The Corsair engine was developed out of dissatisfaction with the current state of aircraft engines. The company found that these engines were not even close to the same level of technology as contemporary automotive engines. And even more relevant, the cost of operating and maintaining these old school engines was (and still is) plain excessive.
As such they embarked on the journey to use modern, lightweight materials and a proven high horsepower automotive engine to convert this into a novel concept with more economical sense and reliability.
The result is the installation a Corsair GM car engine into a Cessna 172 and they succeeded in reducing the operational cost by 60 % and with multi-fuel capability and electronic management. The Corsair is based on a marine version of a General Motors V8 engine.
Their first production engine, the ALPHA 1, will be available as an experimental crate engine, or as a complete bolt-on firewall forward conversion kit for common certified airframe models, starting with the C172.
Firewall forward kits for certified aircraft will include all components required for conversion, including complete engine with mount, reduction gearbox, propeller, wiring harness, fuel system, batteries and display. Engines will be tested and run before shipping to the customer. The target price point is the same as remanufacture cost of the original engine with engine trade-in/core value.
The ALPHA X2 crate engine will be a complete system-matched power plant for experimental amateur and kit built airframes. They can customize the engine and propeller to your requirements, and even perform final engine tuning remotely over a WIFI connection if needed. The ALPHA X2 is expected to be available by first quarter 2021.
Although Corsair is seeking FAA STC certification as a replacement engine for certified airframes, initial focus will be foreign customers for STC conversion kits- due to domestic liability issues of certified aircraft. Kits for certified aircraft types may be available to domestic operators within the ‘restricted’ or ‘POA’ airworthiness categories or converting to the experimental category.
Corsair replacement engines for piston-powered general aviation aircraft incorporate a modified marine aluminum V8 engine blocks and modified components. These features greatly increase aircraft performance, reliability and allow the use of multiple fuel types. Thus reducing the reliance on AVgas 100LL. The gearbox (PGD) is tested to up to three times the BHP and torque limits of the engine.
Corsair engines cuts down the harmful exhaust and noise emissions while reducing operating costs up to 60 % compared to original engines such as standard O-320 through O-540 legacy engines. Lower noise emissions will make quieter cockpits and happier neighbors. Corsair engines are more than a third quieter than the legacy engines they replace!
Some of the features are: push button start, no carb heat, mixture or run-up to fiddle with and lower noise emissions. Below an overview of the technical advantages of the Corsair which you will not find on most original Lycoming or Continental engines.
The Corsair proprietary Redundant Electronic Fuel Injection (REFI) system eliminates the need for mixture or carb heat by monitoring dozens of engine and ambient temperatures and pressures to deliver optimum engine efficiency with every movement/ position of the FADEC throttle.
Each REFI system has its own critical sensors, fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, fuel filter and battery to assure reliable engine operation. The AUX EFI system is capable of completely returning a failed engine to normal operations within one (1) second should the main EFI or any of its components fail.
The Smart Engine Display (SED) can replace all original analog gauges and reduce pilot work-load by alerting pilots to potential faults. The SED also displays fuel flow, fuel consumed and fuel quantity with customized alerts. The maintenance page displays live data for everything from fuel pressure to manifold temperatures, supporting engine health tracking and diagnosis.
Also, the Engine Service Manual (ESM) contains troubleshooting and repair procedures for each code to expedite service and get you airborne again in the least amount of time and cost.
In addition to the SED maintenance page, Corsair optional diagnosis software for laptop or tablets displays live engine, fuel and electrical systems data. The software stores hundreds of parameters, as well as fault codes, with direct links to the respective engine service procedure. Additionally, components such as fuel pumps can be commanded on or off to check operation and this will aid in effective troubleshooting.
This capability also allows Corsair specialists to remotely connect with your engine from anywhere in the world via WiFi or Bluetooth for service issues or performance analysis.
Corsair engines are flex fuel certified, allowing use of several different fuel types, including automotive (MOGAS, minimum 85 octane, with or without ethanol) available from any gas station. E15-E85 fuel requires optional fuel sensor.
Leaded AVGAS is also approved, but MOGAS produces cleaner exhaust emissions, is lead-free, cheaper, widely available and extends times between oil and spark plug servicing. Thus reducing maintenance cost.
The REFI system analyzes fuel type, and/or mixture of fuel, as well as exhaust gases to adjust ignition and fuel delivery for optimum performance, just like any modern car engine.
The multiple fuel capability allows aircraft operation in areas where AVGAS availability is scarce or not economically feasible otherwise due to high prices.
Corsair is actively looking for established shops who are interested in becoming dealers and also investors for domestic and international relations. If you are able to invest in this project and have what it takes to make Corsair the next big success in general aviation, then contact them!
Corsair Company can be contacted for more information at the following addresses:
|Corsair Aircraft Engine Company|
Text and images used with permission of Corsair Company.
The Corsair engine is flight tested in a C-172, below an impression of such a flight:Written by EAI.