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Camit engines - anyone got one?


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I think the problems started when Rod started working on using foreign bits and pieces in his engine and wouldn't work with Ian to improve the existing Jab engine. Ian had ideas and worked to improve the engines reliability and then started to sell it as a CAE badged unit.I am told that there are about a 100 changes in the CAE from the Jab. Little things like loctite here or a washer there. Even the last few engines assembled by Camit for Jab were still mostly to the Jab Specifications. They would not or could not add the CAMIT changes.

 

I don't know how Jab are going to be able to supply parts for their existing engines that CAMIT have been making up until now. How long before Jab releases their new engine and what happens to those engines out there now when parts are required? Time will tell.

Last year when I was looking at upgrading my jabiru engine (as it had reached the daunting 500 hours) I dld a lot of talking to both Ian and Rod to try to work out the direction to go with a replacement.

I got a list in writing off jabiru of the upgrades and changes they had made and got a verbal list from Ian.

 

Ian's list was actually shorter than the jabiru list but I took into account it was verbal so I figured they were probably about the same in number. The difference was the directions they went to address the same problems.

 

In the end I am not an engineer and was not in any position to choose based on whose mods were likely to be actually useful and whose were merely conjecture ( or maybe they BOTH will work or neither will work)

 

The tax man decided it for me as I got hit with an unexpected tax bill that was almost the same as the difference between the two.

 

I'm not surprised jab are sourcing more parts from overseas. The sad reality of business is that if your product has less demand for whatever reason then you have to cut your costs or go under. Doesn't make business sense to pay more for something than you can get it elsewhere especially if the writing was on the wall that camit were in a tenuous position.

 

 

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IF it is true, then there are many who should hang their head in shame.

Probably comes down to only one, a guy who is a bit "rigid" in his ways.

 

 

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It takes two to tango!

Well it's true I've only spoken to one side at length, but the story there is pretty consistent with the, visable at least, evidence.

 

It's also true that there are things we all don't know so need to be a bit reserved about some aspects - unless you're posting on the Internet where anything goes! 074_stirrer.gif.5dad7b21c959cf11ea13e4267b2e9bc0.gif

 

 

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... I can imagine no other manufacturing industry where a contractor contracted to provide any finished product would be able to use the basic design of that company and make and sell a modified version of it in competition with the originator. ...

Fairly common in aviation. e.g. Superior Air Parts :: Home made Lycoming and Allison etc parts for many years - sold spares under their own brand as PMA'd - now their own complete engines too. Same with a lot of airframe parts. However, my understanding is that Jabiru/CAMit situation was different in not being a simple prime/supplier arrangement.
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Jw, I am sure you have some of the story correct, and the gfc must have played a major part, but the development of the J2200 and subsequent development of the 3300 and 4400 was very much a joint effort. Without CAMit's input, they probably would not have happened, and the IP was certainly shared. Beyond that, it is absolutely not my place to comment, but for a slightly broader perspective, you might take a few things into account:

 

When KFM pulled the rug from under Jabiru, for reasons that Phil Ainsworth detailed in: AMME - Aerospace Construction and Workshop Technology, Jabiru determined to build a suitable engine to match the airframe rather than re-design the airframe and have to throw away everything that it had managed to achieve to then - which would have included at least most of the moulds. A hell of a lot of development had already gone into them: if you'd like to see a pair of the early wings, hand-modified to make the damn flaps work effectively, I can show you them..

 

However, the 1600 engine was in reality not very successful; the castings were a particular issue with porosity problems leading to a high reject rate. It was also only marginally sufficiently powerful for the original LSA55 at 430 kgs MTOW and had no future for heavier versions which were becoming allowable as the regs. developed. I believe that about 65 1600's were built and put in service; my own aircraft was sold with one, but had been used by the factory for development work on the 2200, and it is Jab. airframe no #50. That indicates how quickly Jabiru needed to move to the more effective and powerful 2200 and later engines, and CAMit was the organisation that made that happen. There was no happenstance that there was an aircraft engine manufacturing facility just down the road from Jabiru..

 

The intricacies of the agreement between Rod Stiff and Ian Bent are for their knowledge only (unless either decide to make them public) but in short, without the co-operative nature of that agreement, Jabiru development may well not have happened so successfully. My first visit to CAMit was at its original factory, where everything was cheek-by jowl to get the throughput - and not long after that, Jabiru were advertising on their web-site that they were producing 90 engines a month!. CAMit's expansion was necessary in order to meet that level of demand from Jabiru, and the current CAMit facility was tooled-up for that throughput - at Ian Bent's expense, not Jabiru's. I suggest you need to think of the initial relationship between Jabiru in terms of 'Joint Venture' rather than Contractor and Supplier.

 

Here's another thing you might take on board: Rod Stiff is a very hard-nosed businessman. I say that NOT to denigrate him in any way - Jabiru would NOT have succeeded had he not been so. Look at the Australian aircraft manufacturers - with good products - who are no longer 'Australian': Gipps Aero, Seabird, Brumby to name recent(ish) companies gone from Australian control. Look at those who have flourished and subsequently flamed out: Skyfox, Thruster, Drifter; even CAF.. Lightwing continues but has been very quiet of late, and with the death of Howie Hughes, I suspect its future may be tenuous. Jabiru is by so far Australia's most successful aircraft manufacturer that it is in a class of its own - world-wide.

 

Do you think - seriously? - that if there was not shared IP in the Jabiru engine, Rod would not have stomped on CAMit? Jabiru under Rod is not a philanthropic organisation - it would never have gotten to where it is if it were. And every Jabiru owner has reason to be thankful that when we need a part, or advice, or support, Jabiru is there providing it. And they do that very well, cheerfully and efficiently.

 

Jabiru airframes are universally acclaimed, and rightly so. Their engines are the Archilles heel of the product and even the most fanatical of Jabiru supporters would have to admit that some of Rod's design initiatives have been very unsuccessful - hence the divergence in development approach between Jabiru and CAMit.

 

Jw, let's be honest here: Rod Stiff does not take kindly to criticism - overt or implied. If you have every been on the receiving end of Rod's displeasure at a comment you have made - and I have - you need a dragon's hide to escape without fourth-degree burns and a Medivac team. He does not take your comments on board - and I know that he did not look favourably on CAMit's ideas. It would have been to both their advantage - and to all of Jabiru's customer's advantage - if he had. But that is now history.

 

There is no fortune to be made by manufacturing small capacity, piston aero-engines in small numbers - look at the slow uptake of good designs such as Ul Power and d-motor. There are in reality three companies who DO make decent profits from piston engines: Textron (Lycoming), Rotax (Bombadier), and Continental (now Chinese-owned, AFAIK..). Do you think CAMit has gone effectively head-to-head with Jabiru so it would make a fortune? Ian Bent is no fool, nor a dreamer - but he does believe, deeply, that he can build a better mousetrap. And frankly, having seen many of the developments, I concur with that.

 

Rod has made some very, very bad decisions with regard to 'cheaper' parts, that have adversely affected Jabiru engine reliability. I don't propose to go into detail here. For some of those, CAMit has been on the receiving end of unwarranted criticism.

 

Ian Bent's personal aircraft is a J230. It is used as the development mule - Ian flies behind his product. If you had the facility, the knowledge and the desire to make the thing that turns your prop. better - would you not take it?

 

 

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Jaba, maybe take a look at a different point of view, you're quoting Rods position almost word for word.

 

GFC has been blamed for poor Jab engines sales, and for sure had an impact but there was big problems with new hydraulic lifter engines at the same time, easily seen in local sales and failure rates in data. Remember this is the time that Jabiru diverted from CAE built base engine.

 

It was made clear Jabiru planned to buy components overseas and get engine production in house, that was after CAE invested heavily in what was thought to be a partnership we all agree should be successful

 

This is nearing reality around 5 years later, with lots of pain and whole CASA saga later

 

They are forced to work together as both have key strengths an a tiny and specialised skill area.

 

I attended talk to day by Rod outlining changes to engines and why. Full marks and some good work done. Interestingly it seems through analysis and testing both CAE and Jabiru are solving similar problems in different ways.

 

Vibration analysis has revealed many problems and latest mods are removed them they claim

 

Hydraulic lifter implementation brought on plenty of problems is the summary, caused harmonics right in range for throughbolts and caused some case fretting

 

New larger bolts, old news but fixed harmonics without knowing it

 

Flywheel bolts problem linked to poor friction joint, there is vibration problem so lighter flywheel and new washer clamp setup. Tried several rubber damping setups and it may come back in future.

 

Double valve springs, provides higher seating force with only small increase in rocker, valve loads, I think to fight surge or hydraulic pressure issues

 

Roller valve gear , less friction and wear

 

New barrels with Nickasil and cast heads on cast sump, very new, at least some version 4 cyl due end of the year, runs much cooler, no rust, but does take time to run in

 

1000 hrs in test cell, some 300 hrs in aircraft but several versions and problems

 

Expected to be cheaper and these will be fully assembled in house by Jabiru- a little concerning

 

CAE have Worked on same issues, stick with solid lifters, lighter flywheel and belt drive alt, heavier barrels and better valve geometry.inhibitor for rust , bigger throughbolts and they have worked on oil system and piston cooling too

 

In some respects the Jabiru work vindicates CAE changes and just runs a different path to solution.

 

New Jabiru engine looks pretty nice but its a big jump in methods and materials. Going to take time to sort it out, unlikely they will waIt before selling in I expect. Great to see changes backed by analysis and testing.

 

Was brief mention that parts are swappable to older engines

 

 

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JGoing to take time to sort it out, unlikely they will waIt before selling in I expect.

This is extremely worrying. A couple of early failures due to lack of testing or selling before it is sorted will IMHO put them right back on the chopping block.

 

Last year when I was looking at upgrading my jabiru engine (as it had reached the daunting 500 hours)

Another worrying thing an engine that brags a 2000 hour life has reached the daunting 500 hours.

 

Both the clips from posts above are like a red rag to a bull for me.

 

I did a lot of homework on CAMIT when I was looking to change my engine. I actually tried to order a Camit 2200 but bailed out as at the time the could not provide me with a delivery time frame. To be fair to Camit this was only a few weeks after the Jab/Casa issue so they had problems of their own.

 

 

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Yes, I felt I heard about how cheap to maintain or how cheap it will be to buy a few too many times. Customers want good not cheap.

 

I really hope I'm wrong and new engine does lots of testing before punters money is taken.

 

Things were very positive in Jab camp overall.

 

Seems twin is entering production in RSA now with certificates?? approved

 

 

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I think it was Bex who spoke of the advantages of siamesed cylinders. Better rigidity and heat distribution/cooling I think.

 

A shame , in my opinion, Jab didn't go this way with the latest engine. Especially being all alloy/lined cylinders.....

 

 

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I think it was Bex who spoke of the advantages of siamesed cylinders. Better rigidity and heat distribution/cooling I think.A shame , in my opinion, Jab didn't go this way with the latest engine. Especially being all alloy/lined cylinders.....

Yup, you beat me to it, was going to repeat it.

 

If it was me, one piece heads at least, preferably one piece barrels also.

 

You would need 2 cylinder and 3 cylinder units in that case sure, but the main work is in the machine jigging so it's not a very big problem if every cylinder is the same jigging and same operation.

 

 

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Yes but that's a whole new design, this one is new materials on existing design so not only retains certification but should be lots of problems already found.

 

 

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You have no idea how glad I am I fitted a rotax when building my j400. Only did it to be different and because I could. I do feel sad about all the troubles befallen jab and Camit and hope that both will somehow survive, they have done a great service to the aviation world and I am thankful for that.

 

 

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Yes, I felt I heard about how cheap to maintain or how cheap it will be to buy a few too many times. Customers want good not cheap.I really hope I'm wrong and new engine does lots of testing before punters money is taken.

Things were very positive in Jab camp overall.

 

Seems twin is entering production in RSA now with certificates?? approved

I agree entirely ( from my own perspective anyway).

 

One of the things I disagreed with Stiffy's approach to keeping costs down was to produce is basic aircraft. Things like a single CHT have proven to be a source of problems.

 

I think that had he offered a well advertised range from "basic to deluxe" with more obviousness about the benefits etc I think he would have been surprised at how many people would have taken the deluxe aircraft. The entry level would still be there for the guy who wants to get flying on the budget but everyone would be aware there was a better option.

 

Even though jabiru has sold Dynon with full CHT & EGT etc they haven't really pushed it. When I bought my kit in 2006 I really only found out about additional stuff tangentially.

 

If a lot of the fleet took up multi sensors right from the start it may have been obvious earlier there are temp problems before the stappages etc.

 

 

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Two big players having irreconcilable disparate views about direction. Is it something in the water? Anyhow what hope have they got of working together? A snowflake in hell's chance. A valiant effort to produce a remarkably successful plane with world wide sales, that fits a need and niche well and like anything aviation WE stuff it up in this country. It was a big ask in the first place. How long ? 26 years about right since it really got into the scene? Nev

 

 

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Too plurry right Nev. If this situation happened in many countries there would have been some sort of resolution imposed by government or financiers- for the good of the nation. But, being Australia, petty jealousies and pig headed-ness are allowed free rein to bugger up promising industries.

 

 

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Costs to certify (or do anything really) here, even to astm are absurd and this would open markets to both, enable competition and keep businesses local

 

Planesmaker, I recall you got a good deal on the 914, great for you but not for the next guy. At full price it's difficult to justify.

 

I'm very glad I have a Camit purring away and didn't put it off too long

 

 

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Certifying a plane is an expensive way to chain yourself to a dinosaur. For the "Sport" section its counter intuitive. It's impossible to rectify or improve anything. Make it "X" experimental GA for no more than two occupants. WE have a chance then to see what clever ideas some of us might have in the dark recesses of our brains. Nev

 

 

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The six cylinder motor is SO smooth and you have 125 HP. The nikasil cylinders and cast heads should be a good idea if the quality is there. The deep spigot between the cylinder and head interests me. If it isn't a good fit heat transfer will be a problem at that critical location. . If it's a good fit how do you separate the two parts easily in service? Piston/ cyl fit can be closer with aluminium cylinder making blowby and piston cooling less of a problem.

 

Comparing the Jabiru with a 912 isn't easy. One is aircooled and direct drive the other is part liquid cooled and geared and much more expensive to buy and for parts. Having a radiator is extra cost and complexity For some aircraft a geared engine gives a big advantage. Bigger prop and more thrust at low speeds and an easier adaptation of a mechanical variable in flight pitch prop.

 

 

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Planey, been through this many times, 912 can't perform same as 3300 especially at higher weights and with IFA is way more expensive

 

I know they are out there but very rare for good reason

 

 

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Jabiru are still testing their new 2200 engine. How far from being sold I am not sure. I have not heard that they are doing any work on a 3300 version. This could be a problem IF they are relying on CMIT for a supply of parts.

 

 

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. . If it's a good fit how do you separate the two parts easily in service?

My understanding at this time, is that the head/barrel assembly will be available to be purchased as one item only , ie. not available separately or considered separately as 'serviceable items' .... Bob

 

 

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