I'm wondering what is the best engines everyone is installing or running? Also the pros and cons? I am building the Zenith CH 650 and have just started. I like the UL350iS or the Lycoming 233 but I see quite a few Corvair engines out there, so what are the pros and cons about them. I do not like the Rotax. I want something simple. So any input will be greatly appreciate.

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We chose a Viking 130 for our project.  As of ten minutes ago, we got a tracking number for the shipment.  You could drive yourself mad with this decision.  In the end, we like the technology and the price.  Lots of Zenith aircraft flying with Viking engines now.

Jan really does answer question when you call!

From an email I recently received from Viking:


About the Viking 130 Gasoline Direct Injected Aircraft Engine

- The 130 is as close to a Honda Fit car engine as possible, retaining all of its modern features. 

- Viking has a one year unconditional return policy for refund or exchange. 

- Jan Eggenfellner answer calls from builders at all hours, seven days / week with support

- Jordan at Viking answer all emails and make personalized calls to ensure satisfaction

- Homebuilthelp provide a professionally made engine installation DVD

- Homebuilthelp provide a Viking operation and maintenance DVD

- The 2016 Honda Fit engine manual cover all engine specifics in great detail

- The engines are Evans liquid cooled without pressure so no leaks or possible boiling

- The engines run at only 2/3 Honda rated RPM redline

- The 130 is a perfect weight for the Zenith airframes 

- Engines are ready to bolt to the airframe as shipped

- Cowlings, engine mounts and propeller available along with all other accessories 

- The 130 will outperform all other engines mentioned so far with 554 lb of thrust

- The Viking powered Zenith CruZer beat all 750 STOL aircraft last STOL competition

- At Viking we fly Zenith aircraft every week. We fly our own engine 

- An inline 4 cylinder engine is not complicated. Rather simplicity itself. 

- The Viking has no external exhaust pipes, just a muffler

- No baffles required to direct cooling air over sylinders

- All parts available from Honda or Viking'

While it's been great to participate in, and learn from, these forums, I will be signing off soon. (Selling my 750)

Wayne, sorry to hear this, we will be stopping by in the future and we have a passenger seat with your name on it.

Walt Snyder

It's not all bad, Walt. I'm buying another plane (I know, I know. This is like dumping a great girlfriend for a country cousin--whose name should not be uttered here; the Moderator might ban me.) from a friend, and I can't afford to keep two. If you come by before it sells (just put the ads up today), we can fly them both.


PS: Anybody else is welcome to come by too. Even after the other plane gets here, if anybody is still speaking to me . . .  Hangar G at El Cajon Flying Service. Send me a private message for phone numbers etc.

As I have been reading this on the best engines I can only offer my opinion as I don't know any thing really about any of them. As a cautious person however, I strongly lean to engines purposely designed for flight. Many of these engines have stood the test of time, some from the thirties and forties. They run at lower rpms, and have 2000 hour TBOs and no gear drives. Simple engines that are the utmost in reliability.  At one time the auto conversion was a cost saving option, I'm not so sure that is the case anymore.


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