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Q-talk 127 - Another Manufacturer Bites a Customer

This email is from the Q-List and I thought it should be reprinted here.

As many of you may know, I have been building a Q1 with the intent of installing a Hexatron Engineering Inc., Hexadyne P60 four stroke engine. I am writing this now to warn others to stay away from Hexatron Engineering and their engine.

I have been working with Cy Williams (Hexatron President) for years now. When I first saw the engine, it was advertised in Aircraft Spruce and Specialty-leading me to believe it was currently available (note that AS&S no longer deals in engines at all). At the time Cy sent me a mock engine (no pistons, crank etc) so I could build my cowling. I had a custom made motor mount, constructed by Hexatron Engineering. I had to purchase it and several other items to mount the mock engine. I built my cowling and returned the mock engine (others needed it-- I was told).

This all made me think that the engine was real, and soon to be in full production. As time went on, the engine was having oil scavenge problems, causing delays in the production engines. This was about two and a half years ago.

Working in Aviation R&D I had somewhat of a tolerance for taking a product to production. I was assured that the problem was solved and needed flight test only. I ordered an engine and put down a large deposit. I had a business trip to Brazil and expected my engine to be here when I returned. Well, no engine.

It seemed that Cy was avoiding my calls. I finally talked to him and was told he was in final test and everything looked good. Cy sent me a new oil tank and cooler with larger fittings, Still no engine though. After two weeks I again called Cy. Apparently he was having problems getting crank shafts forged (finding a vendor to do small runs). This would be another delay (on an engine that was "ready" before I went to Brazil). I was assured I would be production engine number two out of the factory.

Well, months passed again, finally they got cranks produced. New testing showed that cranks were cracking. The cranks were cracking because the forged shaft was hardened then was to be ion nitrided on the bearing races only. l was told the vendor ion nitrided the whole crank shaft, making the counter balance portion brittle. So much for incoming QC. Cy's answer was to machine away the hardened material (ion nitrided) where it doesn't belong and run test the shaft (a structural DER told me that this was not a good thing to do, it is very difficult to un-harden metal). Note that the first 50 production crank shafts will be these modified rejected crankshafts. I was assured this would be solved and I would soon have my engine. Two weeks...two weeks....two years.

Cy at Hexatron had stopped returning my calls. Finally at Thanksgiving, I placed everything in a box and I shipped everything back. It seems apparent that Hexatron Engineering is an unethical company and will force me to fight for my deposit back.

The following is Cy's own words from one of our final e-mails:

"You have shown remarkable patience and restraint regarding the shipment of your engine. I understand your frustration and irritation. My feelings, were I in your situation, would be exactly the same."

I have since sent Hexatron Engineering a Certified letter, requesting my deposit and refunds to be returned....no response. This shows the ethics of Cy and Hexatron Engineering. Fortunatly the State of Utah has good consumer laws which I will now need to learn more than I care to about to pursue legal action.

So now I am warning others who may fall for this rouse. I don't want someone else's dreams to be shattered due to an unscrupulous vendor. My Q1 is close to being done, except for firewall forward. I now need to fight for my money back and find an alternative engine.

Lessons learned would include: Do not trust anyone who isn't shipping engines, no matter how close they say they are to production, and don't give a deposit.

If anyone has had a similar experience with Hexatron Engineering (Cy Williams) please contact me. Maybe we can consider a class action law suit, or at least team up legally.

If anyone is actually considering a Hexatron P60 engine, please feel free to contact me. I can show you documentation on everything I have stated (and then some). I don't want others to have this terrible experience.

Dave Rosen Q1- N4YQ

Looking for an engine and a lawyer.

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #127 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.