Aviation pollute ! Aviation contribute to climate change ! Yes, like everything using fossil energy (petrol, coal, natural gas) on our planet. But as Jean-Luc Charron President of the French Aeronautical Federation said, the energy footprint of our aviation (leisure) is not marginal: it is infinitesimal.

In Switzerland, leisure aviation (piston engine) is responsible for less than 0.07% of the greenhouse gas emissions. (Source Federal Office for Environment and Federal Office for Civil Aviation, status 2007)

Nevertheless, promoting combustion engine and aviation in 2023 has almost become an heroic act, blame it on some radical environmentalists anchored in their certainties and well decided to make aviation the scapegoat of COemitters. In few years, I am sure, we will travel around on the road or in the air without any pollution, solutions already exists: electric, hydrogen, solar fuel… But for our RV-10 and for now it will be a good old Lycoming !

17 March 2023, after 8 months delay, this glorious 260 horsepower flat-six is finally here, It should carry Spirit of Sion in his element, few months from now ! Eager to prepare its fitting, I make some progress on the fiberglass fairings, terminate the antenna installation, static system and rear fuselage definitive closing. 2 riveting sessions with the precise and efficient help of Vasita will be enough.

Now things start to get serious ! But rapidly I realize that the rubber engine mounts delivered a few months ago doesn’t fit, labeling error from Van’s who rapidly and free of charge sent the correct parts, what a service ! A week later the mounts are here but I am unable to correctly torque the mounting brackets with the tools I have. I order and wait for multiple wrench adapter but all of them end up being useless… Xavier, another RV-10 builder guide me towards the miracle shaped wrench, more order, more delay !

The final act of this little exercise in patience will happen when I discover that the workshop crane a friend lent me doesn’t hold the weight of the engine for more than few seconds. Full service of its hydraulic jack, but nothing… Weeks go by but not much is happening. On this rainy morning of mid-April a snail keep me company during breakfast, is he there to make me understand something ?

Few days later, I find an expert crane in a local garage, all seems ready to finally hang this engine… The Lycoming and immediately afterwards the impressive MT three-bladed propeller are installed for good. What a milestone ! I went few times back down to the workshop this evening… Those 5 crates, those hundreds of kilos of aluminum, those nuts and bolts, those fiberglass parts, this engine now are all taking the shape of an aircraft, it’s crazy !!

The snail moves slowly but the snail moves, and it’s all that matters…