With the one hundredth anniversary of the conclusion of the First World War having just occurred, it is sobering to look back at the needlessness of it all. It is also incredible to think that this model I am building was flying in anger as a full size German fighter over a century previously. Looking at Google images to see machine gun details, what was installed was certainly a lethal combination. It looks cold, hard, aggressive and very dangerous. Non of us would have liked to have been on the receiving end of that pair of machine guns. My rendition, hardly does that aspect credit. However, it hints at the menace. The Fokker Dr1 was the aircraft in which Baron von Richthofen lost his life after a duel with Britsh Ace, Albert Ball. In the final analysis though, the final shots which downed the German pilot were eventually credited to a ground machine gun battery.
The fuselage is now completely covered in the iron on, heat activated covering. Each side took around an hours work with attention being paid to getting cut edges and compound cures looking neat and tidy. Glue spew from the adhesive covering is simply removed using a cloth saturated in acetone. Joints become almost unseen given enough attention to detail. It is quite rewarding to seen the covering applied after three weeks of intensive building. German decal markings and the cowl "face" have been added using appropriately coloured additional covering material. A few more days of careful work and finally fitting all the separate parts to the fuselage will have this model ready to fly.
This model is seriously RED. Very RED indeed! It is quite an eye full and will appear even REDDER when the wings get bolted on tomorrow. Floor to top of upper wing measures 26". This doesn`t sound that big but one has to be very careful taking this model through doorways. It is quite bulky and cumbersome. Being lightly built, it would be very easy to damage this model within the home or during road transport.
The fuselage is now complete with nothing more to add. This weighs in at 8.2Lbs/3.76Kg. The wings and two small 17gm electric servos tip the scales at 1.85Lbs/0.84Kg. The combined weight comes out at 10.1Lbs/3.76Kg. That weight is about 0.7Kg more than specified in the makers specification. Am I suprized? No is the short answer. Manufacturers weights are always over-light and in my opinion, overly optimistic. That said, this model has a very large motor and a slightly oversized Lipo battery. I also have a smaller battery in stock and which is presently in the Ultra Stick. Changing batteries would save exactly half a pound in weight. Early indications are that the Centre of Gravity will fall into a realistic place and that little or no adjustment other than shifting the Lipo battery around will be required.
Tomorrow should see this model finished. Then I`ll need something else to build.
The finished weight of the complete air-frame is 10.3Lbs/4.67Kg. The Centre of Gravity is located on the mid-wing main spar approximately one third back from the leading edge of that wing. I was given the "heads up" by George at 4-Max who supplied the kit and power gear that the indicated CoG on the manual was incorrect. This would lead to an extreme tail heaviness and an almost uncontrollable model. I`m grateful to one of Georges` other customers for feeding back this important information. Its quite beyond understanding how the kit manufacturer got this vital flying component so very wrong and it isn`t the first time that I`ve seen incorrect CoG in kits and on plans. At least we caught the matter before the first flight.
The finished model is a real belter visually. All who have seen it instantly remark on the vibrant and super shiny red Hobby King covering. The fact that the carefully matched, painted engine cowl has a shade of red that looks almost identical in colour to the covering finish is an added plus point. As a finished job, it looks like the model has been two pack, high gloss paint sprayed in a finishing bay....it is that good. It is certainly an eye-full and will have huge spectator appeal. Although that finish is not accurate for a scale model of the 1914-18 era, (matt finish on full size aircraft) this concerns me not one jot. The visual jolt is what makes this model so very appealing and something which I`m proud and pleased to have created. See what you think. If it flies as well as it looks, then I shall be positively ebullient!
I`ll post more images once I get this model outside on a nice day.
To add to the fun, I received a "heads up" from George, the guy who supplied my Dr1 model kit. One of his customers reported a flying issue with an identical Dr1. The customer is an aerodynamisist who had noticed an incorrectly positioned C of G and also that the top wing incidence angle was excessive. In addition, that top wing was set back by around 10mm when a straight edge was placed in contact with the leading edges of all three wings. My model exhibited the same fault. I already knew about the incorrect C of G which I had corrected.
A few days passed whilst the three of us brainstormed the issue. I then viewed a Youtube video posted by another guy, Bob, on Hayling Island. He again had an identical kit. His model also flew badly and he suggested some corrective action. He had also had contact with Georges` customer. The aerodynamicist had put the model design through a CAD machine and allowed the program to investigate the reasons for these peculiar geometrical problems. The upshot of our conversations and the CAD work was that 14mm needed removing from the length of front centre section cabane struts and the mounting hole re-drilled, again 14mm lower. This would allow the top wing to rotate downwards at the leading edge and obtain correct incidence angle and correct alignment with the leading edges of the mid and lower wings. Having spoken to Bob, he also said the model was inherently unstable, especially when climbing for altitude. He recommended a larger rudder and bracing struts on the tail-plane to prevent an issue with it deflecting rather badly. All three problems have now been addressed on my model and images here show the corrective actions applied.
To say that finding and having to correct these major issues from an otherwise reasonably well developed kit, is annoying to say the least. Non of us in this four person contact loop are particularly happy. It is rare to find such major issues and George will be contacting the kit maker in China with a bit of a moan, rather than a complaint. We would like the manufacturers comments and their corrective advice at the very least. The sadness is that non of us speak Chinese!
Bob has also modified the aileron control system to give more differential to up and down going aileron surfaces. The down going aileron needs proportionally less movement that the up going surface. This is quite important on this type of design and helps alleviate adverse yaw when the ailerons are operated. I`ll be doing this modification shortly.
I think what I am seeing is a somewhat under-developed product. The build manual certainly lacks some prime and essential detail. All of us having built this model are of the same opinion. That is rather disappointing but hopefully it can be sorted. The weather is currently dire so test flying is in any case on hold until a suitable opportunity presents itself.
A replacement radio transmitter, identical to the unit that failed on me has arrived from Germany. It is listed as being little used and to all intents appears as brand new. That unit is now speaking to me in English after a few minutes of button pushing. The failed unit appears to be suffering a screen failure. I managed to get that radio going again but the screen flickers and pixelisation is far from satisfactory. I`m hoping a simple £38 screen change will get it fixed. It would be good to have a spare transmitter to hand. I`m still feeling pretty naffed about the wrecked Lipo batteries that died as a result of faulty charger issues. For the future I shall be watching any charger for faulting and keeping a very close eye on the resulting condition of these Lipo units to ensure they do not receive the treatment metered out by my Fathers evil old charger.
I`ve an eye on another Dancing Wings model from China. Dare I say it but it is made by the same company that produced the somewhat idiosyncratic Tri-plane that has just bee completed. My head in the noose for a second time..... DW produce a number of different kits and a very nice looking De Havilland Tiger Moth of 60"/1440mm wingspan. The kit has been around for a while so it is reasonable to assume most, if not all of the design bugs have been worked out. Videos on Youtube certainly show a model that flies without issues. Construction follows the typical laser cut material and design cues that have appeared in the Tri-plane, the DV11 and the SE5a.
The kit will be ordered soon direct from the makers and in this case features the base wood kit together with an appropriate electric motor, speed controller and four 17gm servos for flying surface controls. The price of the kit including post from China is a very reasonable £147. It will be ordered as soon as my funds have recovered from the recent onslaught. I`ve now found the wholesaler for the nice covering material used to partially cover the DV11 and also the Tri-plane. This find brings the costs of coverings crashing down in price with a five metre x 600mm roll costing just £7.50 per roll. This is good news for me as I was finding I was spending around £60 on coverings each time I built a model. Now that I have these costs under better control, I suspect I shall be able to make a 75% saving on each project undertaken.
The Shuttleworth Collection have a very dynamic looking Tiger Moth with the livery of the Central Flying School aerobatic display team of the late 1930`s. My intention is to introduce that gorgeous red, white, blue and silver colour scheme onto my intended Tiger Moth model. I think you will agree, this paint scheme is rather stunning. A comment by my lovely and very wise five year old grand-daughter lead me to review my model flying plans. Young Esme said that my models were really too nice to risk flying. I think she has a good point. In the light of her observations, I decided I really needed more flying experience with low value models before I start flying my recent time consuming projects. Whilst the small Ultra Stick makes a very good and docile advanced trainer, it still represents about a £400 outlay which I`m loath to risk especially in winter flying conditions. I surmised it would be better to buy a couple of cheap, used, proven, if battered, old hack models and continue my learning curve on those. Today, eBay turned up two somewhat tatty but fairly sound models that fitted my purpose to perfection. Both are well known advanced trainer types and have ready fitted control servos, fuel tanks and two stroke glow plug motors. The package also includes an old FM type transmitter (that can go back on eBay!) a flight stand/box with electric distribution panel and an electric starter motor. £80 seemed an acceptable price for the pile and I`m awaiting a trip to Essex on Saturday morning to collect my winnings. Both models could do with recovering and inevitably some re-working. I can smash and bash these expendable models around and not worry if they get damaged or destroyed. I know that makes sense!! Pretty these models are not but they can be made to look presentable. The represent an answer to a need. Mike
My haul appears generally to be a very good pile. Two models, both with engines. One much better than the other. The better one is now in the refit stage. It is structurally sound, hardly battered but has awful colours, dull red with light blue trim. Now stripped down with the blue taken off, engine out, landing gear off, nylon covering on the fuselage removed, I can see the wood from the trees. (Joke for David Randall...he likes tree jokes). posting.php?mode=edit&f=280&p=74366#
This model has a polystyrene wing core skinned with balsa veneer with the fuselage in sheet balsa and micro ply reinforcement. Its is 95% good and essentially is all there for the future. A few hours now has this model looking rather more presentable using covering scraps left over from previous projects. The fuselage are tonight recovered and the wing is in the process of having a matching colour scheme applied. I paid £80 for the total haul. Given there are loads of useful components in the deal, I value the nicer model of the two has stood me in all of £15 which includes fully functioning if ancient, working radio gear! This little model is turning into a nice little and very usable model and fits my need for an expendable model which can be bashed and smashed without damaging finances. Oddly, its becoming quite smart and presentable even though it is made from all the sweepings off the floor.
The second rather older model is a mess. It has been "hedged" many times and is very battered. The wing is of conventional construction but some of the balsa wing skins are split and impact damaged. It has little dihedral and is fitted with aileron control surfaces. However, that wing will repair easily and will fit the Mini Super trainer model that I built in the Summer. The fuselage has so many visible repairs that any further refurbishment is not viable. It is an old sh###r. It has its own mold colony growing within. I can`t be bothered with this thing, so it has been stripped of good bits and met its end under my right foot. It is now been further compacted to manageable proportions and is destined for the Council incinerator tomorrow morning! I enjoyed that!
Both models had almost new glow plug motors. As I looked at the models on Saturday evening, I discovered that both had Ni-MH battery packs in a charged condition and four Futaba servos each, all forwards compatible with my other radio gear. In addition, two 35Mhz receivers and a compatable transmitter were in a box. It was fully charged charged and operative. I plugged the gear together and to my astonishment, both sets work! Although this type of radio equipment is in the vintage category, it is simple and effective. It is the same type of equipment I used some forty years earlier. It is crystal frequency controlled and one has to be careful when flying with others using similar old style equipment. You have to ensure you are all using different frequencies or the risk of electronically shooting down another model becomes a reality. CB radio transmission can also affect this type of gear. It isn`t really a risk nowadays. CB is long out of favour. People prefer mobile phones. I had considered putting this old gear on eBay but have now terminated the idea. There is an identical set up listed presently. It looks as if it will sell for about £25....on the basis of that, I might as well use this old gear myself but only on expendable models. In perspective it was state of the art forty years ago and we were pleased to have it. It worked then and it is working now. I might as well get some use from it rather than give it away for next to nothing!
The good model is now partially recovered and has an almost new engine mount salvaged from the model which met such a crushing end to life. The fuel tank will be cleaned out, a few mods worked into the model and it will soon be ready to fly. My haul also included various bits of field kit which were found in a nice varnished field service carry box. That is fitted with a 12v electrical system driving an electric fuel distribution and evacuation pump, 6v power to provide current for glow plug engine starting and best of all, a small electric hand held starter motor. The box however, requires a replacement lead acid motor cycle type battery to become operational. All in all, I had a great deal for pepper-corn money.
I really must stay off eBay....it is just far too tempting. I was to have bid on a nice 71" Stampe bi-plane kit but that didn`t work out. Then I discovered an American part completed balsa/ply kit for an 80" Extra 300S aerobatic model. It had been built up from the kit but never finished. I`d say the model has consumed about two hundred hours of somebody`s time and patience. I know how long it takes to construct this type of air-frame.
The current price for the kit which is only available from the States is an incredible £967 plus £50 carriage, plus 17.5% UK import VAT and carrier delivery costs this side of the pond. The seller for this Uk constructed example, lives in Birmingham and seems a good type. He bought this partially completed model for £140 two weeks ago. He then decided he wanted the big 120" version so put the model back on eBay. I saw no interest generated, so gave the seller a call. A short chat and the model became mine for £75! I`m due in Stourbridge tomorrow morning to collect this amazing bargain. The seller is a total model nut and needs the cash urgently to help fund his monster sized version.
What I`ve bought looks reasonably good in the eBay pictures so the Peugeot comes out to play again to collect this next win. This image does the build little credit but the model is in only part completed form and is visually more like a stranded whale than a high performance stunt model..... Parts to complete the model are also present together with a prized glass fibre engine cowl and a vac formed cockpit canopy. The seller tells me the model is well built, does not have a load of excess glue on joints, is damage free and doesn`t exhibit any negative issues which require attention. Tomorrow will tell, but I`m confident all will be well and that I have acquired my best bargain of the year. No wonder I find eBay so addictive!! Nearly a thousand pounds worth of model for just seventy five! One of my auction sourced engines will be suitable for this model together with four standard sized servos taken from the stripped and flattened model which I bought on Saturday. This is just like horse trading but better. Another ex-tree about to be re-circulated...I got there before Mr Randall could add another one of his witty comments in the same vein!!
More news once I get back from the 300 mile round trip to Stourbridge tomorrow afternoon. Young Jenner told me once that if I wanted bargains, then I would have to travel. That advice seems to be proving good.
Away this morning at 08.30 in dense fog and torrential rain. The M25 up to Heathrow was its usual joyous self. Arrived in Stourbridge without issue by 10.45 and did the deal with the excellent eBay seller of the Extra. The model has a few years on it since last worked on. The construction is of quite reasonable quality although only about 80% finished. So all the hard work has been done. The model needs a good sanding, ailerons to be cut from the structure, wings joined, fitted with radio and control runs, an engine installed and covered. It is at a nice stage for my attentions. A large cardboard box held more goodies. A set of full sized plans, an engine cowl, a massive Duralumin under-carriage and an unmarked, clear plastic cockpit canopy. The seller was a delight and if he lived closer, I`m sure we would have become good friends. The return trip was in the same conditions as my outward journey. All very dank and miserable but I was home by 14.00 hrs. I`m glad I don`t have to drive that 300mile round trip every day. My eye balls have an imprint of large white, long wheel base Mercedes Sprinters burned into them. Every other vehicle on the road seems to be a Sprinter.....one gets fed up with the same view for five hours!!
Was the part built Extra worth the £75 I paid? Most definitely. I didn`t just buy the model, I think I stole it! Mr Jenner clearly taught me something about "robbery with a smile"!! One has to ask though....how on Earth can this kit be currently available for well over £950 retail? Yes, it is very well produced and some of the gear such as the undercarriage and canopy are quality and expensive bits of kit. Various fixtures and fittings are also present. The prices for those parts as single pieces can quickly add up at the local model shop. Plywood and balsa isn`t terribly costly though. Plans cost a bit to produce and then there are the development, manufacture, marketing and profit margins to add into the equation. Even so, it is a mightily expensive kit to buy at retail rates. Given the original costs, its quite incredible that the model devalued so much as it obviously passed through a number of owners hands. I imagine the first owner got so far with building before loosing interest. The model kit may well have been through several aspiring modellers before the recent eBay seller also bumped it on. It seems I am the bottom line happy chappie. I now have a decent winter build project to get my teeth into. Images now. As you can see, the buy was a bumper bundle which probably needs about 100hrs of my input and probably another £100 of cash by the time it is ready to look for trees around the flying site.
Time for bed. It feels like I`ve had a long day.
A club meeting took place last night. The Fokker tri-plane was very well received and looked over in great detail by several members. First flights will take place when the Spring arrives. No point in getting it covered in thick mud as would occur if I took it up to the field at this time of year. Now is the time for winter building merriment.
With me to the meeting also went the fuselage of the recently acquired Extra. The guys thought I`d done well with the purchase deal. This model is a top bracket machine and deserves the best building standards and equipment available. It is of a higher quality and vastly more robustly constructed unit than some of the typical "value" pre-build and pre-covered Far Eastern offerings that are so very common on the modelling scene. This model lifts the whole game standard to a much higher level with costs to match. Advice sought last night suggests that the motor should be a two stroke petrol unit of flat twin cylinder layout with spark ignition. It should be of around 40cc capacity and able to produce about 4hp on a 19/20" propeller. The motor suggested is from the well known and respected Chinese DLE manufacturer with a good spares back up and service and the potential to fit an electric starter motor unit at a later date. The starter option appeals to me and gets around the need to either risk ones fingers if hand starting or having to use a stand alone electric starter motor.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... AoA-MS6l57
Non of this kit comes and I need to find about £500 to fund that power plant alone. New and used units are plentiful on the internet. The twin cylinder layout was recommended to avoid harsh vibration which is common with single cylinder units of this capacity. The unit runs with 3% two stroke oil in unleaded petrol and has a spark ignition module with crank position sensor. The ignition is powered by a separate Li-fe stand alone battery. Separate exhaust silencers bolt to each cylinder and the carburetor is pressure fed with a cold start "choke" unit being part of that carburetor. A stand alone display smoke system with its own oil tank and pump is also available as an option. Dimension drawings are on the internet which means one can build the model on the basis of a particular chosen power plant coming to hand at a later date. An email has been sent to Father Christmas in expectation.....
So as the excitement begins to build, I spent an hour this morning looking at equipment options, costs and weights. Pre-planning is essential to get the specification correct before proceeding with the build. A specification mistake will be costly to rectify. I complied a list of chosen mechanical, electronic and air-frame components with a view to ascertaining what will keep this model within a practical and typical flying weight limit. The British Model Flying Association (of which I am a member) in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority and affiliated UK model flying clubs have an agreed model weight limit of 15.6Lb/7Kg above which higher level regulations become mandatory. This Midwest Extra 300S model of 80" wingspan should just be able to conform to the more user friendly under 7Kg rules.
So my session earlier this morning was to undertake a crash(sic) calculation of air-frame, engine and other equipment weight to ensure that what I`m about to construct fits within that 7Kg limit. A electronic cell with a weighing hook was used to weigh the components I have to hand with other weights being taken from the manufacturers published specifications. Totaling the weight of some twenty known object components and materials needed for this build, my estimate is that this Extra will not weigh anything less than 13.9Lbs/6.3Kg. On the basis of that, I`ll have to be very conscious of the weight of any extra materials or components that have not been factored into my known and current equations as put down on paper this morning.
The compiled weight schedule is very revealing. For instance, the DLE 40cc motor with exhaust parts and ignition module weighs in at an awesome 3.3Lbs/1.5Kg. The bare ply fuselage currently weighs 2.83Lb/1.29K with the bare wings each weighing 1Lb/0.45Kg. I can only estimate the plastic covering film weight based on an estimate of what square metre-age of material I expect to have to apply. The covering material is expected to weigh nearly 2Lb/0.8Kg. It never fails to amaze me how the weight of all this kit adds up and as a model completes. That accumulated weight seems to pile on by the ton! Midwest, the kit maker suggests a finished weight of 15-17Lbs for this Extra. I`ll therefore be working hard to ensure my model completes within the lower BMFA limit of 15.6Lb. I foresee this might be no easy task.
I`ve now to just complete one of the cheapo little models I picked up on Saturday and that will then become the low value, winter disposable hack model. That is this mornings task.
My trawl for a Chinese made DLE 40cc flat twin petrol engine started in all innocence this afternoon as internet research window shopping. UK supplied units retail at £429 which includes twin mufflers, a solid state spark ignition module, back plate engine mount, NGK spark plugs and wiring harness. Too much for me presently. Then tantalizingly one of the UK DLE main agents was offering a refurbished unit on eBay, rebuilt, checked over, bench tested in their service department and to be sold with a short six month warranty. Almost indistinguishable from a brand new item, £100 was taken from the "new" price. I tried a phone haggle but to no avail. In any case, I knew the price was reasonable but its always worth talking to a seller about a potential deal. I`m never afraid to ask. So out came my card yet again and the job was quickly done before some other blighter nicked the thing from under me. I have no regrets because a similar deal probably won`t be seen very often and good, used second hand units will often have a suspect in service history and little or no effective warranty.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... AoA-MS6l57
This motor is indeed a fair old lump weighing in as a complete unit at 3.5Lbs/1.5Kg. That will be about one quarter of the total all up flying weight of this model. I suspect that elevator and rudder servos will have to be tail mounted to help correct and achieve a correct Centre of Gravity position. Power batteries and any other heavy objects may also have to be moved rearwards to help achieve that aim.
Hmmm. There goes my case of Bollinger! 2 pints of lager and a packet of crisps? Sounds like the start of a good night out! 25 litres of industrial alcohol? Probably unadvisable. How about 25 litres of Dexron 3? (Ice and a slice of course)With a pressing need for engine funds chewing on my mind, I decided to make some swingeing winter austerity cutbacks in order to ease my funding crisis for the badly needed 40cc, flat twin motor for the Extra 300S build. Without it, it will never be able to fly. As a consequence, I regret to inform that my very great and learned friend David Randall, has had his proposed Christmas present axed....potentially a case of Bollinger chopped from my Christmas present list. This will be replaced by two pints of larger and a packet of crisps. I had considered sending him a 25 litre barrel of industrial alcohol but its poisonous as well as being a bit rough on the pallet. I`m so sorry David, but maybe next year......remember, we are all in it together
An engine conundrum has presented itself over the last few hours. Reference to a knowledgeable flying Club member has thrown up a red flag and caused a whistle to be blown. Whilst my selected DLE40cc motor is well respected, the so called silencer cans are regarded as little more than exhaust gas diverters. Noise attenuation with these bigger model two stroke and indeed four stroke motors can be a big issue. Hopefully all is not lost as there are several after-market model exhaust suppliers and manufacturers in the UK. A phone call tomorrow to at least one of them will I hope turn up either a ready made production system or a bespoke system that can get exhaust noise down to and perhaps below the accepted 82Db A scale limit. Db meters are easily available from eBay for as little as £8. Chinese as usual!
If I fail to obtain a reliable assurance tomorrow that noise cannot be contained to 82Db, then I shall have to consider cancelling my placed order. That would be a great shame.
My alternative option is to electrically power this model. My great friend George at 4-Max models has already said he could provide the necessary electric motor, electronic speed control and UBEC separate receiver power tap off unit as parts to get this model flying as an electric example. Although not in this case not my favoured route for a high performance aerobatic model, this may end up as the only sensible option if I can`t get the assurances I need for the use of the twin cylinder petrol motor.
When you are on the cutting edge of research and development, one can occasionally expect an issue to arise. This is one of those times. Three steps forward and one step backwards.
What we have is an NVH problem. Noise, vibration and harshness. Its not all down to the exhaust system. Propeller speed must be kept below 0.7 Mach to avoid "prop ripping". Most of us will have heard that at an airshow when a Stearman bi-plane or a Harvard performs aerobatics. In such cases the speed of the propeller tips break the sound barrier and we hear that un-fogettable "Harvard Howl". Great for airshows but not for model flyings` tenuous hold on its now increasingly very rare and carefully husbanded flying sites. Air-frame vibration and several other factors also cause noise issues. The challenge is to get them under control and I`m now right in the middle of it. This will be an interesting journey and one that I may or may not be able to get to grips with. Time, cash and determination will have to be thrown at the problem in some quantity before a successful conclusion is achieved. Think of this engine as being a noisy two cylinder equivalent of a two stroke chain saw. We all know how noisy and un-silenced those things are as well as being very irritating if you are in ear shot. That is the effect I have to zero out.
Early morning was consumed obtaining an MOT for the XJR. Apart from a worn front air-spring to lower drop arm bush being surprisingly but only slightly worn, the car passed but only after being given a blast at 2000rpm for a couple on minutes to get some heat back into the free flowing sports catalytic converters. I`m wise to this possibility now as this is the third MOT with the sports cats fitted and I know that loss of heat is an issue with these cats. They flow so quickly that the baby goes out with the exhaust "water". I knew this issue would arise so switched on my Torque Pro app on the phone and plugged the ELM327 blue-tooth chip into the OBD port on the car. Sure enough, even with the engine idling over a ten minute period on the ramp, I watched on the phone screen as the near side rear Lambda sensor flat-lined. The MOT man was fascinated. Needless to say he took down all the App details and said he would get the system himself. Sure enough, as the engine was run harder, the Lamda picked up and the emissions dropped to the required level. It pays to be one step ahead of the game! As regards the drop arm bush, that had been replaced only 20k miles earlier. A defective bush? A job for the Spring. I`m certainly not doing it in this Winter weather. Somewhere in the pile, there is a spare one. I just have to find it.
Returning to base camp, I found my new DLE 40cc motor had been delivered. It is very nicely made although the so call mufflers are really only suitable for the bin. Now trial bolted to the air-frame and with images of the fit sent to the model exhaust builders this afternoon, a modified and quieter exhaust system certainly looks feasible. There is plenty of space within the engine cowl but a more substantial exhaust is likely to cost in cash and with a weight penalty. If I couldn`t have taken a joke, I shouldn`t have joined. This petrol, two stoke unit is essentially a refined two cylinder chainsaw motor but needs attention to make it acceptable in a noise conscious environment. I have the core product but need additional parts to be able to use it. A damned expensive chain-saw motor for £330! Note here that one of the standard exhaust boxes contacts the engine mounting bulkhead. The yellow circle depicts this. The new custom built exhaust will get around that and in place of the exhaust box, I am likely to see a header pipe manifold on both cylinder outlets leading to a larger, heavier gauge and rather more satisfactory system. Last night saw me working down one of the two wings. The build as I obtained it needs a fair amount of completion and finishing. The leading edge square sectioned timber had never been planed to an aerofoil section and the sheeting joints also needed sanding down level and glue spew removed. It looks like I`m about to start the same job on the other wing now.
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