I’m pretty excited about the idea of an improved cabin heater for my plane, so much so that I decided to go buy one from a junked car for inspiration. I haven’t committed to this yet, but I would like to reverse-engineer an automotive unit and then design something to put in my plane, re-using components as appropriate.
I found a complete unit from a Chevy Cruze on eBay for less than $100. It has an A/C evaporator that I won’t need, but it has everything else that I do want including:
Centrifugal fan and motor
Heater core (that will connect to the engine coolant loop)
Servos to control air flow, temperature mixing, and fresh air / recirculate doors
It’s kinda big, but I’m planning to design something a little more compact based on what I learn from reverse-engineering this unit.