Great cross-sectioning Guys. It always adds a huge amount of understanding of the workings. The universal application of planetary gears for speed reduction is timeless and a great credit to the inventor. On a smaller scale than the propeller reduction gears shown, we have a typical radial engine inertia-type starter motor with two-stage planetary gears that give 600 to 1 armature to jaw speed or larger ratios in some models.
What some people don't know is that they don't know enough to know that they don't know anything
On Wednesday some of the restoration team spent most of their day putting the Vampire fuselage pod on to the original trestles that came with the aircraft from Blenheim. I see that quite a few of the inspection panels have been opened up and people poking their heads in looking to see the current state of the aircraft. The trip up to Auckland returned some items but I gather we will be making a few trips up there in the near future to collect more items for the Vampires. One of the items that did come back was a rusted long and slim steel box. Inside was an Army rangefinder and two small and one larger searchlights. The boys will have some fun with these items in the coming months. When we get the Bofors gun completed and on its trailer then we could put the range finder, searchlights and the gun together in a display. Neat eh.
This Sunday May 26th we will be opening our doors to the public, where for just a Gold Coin everyone can experience some Classic Flyers magic.
Aircraft will be displayed along our taxi-way where everyone will be able to get up close to view and photograph them. From 10.00am until 2.00pm a number of our aircraft will have their engines run up in an exciting display of sound, smoke and motion. Visiting aircraft from elsewhere on the airfield will add to the mix of aircraft on display. You can even get the chance to dress up as a pilot and get your photo taken in one of our Classic Aircraft.
There will be plenty of activities for all the family - including rides on our Vintage Fire Engine, Face Painting and for the more adventurous try out the Virtual Reality Simulations in The CAVE Mobile VR Experience.
The Tauranga Airport Crash Fire/Rescue team will come and display their Crash/Fire Tender in an exciting show of water and foam. Our squadron of pedal planes will be available for the young pilots. The AvGas cafe will be open selling great food and beverages including a ground crew sausage sizzle out by the planes. There will be a prize draw for a Flight in one of our Classic planes - so don't forget to enter the competition. The winner will be notified after the draw on Monday.
Put this Sunday 26th May in your diary Check out Classic Flyers for a memorable day out. Don't forget to bring your camera for some great photos. See you there....
On Friday morning we were treated to a morning tea shout as a result of an entry put in for the National Volunteer Week program. We were selected as the winners, I presume for the Bay of Plenty region. It was very much appreciated and great to be recognised for our efforts. It is great to see people come along to the museum and to wander down to our hangar to see what is going on. A lot of people are genuinely surprised that we are actually restoring aircraft locally and impressed by what we have achieved.
The presentation was made by a general manager of a local Westpac Bank branch and she had two other people along with her and wanted to visit the hangar to have a look round. In the course of her talk she mentioned that NZ has more volunteers per head of population (I think a figure of 1.2 million was mentioned) than any other country in the world. And the economic value to the country is calculated by the government (at an average rate of $18 per hours) at several hundred million dollars per annum so we are doing a worthwhile service to the community and the country so take a big pat on the back all of you people who volunteer in whatever field.
She was also impressed by what we were doing and the results being achieved. All great publicity and it is likely to spread when people like this talk to friends and acquaintances.
Just in case he couldn't find anything else to do recovered the crankshaft and rods from the old R2600 engine that came with the Avenger (was heading for the scrap metal merchant). He has found some time to put it into his mill and start cleaning it up for display. There are some very clever buggers around and we are lucky to have his services to help with our projects.
With things being a bit quiet at the moment a couple of the team are helping Phil Rowse get his great looking Pratt and Whitney R4360 ready to run. They are hooking up all of the controls and gauges and are installing an oil cooler and external filter system to make sure all is well when she runs. It is a magnificent looking engine and we are all looking forward to it running. I have heard that they are going to put on an open day during which they are hoping to run a few of the engines - P-40, Avenger, Macchi, Vampire and possibvly the Heron so I guess that this is the reason behind working on the big radial.
Looking at the photos and knowing where the controls are I would think they will need a wind deflector or at least a belt to stop them from being blown away. Someone said the other day that they think this is the only R4360 in NZ (maybe) and will be the only running example when that happens.
The team have been working away on the R4360 for some time now and have been getting to the time when we wanted to turn it over. They had tried several methods but the engine seemed to be locked solid. Phil couldn't throw any light on the subject as he hadn't taken it down sufficiently to see whether the main bearings were okay. The suspicion was arising that maybe the engine had seized and would never run. However on Friday they decided to take some of the top plugs out and pour in some oil to see what that achieved. After an hour or so they hooked our battery cart up to the engine and yoo hoo we have a revolving prop. There was much relief around the team and we are on track to get the beast running. The photos were taken whilst the prop was revolving but you cannot see this.