We now have our Falke back with its Jabiru 2200 conversion and the aircraft is up to our expectations.
We get a sound 500 ft/min climb rate measured with a logger and this aircraft will take an honest 190kg pay load with 1 hour of fuel
At this stage we have no plans to fit a glider towing hook to this aircraft but will think about it for our second Jabiru Falke which will be when we have saved up the $A20,000+ for the conversion
This present conversion took Mike Burnes longer than expected as we had the latest Jabiru Falke with bigger finning on the head and larger carburettor. Thus cowlings had to be modified as did the sealing of the top chamber as the previous Falke conversion was for Bob King in Tasmania and used an earlier engine. This change by Jabiru has resulted in lower CHT temperatures of 160 deg C even in the climb and oil temperatures can be kept well below 100deg C so long as you do not do prolonged climbs. The best way to really keep temps under control is to give it to it a bit of a rest at 1500 ft AGL then it seems to be right from there on to whatever height you want.
The only real problem has been our standard Jabiru exhaust was a poor fit and too much exhaust gas leaked into the engine compartment. I think when Rod Stiff of Jabiru sees my photos he will realise we really did have a one off bad system. We plan to visit our local aircraft welder for a relative minor mod which should make it better than the original.
Jabiru Motor Falke Installation
We did not receive the Jabiru tacho sender unit through a misunderstanding. Mike Burnes adapted a pick-up based on the generator, and thanks to a filter made by Bill Riley we have a perfect VDO tacho which is better than the standard Jabiru installation. Also we did not use the Jabiru regulator but chose the Power Mate by Claus Grimm which he designed for the Rotax. Many years ago I fitted one to our PIK20E replacing the original Rotax $A15 bit of junk regulator. The result was the battery immediately lasted 5 years instead of the previous one year and zero electronics problems. Ignition noise using a Microair radio is absolutely zero and is much better than most Jabiru Aircraft I have flown in. I am trying persuade Jabiru that they should consider using these two mods on their standard aircraft installations and they are listening.
Recently I visited the Jabiru engine factory and all I can say I was most impressed with what I saw. I have visited the Sauer factory in Germany (they make very light weight B and C Falke engines based on the 1991 VW transporter engine) and a friend of mine did 2 weeks doing an engine course with Limbach in Germany. All I can say the Aussies (perhaps I’m biased) lead the Germans in both production techniques and quality control. When it comes time for a new engine the fixed overhaul of $A2500 sure beats the German costs of about DM14,000. I could only say I am impressed with my dealings with Phil Ainsworth, Rod Stiff, Debbie Potter and all the Jabiru team.
My only criticism is the prop will only stop in the one position (horizontal) and just can not be stopped in the vertical position which is where I like to have it in the thermals – less turbulence perceived, better thermal climb.
Perhaps for the future a little more thought could be put into the choice of prop as we have a fairly standard propeller. Also recently I looked inside the cowl of Cessna 414 and I was most impressed with the streamlined up side down airfoil section under the top edge of cowl. I gather such a mod gives 10% to 15% or so increase to airflow through the engine. This possibly should be thought about on all towing aircraft as knocking 5 deg C off the CHT can only help as most damage to aircraft engines is done from shock cooling from high to medium temperatures.
So you have it on the Falke-Jabiru. I recommend this conversion – please ask if you want more details.
[Translation by R. White]