For general discussion of the Just Aircraft family of aircraft.
Includes: Highlander, Escapade, Summit and SuperSTOL.

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Postby moving2time » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:52 am

This year I attended a seminar at Oshkosh on auto engine alternatives. The presenter publishes a rag on the subject and mentiond most of the power plant alternatives available and eventually mentioned the Viking. Unlike the other alternatives, which he discussed at length, he said very little about the Viking and did bring up the failed Subaru venutre hinting at the problems. I talked with him further after the presentation and he was reluctant to say much more on the subject and had nothing else to say about the Viking. Wasn't a very encouraging conversation.

Last time I was at Oshkosh I talked at length with a GlassStar owner next to his beautifully finished pride and joy. He was running an Eigenfeller Subaru and he was quite happy with his powerplant. He didn't really get into any issues he might of had with his experience but at that time that discussion was very encouraging. This was a couple of years ago and the Vinking was in their own booth at Oshkosh that year.

I hope for the best regarding the Viking engine. Home built aircraft need the alternative but it has been somewhat frustrating following the evolution of the Viking because of the delays that the power plant has encountered. However, as was mentioned earlier, I can understand the issues with starting up a new aircraft powerplant project. Viking seems to be offering a lot more help and installation information on line than any other power plant distributer I have studied. However, I don't understand why we are not hearing "hands on the throttle accounts" from all of the aircraft owners in the air flying behind the Viking and there are quite a few in the air now.

There are at lest two or three in a Just kit and they have not been very vocal on this site. Even the pilots in the Zentih kits are not actively blogging on the Zenith site. It would be best to hear from those actively flying the Viking to really gauge the success of the power plant. Viking seems to be releasing a lot of detailed information about their engine. That seems like a good way to start building confidence in the power plant. Joe B
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Postby Bevan » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:25 am

Hi, All,

Jan installed my Viking engine and Warp Drive prop in April 2013 on my tricycle Escapade. A couple of months later he called and offered me a free replacement motor mount. Since I wanted the tubular intake manifold and pulley upgrades I hauled it back to him and he replaced them as well as installed a heater. Later, I had to add an air scoop onto the cowling to clear the tubular manifold. He'd made the original cowling for the block intake manifold.

I flew off the 40 hours base time with no engine problems and in September he replaced, at no charge, my original ECU (a "safety upgrade"). My MGL EFIS has had several problems.

Although the engine has low hours I am pleased with it's performance; power, smooth stop, fuel economy. Cold weather starts are "iffy" with only one battery in the tail.
Impersonating Santa
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Postby rv8innc » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:06 am

danerazz wrote:I didn't intend to say he was being a jerk, and I really do feel for him and his financial loss, not to mention the overall damage it does to the project and the dreams that go with it.

Unfortunately (for EVERYBODY) I also believe his story is 100% true. I am also one that usually gives people exactly one chance to prove they are worth trusting or not, and if that chance is blown it is unlikely that I will EVER trust that person. So I completely understand the sentiment. Please don't think I don't appreciate the word of caution as well.

I also hope that Viking as a company is bigger than one man, and hopefully the work and dedication of the employees will help ensure a good product and a good outcome for everybody. I do not think Jan ever set out with the intent of screwing a bunch of people, I think he just had execution problems that piled up until that is what happened. It would be really nice if it also allowed (though years late) refunds to be paid to those who are owed, but we all know how that goes. I just don't want to see another group (viking customers) hurt because of revenge from separate business dealings that happened several years ago (as separate as another company run by the same people can be).

Again, hopefully the formula is correct this time and things will go right and maybe even some previous wrongs will be made as good as they can be. There have been some things said about the manufacturer of my engine of choice, though other than some delivery delays most deal with their business practices. As much as I hate to say it, the business practices there are the same as the ones Just Aircraft has had that a few dealers have complained about, see Lynn Gardiner's last post...

The moral here is everyone is responsible for getting as much information as they can before dropping a lot of money on something. ShokieRV7A is pointing out an important piece of information that should be taken into consideration. We can help ourselves out by limiting what we purchase from a single source that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. I would be reluctant to buy a kit and an engine made by the same company (not many of those, but a few). I am buying an engine from one company, but if it falls through, other than being broke off my a$$ and not able to afford to replace it for a LONG time, I can just bolt up a different engine and add $20,000 to the completed cost of my plane (Yes, that will DEFINITELY hurt). I am getting all of the other firewall forward stuff from normal vendors so it can easily be replaced if need be. The propeller will come from another company, though I could order one from the engine mfg. (and I don't believe they actually make them in house, but I don't know that).

Maybe instead of starting a new company it would have been better to take the money and settle his debts with his Subaru customers. I wish everyone the best and I hope you don't have to go through what I had to go through.
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Postby Bevan » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:52 am

This year I achieved a long term goal: I flew my "Escalander" with the Viking HF110 to KOSH, AirVenture 14, flew around the Ultralight grass strip for a week and home again safely (about 4 hours flight). I cruised about 85 knots @ 4800rpm burning about 4.6 gph of Mogas (83octane, no lead or ethanol--because of my fiberglass tanks) . Weather going from south central Iowa was marginal at times. Using Stratus in-flight weather I was able to fly between storm cells. The airplane, engine and avionics performed perfectly. After around 130 hours the bugs seem to be disappearing. I parked my plane with the exhibitors and talked to a lot of people about my Viking engine. It runs smoothly, quietly, reliably, efficiently and powerfully. The new ECU program accommodates having only one battery in the tail but for starting you need to "wined it up". Be patient, it always starts.

Here's an interview where I describe some of its features:

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Postby bluemax » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:58 am

Hey Bob,
Good interview. . . Jan should put you on commission. I'm very happy that your Viking is performing as well as your expectations. I'm sure I will be equally satisfied. I'll give you a call one of these days. I retire in 10 weeks. . . I will have no excuse not to get started on my Highlander.
Max Rentz
Newark, Ohio

Highlander Extreme # 257
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