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Great Lakes and radial engines

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Bryan McGrath
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#1 Posted: 9/10/2009 23:46:21

Hi - I thought someone in the aerobatic community might know (or should this post be in 'antiques'?) about the original Great Lakes aerobatic aircraft. 

Steen Aero Lab sells plans for the Great Lakes Sport Trainer 2T - is this essentially just an update of the original design for modern engines?

I thought the original was powered by a Jacobs radial - does anyone know what model? The reason I ask is that I have access to an original Jacobs and was contemplating building a suitable airframe - I've had my mind set on a biplane/taildragger for some time and this engine has come along at the right time.


Any advice is appreciated.



Joe Norris
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#2 Posted: 9/11/2009 09:37:12

Bryan,

The Great Lakes factory never put a radial engine on a Great Lakes biplane.  The original factory-built airplanes were all small inline engines, either the Cirrus, Cirrus "hi-drive" or the Menasco.  Any factory-built Great Lakes that has a radial engine was converted in the field.

The "Modern" factory-built Great Lakes uses a Lycoming O-360.

Homebuilts are another story.  There have been lots of different engine installations on experimental Great Lakes.  Warner radials, Ranger inline engines, LOM inline engines, the Vedenyev M14 radial, etc.  I don't know of anyone who's put a Jake on a Great Lakes, as that would be quite a bit more engine (weight-wise) than the airplane would like, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done!

By the way, I have a homebuilt Great Lake project for sale if you're interested!!
wink

Cheers!

Joe



Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate
Reggie Smalls
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#3 Posted: 9/11/2009 17:57:16

Here's a picture of a Jake on a Starduster Too, looks pretty hot.  I've heard of them being put on Skybolts also.


duster.jpg

 



Bryan McGrath
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#4 Posted: 9/14/2009 02:34:18
Joe Norris wrote:

 

Bryan,

The Great Lakes factory never put a radial engine on a Great Lakes biplane.  The original factory-built airplanes were all small inline engines, either the Cirrus, Cirrus "hi-drive" or the Menasco.  Any factory-built Great Lakes that has a radial engine was converted in the field.

The "Modern" factory-built Great Lakes uses a Lycoming O-360.

Homebuilts are another story.  There have been lots of different engine installations on experimental Great Lakes.  Warner radials, Ranger inline engines, LOM inline engines, the Vedenyev M14 radial, etc.  I don't know of anyone who's put a Jake on a Great Lakes, as that would be quite a bit more engine (weight-wise) than the airplane would like, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done!

By the way, I have a homebuilt Great Lake project for sale if you're interested!!
wink

Cheers!

Joe

 

Thanks for the background. I saw a picture of one in the UK that has a round engine and only the crank-case is faired, with the cylinders out in the wind. It has a cream and red colour scheme and really looks like a classic.

The M14 would be a bit over-powered wouldn't it?

Do you have any details about your project? Send me a PM or email


biggrin




Bryan McGrath
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#5 Posted: 9/14/2009 02:38:11

Reggie,


Thanks for posting the pic. I guess with a home-built it's up to me! 

I remember seeing scale models of a full-sized aircraft that was entered into the International Aerobatics Championship (in the 1960s?). Apparently it was quite successful until the introduction of more modern Czech/Russian types. That seems to have a radial engine. It was painted in white with red stripes and (blue?) starts. Definitely an American pilots!





Joe Norris
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#6 Posted: 9/15/2009 09:46:52
Bryan McGrath wrote:

Do you have any details about your project? Send me a PM or email


Email with pictures is on the way!!

Cheers!

Joe

 



Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate
Will Ashmore
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#7 Posted: 9/23/2009 11:21:29

Back in the day, some people put Warner engines on them because the factory engines were under-powered. I've seen pics of a couple old ones with Warners. If you want a modern engine that approximates a Warner without the maintenance issues, a Rotec 3600 would work. It's 150 hp. Their website is http://www.rotecradialengines.com/  I don't know of anyone who has used one on a Great Lakes. I would think it would be a lot cheaper to operate than a Jacobs. Lower fuel burn and new parts from the factory. Though you'd have to wait for them to be shipped from Australia.



Bryan McGrath
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#8 Posted: 9/23/2009 21:47:49
Will Ashmore wrote:

 

Back in the day, some people put Warner engines on them because the factory engines were under-powered. I've seen pics of a couple old ones with Warners. If you want a modern engine that approximates a Warner without the maintenance issues, a Rotec 3600 would work. It's 150 hp. Their website is http://www.rotecradialengines.com/  I don't know of anyone who has used one on a Great Lakes. I would think it would be a lot cheaper to operate than a Jacobs. Lower fuel burn and new parts from the factory. Though you'd have to wait for them to be shipped from Australia.

 

Thanks Will - I actually live close to where they make the Rotec in Melbourne, Australia. I went down a visited them a few years back and wrote an article on the (110hp) engine. They certainly are well made and they use some clever, modern manufacturing techniques.


Rotec staffsm.jpg

The reason I asked about the Great Lakes is that I have access to a Jacobs radial and was thinking of using it but it looks like it will be expensive to restore and run.



Adam Smith
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#9 Posted: 9/23/2009 22:28:55

 The Great Lakes factory never put a radial engine on a Great Lakes biplane. 

I never knew that.  The Great Lakes in the EAA Museum has a 165 Warner on it.   Ernest K. Gann learned to fly in this very aircraft.


great lakes.jpg

 



Brian Willett
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#10 Posted: 10/2/2009 11:36:31

Hi Joe -- different Brian here...

 

I too would be interested in seeing the details on your Great Lake project for sale.

 

Happy flying -- and stay warm (it's cooling off here too, only mid 90s today!),

 

Brian



Brian
Pierre D'Entremont
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#11 Posted: 12/27/2009 19:23:51

Found this over n the Red Barn...nice pics and interresting details on the M14 upgrades ...http://maxair2air.com/connections.html

There is a M14 on Barnstormers btw... 

My former old hanger buddy Don Browett has a plans built G L with a 185 Scarab ... There's just nothing like a cantankerous coughin' spittin' wheezin' gourgous round thing on the front like that ....

He just got her back to flying status May 21st ( a fluke aniversary date of flying with a new rebuilt 165 scarab ) after a nose over ...

He also turned me on to " The 1929 Great Lakes Sport Trainer "   that is wonderful footage of the original factory and some flying footage. Harvey Swack  came up with those  Video's and that's Don's story and Ima stickin with it. 

...If you like the Lakes...if you own one... If you love them ...I would think it would be  manditory ... sorta...



Tooky or Pierre
Pierre D'Entremont
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#12 Posted: 12/27/2009 23:07:13

Ok  doaky ...   tried to edit the above but couldn't....the three periods won't allow going to site ...  

http://maxair2air.com/connections.html

The second to right at the top in the selection has the biplane with the modified M-14 ... this is a real nice group of work ...    




Tooky or Pierre
Mike Heuer
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#13 Posted: 1/9/2010 14:53:09 Modified: 1/9/2010 14:54:50

Great Lakes.jpg

Here is a photo of the 185 hp Warner-powered Great Lakes that Bob Nance of the US Team flew at the 1964 World Aerobatic Championships in Bilbao, Spain.  This is a scan from the original slide.

One of the most beautiful Warner-powered Lakes was the one Harold Krier flew for several years before he moved on to the Krier Kraft and the Chipmunk.  But I always loved that Lakes. 

Mike Heuer

IAC #4


 



John Lyon
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#14 Posted: 1/5/2011 09:21:57

Can anyone identify this Great Lakes with a large radial?   The front pit is completely faired over, not just covered.   The photo was on the office wall of the late Ed Marquart, and the picture was taken at Flabob, probably before 1980


GreatLakeswithRadial2.jpg



Jim Doyle
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#15 Posted: 1/5/2011 11:13:31 Modified: 1/5/2011 11:30:25
Bryan McGrath wrote:

The M14 would be a bit over-powered wouldn't it?

 

Never heard of an overpowered aerobatic biplane biggrin

but you can sure make them too heavy.  The M-14p would be lighter and give you better performance than the Jake and there are lots of them.  Jim Moss built a Lakes powered with a version of the Vedenev - 285 hp M-14B I believe.  It is simply a derated M-14p.  I think CJ-6 aircraft have a Chinese version of this engine called a Huosai.  I've heard that the CJ6 owners often swap them for the higher powered M-14p so I'll bet you can get a good deal on one.

If it was me I'd sell the Jacobs and use the money to buy an M-14p or M-14b!

This picture was taken of Jim's gorgeous Great Lakes at Bartlesville 2009. 


2009_06050029.JPG

 



John Maxfield
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#16 Posted: 2/10/2011 22:10:48

Hi Bryan

Here's a picture of my friend, Dave McKenzie's homebuilt, Great Lakes with a Cont. 240 HP.  I worked with him for a couple of years to get it finished.  Its a BIG homebuilt project, but they fly really nice.

Happy Landings
John Maxfield


Hand Propping.JPG



Jim Doyle
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#17 Posted: 2/15/2011 17:08:39

Beautiful airplane!  Must admit the short nose really looks good on it.