Update on Cabin Heater

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
  • Temp sensors

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.

A complete HVAC assembly! The heater core connections are the pipes on the lower right
The left side contains the mixing components that direct air to desired outlets, while the right side has the blower motor and air filter

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