Sonex straightened out most of the missing and extra parts I cataloged yesterday. With all the parts accounted for, I broke down the boxes, chopped up the crate for firewood, and packed all the recyclebles in a box. Not as small a task as you might think.

Since I didn’t have the overall plans, I decided to watch the engine assembly video. They included a DVD along with the engine instructions. DVD?!?! I don’t even have a DVD player any more. Oh wait, we have a USB Apple SuperDrive. I plugged that in but it just spit out the DVD over an over. Wait… the previous owners left a dusty BlueRay player, but it won’t play the DVD either. Went back to SuperDrive, Googled “SuperDrive spits out DVD”, reset my PRAM (WTF?), and it worked! angels sing

In the DVD a Sonex mechanic assembles the engine piece by piece as he explains each step. AWESOME! It’s hard to believe that after being surrounded by combustion engines for 40 years, I’m finally leaning how they really work.

Ok, this is a cool tidbit. After WWII, there were lots of pilots who still wanted to fly after the war, but there weren’t many planes at the time except war birds. So many of them built their own planes. And they needed engines… but where does one find an engine around 1950? Well, the German’s made a ton of engine for their vehicles that were just sitting in junk piles at the time. Specifically, VolksWagen built lots of really simple and really reliable engines during the war, and they kept building them for the VW Bug. Turns out these engine were well suited for airplanes. Instead of a transmission, just attach a propeller. Bam! You got an airplane engine.

The same VW Bug engine design is still widely used today for experimental and sport aircraft. Sonex designed their own engine, the AeroVee, which is what I’ll be building.

Tomorrow morning I’ll fly myself to Vegas to attend an EAA workshop on how to build planes.

AeroVee Engine