A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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18 December 2013

I Should Have Been....

...doing the brakes but I was a man short so I had a bit of a play with Photoshop to pass the time while I was waiting for Learned Counsel to show up..

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That looks like it might be fun. I could bring the ivory radius back a bit more to give the bonnet a longer look but, essentially I think it's a wrap - so to speak. I like to get things down on paper if I can because it serves as an inspiration. I was building a Currie Wot SE5a look-alike many years ago and I didn't really want a military version as everyone else seemed to go down that line so, after casting about for a while, I learned that Oxford and Cambridge had competed against each other in a university air race in 1919. Happily, someone had produced a painting of an SE5a in Cambridge colours and the picture was reproduced in an Air Britain magazine. There was my colour scheme; perfect. I got out the pastels and turned the SE5a into a Currie Wot..

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The major differences are the centre section struts, the undercarriage and the Lycoming instead of the Wolseley or Hispano and, talking of which, I can't remember whether or not I mentioned it before but the Morris Six engine in the Special is recognisably of Hispano Suiza origin. Wolseley built Hispano Suiza engines under license during the First World War and probably thought (rightly) that some of the design was worth copying. Anyway, I got only this far with the project before the bank manager asked for his money back..

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... which was slightly further than I got with the Pietenpol Aircamper...

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I produced a pastel of the Avro which sustained me through the darker days of the project..

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but there was one more aircraft I started and didn't finish; the Chrislea Airguard..

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The Airguard was interesting and what drawings there were, showed signs of the design eccentricities - notably in the control system - that the Chrislea Aircraft Company were to become famous for in the post-war period. I have a copy of one of the drawings in front of me as I type and I still can't work out how the joystick operates the ailerons!

But I digress. Learned Counsel pitched up with The Navigator and we got the brakes bled and fully working. Fortunately, it looks like I wasn't far out with my guesstimates and a tweak to the rear brake cables will see the two systems reasonably well-balanced. The pedal movement is quite progressive and I'm pleased that the front brakes don't snatch on at the top of the pedal's travel. The bleeding of the brakes was quite a long and tedious job in the end because I'd made an error when laying out the brake pipes. I'd put the 3-way manifold close to the master cylinder which made the pipes to the brake cylinders too long.

A single long pipe from the master cylinder and two short pipes from the manifold to the brake cylinders is how it should have been....

previous post Another Plan.
next post Another Step Forward.


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