Thanks to heroic efforts by Andy and Phil at the Shuttleworth Collection, including Saturday working, the engine was back in the airframe on Monday evening, and they got her running on Tuesday.
There’s a conflict of interests here; clearly one wants to get the rings settled in, but it’s no good running it for any length of time on the ground, or it will overheat.
You could take the cowling off, but you’d end up with a very dirty airframe!
So the preferred technique is to run it for 2-3 minutes at a time, getting half an hour or so total time.
By the end of Wednesday I’d managed to run it up to full power very briefly, and while it’s not possible to give accurate figures yet, it’s clear the engine is giving a lot more power than before.
My first emotion was one of relief; our first engagement is Friday / Saturday, and we’ve managed to achieve that. But not far behind is elation at the wonderful sound of the Le Rhone, and the promise of increased power.
The Shuttleworth has done a wonderful job, and I’m feeling very, very grateful to them. Until the bill turns up…
While I was there, I fitted my cunning safety device that will ensure that we CANNOT run it with the oil turned off.