I asked Chad some questions about the power rating of the Velie, after my plane certifying man here in New Zealand asked me about it:
Gert, People that are not familiar with antique airplanes often think horsepower ratings matter. It doesn’t. Cubic inch displacement and prop diameter matter and these are unrelated to horsepower. A modern high rpm 90 hp engine won’t fly my Waco 10 at all, but it flies beautifully with a Curtiss OX-5 90 hp engine and a 100″ diameter prop.
Specifically to you, the Velie has 250 cubic inches and is extremely powerful, bears no relationship to say, a Continental 65 hp, it’s much more power. It’s a good choice for a Bleriot. The Rotec radial, which I have flown on a Bleriot, is too much, feels like too much, and changes the characteristics of the Bleriot as to lose all it’s charm. It’s a classic case of a slow antique being pulled by too much thrust. It makes for a lousy flying experience. The Velie is a very good choice. I would have used my Velie had I not had a Gnome rotary from the start.
Beyond that, the less power you use on a Bleriot the better and more authentically it flies. And since it is a good design by pioneer standards, it flies well regardless. Chad