Chevy Power Anyone?
(Click on the picture to go to the new V8 website!)

                                                                         Corvette Powered Seabee!

Received an update from Brian Robinson last week (10-10-2003), it reads:

Hi Steve,
 The V-8 continues to outperorm our expectations. To date we have
856 hours on ILM. The total flying time for the 3 V-8 Seabees has passed
the 1000 hour mark! Our actual operating costs are one half of what it
was when we operated the Franklin. The extra comfort and peformance
is a bonus. We just deliverd our first unit for a Murphy Super
Rebel. It is a shorter version of the Seabee unit & will fit a variety of




First Flight July 13, 2000
Total Hours to date 155.3 by March 10, 2001
Summer/Fall flying 108hrs
Winter/Ski Flying 19.3hrs.
Ground Testing 28hrs

   Hi. Thanks for you're interest in our Seabee conversion. The following is our status to date. First flight: 13 July 2000 Total Hours to date: 446 as of 10 Dec , 2001
   The conversion has exceeded our expectations in terms of comfort, performance, reliability and operating costs. At the 100 hour mark, we removed the reduction unit from the Seabee and performed a complete tear down and internal inspection. The unit looked like new inside and no maintenance was required. We re assembled the unit and put it back into service using all original components.
   The operating cost reduction was a welcome surprise. The reduced fuel consumption, & difference in price between aviation fuel & automotive fuel, has resulted in a direct operating cost reduction of over 40% compared to the Franklin. When I compare it to a GO-480 powered Seabee, the direct operating cost is cut in half! The conversion mates the Corvette version of the G.M. LS-1 engine to a cast aluminium reduction drive designed specifically for the Seabee. The conversion has been successfully flown using both standard Seabee 2 and 3 blade propellers. The fuel of choice is premium unleaded automotive fuel. It has significant number of flying hours on 100 LL aviation fuel and performs equally well (e.g. trips to Oshkosh, Sun-n-fun, Key West, Quebec City, Speculator and Otsego). Our Seabee is equipped with automotive style heating and air conditioning systems. Both of these systems have been tested during summer and winter flying and are welcome additions. We are currently producing conversion kits for other Seabees and will have the next three flying by the spring of 2002. Contact magazine published excellent coverage of the project in issue 59. You can request a copy through their web site
     The following comparison chart was based on tests using our converted Seabee (CF-ILM) and a Seabee powered by a low time Franklin overhaul (C-FHPH). The flying was done back to back on the same day and by the same crew. We have a PowerPoint disc available which includes pictures of our conversion and the redrive. If you would like a copy please provide us with your mailing address. If you have any questions that the Contact magazine article or the enclosed information doesn't address, please feel free to phone me at (705) 374-4347. If I am not home, leave a message and phone number.

BILL LAWSON PUTS A FINGER ON The real problem is that, while you think it would be logical to have an experimental category for powerplant development etc., there is not one. We need to send letters to the FAA and especially to our congressman urging them to support a new category of Experimental Aircraft aimed at developing better propulsion systems for existing aircraft. This category would allow people to develop and supply engine kits, like you see available for experimental airframes like the RV series, for retrofit on certified airframes and then licensed under an appropriate experimental category so they could be utilized fully like existing experimental class. The existing class of Experimental Exhibition only allows you to fly out of one airport and for any travel you are required to get permission from the FAA for every flight. This does not allow the utility that is available in the present class of experimental aircraft where the whole airframe is built by an individual. Thus for the Robinson chevy engine conversion to be available in the US we need to change the rules. Thus write your congressman!


Updated March 9, 2008