A return to model building and flying. Part 5

Engine Aches and Pains

July 2004

engine test stand I had the need to run all of my old diesels to make sure they were still OK after all this time, especially the PAW 2.5 which I will be using in the small stunter I am building, the six glow engines will have to wait untill I can locate a few parts like silencers, and get my glow plug battery system working again. I had resurrected my old engine test stand and screwed it to a pile of old wood I found lying around at home. So, armed with my old repainted field box, six diesel engines and a tin of fuel, I set off for the local club field.

All the engines started without too many problems and what to do with the compression screw and needle settings to get them just off the crackle soon came back to me. I would have been surprised if it didn't as I have been staring diesels on and off since the age of around 12, I'm now 57. In the early days the ones most of us could afford were always second hand, and of dubious condition. Because of this I unconsciously developed a flick technique that somewhat resembles a karate chop to the prop blade near to the hub. I very rarely get cut fingers this way, and as long as the engine has not flooded and developed a hydraulic lock, it works most times. The only blood drawn was catching my little finger against the back of a prop while struggling with a stiff needle valve, the only one I hadn't got some sort of an extension tool for. Oh well, first blood.

At one point after getting a PAW 1.5 to stir into life, Bob Stanley leaned over my shoulder with a big grin toothy grin and said, "Ah! but will it start now it's hot?" Three flicks later it burst into song again. At which point Bob gave a very big "Tut!" and walked off muttering, to show off the 30cc Super Tigre someone had GIVEN! to him.

The only engine with a minor problem was the 0.75cc DC Merlin which has a stuck contra piston. You can screw it down but the ignition cycle will not push it back up. I'm sure that can be sorted out at some time.

After the compulsory one hour midday break in the club hut, the weather began to close in and the wind speed increased. And so ended what I thought was a fairly productive morning.

That night I was kept awake by a nagging pain that ran along my arm from the wrist of my right hand, up my inner forearm to the elbow joint. In my sleep deprived state (I am always in this state at night, but not with a pain like this as well) it was 02:00 in the morning when my brain made the connection. This is the set of muscles I use to stop the karate chop. If I don't stop the follow through I can keep hitting my rib cage with my hand. In the end I was up at 06:00 with hardly any sleep and feeling like a zombie.

Conclusion: as with the flying, I am well out of practice.

Twister However the flying has gone one step further. Pete Catlow let me fly his Fancher Twister (a kitted and modified Twister). The wind was quite calm at the time, for a change. I managed to attempt a few laps of inverted, a few inside and outside loops, a square loop and and a lot of lazy eights; none of it very pretty.

The handle adjustment was a slightly out for me, so it really wasn't a fair trial, plus the nervousness of flying someone else's model, and, [sic] "the nine carefully laid and domed slabs," which mark the centre of the circle and always make me feel I am about to trip up.

I still haven't go my C/L legs back as it where, it may be due to a bout of sciatica in my left leg that left me flat on the floor and unable to walk for a few months some years ago. I still limp slightly on that leg. All this came into play. And I am still not used to models set up to pull like this. I really knew it was pulling hard when the Irvine 36 stunt leaned out at the end of the run. There is no way around that problem until I can build and fly my own models, setting them up to suit me

But it is progress, when I think of handful of flights I have made with other peoples very different models since the bug bit again. This is only my sixth or seventh flight in total.

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