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Aerochia News! (Updated January, 2009)

A quick catch-up
An AeroChia web update is long overdue, so let me take a moment to bring everyone up to speed on the latest and greatest. 

Air racing
The last two years have been our busiest ever. If you are familiar with AeroChia’s history, you will understand exactly what that means.  We have been full throttle for as long as anyone can remember around here.

Let me start off with race updates. The 2007 race was heart wrenching for us. We experimented with a custom built engine derived from our continental tsio 550. We reshaped the front of the engine block to acuminate a planetary gear box. It was a bold experiment as designing a gear box is a very tricky operation. Engine harmonics are very hard on gear boxes, as we would soon find out.  It didn’t take long before we were plagued with gear box failures. After 4 engine rebuilds in a three week period, we ended up having to pull the plug on the experimental engine. So we were unable to run the 2007 race.

Even though the engine was not up to the punishment we were subjecting it to, it did give us some promising numbers. The geared engine yielded much more horse power, and it was too much of an advantage to give up on. Unfortunately, our current engine was going to need a major redesign in order to make it work. Darryl and I decided that designing a new planetary gear box was going to be beyond our shop’s capabilities.

Instead we decided to go with the continental gtiso 520 engine. This is a well proven engine which has a strong gear box that can take the power we planned on pushing through it. The only problem was that we would have to completely change the firewall forward to accommodate the new spear gear drive engine. That meant making an all new firewall, engine mount, fuel system, induction system, engine plenum, cowling, and much more.

We also had trouble finding a gtso 550 engine to start with. Lucky Pacific continental Engine was willing to help us find and build up the engine we needed. The project was a large undertaking and it took most of the year to build it up and get it running. We were once again working night a day to get the plane ready for Reno. All was going well other than fuel delivery system. Through trial and error, we found that the system was not designed to run at the high rpm and power settings that we needed it to. So, we had to re-map the entire fuel system. This is a slow and tedious process that takes a lot of time and testing.   Unfortunately, time was not on our side. We found ourselves testing right up into race week. Darryl and I knew that we were not going to push the plane too it’s full ability this year and decided to run the plane at lower power settings, and try to work out the bugs in the fuel system. As a result, we took a humble 4th place at this year’s race.

So what’s new for next year? Well the hard work of building up Darryl’s plane for the most parts is done. But now we have time on our side. We have had all year to race prep. We think we have the fuel problem worked out and will be testing it in the next few weeks. It’s a good feeling to have something that we can build from and test. Darryl’s old configuration was well tested and designed. We expect that this next generational upgrade will make us just as successful as we have been in the past, so expect us to perform well next year…we never give up and we will be back!

On top of all the Race prep for Darryl’s plane we also had a lot of customer aircraft that kept us very busy this year.

David Ellison
We had two fun projects we did for Dave Ellison. One was a rebuild and re-skinning of his cap232. The airframe is plywood construction that had to be re-skinned in glass. We then body worked it similar to a composite skin leaving the finish of the airplane very clean. The plane will be featured in a upcoming movie staring Dave. We then built up a beautiful Turbo super legacy for Dave. Dave does not plan on racing the plane, but we built it to race specs nonetheless. May be we can talk him into racing it someday

Tom McReynolds
Tom Mc Renolds was another customer whom we enjoyed working with this year. Tom’s plane was the first we had which started off as a normally aspirated 550, and was converted into a turbo super legacy. Yes you too can upgrade your legacy to a super legacy! We had Tom’s plane ready for Reno this year. This was his first time out with his new plane and he placed well.

We are still working hard to finish up our NXT planes too. Gregg Stevenson’s highly modified thin single seat is still in the works. The air frame is 90% complete. We have been holding off work on it until the the engine is finished with its development. After that we can finish the plane for Gregg. This is a very cool plane and we are eager to get back to work on it.

Ken Ross’ plane is also coming along. The fuselage is 95% done. His geared gtiso 520 Continental Engine (similar to Darryl’s motor) is finished, and has been run on the test stand. The systems that have been developed for Darryl’s plane will be applied to his. We have also developed an entirely new tail section for Ken’s plane in order to handle the increased horsepower. Mirco Pecorari has come up with a new paint job for Ken as well—very cool paint job!

We are also happy to start a new NXT for Kevin Eldredge. The new plane will be powered with a Trace Engine. This V8 engine should provide 1000hp for us to work with. Need I say more. His plane will also have the new tail we have developed.

Somewhere in the middle of this, we found time to also do a fun project for the 2008 NASA GAT Challenge. We rebuilt a Katana and installed a prototype engine/supercharger system.

Oh and let’s not forget the lt-1. My plane is always getting the short end of the stick when it comes to my time. After working all day on the above projects, the only time I have left is to work at night.

It is also coming along very well however. John from AI Systems just finished the wiring, so it’s ready to go! The list of jobs to finish the plane is getting smaller and smaller by the week. It is very different plane from what we normally build.

Its' built for easy construction and economy. The non-sport version should do 160mph and only burn 3 gph with a range of four and half hours. Not Bad!

Wrapping up with the latest
We now have a new e-mail address (aerochia33@gmail.com). Sorry about the old address being down for so long. We changed internet providers and didn’t update the address. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us on our new e-mail address, or call us at the shop!

We just finished up a legacy and have a spot in the shop for another airplane. But shop slots go fast—as well as our aircraft!

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