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Is It a Bird? Is It a Boat?

From Bits & Pieces Newsletter, November Issue

By Ted Kiebke, EAA Chapter 1498, EAA 837375

The experiment to install a Mercury outboard engine on the firewall of an Acro Sport 1 came to fruition on October 18, 2014.


Acro Sport 1 arrives with outboard motor attached.

After having made numerous modifications to permit use of a reduction drive and the addition of a closed loop cooling system, the aircraft minus wings was successfully taxied. It sounds like an outboard, so it’s sure to turn a few heads when we’re landing at a strange airport or flying over folks soaking a worm at their local fishing hole. See a video of the taxi tests and be sure to turn the sound up so you can also hear what the engine sounds like.

When all was ready for that first taxi test, it was time for a picture.


Taxiing brings a smile.

Maybe it was that unique sound that attracted a small crowd.


The project gets attention.

Buying a used engine and installing all new parts made this a very inexpensive project. The total cost of the firewall-forward, including prop, was $6,800.

The total weight of the firewall forward is 320 lbs.  The propeller is an IVOPROP Magnum in-flight electronic adjustable and the two stroke fuel injected engine has a MAP sensor so it will adjust to outside air pressure changes with altitude.

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