Once again, after a panic on how I was going to provide enough items of interest to maintain the level that MEN readers have come to expect, I find that the August issue is another of the massively large ones in terms of both new HTML pages, words on those pages, and pictures for those who prefer to skip the words. One of these days I'll stop worrying about the corner I've been painting myself into that requires each issue to be better than the last.
We've had some more rain this past month, and although the dams have still not managed to reach that magical 40% capacity level, authorities have declared that we are safe for the next three years and citizens may increase their daily water usage from 120 liters per person to a massive 140. Woohoo. Brisbane is also experiencing the first "real" winter I can remember since returning here from living in the US ten years ago. Now when I say "real", I mean we all say "burrr" in the morning and consider throwing a jacket over the T-shirt. It has actually reached 0° Celsius (where water freezes) on several mornings, but that was in the outer suburbs, or "the cheap seats" as we inner city snobs say. But then it will generally rise to over 20 during the day, so anyone who wants to say we don't know what cold really is, feel free; I completely agree!
Project wise, most of my spare time for the past couple of months has gone into a winter software and hardware development effort that can be done in the warm house (as opposed to the cold shop): a home-theatre setup with video on demand from a 400 DVD jukebox player, and any amount of downloaded video (well, as much as can be stored on 1.5 TB of disk). All this involved products from different manufacturers, integrated through a single touch-screen, hand-held, infra-red remote with a totally custom interface (the Sony CX777ES and Phillips Pronto TSU9600 for the curious). I'll open-source the finished project—if it's ever finished, which I doubt, as no software project is really ever finished—they merely become "releasable", ask Microsoft!
So while the home theatre project is progressing nicely, I am feeling a certain amount of guilt over lack of shop output. As expiation for this shame, this month we start a construction project that was done and documented a while ago. As I have a certain nostalgic affection for the subject, I wanted to do the engine review and start the construction series at the same time. So Adrian Duncan, who has been supplying the Engine of the Month reviews for the past few months gets a break this month, and I've gotten to spend some fun time in the library researching a little diesel engine that I hope you will all enjoy.
ED Baby Construction Series
To dovetail with the Engine of the Month, we begin a new construction series in this issue for a full size replica of the little ED Baby 0.46cc diesel. First up, let me stress that because of its size, this is most definitely not a project for the first time model engineer and engine builder. But even if you fall in this category, I think you will learn useful things from reading the very detailed construction notes and sequence. The series is already in the can as it were, having been written by Roger Schroeder and I way back in last days of the twentieth century (sure seems like way back). The text has been updated and expanded in light of subsequent experience and the broader canvas provided by the 'web as opposed to the print media for which the series was originally conceived. This month, in addition to the EOM page giving the history of the engine, the old ED Baby Construction Project page gets an update making it an index into the build pages to come. There will be four of these over the next months, starting with Part One in this issue. And in a once only deviation from tradition, the series will include on-line copies of the plans in the hope that non-members will see the value in becoming Full Members by buying the MEN Only DVD, thus gaining access to all the other plan sets and other restricted features of this web site.
Kalper Exposed; Cobra Updated
Adrian Duncan's piece on the Kalper from last month was well received and elicited an unexpected treasure in the form of excellent photos of a fully disassembled version from Founder MEN Member, Jan Huning. These expose more unusual features and validate Adrian's wise decision not to pull his own apart unless absolutely necessary. Subsequent discussion of the engine in our little group drove out more stories, with Bert saying how his engine (pictured here) had a cracked cylinder, leading to another—who shall remain nameless—explaining exactly how you can easily accomplish this feat! So using Jan's material, a Kalper Follow-up page has been added giving the internal details. Adrian's page has been updated to link to the bonus page.
Adrian has also managed to locate an earlier production example of the Kielkraft Cobra .049 which shows that the engine underwent some performance enhancing modifications following initial release. From the number of times it is referenced in the MEN server logs, the Cobra article would be one of the most popular reviews on this site, so regular readers might like to read the Addendum that describes the changes evident between the early and later production models.
Not Going to Happen
I'm sorry to report that despite what a circulating rumor says, the arrangements for Gordon Cornell's thoroughly modernized Super Fury to appear as a construction series in the Model Engineer have gone on indefinite hold. This is unfortunate as the engine would be a good intermediate project and a fine runner. You may recall from the ED Story that Gordon, arriving at ED from Lines Bros (FROG), revised the ED Fury into a significantly better engine. In later years, Gordon has been producing in small volume, very high power to weight ratio engines under his Dynamic label. Lately, he has turned out a number of bar-stock CNC Super Furies in drum and disc valve induction as shown here. I've seen the plans for these engines and can attest that the project would have been quite practical even without CNC. Oh well... Perhaps later.
A Different Sort of Modeling
The subject seen here is Richard Gordon's little Alpha 1 diesel, published as a construction supplement in issue #4207 of the Model Engineer (18-31 October, 1996). If that name rings a bell, Richard was the designer of the Nano 0.1cc diesel, also featured as a pull-out booklet in the ME, issue #3932. The picture should also bear a mark of familiarity, being the work of Charlie Tomalesky whose See-thru Seal appeared here in December, 2006. In the past month, Charlie has sent in pictures of more of his model engine modeling and it looked like the best thing to do was arrange them on their own Gallery page, so click the Alpha thumbnail to be taken to Gallery Page 14 and more of Charlie's exceptional work. Incidentally, Richard was delighted with how the Alpha looked and mentioned he not only made thirty (30) Alphas for sale, he also made the CNC milling machine to build the crankcase, before the days when CNC hardware and software could be bought off the shelf.
R-1830 Radial in 1:6 scale
This engine combines the considerable skills of three gentlemen located in three countries just about as far apart from each other as it is possible to get and remain on the planet! The engine is a one-sixth scale, fully functional model of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" radial, right down to an electric starter and constant speed prop. Rather than scatter progress photos through the Gallery pages, a new page has been created for this model which can be updated as photos are received. So click the thumbnail picture, or follow this link to find out more about the model, the full size engine, and the men responsible.
Flash Steam Today
This is one of those photos that is not only interesting for the subject it presents, but also manages to convey an indefinable, intrinsic, artistic beauty—to me at least. The subject is a flash steam aero powerplant at full throttle and the work of Martin Elmstetten of Dortmund, Germany. More photos and details of Martin's development work have been added to Page 12 of the Engine Gallery. I was wondering how our local authorities here in Australia would take to having what amounts to an open fire flying around, but on reflection, how much different is that from a gas turbine, and they don't seem to have a problem with those!
Flash Steam Yesterday
Composing Martin's photos got me thinking about Flash Steam in general. We've seen an example before in the form of the pioneering work done by HH Groves and I know there are IC builders who arrived at this facet of model engineering from the live steam branch and retain a certain affection for the smell of steam oil, so as an extra treat for Members, the chapter from JF Camm's 1949 Model Aeroplane Handbook that fully details his three cylinder radial steam engine, and ancillary equipment including the "automatic fire extinguisher" has been OCR'd and can be reached via this link to FJ Camm's Flash Steam Plant. Non-members can look at the drawing that heads this entry, and hopefully reconsider the benefits of membership .
New Books and Magazines This Month
Having featured the Roach/Satra/Harris R-1830 Twin Wasp, it's appropriate to have a look at a book which chronicles Pratt & Whitney's last radial, the R-4360 "Wasp Major". The name (caution, small pun ahead) is "R-4360: Pratt & Whitney's Major Miracle", by Graham White, Specialty Press, MN USA, 2006, ISBN 1-58007-097-3. If the author's name sounds familiar, it may be because we've reviewed a couple of Graham White's books on aero piston engines here before (see R-2800: Pratt & Whitney's Dependable Masterpiece and Allied Aircraft Piston Engines of World War II), or because mention has been made of his quite excellent and insightful writings in Torque Meter, the official organ of the Aero Engine Historical Society. And if you think from a build-up like that, I'll be predisposed to like this book, you'll be right; I am, and do. But I'd like to think I would have been just as appreciative had I not previously encountered his writings.
That said, this is a big, expensive book that will appeal to readers who love reading about engineering of a kind which we will never see again. Like White's R-2800 book, this one begins by describing the conditions which required an engine like this to exist. It then covers the genesis of the design, its manufacture, intimate technical details including mounting, cooling, supercharging, etc, and provides details of the civil and military aircraft it powered. While the coverage given to these aircraft is essentially powerplant related, it extends into unexpected but logically related areas. For example, there are maintenance drawings of airframe details like undercarriage legs that I've not seen elsewhere. And what an airframe list it is too. The R-4360 "corn-cob" marked the end of the piston engine fighters and bombers. The engine powered what I think are the three most awesome and beautiful bombers ever designed: the Northrop XB-35 Flying Wing, the Convair B-36 Peacemaker, and the Republic XF-12 Rainbow. In the fighter department, we have the well known Vought Corsair, the lesser known Martin Mauler, plus prototypes like the Boeing XF8B-1, Douglas XTB2D-1 Skypirate, and others. Coverage is included of commercial and highly modified racing planes as well.
From the tables included, 15,600 examples of the R-4360 Wasp Major were made over the period 1943 to 1955. (compare that with the figure of 173,618 for the R-1830 Twin Wasp). As a result of the engine being designed by P&W under a government contract, it was the government who owned the intellectual property and hence, was free to choose the manufacturer. So it may come as a surprise that post-war production of the R4360 production was undertaken by Ford, in a factory previously used by Tucker in his bid to overthrow the major US auto manufacturers (p158).
On the intimate details front, the R-4360 book is hard-bound with 608 glossy, high quality paper pages. It is profusely illustrated with crisp black and white photographs, isometric drawings, patent extracts, and various tables. As with the R-2800 book, the author includes reprints from the manufacturer's maintenance manuals that illustrate lubrication paths and fuel injection. Like the originals from White's private collection, these are presented in color, as seen in this example. There are the usual pages for index, table of contents, acknowledgements, etc, and a nice concluding chapter which presents first person recollections from men who worked on the engine. At least one of these which relates the noisy consequences of not parking the B-36 "...long blade down" can be found on the AEHS web site. There is a lot to enjoy and be informed by in this book, more than you are going to consume in one session. But that is part of the enjoyment as the book is one you can return to again and again for a fun read of something new every time. You can order the book from Amazon and cause a massive 0.02c to flow through to Model Engine News, which helps pay the website bills. Unsurprisingly, Graham White gets the full five stars for this one.
Engine Of The Month: ED Baby
Eh? Has this one not already been done neigh unto death, you ask? Well, yes—but I like it! And knowing that there is at least one recent model engine builder out there tackling the subject, and knowing that my lack of shop time this year has produced a lamentable lack of construction pages, revisiting the dear little ED Baby provides a chance to place on the web a re-hash of an article that Roger Schroeder and I poured endless effort into about eight years back. So first off, click on the Family Tree thumbnail of the ED Baby to read about the engine's background, the follow up by reading Part One of the ED Baby Repro Project. There are three to follow and castings and plans are available from Roger.
Tech Tip of the Month
Mystro! Drum roll, if you will, please. This month, We present, for the seventy-second time, Drill Sharpening on the QUORN. I can hear the groans from here, but I had got so many things so badly wrong in the recent update—including the spelling of the author's name—that this really was necessary. The Drill Sharpening page describes attachments I built following a Model Engineer article to produce faceted twist drill points using the Quorn Tool and Cutter Grinder. The recent additions come from Jörg Hugel and describe ways of achieving both faceted and conical back-off on the Quorn that are simpler than the approach described by Prof Chaddock, who incidentally stated that conical back-off was not achievable on the device! So in the re-revised page, we have two PDF documents describing the ways that the two back-off methods can be accomplished, along with some extra text by the author. I'll crawl back in my box, now...
The Red Kite
This engine was run at Old Warden during a gathering in late July. Design and construction of the engine was started by Gerald Smith circa 1984, but not completed. Gerald's family passed it on to John Scott (UK) who's fine workmanship is a fitting tribute to Gerald, with the bonus that it is reported to run like a fine Swiss watch. The family resemblance to GS's three cylinder Osprey, and five cylinder Buzzard are obvious, right down to the gold painted magneto. Presumably all share the same cylinder and basic design. A series that included plans for the Osprey appeared in Engineering in Miniature, starting in February 1986; that for the Buzzard started in the November 1987 issue. For the determined, back issues are not hard to obtain. Click the thumbnail, or go to the Gerald Smith page for more pictures.
New Arrivals at the Craftsmenship Museum
Word from Paul Knapp and Joe Martin arrived that more of Paul and Paula's floating collection has gone on display at the Craftsmenship Museum in San Diego. The picture here is just one the many display cases that have been purchased to exhibit the collection. As Joe and Paul said, each model required years of work by the builder, so adding it all up, the display represents hundreds of years of dedicated effort. If you are in the area with time to spare, I'd say go there first and visit the Air and Space Museum second!