A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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27 June 2014

Read The Manual...

... bearing in mind that it could be slightly misleading or at the very least, ambiguous. If the engine seems a bit flat, you'll know it's probably the timing so you go back and read the manual again. Everything's fine but it still seems flat. On my way back from Glasgow, I called in to see a Morrisman and he put me straight. He told me that the manual is not particularly precise and the order in which you set the crank and the camshaft to their respective timing marks, is not at all clear. Anyway, I haven't run the engine yet but this explains why when I tried with the cracked block, it didn't sound right. I've also muddled up a bolt on the oil pump - there are 2 dowel bolts and I've got one of them in the wrong hole. It probably isn't hugely critical but it means that the meshing of the oil pump gear with the crankshaft gear is a couple of thou out, so it's sump off again.

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Glasgow is full of inspirations in the shape of galleries and museums. Particularly pleasing was a section in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum devoted to 'The Glasgow Boys', a group of artists who, for me, knocks spots off any of their contemporary European Impressionist cousins. And, in arty mood, a chance reflection (above) caught my eye. I've always preferred Macintosh's cutlery to his architecture and furniture - though it's nice to see and, in the Burrell Collection there was a couple of pieces of 16th Century Japanese furniture which could easily have graced a 19th or 20th Century Arts and Crafts home, or even mine, come to that. I'm sorry to have missed the Jack Vettriano Retrospective by a few months - I've always rather liked his both his style and the fact that he upset a lot of the snootier end of the art world with his popularity.

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A note from John at Blue Swallow Aircraft included a couple of pictures of progress on the Hillman's wings.

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Each wing is in 3 lengths of 50", about 8" wide. It's always interesting to have a bit of a nose around other people's workshops to see what else is there but I struggled to identify the fuselage on the right - a Georgias Special? And the wing panel on the left of the picture; the spar reminds me of the Avro 504's pattern but there seems to be too many built up ribs - the 504 had only a few compression ribs, 8 in total I think, and the rest were just rib cap strips. A nice picture of a DH2 (maybe?) is on the wall and I hope that's one of John's projects. I always wanted to build a model of the DH2 but got only as far as buying the plans. I was a bit put off by the potential weakness of the boom to spar joint and felt that unless the rigging was actually functional - a bit of a fiddle unless the wing panels were so arranged to be detachable - the chances of the model surviving the odd ground loop would be slim. Then there would be the rather fraught business of starting the engine within the confines of the booms.

It would be worth consulting the manual before you tried that on a real one.



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