Well I “was” going to use a 1/2 VW engine. The photos of the one I have right now are below.

However Recently I measured the bore and stroke and found it to be 32 hp, not the 37 hp that I was told when I picked it up. Since the thing weighs over 105 lbs, I thought I would be better with something else.

I even thought about using a  Rotax 277 that I kept from a previous airplane sale. Some may think this is too little power, but I’ve flown behind this engine on a minimax that weighed 350 lbs empty. It can do the task! I just won’t climb like a rocket.

But….I keep changing my mind, and I’m not even a woman :)

I have this perfectly good 32 HP 1/2 VW engine that I tore down and rebuilt for kicks and giggles (still have to fire it up), and now I’ve decided to go with a different engine. Though the engine works fine on similar planes like the Legal Eagle, and those guys swear by it, too many people have told me that the Ragwing just has too much drag. Hard to believe that it has more than a Legal Eagle, but I’m not going to get into that.

I’ll likely just hold onto the engine for a little while, maybe mount it on a stand and fire it up. I’ll take some video to post to the group and also put on youtube.

So I’ve decided to not use the 1/2 VW as it doesn’t have enough lbs of static thrust. I really only expect it to put out 125-135 lbs of thrust. I know too well what it’s like to fly a plane under-powered.

I once owned a minimax powered by a Rotax 277. It was 90 lbs over weight at 340 lbs! Not sure how the builder did that with a Rotax 277, but he did (I didn’t build it). It had a Tennessee 60×28 prop. It actually did ok. The climb wasn’t super impressive, but it got up and going and did just fine.

Then I had my first accident ever…I hit a runway light going less than 5 mph while taxing. That stupid grass cutter tube that makes up the minimax landing gear caught the runway light and the plane came to a halt. Of course not before nosing over and blowing the prop to pieces!

I was not educated enough about props and ended up replacing it with a brand new GSC Prop from Canada. They claimed it was a 60×28 as I ordered. I have no idea if they were right, but it sure DID NOT perform like  the tennessee prop I had before. I barely got out of ground effect. Once out of ground effect, climbing was scary, I was always on the edge of stall. Cruising was even worse, didn’t go much faster than 35 mph at full throttle! I felt like the plane was always sinking.

I ended up selling the plane to another fellow (less the engine and prop), he was going to put on a 477. Looking back I should have just bought a new prop from Tennessee props.

Anyway, to keep on with my rambling, Roger Mann swears by the Kawasaki’s and so does Scott Land (the designer of the Cloudster, Zing, and Pinocchio) and that’s good enough for me.

So I ended up purchasing this 30hp (or 35 hp depending who you ask), Kawasaki 340 aircooled engine. It comes with a 2.1:1 reduction which I’ll be changing to a 2.8 or 2.9:1 shortly. Roger says that the 340 with a 2.9:1 reduction can do 205 lbs of thrust with the right prop! That’s alot more than the 125 lbs I would have got out of the 1/2 VW.