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Friday, March 19, 2010

RAYMOR's First Successful Flight Trial at Pleasantville.

April 17 1919 

The Martinsyde Aeroplane, RAYMOR Makes Successful Trial Flight from Airfield at Pleasantville.
"READ ALL ABOUT IT!" - Read The EBook   

Today Ike had the excuse he had been waiting for; he had been just given a telegram by the dispatcher addressed to the Martinsyde crew chief.
"Eric you are going to like this. here is a message for you to deliver to the guy in charge of those fliers set up at the Ross's field down in Pleasantville. The message mentions that they are going to attempt a test flight sometime today."

When Ike arrived he took a quick look around. The craft was being worked on by a crew of 3 mechanics. Ike immediately recognized them as the two that he and Dick were talking with at the dock just a couple of days ago. There were two others who were looking on and supervising the proceedings. Ike notices that the one is wearing the bolder hat is the same one he saw at the dock as the one with the wooden leg, he looks more like a banker than a flyer.
“I am looking for a Mr. Raynham” Ike asked of the two supervisors.
"That would be me." said the older looking one.
“I got a telegram for you sir” said Ike in his east end Irish Catholic accent.
"Thank you son!" said the aviator.
"Do you mind if I stay a little while and watch sir?"
"No! not at all." Morgan and Raynham answered.
"Are you interested in aeroplanes?" Said Morgan.
Oh yes sir, I am very interested in the race for the Atlantic, I have been following all the developments since the flyers started arriving." Said Ike. "My job takes me to the airfields delivering telegrams and packages to the crews ~~ I saw Hawker making a test flight, just the other day."
"Thats very interesting; by the way what's your name son? It's Eric sir, Eric Crocker.
"My name is Charles Morgan, but everyone calls me Fax because of my middle name is Fairfax; I am the navigator and my partner here is Fred Raynham, he is our pilot."

Ike hands over the envelope containing the telegram to Fred.
"Listen to this Fax. Said Fred, slapping the paper with the back of his hand, so as to give emphasis to what he was about to say.  Old Vice Admiral Kerr will be here in a couple of weeks with his HP monstrosity. I'd give anything to be the one who takes the prize away from that old blow hard; what does he know about flying ~~ he certainly didnt come up the hard way, like the rest of us.
I can just imagine that he will have the whole Island working for his team before long Said Fax. Reaching to take the telegram from Freds hand. I heard talk about this Kerr when I signed on at Martinsyde, they said that he was a real operator.
 "We know from what we just heard from Eric; that Hawker is already doing test flights."
"We had better get moving or we will loose our time advantage."
"Eric how can we find you if we need to?" said Fax.
"Just phone the Reid railway station sir, number 196; everyone there knows me there, I'll get the message, in no time."
"Are they finished installing those new set of plugs?"
"Let's ask Sam." Said Fred, spinning around on one heel and starting for the mechanic working on the engine. "Sam how are you blokes doing? Is she ready to take up for a spin?"
 "Yes sir, everything is ready there is enough fuel in the tanks for a 3 hour flight and the radiator has been topped."

Ike stayed around for a while as they prepared the Martinsyde for it's first test flight since arriving in Newfoundland. The Martinsyde was smaller, faster and more nimble in appearance than Hawker's Sopwith. She was a little 2 bay strutted biplane with a single in-line water cooled Rolls Rice Falcon engine mounted in the nose. She had bright yellow wings and brillant red fuselage and tail; with the word "RAYMOR" painted on the side of the fuselage. Ike looked at the lettering and thought to himself: I bet that marking is a made-up word using the first three letters of the aircrew's names, Raynham and Morgan.

Ike marveled at the way 2 mechanics linked wrists together, while the one nearest the aircraft catching hold of the wooden propeller with his free hand. At the signal "switch off contact" they together, swing the propeller through half a revolution a couple of times, to prime the cylinders with fuel. Then on the signal "switch-on contact", the mechanics once again, swing the propeller and with a cloud of black smoke the huge engine sputtered into life. Then began to run smoothly as she was swung around and headed to the down wind end of the field assisted by the three mechanics positioned at each wing tip and one at the rear guiding her along over the rough ground.

The craft slowly proceeded to the far end of the north field where she was turned southward towards the roadway lying closer to the water the road is flatter and affords the best chance for a clean take-off into the light westerly wind.

Ike heard the engine begin to rev and warm up. The with a mighty roar the craft slowly gathered speed heading right at the spot where he stood.  He stood in aah as the Martinsyde appeared to become light on her undercarriage. Then bounced a couple of times on the rough ground and all at once Ike realized she was in the air, and climbing quickly as she passed directly over his head.

She presented a magnificent site with her yellow wings and brilliant red fuselage she continued her climb now following the Rennies River valley. As he peddled his bicycle back to the Railway Office he could from time to time hear the drone of the engine as the Martesyde gracefully circled overhead. At that moment he thought, how exciting his life had become, and vowed to himself to follow this historical aviation event as closely as his job would permit.
To read all the chapters of The Great Airplane Race of 1919 now

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vintage K & B .049 Glow Model Airplane Engine

Vintage K &;B .049 Glow Model Airplane Engine first introduced in 1950 by K &;B MANUFACTURING COMPANY in The United States of America, running See this old timer running rich on 15% nitro 20% caster glow fuel by clicking the object below.

For more information on other model aircraft vintage engines,don't forget to visit my other Blog at: http://antiquemodelenginesrunning.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

RC Warbirds

I have two versions of the Thunderbolt in my collection. The first one I acquired was a very early version kitted by TopFlite that could be built as either a razor back or bubble canopy version. This is a 60 size model Powered by Nitro burning Super Tiger 61 2-C Engine. Mine was built with the bubble canopy, with flaps and fixed landing gear. Originally the model had a single center mounted servo for aileron control but was later modified to duel outboard mounted servos to increase response time. The model is heavy and very prone to snap roll on take-off and was damaged and repaired on several occasions due to this type of accident.

The Razor Back version is an 1/6 size ARF by Global. Equipped with a Nitro Burning Thunder Tiger 80 4-C Engine, mechanical retracts for main landing gear and on-board ignition. The model is, as the manufacturer says "The sweetest flying Warbird you could ever own" Constructed with a balsa built up fuselage, wing, and tail, it is very light and with the 80 size engine it can really scat.

Pica 1/6 size Spitfire
I purchased this old Warbird many years ago at a club auction for $75. The model at that time was powered with a balky old Super Tiger 60 2 stroke engine, which was really not powerful enough to reliably fly this heavy model. After two or three flights semi successful flights I crashed it on take-off, when the left wing suddenly stalled shortly after take-off; Attempts to regain control by applying opposite aileron were taken several times and each attempt precipitated successive snap rolls each more violent than the last. The last snap was quickly followed by a a head long nose dive into the ground, destroying the fuselage back to the cockpit . The plane was slowly rebuil a little bit at a time over the next 10-12 years which is sometimes of the way that I operate. Difficult unpleasant tasks are sometimes easiest when taken one step at a time, I find. The current Fox engine engine was installed when it suddenly became available the day I crashed my Sig, Goseny"s, Ryan red and white STA which was designed by the renowned Maxi Hessiler. The first flight after rebuilding was not totally successful and I was very lucky to wrestle it back to the ground in one piece. The problem this time was a very severe aft center of gravity condition. I have since added six iron weights from a diver's belt to the engine compartment which has brought the center of gravity forward to an acceptable position approximating the quarter cord position. I have just put in a very nice flight with the model with the cowl removed. All attempts to operate the engine after that flight have proved unsuccessful. I have since uncovered the source of the problem and the engine would start after I plugged an open hole in the crank case cover. Apparently an attachment screw had loosened and fallen out at the end of that flight. I find that the Fox 61 is not a good engine for modeler like myself; not because it is poorly designed but, because, Phillip's head screws were used to assemble it, instead of socket heads. The Phillip's can't be tightened enough to prevent them from loosening from vibration.

 FW 190
This 40 year RC FW190 is still flying well with its OS 61 FSR 2 Stroke Engine, which can really turn up a storm , under cowl, even on a hot summer's day. Originally fitted with a Super tiger 56 the OS has been working reliably since installed 25 years ago without even having to adjust the fuel mixture setting. Judging from the way, the camouflage scheme hides it against the green background its a wonder that I can manage to control it.

Stearman PT 17 WW1 Basic Trainer

This aircraft is probably my favorite trainer aircraft. Back in the 1960's I attended a model airplane contest featuring scale A/C. The model which most impressed me was a PT-17 from a Sterling kit. I knew at that moment that I just had to have one someday. Then in the 1980's Sterling under the leadership of the founder's son turned out a new production run of the old PT-17 kit. Building from a box of balsa was not that attractive to me at that time since I had just moved in to the old farm house in Russell with a thousand things to maintain and a barn half full with 3 horses, I had no time or place to build the big biplane. Luckily I did have a good work friend who loved to build and was somewhat of a craftsman to boot, so I engaged him to construct the model for me. After a couple of years of waiting my Stearling was ready for flight. She flew straight as an arrow without any trim adjustments and to my delight landed with a constant sink rate and perfect flare. The big disappointment came when I walked up to her, it was then that I discovered that the landing gear had completely flattened out, even though the touchdown had been very gentle. When I tried to straighten the wheels I discovered to my horror that the wire reformed to it's original shape with almost no resistance. The wire was soft and not heat treated and it would have to be replaced. After much thought I came up with a practical repair which did not involve tearing apart the beautifully built structure. This repair which is far too complicated to describe here, involved pealing away the balsa wood strut fairings and attaching another reinforcing member fabricated from 5/32 music wire and fixing to the bulkhead at the wing leading edge via J bolts.
For a number of years I worked at Rockcliffe airbase home of Canada's Aviation Museum and on special occasions I treated myself to a ride.

Ryan PT 20 STA

Powered with a Thunder Tiger 52 4-C fully cowled, Nitro burning engine. Featuring full flying wires and on-board ignition. This ARF flies beautifully but the fully cowled engine if prone to overheating and some modifications will have to be made. There needs to be a larger cutout at the bottom of the cowl to let air to escape.

Will Hobbies 120 Size Zero

Now a days, like everyone else I have discovered how good the ARF's are:-

Just finished putting together my new Will Hobbies 120 Size Zero ARF Warbird. Although I am not a perfectionist when it comes to scale model aircraft (more of a semi scale guy I would say) This model looks good to my eye. I opted for retractable landing gear over the fixed gear material supplied with the kit. The 60-120 gear legs that I installed were to short fit the wheel wells and had to be lengthened by about one half inch to fit properly. I accomplished this by using a pair of Dubro Axel fittings which was a little unorthodox in its application. I threaded 6-32 bolts into the threaded hole at the bottom of the fitting, intended for the axle locking grub screws and fitted regular axle fittings to the screws. The Engine mount set-up allows me to run a 120 four stroke inverted or a 90 two stroke side mounted with a Pitts style muffler located at the bottom of the cowl. The pictures show an Enya 120 four stroke fitted. The completed model ready to fly (wet) weighs 11.33 pounds or 5.14 KG. The center of gravity is a little too far aft and will have to be moved forward about a half inch before attempting a flight.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cox .010 World's Smallest Production Model Airplane Engine

The Cox .010 was credited as being the world's smallest production Model Airplane Engine, with a displacement of a mere 0.010 cubic inches or (0.164 CC). The small size of the Cox TD 010 can be appreciated if one considers it's relative size to that of the U.S. Quarter coin. The TD name selected by Cox to associate with his new breed of little powerhouses is derived from the Thimble Drone name which is in turn associated to his line of midget racing  cars to signify small size, speed and power all at the same time.

The Cox .010 is out of production and is no longer available. The engine featured in the video clip below sat on a shelf for years and I would pick it up from time to time to flip the propeller and marvel at it's high compression and high standards of precision manufacturing that went into it's production. After all those years of sitting in a box and gathering dust,when one day  I just couldn't resist having a go at running it for myself.

Specifications: Displacement: .010 CI   (.164 CC);
                         Weight: .05 Oz; (1.4 grams);
                         Maximum RPM 30000 1/min on its 3 x 1.25 inch propeller.

Click the Play Button on the object below and see the little demon running on a rich mixture of 15% nitro fuel it will really turn up the revs when leaned out and fueled with 40% Missile Mist it will literally scream. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

World's Smallest RC Biplane

Once touted as the World's Smallest RC Biplane this 14.24 inch Paquette Bipe is powered with a Modela 270 cubic cm Motor. The tiny biplane is constructed entirely of 1/16 th sheet balsa and is 2 channel radio controlled, with rudder and elevator. The  very short 1.5 to 2 minute motor run time means that this iis not a very practical flier but it also allows for the use of the smallest radio batteries that can be found.