highlight of the article is the miserly fuel burn - the 63 gallon wing tanks give it a 17 hour endurance. The old Piper I used to fly needed servicing every 25 hours.
The plane was originally designed for a VW air cooled engine. The guy is very talented, he built the prop reduction drive and modded the ECU. Unfortunately he is not smart enough to stay away from biodiesel which he puts in the left tank.
 

jjordan11

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Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Location
Lehi, UT
TDI
1988 Audi 80 quattro PD130, 1982 Westfalia TDI
Nice find, the engine is a VE engine and not a PD. I wonder how he did a mechanical over-ride on the pump.
 

Seatman

Top Post Dawg
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Apr 23, 2010
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Scotland
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2014 Skoda rapid elegance 1.6 cr tdi
There's someone over here who does the pump conversion but I don't know who it is, I think ryanp on here might know.:)
 

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
Why would anyone fiddle with a VW engine when there are proven, certified 170HP 2.0 litre aviation diesels and drives in the marketplace already?? Remember what happened to Frank Thielert and think again if you want to be a 'test pilot'.
 

40X40

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Feb 12, 2006
Location
Kansas City area, MO
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Why would anyone fiddle with a VW engine when there are proven, certified 170HP 2.0 litre aviation diesels and drives in the marketplace already?? Remember what happened to Frank Thielert and think again if you want to be a 'test pilot'.
Priced one lately? The only real reason these guys need is: They do it 'cause they can. ;)Go to the EAA Fly-In in Oshkosh, WI. the last of July/first of August and be prepared to be humbled by the engineering you will find.:) Perhaps you have already been there, I have found it to always be worth the trip.

Bill
 

cumminsfromthecold

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Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Location
Arcata, CA
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'84 Toyota 1Z 4WD x-cab, '13 Jetta Wagon
The March issue of EAA's Sport Aviation shows a Finnish built aircraft powered by VW 1.9 TDI-JH1. Googling JH1 does not find any thing related to VW but the picture in the magazine looks like a PD engine. The highlight of the article is the miserly fuel burn - the 63 gallon wing tanks give it a 17 hour endurance. The old Piper I used to fly needed servicing every 25 hours.
The plane was originally designed for a VW air cooled engine. The guy is very talented, he built the prop reduction drive and modded the ECU. Unfortunately he is not smart enough to stay away from biodiesel which he puts in the left tank.
Fortunately, there are enough people smart enough to do their homework on biodiesel - here, for example:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/10/worlds_first_100_percent_biodiesel_jet_flight.php
 

Seatman

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Apr 23, 2010
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Scotland
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2014 Skoda rapid elegance 1.6 cr tdi
Did anyone ever find out any info on the JH1 engine? I searched through wiki's list of vw engines and couldn't find anything.:)
 

Ski in NC

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Jul 7, 2008
Location
Wilmington, NC USA
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2001 Jetta ALH 5sp stock
That's an ALH (or similar euro) engine. Aluminum cam cover. Flywheel end forward. I figure the builder/owner used his initials (JH) and the serial number 1 to come up with JH1.

Neat machine. Wonder about using veebelts for reduction. My choice would be a pair of tooth belts for redundancy.

Also wonder about cg shifted forward with the heavier powerplant. But he must have sorted that issue somehow.

Dammit I guess I gotta go to Oshkosh.... again... I'm getting the bug...

Excuse my ignorance, but what is a PSRU?
 
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TDIMeister

Phd of TDIClub Enthusiast, Moderator at Large
Joined
May 1, 1999
Location
Canada
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TDI
Interesting. I am consulting on an automotive-based aero Diesel with a biturbo arrangement that allows the aircraft to climb to 22,000 ft without derating from its sea-level take-off 155 HP output.

A side development of that work is a clean-sheet boxer Diesel not based on any current production crankcase sized to replace the Lycoming O-360 family and not require a speed reduction gearbox. Take-off RPM is 2700 and cruise ~1800, right at the BSFC sweetspot. Obviously the engine with not be initially FAA certified, hobbyist only. It will have redundant mechanical injection pumps.
 
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schwarze Käfer

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Oct 21, 2010
Location
Texas (panhandle)
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2003 New Beetle GLS 5spd
In 1931, a Bellanca with a Packard diesel aircooled radial engine set the world flight endurance record of 84 1/2 hours that stood until broken in 1986 by Burt Rutan's Voyager.
Be interesting to watch what can be done with diesels now.
 

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
Priced one lately? The only real reason these guys need is: They do it 'cause they can. ;)Go to the EAA Fly-In in Oshkosh, WI. the last of July/first of August and be prepared to be humbled by the engineering you will find.:) Perhaps you have already been there, I have found it to always be worth the trip.

Bill
Off and on, been going there 35 years and building engines and drives longervthan that. Still would prefer a 2.0 Austro for little ones and 5.0 EADS for larger if I had a choice.

As much as diesels make infinitely more sense than gassers in an airplane (there are about a dozen REALLY good reasons) the incredibly conservative nature of certification - mostly due to the Americal Legal Liability Lottery system of civil law - still face an uphill battle. Part of why I have such strong feelings for the two companies that have had the stones to step up to the plate and build these engines. Those who know the story also know that it is a road to hell paved with the best of intentions (ask Frank Thielert).

The other interesting side note: reduction drives are required to use automotive engines in aircraft, but the story for decades has seldom been one of any great success. Curious, though, that in the '30s and '40s, some of the most successful BIG aircraft engines are gear reduced, and drives were seldom a big issue (also mult-cylinder so drive harmonics not as big a deal).
 
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Pat Dolan

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Joined
Apr 19, 2002
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Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
I think you meant radial engine...the majority of aircraft engines are multi-cylinder...:rolleyes:
No I did not mean radials. BIG engines means multi-cylinder (and by multi, I guess I mean more than 6 cylinders....poor choice of words), but not all big engines were gear reduced. Some (Merlin, Griffon, Allisson) were gear reduced V12s and IIRC never had a reduction box issue. Similarly one of the most common radials, R1320 was built in both direct drive and reduction drive, and I have never seen one with any reduction box issues. Another ubiquitous Pratt, the R1830 (C47/DC3 among several applications) also went from under 1,000HP to well over 1600HP using same reduction gearbox with no issues. Most of these not only had very high cyclinder count, but also dynamic counterweighting.

HOWEVER: after the war, there were several genav engines built with gear reduction: Continental GO300, Lyc GTSO-340, TGIO, all 6 cylinder opposed engines, none particularly successful and most retrofitted to non-geared applications. When you go below 5 cylinders, the torque reversals mean that the gearbox is HUGE and heavy - thus why very, very few 4 cylinder reduction drives exist. The harmonics become a major factor. This is why there are no more Thielert Centurion 1.7 or 2.0 eninges left - the gearbox problems killed the company. It is also why there were precious few BD5s completed as designed (if you are not aware, THE airplane responsible for the boom in homebuilding as we know it today).

To decide as a homebuilder to go down the road that has proven so fruitless (and heavy) is to invite disaster. Far better to use some proven hardware and be flying instead of performing forced landings and rebuilding airframes and re-designing drive systems.
 
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GTiTDi

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Multiple cylinder BANK or ROW engines is what they were called..any engine with more than two cylinders is a multiple cylinder engine in my opinion.
here is a lion engine, three inline cylinder banks on one crankcase.
here is a Napier engine, 16 cylinders arranged in an H pattern of four banks
;)
 
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Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
What about tooth-belt reductions? They should be able to handle torque reversals better than steel gears with lash.
They handle it...but because of the variations in angular velocity and instanteous torque, the size of the drive for 4 cyl/4 cycle and under engines is very large. BTW: one of the most successful reduction drives is the Rotax unit, used on 2 cyl, 2 cycle and 4 cyl, 4 cycle (both 180 degree firing impulse) that is gear, with a "cush" (cushion coupling) similar to old British twin motorcyles. It is quite light and durable, and THE reason that they came to dominate the ultralight business.
 

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
Multiple cylinder BANK or ROW engines is what they were called..any engine with more than two cylinders is a multiple cylinder engine in my opinion.
here is a lion engine, three inline cylinder banks on one crankcase.
here is a Napier engine, 16 cylinders arranged in an H pattern of four banks
;)
That's the little air cooled, poppet valve Napier. There was a later 24 cylinder sleeve valve model that got up into the same power range as an R4360 Pratt (at 28 cylinders). These are ALL gear reduced engines, and to my earlier point: while they had all kinds of teething problems, the gear drives (CRITICAL to both design goals and operation) were relatively trouble free and very compact - due to extreme overlap of power strokes. The H configurations kept things small and light in the gear drive since power was divided between two crankshafts, thus half as much peak load per prop shaft gear tooth. The big Pratts and Wrights did this by using planetary reduction units to accomplish the same thing.

Since I am rattling on about my obsession: you can see the theme here I hope: gear drives are really tough and heavy on 4 cylinder engines, and have not been especially successful on 6 bangers (GO300, 480, 540). BUT, they become relatively light and reliable as the cylinder count goes up. By 9 cylinders, things should be looking up, but my favourite (had a few) R-985 was built as a geared engine giving 33% more power, but a total flop (my experience is that the direct drive crank is already touchy at 450HP and 2,300 rpm).

IMHO,the future of diesels in aircraft lies with 5 or more cylinders and a very good gear reduction. I still feel so badly about the failure of Thielert, since they were using (I think the Audi 4.2) a diesel V8 to repower some cabin twins - think of a 400HP per side Beach Duke Diesel. I doubt I will still have a license (or that much money) when someone finally figures that out.
 
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manual_tranny

Smyth Performance- Intern
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Jan 5, 2010
Location
New Bedford, MA
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2001 Golf @182K; 2000 Jetta @290K
He mounted the brake booster in the wrong place. :D

I have argued once or twice in favor of a 1.9 TDI aircraft.. It's good to see someone out there has the money, time, and inclination.
 
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