Model Engine News, September 2003
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I truly regret having to add this, but after seeing my own words appearing uncredited in eBay auction descriptions, it's time to get petty. If you want to use any material, just ask. Non-profit usage will almost certainly be permitted and blessed, but if you plan to get rich on my work, I want a piece of the action!
Welcome to Spring 2003 (tra-la), or autumn for denizens of the northern latitudes. Rather meger pickings this month, I'm afraid, so I'm going to offer up DSTC's Evolve 2003 conference as my excuse, which was a great success yet again; good papers from our local and international visitors, thought-provoking presentations, almost commercial-free. Plus the traditional storm and high winds for evening of the obligatory Sydney Harbor Dinner Cruise. What more could you want?
Shop activity this month seems more impressive than it actually is. As I was running short on "trade-goods", I've turned out another two AHC diesels (see the AHC Story). These are serial numbers 8 and 9 (making the total produced so far, ten engines including the prototype). All this required was the manufacture of two each crankshaft, cylinder liner, piston and contra-piston. All the other parts were ready to hand from an earlier batch of work. I've also destroyed the Hi-thrust Viking made earlier this year by trying yet again to combine a trimming session and a contest (Ron is a very, very slow learner). The slow roll under power would have been quite desirable if it had been tracking vertically at the time, but alas, it was horizontal. Fortunately, it is repairable. It will need a new tip panel on one wing and I can't sing the praises of tissue over mylar enough for overall strength. But enough and on to the engines...
None of us are getting any younger
Sorry news received in late August that engine collector Ray Strinati has suffered a minor stroke. Ray is recovering in hospital and his daughter Tina reports that he is expected to make a full recovery, which is good to hear. Ray has been a collector and modeler for many, many years and has managed to hunt up a number of engines for me. So get well quick Ray, one of those AHC's is yours...
New Books and Magazines This Month
First off is issue #92 of Model Engineers Workshop, noteworthy because it contains yet another installment of Brian Perkins's experiences building his Bristol radial replicas. If you recall, a few months back, MEW published a piece by Brian where he talked about cutting the bevel gears for his Bristol Aquilla, and how this led him to uncover an error in Ivan Law's popular gear cutting book. This time, he describes various snippets including how he forms miniature splines on the shafts of his engines. Well worth it for that article alone (incidentally, the Bugatti on the cover is a model, even if it is large enough for a small child to sit in...)
Next is the quarterly Journal of the Aviation Engine Historical Society, volume 2, number 3. Always a good read, I especially liked the article that traced (briefly) the history of two-stroke engines with prime focus on their application in aviation (models not mentioned ). The usual suspects (Circey, Deltic, Junkers Jumo, etc) got a mention, together with some I was not aware of. Another piece gives excellent technical and development data on the Wright Cyclone series. The Society can always use more support, so if you like engines, particularly round aircraft engines, subscribe!
And Yet Again, I have to mention the EAA's monthly journal Sport Aviation. In April this year, I mentioned the replica Wright 1903 Flyer engine being built by the Hay brothers to power the replica aircraft that is intended to recreate the event on the 100th anniversary (to the minute!) in December this year. Given how much trouble the Wright's encountered with suitable weather at Kittyhawk, that may be a big ask, but a worthy endeavor nevertheless. Back to the Hays. This months Sport Aviation contains an article on building the replica engine and the research required to make it as authentic as possible. SA articles tend towards the light-weight end of the technical spectrum, so the article poses more questions than it supplies answers. But the pictures are nice. The photo here shows one of the "automatic" inlet valves and its spring. This spring has the same shape as the needle valve spring in the drawing of the Buchmann 0.6cc pictured here last month. Again I gotta ask, how the devil do you wind a spring like that, and what is it's advantage??!
Kids! Be the First On Your Block...
Since my own output has been so low this month, I've done a deeper than usual "cardfile" entry on the Philtec range of single cylinder engines. This has been added to the Engine Finder, or you can zot off direct from here to find out what the hell the title for this entry is all about!
Funny how no sooner do I mention something, then it pops up again in some other form. Last month's editorial contained a brief review of Blackburn's book on building the Bentley BR2 rotary. Well, I stumbled across this URL to a guy who is building the BR2 from the book and is taking a pleasing number of photos along the way. He still has a lot of fiddly, small work to complete on the valve and cam gear, but the engine is now recognizably an engine. Go have a look.
And as if stumbling over another BR2 reference was not enough, I also stumbled over Yet Another Dragonfly reference—this time in American Modeler for March 1961. This photo, plus some others is enough to start making a Dragonfly page, which will grow when I apply cutter to metal for the Dragon Flea plans mentioned last month. Until this is complete, the page will remain a "work in progress", but I'll mention any such progress in the editorial page as and if it occurs.