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    Thread: TFSI in an airplane

    1. 05-28-2012 11:23 PM #1
      Hey guys,
      I'm doing research into the feasibility of using a 2.0T FSI (197hp) in an aviation application. The power-band, the efficiency, and the dimensions and weight all look great. It would be even better with a lighter block, but you can't have everything...
      I wanted to get some feedback to see if I was overlooking anything. I'm not trying to squeeze a crazy amount of hp out of her. I want reliability above all else. I was thinking an ATP Turbo 3" intake kit with mechanical BOV, a 3" downpipe with cat-delete and straight pipes, and a really mild chip. Will the lack of any significant exhaust past the turbo (2' or so) cause issues? Can you just unbolt the clutch assembly and still have the flywheel attached to the crank? Or would I need a custom flywheel? I would probably attach a belt-driven 2:1 reduction unit to power the propeller. The engine mount would be interesting given that the output end of the engine will be facing forward instead of towards the flywheel. I know I'd have to fabricate a custom radiator and intercooler setup. Anything else? Comments would be appreciated. I'm hoping to get a cruise speed of 150mph and a ceiling of 17,999' out of a Bearhawk experimental airplane. BTW, this would be my 10th VW. Driving a 2010 TDI JSW currently...

      thanks,
      brian

    2. 05-28-2012 11:26 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by brian.krahmer View Post
      instead of towards the flywheel
      Er, make that firewall

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      05-30-2012 09:42 AM #3
      Sorry, I have no answers for you, but I want to see this happen

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      05-30-2012 12:54 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by TBomb View Post
      Sorry, I have no answers for you, but I want to see this happen
      +1

      I don't think we have a lot of airplane buffs in here
      Hope someone proves me wrong and chimes in though.
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      I said dance bitch. Dance.

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      05-30-2012 03:05 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by brian.krahmer View Post
      Hey guys,
      I'm doing research into the feasibility of using a 2.0T FSI (197hp) in an aviation application. The power-band, the efficiency, and the dimensions and weight all look great. It would be even better with a lighter block, but you can't have everything...
      I wanted to get some feedback to see if I was overlooking anything. I'm not trying to squeeze a crazy amount of hp out of her. I want reliability above all else. I was thinking an ATP Turbo 3" intake kit with mechanical BOV, a 3" downpipe with cat-delete and straight pipes, and a really mild chip. Will the lack of any significant exhaust past the turbo (2' or so) cause issues? Can you just unbolt the clutch assembly and still have the flywheel attached to the crank? Or would I need a custom flywheel? I would probably attach a belt-driven 2:1 reduction unit to power the propeller. The engine mount would be interesting given that the output end of the engine will be facing forward instead of towards the flywheel. I know I'd have to fabricate a custom radiator and intercooler setup. Anything else? Comments would be appreciated. I'm hoping to get a cruise speed of 150mph and a ceiling of 17,999' out of a Bearhawk experimental airplane. BTW, this would be my 10th VW. Driving a 2010 TDI JSW currently...

      thanks,
      brian
      Id love to see this happen so heres some help.
      If you want a lighter engine, i can get you an all aluminum fsi long block. Some of the accessories vary a little from the bpy but it would work.
      I would not use run a bov do to the the rich condition that comes with one.
      The exhaust should not be a problem.
      Yes the clutch can be removed by its self but the oem flywheel is a dm unit and weights a ton. Id just get an aluminum off the self fw.
      For the mounts, remember that vw has 2 sets for either orientation so pick one that fits your application.

      Another BIG issue is the tuning. The low pressure fuel supply is a pita to deal with so you will need a pump thats output can be modulated via pulse width.

      Im no engineer so i cant say there wont be anymore issues when the altitude changes, but as far as the basics your ok.

    6. 05-30-2012 09:46 PM #6
      Awesome, getting some interest and good info now! That aluminum block sounds sweeeeet. How many kilobucks for something like that, and what would the weight savings be? Thanks for the BOV tip. I believe I would actually want some decent mass in the flywheel to keep it running smooth. The prop I'm looking at using would weigh only about 30#. If the bellhousing can fully support the engine, I would probably use an engine mount plate somewhat similar to this, cut out of 3/8" aluminum or so. mounting plate
      There is then a more conventional motor mount that carries the load back to the firewall. I could augment that with trusses that connect to the other preferred pick-up points if necessary

      I guess I'm totally confused by your comments about the fuel pump. I had read that the FSI used a return-less low pressure pump, and then I assumed that the HPFP and ECU would take care of the rest. Can you explain more here?

      I've had my old 1.8T Beetle and a couple of TDIs over 14k feet with no problems, so I wouldn't expect any problems (sans maybe some loss of power) from the altitude. I'm planning a VFR plane, so I cannot legally fly over 17,999.

      Great info here, much appreciated.

      brian

    7. 05-30-2012 10:23 PM #7
      I guess bellhousing isn't technically the correct term. I mean the part of the block that would normally mate to the bellhousing. Can that part of the block support the running engine by itself over the long term?

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      05-30-2012 11:47 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by brian.krahmer View Post
      Awesome, getting some interest and good info now! That aluminum block sounds sweeeeet. How many kilobucks for something like that, and what would the weight savings be?
      Take a look at this link. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
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      Quote Originally Posted by brian.krahmer View Post
      If the bellhousing can fully support the engine, I would probably use an engine mount plate somewhat similar to this, cut out of 3/8" aluminum or so. mounting plate
      There is then a more conventional motor mount that carries the load back to the firewall. I could augment that with trusses that connect to the other preferred pick-up points if necessary.
      Im not sure on the exact limits it can handle. Im familiar with engine plates but not to support the whole weight. You should be ok but id do more research.

      Quote Originally Posted by brian.krahmer View Post
      I guess I'm totally confused by your comments about the fuel pump. I had read that the FSI used a return-less low pressure pump, and then I assumed that the HPFP and ECU would take care of the rest. Can you explain more here?
      Since there no return system the low pressure pump in the gas tank is modulated via the ecu. Idn what kind of fuel pump you have in your plane but it has to be controlled via the ecu.

    9. 05-31-2012 12:32 AM #9
      It sounds like supporting the engine at both ends would be a good idea... It's a high-wing plane, so normally the fuel would just gravity feed to the engine. If that wouldn't work and the HPFP would need a few more pounds of pressure, I wouldn't have a problem installing electric VW pumps in each tank.

      I hope that I'll get a chance to build this thing. I'm looking at probably a year of construction on the plane before I get ready to start doing the engine. If anybody else has any comments or concerns, please don't be shy.

      thanks,
      brian

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      06-02-2012 08:02 AM #10
      you're going to need to run RS4 injectors, an upgraded HPFP, and oxy fuel for high altitudes. possibly water meth injection for the really high altitudes.

      contact info@doTuning.com for tuning needs. CTSTurbo.com will have fueling needs. INA will have tech info and possibly an engine lying around.

      what is the weight of the plane without an engine?

      i'm sure INA can tell you the exact weight of the BPY engine.

      add both figures up and you'll have total weight. then we'll calculate power add on needed to get you to that 150MPH you'd like.

    11. 06-03-2012 10:05 PM #11
      John, thanks for the info. Though, you might have missed my point about not wanting to get every hp out of the engine, just a reliable one. I don't see the need for injectors, HPFP, etc. Exotic fuel? No thanks. It needs to run on 91 mogas, 89 mogas w/ octane booster, or (gasp) the occasional tank of 100 low-lead (w/ lead scavenger). The bearhawk is around 800-850 w/o engine. The minimum horsepower spec'ed is 150. More hp (with the appropriate adjustable prop) translates into higher top speeds. I think around 220hp will be a screamer, even with a cast iron block. The alternative is a Lycoming O-360 (yep, 360 in3) putting out 180hp @ 2700 with a turbo normalizer, for about the same weight. I'd rather have the VW, even if it ends up weighing more with the mounts, cooling systems and reduction drive. I figure 6.75 gal/hr @ 109 hp vs 9 gal/hr, at $4/gal vs $6/gal. The VW will have 1/2 the operating costs and get me much better performance. Max gross weight of the plane is 2500#, and the frame will take a few hundred more pounds if a guy is careful.

      cheers,
      brian

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      06-05-2012 12:25 AM #12
      Something to consider...just make sure you are well aware of all of the potential reliability issues with the 2.0 FSI. If you are thinking of the TFSI/TSI engine in the 2009+ GTI/A3, then you will alleviate most of those issues. The last thing you need is a HPFP cam follower failure at 18,000 feet

    13. 06-05-2012 01:34 AM #13
      Thanks for the tip regarding the cam follower. From what I've read, some guys replace theirs every 20-30k miles. If we translate that into hours, I would have no problem just replacing the cam follower every 400 hours or so. You mentioned "all of the potential reliability problems". To what else are you referring? I was just telling a fellow VAG fan at work today that although I've had various issues with my last 5 VW & Audis ranging from 98-10, I've never had an engine stop running on me. That's over about 220k miles... That's more hours than I expect to fly in my lifetime. If I had one in my plane, I'm hoping that my luck would stick with me, but don't forget that landing without an engine is usually not such a big deal. We almost always glide onto the runway with the engine at idle. The higher you can fly, the more landing options you have. at 10k feet over nebraska, I'd be able to pick any spot within 10 miles or more to land (24 miles at 17k with oxygen).

      cheers,
      brian

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      06-05-2012 02:26 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by brian.krahmer View Post
      If we translate that into hours, I would have no problem


      This whole follower thing is over exaggerated. Just check it every oil change. Try rebuilding an engine after every 1/4 mi pass then let me know how bad a follower is.

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      06-08-2012 09:34 PM #15
      100 low lead will kill O2 sensors. Real aircraft engines don't have flywheels, the prop does the job. Will the car engine crank take the torsional loads the an aircraft will twist it with? Will the thrust bearings take the continuous loading without wearing out? To fly over 10000 feet you need oxygen with a cannula, above 14000 feet you need a rebreathing mask. Flying high is not a game. Will mogas work at high altitudes without vapor locking? I love experimental aircraft and used to build Questair Ventures but have seen that the wilder and crazier the airplane the more chance of fatal problems. Go with a tried engine combo that has been around for a while. You do know that experimental aircraft engines have to flown in a pattern around your airport for 50 hours before you can do cross country. There are al lot of things to get inspected before the FAA will let you loose. Contact your local FSDO to find out what you need to do.

    16. 06-10-2012 01:32 PM #16
      Teofan, thanks for the post. Some of your numbers are off, but let's break it down... Roger on the LL. I would only use it in emergency situations and keep an eye on the O2 sensors if I do. If I could find a tuner that could delete the O2 sensors altogether without killing mileage, that would be a good option. Will a subaru take the torsional loads? I don't see any difference between a VW and a subaru in that regard. What puts more torsional loads on an engine, 4 wheels on the ground with rapidly changing traction conditions, or a prop that spins in air? As for thrust, I already mentioned that I would use a belt re-drive, making thrust loads 0. I researched the vapor lock issue. Unless the fuel is subject to high temperatures, as long as it's kept under a (certain, variable depending upon altitude) pressure, I wouldn't expect this to be an issue.
      I don't expect to fly around the country at 17k all the time. However, I live at 8100, need to climb to 11k just to get out of the valley, and if I could make short climbs up to 14k or 15k, it would make mountain navigation much easier.
      I could only find one verified instance of someone using an EJ20G, and that engine appears to be heavier than a TFSI. I just don't see the benefits. Thanks for your concerns, but from what I've seen so far, this engine definitely seems pretty feasible.

    17. 06-11-2012 07:38 AM #17
      IMHO I don't think this is a good engine choice for aviation. Having had a coilpack failure with an engine out (blown fuse) I would have feel bad if that happened in the air. I also had a cam follower failure (no engine out but with all the metal parts floating in the engine it could have happened). If I had no other choice than a 2.0T engine I would go for the newer revised TSI engine.
      I'm not a pilot and don't know everything about aviation but isn't almost all aviation engines have opposed cylinders like subaru or vw beetle engines?

    18. 06-11-2012 01:34 PM #18
      Did the coilpack failure cause the blown fuse? I anticipated the possibility of a single coil failure, but expected the engine would limp along on 3 cylinders. Is that not true? It is correct that most airplane engines are boxers, but the primary reason is for space efficiency because of their air-cooled nature. I considered the Subaru EE20 TDI, but nobody that builds reduction drives or props will want to touch it because of the huge torque pulses. Like I said before, a dead engine is a non-event as long as you have a field or road available underneath you. Planes don't just fall out of the sky due to engine failure. I could turbo-normalize (make sea-level performance, not boost) a Lycoming O-360 and have a statistically more reliable engine (gravity fed fuel, carburetor, magneto-driven ignition), but have fuel costs of currently $54/hr and rising every year. I'm still exploring the options right now. I have a while to decide...

      thanks,
      brian

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      06-11-2012 03:26 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by BlueJetta2.0T View Post
      IMHO I don't think this is a good engine choice for aviation. Having had a coilpack failure with an engine out (blown fuse) I would have feel bad if that happened in the air. I also had a cam follower failure (no engine out but with all the metal parts floating in the engine it could have happened). If I had no other choice than a 2.0T engine I would go for the newer revised TSI engine.
      I'm not a pilot and don't know everything about aviation but isn't almost all aviation engines have opposed cylinders like subaru or vw beetle engines?
      Your correct the fsi coilpacks are terrible, the adapter plates scene here prove it.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...-INTRO-PRICING

    20. 06-12-2012 07:49 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by brian.krahmer View Post
      Did the coilpack failure cause the blown fuse? I anticipated the possibility of a single coil failure, but expected the engine would limp along on 3 cylinders. Is that not true? It is correct that most airplane engines are boxers, but the primary reason is for space efficiency because of their air-cooled nature. I considered the Subaru EE20 TDI, but nobody that builds reduction drives or props will want to touch it because of the huge torque pulses. Like I said before, a dead engine is a non-event as long as you have a field or road available underneath you. Planes don't just fall out of the sky due to engine failure. I could turbo-normalize (make sea-level performance, not boost) a Lycoming O-360 and have a statistically more reliable engine (gravity fed fuel, carburetor, magneto-driven ignition), but have fuel costs of currently $54/hr and rising every year. I'm still exploring the options right now. I have a while to decide...

      thanks,
      brian
      Yes 1 coilpack shorted and it blow the fuse that feed all 4 coilpacks. I agree with you, it's a shame that aviation engines are still old 1940 technology. But this technology is simple and very reliable.

      Have you look at ULPower engines? They seem to have a good fuel efficiency but no turbo. Rotax has one with a turbo but maybe not in the power range you are looking for.

    21. 06-12-2012 11:35 AM #21
      Good info. If I do this, I will separate the power to all 4 coil packs with separate breakers. The biggest Rotax engines are only about 1/2 the power I'd need for this bigger plane. I fly a rotax 912 now in a much smaller plane, and really wish I had a 914 (turbo model). Ulpower has some new 6-cylinders I didn't know about before today, but $40k is out of my price range! If I was going to spend that kind of money, I'd just spend $20k more and get a DeltaHawk, a 2-cycle super-and-turbocharged diesel. Super efficient and high altitude performance with no worries...

      thanks,
      brian

    22. 06-12-2012 12:46 PM #22
      If you actually did this would it be the first use of a direct injected gasoline engine in an airplane?

      My biggest concern would be the strain on the engine doing sustained 6k+ rpm and 200HP. Isn't that allot to ask from the stock k3? I thought a while back one of the tuners was justifying their lower HP#'s as a result of track testing showing EGT getting dangerously high.

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      06-12-2012 12:51 PM #23
      Since you seem stuck on this idea have you contacted the feds on what really is required for using this engine in an aircraft. Real aircraft engines also have redundant ingnition systems for safety and due to the fact ignition timing is not adjustable like a car engine. Losing a coilpack would be bad instantly you would lose 1/4 of your power and the engine would go into limp home mode. Even the new fadec systems on aircraft have the ability to run on plain old magnetos when there is a failure. The complexity of the FSI fuel system would be its down fall. How many people lose injectors, sensors, and other things that cause the engine to cut power and light the dash light? Its true the BMW did use direct injection on aircraft engines during WW II but that was all mechanical. The subaru engines if I recall use aftermarket ignition/injections systems and it all has been proven to work. The volks FSI I really dont think will safely do what you want it to. Buy a nice Lycoming and send it to a custom engine shop and be done with it. Over the last 6 months I have replaced the fuel presure sensor on the injector rail when it fell apart, 4 coil packs when they failed one after the other, 4 spark plugs after only 20,000 miles, the crank position sensor, and I keep getting flap position errors intermittently. These all cased the engine to go into limp mode. Not something I would want to worry about zipping around at 8000 feet over other folks houses

    24. 06-12-2012 05:35 PM #24
      A3guy, no I would not be running it at 6k rpm all of the time. 90% of the time, it would be around 3k, probably 4k for take-offs, and full-throttle at 6k once in a while for short durations. First application? Possibly, I don't know of any others.

      Teofan, I wouldn't say I'm stuck on the idea at all. I just haven't heard anything that makes it sound especially dangerous or impractical. The pros of the output, turbo, weight, and cost make it fantastic. Limp mode is of no concern to me. As long as I can eke 25% power out of her, I would not be concerned about limp mode at all. I can do ground testing to verify limp mode power output, but I'd bet it's a lot higher than 25%. I don't need 220hp to cruise in this plane. That's for just when I want to go straight up. The BH has a stall speed of about 40mph, I probably only need about 30hp to sustain that. This is an experimental aircraft. I could cast my own steam engine for the damn thing for all the FAA cares. You complain about spark plugs failing after 20k miles when we regularly change all of them every 50-100 hours, whether they need it or not!

      brian

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      06-12-2012 10:19 PM #25
      Well best of luck to you. Please join the EAA and talk around to other people to verify your ideas. As for changing out plugs at 30 bucks a pop and 2 per cylinder for massives and 80-90 bucks per hour labor you guys sure do have money to burn. I did experimental for several years. Sheet metal, rigging, fuel systems, avionics. The guy I worked for built his own engines from scratch based on a modified TIO550G. He used continental cylinders ported and flowed, carillo rods, his own roller rockers, cams that used the same timing specs as the LS6 big block Chevy, his version of a sandcast crankcase, and his own billet cranks. He was killed, and the guy that financed him, when one of his cranks broke in 2 places. Where I work now we have a large list of clients that have homebuilts. Cool stuff but still base on tried and proved equipment. Heck back in the early days there was an airplane with a Ford Model A engine hanging off the front of it (called the Aircamper)

    26. 06-12-2012 11:01 PM #26
      I guess our definitions of tried and proven equipment are different. The most lycoming/continental engines that have ever flown in one year has been about 250k. I'm betting that VW has made more FSI engines than that since they came out less than 10 years ago. I don't see it as an exotic engine.

      brian

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