Obtaining an engine for a lightplane was the greatest challenge facing amateur builders in the 1930s.
The prices for light airplane engines were prohibitive for most builders. The powerplant of the average small plane amounted to 60% of the cost of the complete plane.
That led builders to look to other sources of power. Auto engines, being cheap and plentiful compared to certified aircraft engines, proved tempting — so tempting, in fact, that in the 1930s there were 200 aircraft registered using Ford engines. [Read more…]