Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Press Release: Alternative Engines (for Airplanes), Volume 3

Just got this press release today.

I don't have time to look at the book, but I thought I'd share the press release here so that anyone interested can find out about it. (I'm not affiliated with this book, it's author, or the magazine that's publishing it. This is an FYI only, and I have no knowledge of whether it is worth buying or not - that's up to you!)

Alternative Engines, Volume 3
In-depth Ideas and Documentation for Powering Light Experimental Aircraft, from CONTACT! Magazine
CONTACT! Magazine’s Mick Myal has put together another fact-filled edition of alternative power for aircraft. For nearly two decades, CONTACT! Magazine has provided solid information on automotive conversions, alternative and emerging technologies in aviation power, on reduction drives, ignition and fuel systems – and it has shown a sometimes skeptical public that there are indeed viable alternatives to the classic aviation engine.

With straightforward writing, hundreds of clear photos and drawings, and practical tips for constructing everything from redrives to cooling systems, Alternative Engines also offers tons of information on the rest of the system. GM Powertrain staff engineer Al Cline explains the difference between detonation and pre-ignition – and why we should care which is which.

Al Wick explains how to estimate the probability of component failure, and how to assess the risks posed by those components’ loss. NASA engineers discuss the plausibility of mainstreaming automotive power into aviation, and cover the biggest objections. Automotive electronics systems – do you understand these, since they stopped using points and distributors? Cooling myths and practical solutions: they’re in here, too.

How many ways can one build a reduction drive, and what is available commercially? What about driveshafts and extensions? Fuel injection vs. carburetion? Diesel or gasoline? Rotary, turbine, or piston? What does a motor mount have to do, other than hold the engine in place? Educated discussions, clearly written by proponents as well as advocates, make this stimulating and informative reading.

The enormous diversity in automotive power is influencing aircraft builders, and attributes of such diverse powerplants are discussed and dissected: Cadillac Northstar, Chevy V-8 and V-6 of 3.1, 3.4, and 4.3 liters; B-O-P/Rover aluminum V-8; Ford, Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, Opel and other diesels, turbines; 2-cylinder, 4-piston designs; Suzuki, Corvette, VW, Chrysler V-10. OK – how about a Chevy-powered Mustang? Can do.

Additional information can be found in the pages, as well: making a Plexiglas windscreen; landing gear modifications;

It sounds like a lot, and it is. It’s 300+ pages, written by internationally-recognized experts, industry movers, and experienced home-builders. It’s hundreds of clear black and white photos, charts, and drawings. Alternative Engines, Volume 3 is for the person who is considering alternative power, for the person who is considering upgrading systems (fuel, cooling, ignition), and for the person who simply wants to catch up to the technology.

Available and shipping now:
$42 (USA), $47 (Canada and Mexico), or $55 (overseas), shipping included, at

Press Release prepared by Tim Kern INK.

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