Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Repost from July 05:

So, here I am, trying to break into the world of "Blogs" and Homebuilt kitplanes manufactured in garages...! This ought to be interesting - though I wish I were in Oshkosh's EAA Airventure 2005 right now, but - oh well!
Here's my story - I am an 18 yr USAF pilot who first layed eyes on this kitplane around 1993. It wasn't until recently when I was able to finagle the funding to start "scratch" building this aeroplane using the original patterns used by Mr. George Morse (original designer). This means I get to "bang-out" (hammer out) my own bulkheads & ribs. Fortunately, I was able to purchase many of the specialized parts, like the undercarriage, engine gear-reduction & accessory drive, canopy, etc... The original "Prowler" was propelled by an all aluminum, 225hp, Oldsmobile 215cid V-8 engine (now owned & manufactured by Rover), however, the production "Jaguar" kitplane used an all aluminum, 300hp, Rodeck 350cid (Chevy type, often used by NASCAR types). The current engine of choice for this aeroplane is the more ubiquitious 350+hp Chevy (Camarro/Corvette/GTO), 5.7Litre, LS-1 / LS-2 / LS-6 variant. These engines are significantly less expensive than the Rodeck 350cid block.
Now even though the LS-1s are more ubiquitious and less expensive, the sad fact is my LS-1 engine I found in a wrecking yard (costing $2,500.00) will probably end up costing me something close to $20,000.00!!! Ouch! This seemingly huge cost is because my engine will have:
1) a custom forged stroker crank (I need torque more than horsepower) with a splined front output shaft - resulting in a 383cid engine.
2) custom cam, pistons & forged rods
3) all new valves & lightweight valve train
4) custom Propeller Speed Reduction Unit (PSRU)
5) custom accessory drive for prop governor, oil pump, 3 mechanical fuel pumps (1 for fuel, 2 for coolant), dual electronic ignition, and a VORTEC Supercharger!
6) Airflow Performance's custom manual fuel injection system
7) Inverted Fuel & Oil system
8) '92 Corvette's Dual-Mass flywheel to help dampen out any harmonics/ressonances for the 3 bladed McCauley constant speed propeller
- This combination should net me approximately 440ft-lbs & 385hp @ 4800RPM (prop @ 2600RPM) propelling the airframe to the Vne=300MPH

The basics of the airframe are:
- 2 seat (tandem) All aluminum (stressed skin) design
- Fully retractable landing gear
- Fully aerobatic (+6.5 / -4.5 Gs)
- Cruise @ 250-275mph, Vne=300mph, stall @ 60mph (Clean)
- 60 gallons fuel = 1200sm range
- Bubble Canopy
- 25' wingspan, 24' length
- 350hp liquid cooled LS-1 engine (no "Shock-cooling" issues here!) with radiators underwing, like the SM Spitfire
- Service Cieling 25,000' - unpressurized (using oxygen)
- 3 designed hardpoints can be included for use with external stores (baggage or fuel)

So I'll include a picture of the "Jaguar" for your consumption... what's the difference?

The "Prowler" was the original prototype (concept) that used the Olds 215cid V-8. The production version "Jaguar" had the 350cid V-8, a slightly wider rear cockpit (2" wider), slightly more bubbled & thicker canopy, re-shaped spinner - that's it! My version will be more of a hybrid of the two, but is being made from the original patterns/mold of the Prowler. Now I will be using a 350cid engine, a Jaguar spinner & canopy. The only real structural difference will be the rear cockpit and rear fuselage will be slightly narrower than the production Jaguar fuselage. Everything else will be essentially the same as the Jaguar, so, I will call it a "Prowler-Jaguar"

Stay tuned!



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