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272. Bits and Pieces

10/09/2016

This is what happens if you leave your aircraft at the Shuttleworth Collection. The engine has now been reduced to every one of its component parts, and is spread all over Phil’s workshop.

AA tableful of engine bits. Connecting rods on the left (note the unusual big ends), the bloc-tube carburettor in the middle, and the commutator ring on the right.

A tableful of engine bits. Connecting rods on the left (note the unusual big ends), the bloc-tube carburettor in the middle, and the commutator ring on the right.

We had a quick peek today while we were collecting the airframe for its static display at the Bovington tank museum next weekend, and to have got so far in just a week is simply astonishing.

Everything is gleaming and clean, labelled and examined. Until we’ve heard Phil’s final report we aren’t sure what, if anything, needs to be replaced, but it’s clear that the vast bulk of it is absolutely fine, though we believe it will need new piston rings, the others having not bedded in very successfully.

Here you can see the core of the engine - the crankshaft, and the crankcase. On the top right is one of the cam rings for actuating the valves

Here you can see the core of the engine – the crankshaft, and the crankcase. On the top right is one of the cam rings for actuating the valves

Three cylinders, all cleaned up, with the valves lapped to ensure we get perfect compression.

Three cylinders, all cleaned up, with the valves lapped to ensure we get perfect compression.

And although we had believed that the engine has behaved impeccably throughout the year, and it will be an expensive exercise to get it airworthy again, it’s a real pleasure to see inside, and to understand more fully how it all works. We both hope to be able to get up to the Shuttleworth when Phil’s working on it to be able to actually see all the inner workings so that we can get an instinctive feeling for the best way to treat it.

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From → Technical

5 Comments
  1. daftasabrush46 permalink

    A sacred job. I bet you did a lot of Airfix or Lego in your youth! Good luck sticking it all back together again. My attempts with anything mechanical, usually result in a lot of screws, nuts, and small bits left over usually. Thankfully some folks are both imbued with a sense of history, remembrance, and mechanical ability. Bonne chance etbon weekend from a “Wild Goose” in northern France.

  2. What was the source of your engine? I gather that recently it came from the NZL, and originally it was American built? Is that right? Do you know what its been doing for the last 100 years and how much is original?

  3. I was curious about how there comes to be an operational – or reparable to operational – 100 year old engine available. Presumably it can’t have been on a complete museum exhibit, but has it been found in a crate somewhere or did a museum dispose of an engine only exhibit they no longer required, or what? Or are you not really allowed to say?

  4. I don’t know the precise details of this engine, but there are quite a number in private collectors’ hands, or that sometimes come up in sales and so on. There’s one probably available in the USA at the moment I think.

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