We Have an Engine!

Lycoming on stand
Ready to be mounted on an airplane or test stand – but destined to simply be torn down by the next class.

The Lycoming Disassembly & Assembly course wrapped up this morning as we studied and installed the oil pump, accessory case, and magnetos - along with a bunch of other small but essential external parts that are needed to make the engine run. Putting on parts such as intake and oil drain tubes, ignition harnesses, oil filters and the like is referred to as "dressing the engine," and when you’re done, it is ready to hang on an airplane - or at least a test stand.

Well, it would be if these engines were destined to run – but a close examination of our “new” engine will show that the ignition wires are frayed and broken, and the, ahh… carburetor (if you can call it that) doesn’t really fit on the engine. But that’s not the point – these engines were never destined to run again – just to be taken apart by the next set of students to attend the school. What’s important is that all of the moving parts move (properly), and that the students have learned the right way to put these machines together.

Oh, and the next set of students to pull these apart might just find evidence that they are not the first... 🙂

Lycoming sump surprise
A present for the next class.

Paul Dye

Paul Dye, Kitplanes® Editor in Chief, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the space shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor, and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

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