I'm minded of the old quote "Those that the gods destroy they first make prideful", but google as I might, I can't find a source for it (only many instances of it being applied to politicians, which is a good second prize ). The reason for this deep philosophizing lies in the damage that the terrible world-wide financial crash has done to the Australian dollar, coupled with my hasty decision less than a year ago to standardize on Australian dollars as the currency for the MEN Only DVD. At the time, the Ozzie dollar was almost at parity with the US dollar. Today, the poor little thing is buying a mere US$0.60 and shows every sign that the bottom is not yet in sight. Now I and many other Australians find this a bit odd as none of our banks have collapsed, and as a nation, we have no mortgage debt problems! Never the less, business is business and starting next month, we go back to pricing in US dollars for international DVD sales and upgrades. So if you were thinking about it, and are in the USA, November is the time to buy.
Another busy month for me with lots of travel to conferences and design workshops on annotation services my team is building for the Atlas of Living Australia, resulting in little time and less energy for modeling. But the Cardinal now has tips, controls, adjustable lead-outs, and a tip-weight box (on the top of the wing—I don't want talk about it). Still needs flaps and the cut-outs for the flap hinges, but I'm really pleased with the weight. Should take a week off or something and do some serious modeling before it gets too hot to even think about it. Then there's all the engines that need testing and sorting out. Am I having fun yet? Well, yes, actually...
I am So, SO, Sorry!
There I was, glumly thinking that due to the total lack of enquiries for the MEN DVD during the past couple of months, that every single person on the planet who wanted one, must now have one, and how was I going to continue to finance the web site with no DVD sales? Turns out that what was really happening was that mail to Enquiries was getting deep sixed without my knowing about it. The reasons are complex and tied up with a cunning plan, as Baldrick would say, where email to several different addresses all gets redirected to a secret location. Unfortunately, a spam filter I did not know existed on the Enquiries address was diligently separating out stuff it had decided was spam and shoving into a folder that was not being harvested by the mail collector. Predictably, the Enquiries mailbox disk quota was eventually filled up by the unread spam! After that, legitimate mail (and spam) was rejected. Because I never actually open the Enquiries mail directly, this small detail escaped my notice (told you it was complicated...)
So, to all you loyal followers of this web site who have sent mail to Enquiries and got no response, I am so, so, SO, terribly sorry and it won't happen again! But your mail was irretrievably lost, so if you would like to send it again, I will give it very, very prompt attention. Promise. Honest. Really...
Wikipedia on Cox
If you are reading this on-line, it's a safe bet to say that you are Internet savvy and so would be aware of the Wikipedia. Personally, I find the entries it contains to be both helpful and accurate, but it comes in for frequent criticism as being precisely the opposite. Perhaps my positive opinion is a function of the subjects I refer to it for which are mostly software related, well researched, and well cross referenced to other supporting resources. Anyway, while reviewing the MEN server logs, I noticed we were getting referrals from the Wikipedia! It turns out that a rather good page describing Cox Model Engines has links to Adrian Duncan's Keil Kraft Cobra review, hence the referrals as readers check the reference. I don't call myself an expert on matters Cox, but I do know enough to say that the Wikipedia entry appears accurate and comprehensive. Worth a visit; click the thumbnail.
Super Fury Scoop
A short while back in the August 2008 issue, we announced that sadly, the Model Engineer would not be carrying the construction series for Gordon Cornell's modernized Super Fury. By coincidence, Motor Boy David Owen spent time in England and Scotland last month and took the time to visit many model engine makers and collectors, one of whom was Gordon. In their conversation, Dave suggested that MEN may be an alternate place for the Super Fury construction series. In fact MEN may even be a better place as being web based, more space can be dedicated to the series than is practical in a print magazine. So starting this month, we are quite chuffed to present the start of what will be a quite lengthy series on the Cornell Super Fury, starting with it's history.
I've delved into The Library to include some supporting scans of reviews and two team race models designed specifically for the engine. All these are on a separate 1/2A Vintage Team Race Resource page. Next month, actual construction will commence. Gordon has generously agreed to make his extensive work on this engine available under a Creative Commons non-commercial license. This means you are free to use and redistribute the material provided you do not charge for it, nor alter it, and always acknowledge Gordon as the author.
Part one of this series contains a rather unusual number of engine review scans from the Aeromodeller and Model Aircraft, 39 pages in total. I was lucky that The Library had all the Model Aircraft issues Gordon's 1/2A Team Race engine table required as my set of this magazine is not complete. The issues I'm missing are on the Wanted page and if anyone can help filling in the gaps so articles like Gordon's can be fully documented, I sure appreciate it and everyone will benefit.
There is a downside: all those scans means that the Members' download this month is a monster of almost 16 GB in size. Worth it though, I hope!
This month, we conclude the construction of the components for our ED Baby replica with the crankshaft, prop driver, NVA, and some other odds and sods. The text in Part 4 makes reference to a follow-on article that will describe assembly and operation. This was planned as another article for SIC readers that never actually got written as the series never managed to appear there before Bob Wasburn closed the doors. But it's a good idea and if the time required to do the work can be found, it will be done. In the mean time, take a look in the FAQ page for details on how to start and tune diesel engines.
Ron Harris (UK) is making great headway with his Roach/Satra R1830 replica. New photos (which you'll need to click the thumbnail to view) show machining of the prop hub and a trial assembly of completed hub with blades to the authentic blue painted engine. This is another of those projects where the work on the outside only hints at what has been done "under the hood", so we are truly grateful to Ron, Bob, and Bruce for providing the photos of the engine under construction that allows you to truly appreciate the design and construction effort.
It's been a while since we had a new Watzit, so here's a four-stroke to scratch your heads over. It looked vaguely familiar to me, but wiser heads in the Motor Boys group quickly supplied chapter and verse on it. So have a look and see if you can ID it before looking at the answer (hint: it is commercial, but the maker's name which was cast into the crankcase and should have been visible in this picture has been mysteriously and very cleanly removed).
The new Watzit introduces a new feature, namely a hidden answer; just click the button and the answer should replace the button. There's most definitely no rocket engineering under this, just some brain-dead scripting that has been tested under Firefox and IE, which together account for 90% of the visitors to the MEN site. If it does not seem to work for you, let me know what browser you are using, and its version number (usually found by clicking Help|about on the browser menu). The answer should re-hide itself every time the page is loaded.
ICE on Ice
To correspond with the launch of the the Super Fury Reproduction project, I'd planned to include a review the latest version of Gordon Cornell's internal combustion emulation program (called ICE for short). But time and conferences managed to get the better of me, so ICE is on ice until next month. The program has not been reviewed here before except to make mention of another review of it that appeared in Model Engineer's Workshop #109. That was exactly three years ago and the program has continued to be refined and improved making many of the comments from the MEW review rather out of date—something we will rectify next month. The picture here shows the predicted power curves for the drum induction version of the Super Fury, together with the very comprehensive parameters used to model the engine.
Another Elfin 1.49BB variation
Quite some time back, we reviewed the Elfin 1.49BB. Remember? It's the one that looks like a pipe-fitter's T-piece. The engine has quite good performance, although most reviewers at the time of it's release found fault with its looks and some small details. Research of engines in the Motor Boys' collections and the magazines failed to show that ther was a later model that has some subtle changes. Adrian Duncan has recently acquired one of these which appears on the right in this photo. Some changes are obvious; other less so. Most noticeable is the significantly lower head and the rounded boss on the compression screw. Time permitting, we'll investigate the differences closer next month.
New Books and Magazines This Month
No book review as such this month, but it is about time that mention is made (again) of the model engine content appearing in the British magazines, Model Engineer and sister publication, the Model Engineer's Workshop. This is in no small part due to the efforts of Malcolm Stride (aka "Nemett") whose alternating issue column, "I/C Topics" has taken up the baton from the late Edgar T Westbury (the ME appears fortnightly, so Malcolm's column is effectively monthly). I rather suspect that it is in no small part due to his effort that more and more engine builders are being encouraged to submit material for publication.
The issue shown here contains a progress report by John Heeley on the quarter scale De Havilland Goblin H1 gas turbine he has been scratch building. Now apart from capturing the exact scale look of the prototype and using no castings in its construction, John's engine is a runner! Although it had not been fully spooled up at the time of writing (June 6, 2008), it has been tested with two of the sixteen combustion chambers fed from bottled gas. In this configuration, it was spooled up to 2,800 rpm and continued to run for "several minutes", slowly winding down. Without the fuel, it runs down in about 30 seconds, so indications are that on the full complement of burners, it will self-sustain. The photos that accompany the article are mouth watering and a great tribute to John's ability to design components that can be machined to the required precision and strength in a typical model engineer's workshop.
Another regular contributor over past years has been Brian Perkins. MEN readers should remember his name for the pictures he has provided us during the epic construction of his scale Bristol Hydra replica (that's obviously not the Hydra in the picture, it's the late Len Mason's actual Mastiff prototype). Back to Brian. His series of articles is aptly titled, "Finishing the Bristol Hydra (That Almost Finished Me!)". I found this a great read as it describes in a most open and honest way, all the problems—some of them self-inflicted—that he has faced and overcome where many others would have long since given up. Brian's pieces are not just dialog. He includes his engineering drawings and process for things like the spark plugs he fabricated for the Hydra which readers can use to build plugs for any IC engine. In all, a wealth of ideas which make a subscription to the magazine almost worth it, despite the excessive live steam stuff!
Seriously (expensive) Model Engineering
As a segue from discussion of the ME above, I never cease to be amazed at the kits offered by the magazine's advertisers which are targeted at the bolt-together brigade. That sounds disparaging, but it's not, really. I know there are many would-be model engineers who would love to build a 4-8-4 live steam loco, and while they might lack the workshop, or the raw time required, they are not short on disposable income. The Brits seem to uniquely cater for these lucky sods with eye-watering kits, fully machined, that can be assembled with a screw driver. That latest is this 1:6 scale King Tiger tank. The finished model has an overall length of 65" (1655mm) and will weigh 440 lbs (200 kg), so don't put it on the glass dining room table. It will also cost you a whacking £3,995.00, excluding motors, electrics and special effects packages. On today's exchange rate, that's US$6,145.00, or AUS$10,193.00 (and rising daily!!). Freight is extra. For more details, visit Armortek's web site, and for the record, MEN could, perhaps, be coerced into assembling one for review .
Engine Of The Month: Owat
If our engine of the month looks like a re-run, it would be because it is a shameless copy of the French Micron 5cc fixed compression diesel, even though the engines were from the same period: the late 1940's. The oddly named "Owat" appeared in Britain during the post-war diesel boom, explosion, whatever. There is not a lot remaining about how it came to be, but between Adrian Duncan's collection and the MEN Library, we can present as many facts as we have, and as usual, welcome extra data or corrections from readers.
Tech Tip of the Month
Time, and perhaps creativity, precluded a Tech Tip this month, but showing I don't really know all the ins and outs of things I ramble on about, go back and take another look at last month's Tech Tip. Wonder how many readers thought to themselves that Ron really missed the original point in the long-stemmed nut? Gordon Cornell's Team Race articles explains that the big advantage of this design is that it allows Team Race pit crew to equip spare props with spare prop nuts allowing a broken prop to be very quickly spun off and a new one spun on without worrying about the nut. Live and learn.