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330. Pulsometer


Yesterday was the first time I’d actually managed to get the pulsometer working in flight.

2017-10-09 Pulsometer.jpgWe’d primed it carefully and left it switched off when we started it. When we ground ran it, one or two bubbles of air came through, and we could see that at slow revs it was starting to empty but more or less stayed full once we were up at full rpm.

So when I flew I took off with it switched off, but switched it on once I was clear of the circuit, and lo and behold, the level remained constant.

Result? Well, not really. I tried hard and failed to see any regular fluctuation in the level to indicate that the pump was working.

Thereafter I forgot to switch it off, and by the time I got back it had emptied again.

It’s clearly not the most useful piece of kit in the cockpit, but it seems a shame for it to remain empty, so I think we may reposition it below the level of the oil pump so that at least it remains full of oil under all circumstances, and we can see if it provides more useful information in the longer term.

The current position is based on a factory drawing, but clearly if it didn’t work there it’s very likely that engineers in the field would have repositioned it so that it did, and it’s not very likely that this information would have got back to the drawing office in Filton!


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  1. Is a pulsometer fitted to any other WW1 aircraft with ? Wouldn’t the position of the device on other Le Rhone installations be relevant?

    • They are standard fit for all rotary engines. The Camel and Pup I think are fitted lower; can’t remember about the Bristol Monoplane.

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