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Friday, December 17, 2010

4 Cylinder MICRON 60

This was the complete line of Micro engines at the time of their demise in 1979.

 The Micron brand had been in production since the mid 1940's in France by Andre Gladieux, 8 Rue Victor Gelez, Paris XI.

The 10CC/.60CI Micron 4 cylinder made in France in the 70's. This beauty was very expensive even in it's day. The 60 was actually a double twin with 4, 2.5 CC cylinders.

The Micron 4 cylinder 


Displacement !0CC/0.60CI
Engine Type   2 Stroke, Glow
Engine Design  Double Twin
Speed Range 3,000 - 15,000 RPM
Maximum Power  0.90 @ 14,000 HP  

To View a short video clip demonstrating the starting and running this vintage classic just click on the object below.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just in Time Aircraft Field Repairs

"READ ALL ABOUT IT!" - Read The EBook

Back in those wonderful days when women were real women and aviation could still be fun and exciting, the days long before air regulations, Gladys Ingle of the "Thirteen Black Cats Aircraft Repair Team" demonstrated the value of timely field repairs.

Click the object below to see Gladys on the job.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sikorsky S-38 C

Igor Sikorsky's 1928 S-38 amphibian aircraft could be configured to accommodate as many as 8 passengers in relative comfort within it's enclosed cabin.

Flying Replica

RC Model
This beautiful model was expertly built by Dave Hughes of the Ottawa Valley.

Click the object below to see another beautiful electric powered RC model of the S-38 on its first flight.

Click the link below to go to a page and flip through Sikorsky's 1928 sales brochure describing the features of Sikorsky's then new S-38 amphibian aircraft [use  browser's back arrow to return to this page].

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Witch and Her Cat Go Park Flying

Click the object below to view a short video of a witch on a broom stick hop a ride on an Electric Powered RC Bleriot X1 Model Airplane just to wow the grand kids.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Proctor Antic

The Proctor Antic is a scale like large model airplane which dates back to the 1960's. Designed with rear fuselage open structure sort of like the Bleriot X1. The kit is not as hard as it looks to build and fun to fly because of it's stability.
Wingspan 81.00 Inches
Length 59.5 Inches
Weight 6.50 Pounds
Wing Area 948.00 Sq. Inches
Recommended Engine size .70 to .80

Monday, August 30, 2010

Vintage Merco 61


Designed and manufactured in Great Britain in the mid 1960's this engine was thought to be reliable, compact and powerful at that time, it was sold with single and double plug heads. Ths one is the 2 plug version with one angled forward and the other angled to the rear. Extreme caution is required when lighting the forward plug in order to avoid a propeller strike.

Bore: 0.940 in. Stroke: 0.875 in.
Swept Volume: 0.6072 cu. in. = 9.950 c.c.
Stroke/Bore Ratio: 0.931:1.
Weight: 12.7 oz.

Click the Object Below to watch it run.

Let's see it do what it does best.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Red Zephyr

The Red Zephyr oldtimer is my favorite for relaxed model flying. I built my first Zephyr when I was 12 or 13 years old in 1949 but, in those days I couldnt afford the cost of powering it. After I finished it, I just hung the plane from my bedroom ceiling until I left home. I built the one in this video several years back from a short kit that I located online and powered it with an old O&R 60 running on full ignition. It was a struggle dealing with batteries and coils but I managed to get a dozen or so long flights that way. I used RC to control the tail and the engine kill switch. Here is what I have to say about relaxed model flying. My favorite model flying experience with this setup, was to lie flat on my back on a warm summer day and watch it spiral out of site vertically, then kill the engine and wait for it to reappear. That worked for a while until, one day, to my horror it did not descend and I could not find it any where in that wild blue yonder. Panicking now, I locked the rudder at full throw in an attempt to force it to enter a spiral decent. After a long anxious wait, I eventually spotted the Zephyr streaking to wards Earth. Quickly I centered the rudder, the Zephyr ballooned and entered a loop at the top with of which it flopped on its back, snapping the upper wing spar at the fuselage, causing the wing to fold with the tips touching at the top. Without any wing lift, she entered a vertical nose dive. The wing began to developed positive lift again as the speed increased and the wing gradually regained its normal shape as the two halves of the broken top spar came together, now in compression. For a few short seconds the Zephyr started a recovery from its death dive and I allowed myself to imagine a miracle happy ending with a safe landing in spite of the broken wing, but unfortunately it was not to be. The tension forces resulting from the rapid pull-up were just too much for the lower surface covering and it ripped in to pices with a bang allowing both wing panels to separate from the fuselage. The Zephyr was still a thousand plus feet high at this point and heading straight down at an alarming speed. Even under these circumstances I was able to control its course slightly, enough too fly it home. It impacted the ground a mere ten or twelve feet directly in front of me, blowing my prized Trexler 4 inch balloon tires in the process and rearranging the nose slightly. Ten minutes after the two wing panels were still fluttering back to earth at least a quarter of a mile from where I stood. They were eventually located a few weeks later in our far hay field when I mowed the hay with unusual care. I still fly that same Zephyr for relaxation, now fitted with floats, a modern two stroke glow engine and of course, reinforced wing spars.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bleriot X1 Park Flier

Louis Blériot inventor of the conventional popular airplane configuration, tractor engine up front with a forward main mono-wing and the balancing empennage  at the rear. The Blériot XI sported a single pair of wings which would serve as the new model from which most future planes were derived.

was born in Cambrai, France on July 1, 1872, and studied engineering in Paris. He was an inventor, an aircraft designer, and a pilot. He is best known for his flight over the English Channel on July 25, 1909, the world's first flight over a large body of water in a heavier-than-air craft.

A prize being offered by the London Daily Mail for the first successful flight across the English Channel interested Blériot and encouraged him to develop his fourth monoplane and first truly successful aircraft, the Blériot XI. After setting a European endurance record of 36 minutes 55 seconds and winning a cross-country prize, Blériot felt confident about embarking on his cross-Channel trip. He made the trip in 37 minutes, delighting the French and worrying the British, who felt that they had suddenly become vulnerable to air attack.

The Ikerus Parkflyer is reminiscent of a earlier Bleriot design with a strange pod arrangement slung under the wing, but after a very strange accident where I managed to run over it with my wheel of my trailer. I straightened it out and added a few sticks to transform it into something roughly resembling  the famous XI aircraft.
Credits - Library of Congress

Watch the Park Flier by clicking the object.

Monday, May 31, 2010

N.C.-4 Reaches Plymouth England - Hawker and Grieves Safe

Saturday May 311919

Morning Headlines:-
N.C. 4 Reaches Plymouth - Hawker and Grieves Alive and Safe
Sopwith airplane picked up at sea and brought to Plymouth England
"READ ALL ABOUT IT!" - Read The EBook

The Vimy is assembled at Pleasantville on the same site where the Martinsyde was housed.
After their lunch, Ike and Bobby have the rest of the day off and were off to Pleasantville on their bicycles. There was lots of activity on Kitti Vitti at the time, with crews checking out the racing shells and practicing their runs up and down the pond, urged on by their supporters and spectators. Nearing the bottom of the pond was the airplane encampment now occupied by the new group of Bird-men, surrounded by a large group of sightseers.  The Vimy~ too large to fit into the canvas hanger, was outside in the open air and the boys noted that assembly had already started. The boys were greeted by Teddy Brown as they were dismounting their bicycles.

"Welcome Lads! It didn't take you very long to pay us a visit." Teddy looked a lot more up-beat then he had at their last meeting.  " I would like to introduce you to the members of our ground crew~~Chaps! these are the lads who showed us around the country side last Sunday."

Chatting with the Vickers people the boys quickly learned that no one was very happy with the present location, and that they would never attempt a hop-off from this site with a heavily loaded aircraft.   

Remembering how pessimistic R.G. was about the prospect of convincing the Admiral to allow the Vickers people use his field, Ike suggested flying light to the Lester's field for their final departure as a fall back plan. "I took the liberty to mentions to 
Charlie Lester (7) that you airmen liked his location and that you would like to discuss the possibility of contracting with him to prepare a take off strip."
"That's good! What did he say?" Asked Jack, with a surprised look. "What about Kerr's field? ~~ We were still counting on using that field for our hop-off point."
"That's still a possibility too but, ~~ he says, how he could clear the stones and horse dung from that field we looked at, and could even attempt to do some leveling of the surface to improve your chances for a clean get away of the loaded craft for a fee to be negotiated."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Alcock and Brown Arrive in Newfoudland with their Vicker's Bomber

Saturday May 24  1919
Morning Headlines:-

Fourth British Team Arrives at St. John's
Alcock and Brown Vickers Vimy Bomber Arrives
on SS Gledenvon 
"READ ALL ABOUT IT!" - Read The EBook

Ike and Bobby had decided not to join their friends who were off on a two day trouting holiday, instead they were there on that Saturday morning to see the Gledenvon off loading the crates containing the components of the Vickers Vimy the latest entry in the race. Bold as brass, Bobby after spotting the two who were undoubtedly the aircrew team, walked right up to the pair and said. "You must be Alcock and Brown, this is my friend Ike Crocker and I'm Bobby Johnson. We've been following very closely the progress of all the flying teams since they began setting up their operations here since early April and we can be of great value to you." "You are not very modest are you?" Replied Jack Alcock." By the way I'm Jack Alcock and this is my partner Teddy Brown." "Pleased to meet you" "I assume that you are from this town, tell me boys do you know the best place to use as a flying field?" "We sure do sir. We knows about the perfect place for flying from and it's not that far away." Eric added. "It's so good that on most days you wouldn't even need an engine to get airborne; just tie her to a tree and the wind would will take her up, just like a kite." "Sounds very interesting! Where is this magical place?" "It's up on the high road." Replied Ike. "Is that your aeroplane inside those wooden boxes" Asked Bobby.We were told that the only good places for airfields were at Pleasant Ville and Mount Pearl. We have to check those out first ,before we do anything else. Where can we get in touch with you if those places prove to be not suitable?" "We works for the Railway just call the station, number 196, and ask for Eric Crocker or Bob Johnson; every one there knows us two.

The boys were no sooner back at the station from their morning at the docks, they were sitting in the main waiting room discussing their meeting with the two new bird men, when Shirley took the call. "Eric, it's for you." She called from the top of the stairway (leading up to the offices on the second floor). "Someone named Teddy Brown~~He says that he just met you at the dock and he wants to talk to you ."

"OK I'm coming" Ike shouted, in a voice that did not hide the surprise and excitement that he was now feeling. He flew up the stairway, taking the steps three at a time. Shirley had barely time to turn to start back to her office, before Ike had caught up and  was standing beside her, as they walked down the hall.  Picking up the receiver Ike soon discovers that, Teddy and Jack have rented a car, a 1909 Hupmobile Touring Car...and they want to meet them first thing in the morning so that Ike and his friend Bobby, can direct the two fliers, to those prospective flying sites that they had mentioned at the dock earlier that morning. Ike was so excited at the prospect, he could hardly utter a reply. He could count on one hand the number of times he had been in an automobile, that was exciting enough but, the prospect of spending a whole day in the company of two aviators from England was just overwhelming. "Can we meet  early Sunday morning at the railway station? Lets say at eight o'clock."
"Oh yes sir!" said Ike trying hard not to let too much of the excitement to show in his voice. "Do we need to bring a lunch?"
"No that will not be necessary. The hotel made up a picnic basket for us and there will be plenty of food for all."

Sunday May 25
News reaches that HAWKER and GRIEVE were picked up 1100 miles east of St. John's by the Danish steamer Mary and landed at Thurso in Scotland

Ike and Bobby were chatting in the main waiting room, of the station building again, sitting in the corner, near the front plate glass window, on one of the wooden benches. They were waiting to be picked up by the two fliers at eight o'clock and it was now seven thirty. While they wait they began to discuss the miraculous news that Bobby had heard over his crystal radio set earlier this morning. "Did you listen to your radio last night Ike?"
"Na I didn't get a chance. The misses was entertaining her man friend and wouldn't let me string up my antenna. She says that it is too unsightly having all that wire strung through her house."
"That's too bad cause, if you had you would know that Hawker and Grieves are alive. They were safe all this time, while the rest of the world given em up for lost and had them dead and buried at sea, along comes a Danish ship called The Mary, and picks em right out of the sea."
"How come it took so long for the news to be broadcast. It must have been two weeks since they disappeared."
"It might seem like two weeks but, actually it as only been seven days, Ike. They set out on the eighteenth and today is the twenty fifth."
"OK, OK! but why did it take seven days  for the news to be released? I thought that you said that news travels much faster by radio."
"I did say that once and it's true, but could you believe, that in this day and age, they had the bad luck to be were picked up, by a ship that didn't even have  a radio on-board. The world had to wait until the ship reached Thurso in Scotland, before the news got to the press, that poor Harry and ....were alive and well. You wouldn't believe Ike, how the news was transmitted ashore."
"Come on Bobby, tell me?"
"By Pinafore! That's how, they used flags to signal to the light house operator that they were on-board and safe and sound. Can you believe that?"
"Yes Bobby, I can believe it. That's how the Block house tells the majority of ships when they can and when they can't enter the narrows into the harbor. Even today, that's the way it's done, with flags. Did the radio say what happened to them? Why did they have to go into the sea in the first place?"
"It was just just like I was saying, down in Pleasentville, the day that Fred and poor, Chummy Morgan crashed, their engine overheated because of a clogged radiator."
"His name is Charlie Morgan, how could you forget his name, just like that? Here they come, that's them .in that old 1909 Hupmobile that just drove up to the front door. Lets go!"
Ike and Bobby ran out the front door to greet the two fliers, "Good morning lads! are you ready for a long day of scouting out prospective airfields?"
"Yes Sir!" they both echoed in unison's.
"One of you sit up front and give me directions and the other can ride in the rear with Teddy."
"I'll sit up front Sir,if you don't mind I've been in a car more than Ike and I know my way around by road much better." Teddy stepped out from the passenger seat making room for Bobby and Ike and Teddy climbed into the rear seat.
"Well is everyone ready. Where to first?" asked Jack seated behind the wheel the dilapidated old car looking  little uncomfortable, because the steering wheel was on the wrong side for driving to the left.
"I thought we could go up to the Goulds first, Sir. I know a couple of fine pastures up there that would make a fine flying field. Turn left as you drive out onto Water Street and drive straight to the Cross Roads."
The old Hupmobile started off with a couple of jerks and shudders westward to Brown's Corner.
"Take the road on the left, that's Waterfordbridge Road." Declared Bobby.
The conversation turned briefly to the news of Hawker and Grieves briefly, but with the noise from the engine, the wind, and the rumble of wheels rolling over gravel and pot holes, conversation very difficult.
Ike was glad that it was near impossible to converse, he was content to sit back and enjoy the drive and take in the scenery. Passing the General Protestant Cemetery, and the grave diggers house with the saddle roof, situated across the road from Syme's bridge. These were all familiar landmarks to Ike he passed them almost every day on his delivery errands to the Ried home which was just coming up on the right. To most people it was known for it's unique wale bone gate that guarded the entrance, past which few had dare pass, because of their intimidating nature. Few kids ever risked a look through these gates without unconscious thoughts of Joana and his wale encounter. Ike knew well what went on in that other world of luxury and privilege which lay on the other side of those gates. At this moment he was thinking about
beautiful flying site that the Rieds built for Admiral Kerr in Harbour Grace, and what a coup it would be if he could somehow arrange for it to be made available to his new friends for their hop off point, but this was only wishful thinking, so he let the thought pass and went back to sight seeing as Caribou hill came into his view.
The journey continued up hill and down dale until they reached a fork in the road.
"Take the road on the right and cross the bridge." Instructed Bobby. "That's the road to the Southern Shore. It will take us up to the Goulds. I want to show you a couple of nice smooth meadows up by Third Pond that I think would be perfect for a flying field."
"How much further do we have to go Bobby?" Asked Jack, with a sigh, giving off the impression that he was thinking that they had already traveled too far for his liking.
"Not too much farther. I dear say, it's no more than 5 miles from here." Uttered Bobby in a low voice, which registered that Jack's inpatients hadn't gone on noticed.
Fifteen minutes later they arrived at the location that Bobby had in mind.
"This is it." said Bobby  enthusiastically. "Just look how flat and level the ground is."
"It is a fine location with the lake in the background~~it reminds me of a place in Ireland that I used to visit as a boy." Remarked Teddy, trying hard to sound positive.
"Do you want me to take you to the woman that owns this pasture. She lives just over there is that white shack. I'm sure she would rent it to you for, not too much money. "
"No I don't think that will be necessary. I am sure there will be plenty of time to discuss details like that when the time comes."Ike and Bobby sat on the running board of the old jalopy while Teddy and Jack paced off distances with their compass in hand. Turning to Bobby Ike asked. "Where are we going to take them next?"
"I have a fabulous place that I just know, that they will love."
"Are you going to tell me where?"
"It's going to be a surprise. You'll see for your self, when we get there."
After ten minutes or so of walking about and taking notes Teddy and Jack returned to the car.
"What do you think sir?" Bobby asked.
"That was interesting,thank you for bring us here. Both Jack and I think that, this site could be transformed into a flying field with minimum effort we could have a thousand foot east-west runway." "That would be adequate for a maximum gross weight takeoff in moderate westerly winds." added Jack. "Where next, Lads?"
" Well sir we have a choice, we can backtrack to Little Dale and hook up with the Topsail Road or, we can take the Ruby Line across country to Topsail." answered Bobby and you could tell if you listened carefully, which route he preferred.
"Which is the shortest?" asked Jack.
"Well that depends, the shortest distance is the Ruby Line, but the road is terrible and there is not a great deal to see on route, in fact there is practically nothing, except some pretty spectacular scenery all the way to Paradise."
"To where! That's very funny Bobby. I hope that I am not going to paradise this soon in my flying career."
"I am not trying to be funny Sir. I have never taken this route before, but I think that's where it leads to. Paradise on the Topsail Road."
"I see it on the map, it looks like it takes us close to Mt. Pearl and leads to Paradise, according to this map." 
"Which is the shortest?" asked Jack.
"Well that depends, the shortest distance is the Ruby Line, but the road is terrible and there is not a great deal to see on route, in fact there is practically nothing, except some pretty spectacular scenery all the way to Paradise."
"To where! That's very funny Bobby. I hope that I am not going to paradise this soon in my flying career."
"I am not trying to be funny Sir. I have never taken this route before, but I think that's where it leads to. Paradise on the Topsail Road."
"I see it on the map, it looks like it takes us close to Mt. Pearl and leads to Paradise, according to this map."
The road was long and bumpy: It took the better part of an hour, enduring horribly dusty conditions, with a feeling of mud in their throats and hair and clothing as white as a miller's after a very busy day, they arrived at Bobby's choice location,
a pasture that was sitting on top of the Topsail Bluff.
The car puled into an open area surrounded by a line of stunted spruce, fir and pine trees.
"Why are there no houses around here?" asked Teddy, as he placed a hand over his eyes to shade them from the sun that had just come out from behind the clouds, into a large patch of blue sky.
 "This is a communal pasture." responded Bobby as he peered around to take in the scene. "This is  where the local people turn out their livestock in the summer months. The reason that there are so many horses and pones is, they are not need at this time of the year ,the gardens are all tilled and there is no wood to haul, people gather wood in the winter time, when there is plenty of snow, for hauling."
"Why are those animals eating the trees instead of the lush grass." inquired Jack, with a puzzled look on his face.
"It's because they are tired of just eating grass, at this time of the year the trees have their new growth and the animals can't resist the tender tips of the fir trees, because of that the horses in particular have
 a gamy smell to them, like the trees." explained Bobby, as he started walking towards the trees at the western edge of the field. Jack and Teddy resumed their pacing and note taking, while Ike ran to catch up with Bobby who was now at the edge of the trees.
"Where are we going? demanded Ike.
"follow me! I want to show you something." Ike followed a narrow path through the line of trees. They hadn't gone more than twenty feet when Bobby stood to one side to allow Ike to pass. Stepping out of the trees onto a fringe of grass, barley ten feet wide, Ike froze in his tracks. He was standing at the edge of a cliff with the blue waters of Conception Bay
five hundred feet below.
"Blessed God! Why didn't you warn me? You know very well that I can't stand heights."
"I wanted it to be a surprise, and from the look on your face, it was a big one."
" I,m starving, it must be at least one o'clock and we haven't had a bite to eat since seven his morning. Why don't you call the others over and show them this spot. Tell them to bring the lunch basket, cause this is a perfect place to have a lunch."
Bobby turned and disappeared into the woods to find the two fliers while Ike, lay in the grass and gazed off across the bay towards the opposite shore, which appeared as a faint grey band on the horizon. Gazing towards a point where he imagined, Harbour Grace was located, he mused about what was transpiring there at this moment, at that perfect airfield. Was the Admiral away in St. John's attending some high society, social function, or addressing the local Chamber of Commerce on his exploits, in far away countries surrounded by famous powerful people, was he telling his audience about what a wonderful person the Kaiser really is, how he is actually pro British and the like, all the while, his expedition's support team, as he liked to refer to them, idle away their time without direction or focus. He couldn't help but think, what a terrible waste of railway time and effort it was to build such a magnificent airfield and turn it over for, the exclusive use of the Handley Page Team. He was have way through his mental anti establishment, rant when he was interrupted by rest of the survey party.
"What a sight! How did you find this place?" exclaimed Teddy.
"It's a smashing location for a picnic, if you ask me." declared John, as he attempted to sweep the dust from the picnic basket's covering, with his hanky. "Now I know why the staff at the Cochran wrapped our lunch so well, they knew about the dusty roads we'd be traveling on, I'd bet."
"What do you Lads want to drink?"
"What do you have?"
"We have two kinds of beer, Ginger beer and Black Dog."
"We calls it all beer Sir, ginger beer is a temperance drink and my misses says that it's OK for me to drink but, never coke, cause that's the work of the devil, that stuff is."
"What do we have here, baloney and egg salad sandwiches."
After a little while Jack asked. "Is that Harbour Grace, across the bay? Has any of you lads to the airfield?"
"I have Sir, me and my friend Dick Nugent had to deliver deliver the radiators to Admiral Kerr in person a couple of weeks ago."
"That's interesting, you are the first one that I have met since arriving, who actually said that they visited the field. Everyone says that it is an excellent site but no one has seen it."
"I saw it Sir, and it is
smooth and flat
. My boss Mr. RG Ried built it for him, his son is in the Royal Airforce and he is a friend of Admiral Kerr."
"We have to get permission to use that field for our hop off point Teddy~~ What do you think?"
"I think you are right but~~old man Kerr is going to be a hard nut to crack."
With that Bobby piped up. "Don't you like this place?"
"Yes we do, it's a splindid place for a picnic, and if we had lots of time we could smooth out the bumps and raze few trees, install an arrest line because, we sure as hell wouldn't want to topple of the edge of this cliff after we tried to abort for some reason, but yes you are right, it would be nice to be five hundred AGL, at the point of takeoff."
"You have showed us a few good sites but I'm afraid they are all, just too far from town. Cane you show us something that is closer to the Cochran?"
"I can think of one Sir." said Ike, who up o this point, had little to recommend, in the way of prospective sites. "I know of another perfect place that is only a stone's throw from the Cochran, with a car, you could make the trip in ten minutes, or less."
"OK let's pack up and go, it's already two o'clock. Since this is your sugestion Ike, you can ride up front, with me, and Teddy is going to show you how to crank an engine without breaking your thumb."
"You always hold the crank with your thumb pointing ninety degrees to the direction i which your fingers are pointing, the thumb must point in a line parallel to the crank, never over the top; that way if the engine kicks back the crank will fly out of your grasp without catching your thumb. That's it now when Jack gives you the signal, just pull the crank in the clockwise direction."
"Switch on! Contact!" On that command, Ike gave the crank an almighty pull and the old car sputtered into life.
"Good Ike! that's the way it's done, just remember to, never wrap your thumb over the top. Hop in after me and we will be on our way."
They made their way back to town on the Topsail Highway and a half hour later they were within the city limits.
"Turn left here." Ike not being familiar with automobiles didn't give much notice to Jack who was behind the wheel slammed on the rear wheel brakes, causing the old Hupmobile to do a sliding 90 degree turn onto Bennett avenue heading north.
"I can't turn this old bus on a shilling every time~~Ike! You'll just have to give more of a warning when you want me to turn."
"OK! Turn left now."
"But there is no street on the left."
"There will be in a second, when we get there, a path on the left leading up to Lester's Pastures." responded Ike, who was stating to become a little confused himself.
Drawing up to a gate at the end of the path, Jack stopped the car and everyone piled out. Teddy and Jack went off into the pasture, remarking as they walked away, how the site showed promise, being reasonably flat and it was certainly, close enough to the Cochran.
"I don't think it is any where as good as those other places that we showed them~~do you Ike?"
"May be not as good, but you heard them~~it's all about being close to your buddies and being tuned into what's going on with the competition and the weather, of course~~das why they want to be close to the Cochran~~same as you and I would love wa's going on at The Holy Cross, football practices, so as we can beat um at their game."
After ten minutes: of pacing around with their compass and taking down notes, standing with their backs to the boys, they took turns doing their imaginary takeoffs with their hands, other times
on their hands and knees, with their eye at almost ground level, they studied the lay of the land. then they returned to the car, where the boys ere standing.
"Ike, who is the owner of this land?" asked Jack, as he turned to have another look at the pasture.
"It belongs to Charlie Lester, Sir. He the same one who does most of the trucking in this town and delivers the coal."
"It is too rough, the westerly direction is up a slight grade and a couple of fences would have to be removed, to give adequate run way length, but with  lot of work, we think that, it could be made to work." commented Jack with only a hint of optimism showing. "You've been to Harbour Grace to see Kerr's field~~ how would you say it compared to what you see here."
"No comparison, Sir!  Kerr's airport is down by the beach, it is flat as a table, there's not a stone to be seen, and the runway is twice as long as what I see here."

"OK, I've decided that we must get permission from Kerr to use his field.  I will ask the Sopwith people if we can set up at Mount Pearl now that Hawker has gone.  Then it would be an easy flight to Harbour Grace to prepare for the final hop-off."

"Sir, I can take you down to Charlie Lester's place and you can arrange to have your supplies moved to Mount Pearl.  Charlie just lives down on Hamilton Avenue; we passed his place on the way to the station.  You could also ask him if he would be interested in leasing his field in case Mount Pearl is unavailable."

"Teddy and I will have to decide by Monday where to transfer our equipment.  Let's go see Charlie"   They all pile into the car and stop at Charlie's house at 34 Hamilton.  When they meet Charlie, he said he could move their equipment to where ever they wanted, since he had already moved Hawker to Mount Pearl and the Raymor team down to Pleasantville.  When asked whether he would be interested in leasing a field, Charlie said, "I'm sure we could make arrangements for a fee that is."  With that they shook hands and dropped the boys off at the station.  Before parting, Jack turned to Ike and asked him if he would have a word with his boss and ask if he could help persuade Kerr to share his airstrip with them.  They have to find a way to get permission to use the Harbour Grace field as it is the only suitable place for a hop-off with a heavily laden bomber.  Ike said he wasn't promising anything but would have a word with his boss first thing in the morning.

"Jack, we can have a word with Freddy Rathenham, and the Sopwith people tonight at the Cochran, and ask if we could use their sites at Pleasantville for our setup.  Then we would be in a position to select the best option and give Charlie Lester a destination for our equipment~~whether we go to Mount Pearl or to Pleasentville." added Teddy.

To be continued
Read all the chapters of the Great Air Race Now

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

F4U-1 Corsair

F4U-1 Corsair

This battered old Flying Styro model airplane which was once flown with a GM 300 CO2 motor has been resurrected and converted to brush-less electric power. Using a 45 watt Indoor type Out-Runner motor teamed up with a 10 amp ESC and 400 ma 7.4 volt Po-Li battery. Radio controlled with Rudder, Elevator, and Motor control, using a GWS micro radio with two 50 gram servos, round out the set-up for this tiny 630 mm 24 in Wingspan RC model.

The Admirals HP Radiators arrive in Harbour Grace

May 19 1919

"READ ALL ABOUT IT!" - Read The EBook

The delivery of Admiral Kerr's radiators did not go exactly as Dick had planed. George Wells the Boss at the express office calls Dick into his office and tells him that it is not good enough to simply send the missing crates to the consignee in Harbor Grace. George tells Dick that Mr Ried thought that the lads should accompany them to Harbour Garce and deliver them in person, also that they owed Admiral Kerr an apology for misplacing two of his crates, and that the apology should be made to the Admiral himself in person. This needs to be done very quickly, before the Admiral launches a formal complaint against the railway.  George goes on to say. "Mr Reid wants the two of you on the 5:00 O'clock today,  along with the 2 crates, so that the Admiral has his missing items and your apology the first thing in the morning ~~ Don't deviate from these instructions because Admiral Kerr has been notified and will be expecting you at his airfield, the first thing in the morning."
The boys took time on their lunch break to race home and pack a few things and tell their families about the need to go to Harbor Grace for a day or so.

They were on the departure platform with their bags and railway passes in their pockets by five minutes before departure time. The boys were never ones to be boarded and seated before the departure time; it was more their style to wait calmly, until the train got moving smartly, run a few steps, grab the hand rail and swing onto the platform of the very last car.

There they stood on the brakes, until the train was well out of the rail yard on the off chance that they would be spotted by someone who knew them. The young railway workers who worked in St. John's looked up to those who were part of the trains crew; they were referred to as belonging to the " Rolling Trades"  The boys were always looking for ways to be mistaken for "trainmen".

The  sixty mile trip took more than 3 hours.  Pulling into the Harbour Grace station at around 8:30 PM meant, there was still an hour and a half of daylight remaining. The days were long in this part of the world  in the  early summer months. They were thankful for the day light, because they needed the time to locate the place where they were planning on spending the night.  Dick had gotten the name and some rough directions for a crew man's shack that would be available for their use tonight.

Walking along the track towards the far end of the yard, they came upon a long line of small structures that had been erected by railway crews to serve as overnight shelter for times when they were away from their home base on layover.

Aproaching the end of the line Dick spied what he was looking for; the third from the end, just as he had been told, they came across a green shack with a white door, that appeared to be empty and the door secured only by a whittled wooden stick, jammed into the latch.
"This is it Eric. Jerry Flin's old man's place. This is where we are going to spend the night."

The shack was very small but it looked cozy enough.  It was a one room affair, with a low flat roof and a single small window located just to the right of the doorway. Once inside the pair noticed that the place had everything they needed. The cooking and eating area is located near the door and the sleeping area at the back. Located to one side of the door was a small cast iron wood or coal burning stove for cooking and heating. The window side contained  small wooden table with a oil cloth cover and a couple of cheap wooden chairs. 

"This looks good to me." Said Ike, pulling up a chair and letting himself drop into it with a thud.  "I'm starving! all I had on the train was some hard tack and some spruce beer."
"What bunk do you want? Upper or lower?" Inquired Dick as he explored the sleeping area looking for a place to put his army surplus duffel bag.
"I don't care! you choose!" I'm going to light the stove to boil up a pot of tea and get a little heat circulating in here."

After they finished eating they were having a another mug of tea when Ike asked. "What do you plan on saying to old man Kerr tomorrow?"

"I haven't quite decided but sure as hel, I won't be telling him the truth." Dick sat thoughtfully for a moment, before adding.  "If I were to do that, do you know how fast we'd be fired? ~~  We'd be out on the street before you could blink an eye ~~ Do you know Eric; when you work at the Express Office, you have to be resourceful and deal with problems as they arise. .......like last year when the cat, that was being shipped express, to the Labrador on the Northern Ranger got loose and ran away from me when I opened the box to change it's water and food.  I could have told the boss the truth, what really happened and then he would have the problem which would have certainly made him upset enough to chewed me out at the very least........but no! instead, I got resourceful and stuffed Felix; the best mouser in the office into the box and sent him off to the Labrador instead.......haven't heard a word since; I expect everyone is happy and no one is the wiser. ~~ The boss was saved having to write a letter of apology to the consignee; the consignee got a nicer cat; Felix got to see the Labrador; the first cat got to stay in town and learn how to be a better mouser, and most important; I didn't have to take a chewing out from the boss."
After finishing his rant on resourcefulness at the Express office, Dick's mood was growing more upbeat. "Now all we have to do is put our heads together again and think up a story bout these bleeding radiators that will  make everyone happy."

"That's going to be very difficult Dick. Like, how do we explain the weigh bills indicating 109 items when only 107 were actually put on the train?"
"Eric! ~~ The most obvious and believable explanation is also the simplest. The crew doing the loading mistook my 9 for a 7 and 2 item got left at the dock."
 "That sounds simple enough, but does it get us off the hook with old R.G.? ~~ Remember when he told us, that he didn't want any thing going wrong and he was holding us personally responsible for the shipment?"
"Yes! ~~ I remember ~~ so what?"
"So please tell me Dick, Why we didn't make sure all 109 items were on that train that day?"
Looking as though he was having difficulty with coming up with a answer to this question, Dick finally answered in a slow thoughtful manner. So ~~ how about we say that I checked off all 109 items but the long shore raggedy arses only loaded 107; after all they where the ones who created this mess by not listening to me when I pleaded with them  to be careful, in the first place."
"What's wrong with the truth?" Replied Ike, throwing his hands into the air and spilling a half cup of tea in the process. "I'm becoming frustrated by your never ending complicated plans."
" Truth is not what bosses want to hear from their employees when it means more problems for them........don't you understand; deya think that  George Wells  wants to explain to R.G. that one of his employees let the long shore bust up Kerr"s rads; or that R.G. wants have to apologise to the admiral for jeopardising his bid for the big prize; or the admiral wants to hear that Hawko's men repaired the rads for his precious Rolls Royce engines? ~~ You and I know that nobody knows more about rads than Kevin Hawko and when he says that they are fixed better than new, he means it, but Kerr doesn't know that."
"OK you win!" Said Ike, gathering his bag and starting towards the bunks. "That's what we'll tell him in the morning ~~ I'm going to bed."

Morning came very fast; since they were both very tired after putting in such full day, they had fallen asleep shortly after eating and had slept soundly through the night. 

"Come on let's get going it's already quarter to seven and we have  to be at flying field by at least 8:00." Cried Ike, with a hint of nervousness in his voice.
"Oh! relax, we got barrels of time. We don't have far to go, and anyway I doubt if anyone is at work before 10; those people don't work any where as hard as we do Eric." 

They made a fire and put on a kettle of water for a mug of hot tea to have with their breakfast of hard tack and dried caplin; which they toasted on the surface of the hot stove.  As they sat at the table, dunking their hard tack in the tea, and crewing on the crispy toasted caplin, Ike thought to himself; how much he enjoyed simple meals like this, when he was off on his own. He never liked the fatty foods his mother loved to prepare; especially her seal flippers which was her current specialty, he hated them the most of all.  

"Are we going to pick up the rads at the station and deliver them ourselves?"Asked Ike. The tone of his voice said that he wasn't thrilled with the prospects of having to wheel those massive two crates down a muddy road to the flying field by hand cart.
"Are you kidding! No way! I'm guessing they have lots of horses and wagons hired, probably a motor truck too. Let them go pick em up themselves. If it wasn't for the fact that we gets a chance to see the big bomber up close, I'd be feeling pretty sorry for myself right about now."

After finishing their simple breakfast Dick and Ike strolled back the track to the station. Introducing themselves to the staff and gave a brief explanation why they were in town. They got the permission from the station master to freshen up in their station washroom.  Asking directions to the flying field they were told that it wasn't very far.
"Just turn left at the station front door and go a little way down Water street, Ya can't miss it." Said the Express man.

Sure enough they hadn't taken more than a few steps and they could see the form of the airplane surrounded  by masses of scaffolding and vertical timbers forming giant tripods.

Drawing closer they could see the forms of workmen climbing on and purchesed on top.
"Hello up there! We are from the railway in St. John's ~~ We're here with news about your radiators." Shouted Dick to the men who appeared to be working on the engines.
" About bloody time!" Came back the answer.
"Where here to see Admiral Mark Kerr." Replied Dick. 
"Well you will have a bit of a wait if you need to see him...... he's usually here by 10:00; but I can't guarantee it."
"We're in no hurry, we can wait."Replied Ike. 
"Suit yourself; your welcome to stay as long s you like as long as you don't get into the way." 

"Did you say that you brought the radiators with you? ~~ We will be needing the very soon and I was starting to worry because I wasn't able to locate them."
"That's what we have to see the Admiral about."
"He's not interested in details like that.~~ I'm  A. P. Arnold, the chief engineer with this expedition, Anything to do with the propulsion system is my business."
"Well in that case, the answer to your question is yes; We brought them last night and they are at the station ready for pick up."
During the next couple of hours they learned a lot about the Handley Page Expedition, while they waited for the arrival of the Admiral.

They learned that:
The Kerr Team had the best of everything;  the air-drone was prepared prior to their arrival;  they were set up on a stretch of flat ground not far from the railway yard; they had half the town working for them, including all the resources of the railway as well as the shipyard.  R.G. Reid's eldest son Robint had been a Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force during the Great War that had just recently ended.  The Admiral himself had recently founded that same air force into existance. 

There was obvious a strong desire on the part of the Lieutenant to please the Admiral.  Lieutenant Reid had spear headed the preparation of the work for the air-drone which was well underway before the team arrived. The runway extends for three quarters of a mile along the shore, with a gentle downward slope to the waters edge.  A perfect place for a take off into the prevailing westerly wind.  The flying site was located only a short distance from the from the main railway line making it a easy task to transport the huge sections of the airframe by the shipyard tracks to the assembly point. The Admiral's team was favored by every possible advantage: including having their own on site meteorologists, Taylor and communications officer lieutenant Clements of the British Air Ministry.

The Bomber was to be equipped with a powerful radio transmitter and receiver, so that it could maintain contact with shipping through out the entire Atlantic crossing. The team maintained their own extensive supply of aviation fuel, currently the Admiral had at his disposal all the av-gas that there was on the whole island of Newfoundland.