Wild West Aircraft

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

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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:55 pm

I still want to come to Copperstate and so far it looks like I should be able to. You do realize that if you check it out up close that you have to buy a kit from me right? :wink:
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby Clark in AZ » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:08 pm

LOL! I guess you better make it then... :shock:
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:36 pm

I've got a new kit on the way to build so my Rotax powered Wild West Highlander is for sale. This is YeeHaw 1V that I flew at Oshkosh the last two years. It is a really good flying Highlander.
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:01 am

I am definitely planning on putting another Yamaha in this new Highlander that I'm going to be building because I really have been falling in love with this engine. I have never heard of anyone blowing up one of these motors unless it turbo charged or supercharged and making three or 400 hp. Every single snowmobile guy that I have talked to says if you keep that engine stock or even just lightly boosted up to around 200 hp that you will never ever blow it up. I have a friend who was a service manager for a big Yamaha shop here and he said that basically the same engine in their sport bike they figured to be a 100,000 mile engine. And that is with people riding them and turning them up to their 14,000 RPM redline. The most I ever turn mine is occasionally I will see 10,000 RPM if I have a competition prop on it. With my normal propeller I cruise a solid hundred miles an hour at 8000 to 8500 RPM, and wide-open throttle in level flight is about 9100 rpm at around 120 mph.

I was looking back through this discussion about my Yamaha and someone mentioned that it would be so tough competing against the Titan powered Superstol. I would absolutely love to compete against that airplane in this airplane! I think I could beat it in pretty much anything you wanted to compete in including take off distance, landing distance, climbing to altitude, cruising, hauling a load, gas mileage, cost, ease of pushing it around, visibility over the nose in every phase of flight, simplicity etc. I'm not trying to say that the Titan SS is a bad airplane, all I'm saying is that this Yamaha Highlander combination really is an amazingly good airplane. If I could trade my much less expensive Yamaha Highlander for a Titan Superstol there is no way in the world I would do it. And again please don't feel like I am putting that airplane down because that is not my intention at all. I am just making a comparison to it because that is a pretty cool airplane that a lot of people on this forum are familiar with. I am also really looking forward to competing against Carbon Cubs and just about anything else except for Frank Knapp and his Little Cub. I would have to build something as specialized for STOL competition as that to compete with that.

My point in saying all this is definitely not to say that I am such an amazing pilot or that this is the best airplane in the whole world but it is to say that it really is a great airplane especially for the price. It is a really well balanced all-around good airplane that is very user-friendly and just plain fun to fly!

I have decided that I would be willing to build motor mounts and exhaust headers for people if they want to put a Yamaha on their Highlander or Superstol . I know that is the two main parts that intimidate people when they think of putting a different kind of engine on.
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby Clark in AZ » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:37 am

Very interesting! Thanks for posting this. I am really interested in the Yamaha and your R&D on fitting it to these airplanes is wonderful. Can't wait to check it out at Copper State!

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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby moving2time » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:04 pm

Steve, Will you extend the wings on this one? Was that mod worth the effort? Also, I assume that the leading edge cuff is a given. BTW, do you have any numbers on the final weight of the Yamaha engine installed? I'm guessing not, since so much was added after the actual engine was mounted unless you could tell by weighing the whole aricraft. I would agree that fabrication of some of the parts in the installation would make the installation more appealing to those of us that are not as experienced with engine set up. I don't know what the air box accomplishes since i believe that the air intake is through the filters that are located outside the box. I assume that it has something to do with controlling the heat for the carbs to prevent icing, but again, the air is entering through the filter assemblies on the carbs. The actual fabrication is not the limiting factor for me. I just don't know enough about the way all of it is supposed to work together. I am learning though. Thanks for helping out! Joe B
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:12 pm

I will build this next Highlander just the same as my Yamaha Highlander I have now. Longer wings longer flaps leading edge cuffs etc and the Yamaha engine. I will be building this one to sell.
Joe and airbox is essential to make this engine run under a cowling on the front of an airplane. The changing air pressure as the airplane is going through the air really affects the carburetors if they are not correctly vented into an air box. The stock airbox was way too big to go under the cowling and so I made one to replicate the stock one as much as possible in volume and restriction. Without the airbox the engine would run perfectly on the ground but it would want to quit went flying. After I made the airbox and got the carburetors vented back into it, it has run excellent.
As far as installed weight it is the same as a 912 s Rotax. Only it has power like a turbocharged big bore Rotax that would cost 30 some thousand dollars.

I really don't know how a person wouldn't like one of these Yamaha's if you ever flew with one.
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby Clark in AZ » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:51 pm

Steve, don't they make fuel injection for these? Seems like it would do away with the need for the air box, with little difference in weight? Just curious? What's your take on this?

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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby moving2time » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:43 am

Steve, I apologize for all the questions. Personally, I like the whole idea of the Yamaha. Although most of my hours are behind a Rotax I would never want to spend the $$$ to put one in my Highlander when I build it. There are a number of options out there instead of the Rotax. The Yamaha is an awesome choice for the price and HP however I would never have considered the Yamaha seriously if you had not taken the plunge. Although I have great respect for your experience what really sells me are the posts you have graciously made explaining your installation. What makes it a viable choice now is that you have posted all kinds of valuable information so that a guy like me with nothing more than entry level experience can absorb and start to believe that I could also successfully install the Yamaha. It is the details that make that installation seem feasible. Documentation on line is minimal and no one has gone very far to explain what they went through and why except the awesome video that the Rotax Gear Box Adapter guy posted. I think that the Viking 110 was a very reasonable alternative to the Rotax. The Viking 130 that is being offered now looks very appealing also for the HP it provides but there is so little information available that option at this time. The installation is not as clean as the 110 was. The radiator installation looks like it would be difficult to install on the Highlander and it will probably involve a sizable modification to the cowling. Your radiator installation seems fairly standard for the Yamaha. Perhaps you could film a few videos of your next Yamaha install as you go through the process. You could probably start a huge following. As always, Thank you so much for your time. Joe B
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby Clark in AZ » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:51 am

Agreed! Steve is making this Yamaha engine a real contender. Maybe a firewall forward kit is the plan???
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:37 am

I would definitely consider doing a firewall forward for these engines for other people. I have a really good machinist working on a gearbox
adapter for the fuel injected Yamaha Apex engine as well. It's the next model after the carbureted RX1 like I am using now and Yamaha is still making them. It is fuel injected, weighs approximately 10 pounds less, and it has 10 more horsepower making it 150 hp bone stock. It will use the very same motor mount and exhaust as the RX1.

I plan on leaving Thursday morning for the High Sierra Fly-in in Nevada which should be a whole bunch of fun because they are going to have a stol competition and airplane stol drag races too!
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby R Rinker » Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:11 pm

Steve, Historically, gearbox tuning and prop harmonics issues have been the nemesis of multitudes of developers using established, proven powerplants for use on aircraft. Even to the point it has been considered unwise to attempt without deep, corporate R&D pockets. How did you accomplish this aspect of the project, or are you still fine tuning? Thanks, Steve...
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby Clark in AZ » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:56 pm

taildrgfun wrote: I plan on leaving Thursday morning for the High Sierra Fly-in in Nevada which should be a whole bunch of fun because they are going to have a stol competition and airplane stol drag races too!


Videos are expected! :mrgreen:

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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby joe49 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:55 pm

R Rinker wrote:Steve, Historically, gearbox tuning and prop harmonics issues have been the nemesis of multitudes of developers using established, proven powerplants for use on aircraft. Even to the point it has been considered unwise to attempt without deep, corporate R&D pockets. How did you accomplish this aspect of the project, or are you still fine tuning? Thanks, Steve...

Just wondering if you would quote any sources to back your statements. So I can get a better understanding of using this engine or others.
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:13 am

The High Sierra fly-in was a blast! My Yamaha powered Highlander is working extremely well, I have 97 hours on it now. On the 300 mile trip down there I flew 105 miles an hour or above and burned about 5 1/2 gallons per hour. On the way home I flew about 90 to 95 mph and burned about 4 gallons per hour.
They have an incredibly fun event called Stol drags and there must've been around 40 entries. Two planes take off side-by-side and race to another line 3/4 of a mile away where we have to land beyond the line and come to a complete stop straightahead. After we've come to a stop we turn around as fast as we can and race back to the line at the other end where we originally started from and whoever does not scratch and comes to a complete stop first is the winner. It is really interesting how the three-quarter mile distance makes it very competitive for a lot of different airplanes. It definitely takes some technique to go as fast as you can as long as you can and then get slowed down and stopped as quickly as you can. I did happen to notice that I was going 105 mph when I chopped the throttle and put the airplane into as hard of a sideslip as I possibly could. I made it to the final race after beating a Cessna 170, a Rans with a big bore Rotax, a Kitfox with a big bore Rotax, a Wilga with some huge Lycoming, and then it was the final race against Bobby Breeden in a real nice carbon cub. These planes were all flown by some extremely good pilots! The final was an incredibly close race the whole way with Bobby slightly pulling me down the straightaway but me stopping and turning around faster. Coming back was the same way with him crossing the line just slightly ahead of me but I got to a stop about a half a second before he did making me the overall winner of the whole thing!! I think it was the most fun I've had in a long time! My Yamaha/Highlander with my Prince propeller and Monster Shock suspension and the simple mods I have done on this airplane just work amazingly well!! It is the most fun to fly airplane that I have ever flown.
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Last edited by taildrgfun on Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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