Gosh, you must all be suffering from too many mince pies! Tap-tap, anyone in?
On Christmas Eve, I dug out the Bernard Marchal I'd bought at the last Sodbury Sort out. As is the way of these things, I'd not had it running since. Although it had a quite distressing amount of compression and a spark that would have lit Merna Loy, it wouldn't go until I threw some petrol down the carb, whereupon it started promptly & ran like a clock. This heartened, I carried it through the house & tucked it into the Volvo ready for the crank up.
On Christmas Eve, I took delivery of the Weslake Aero engine I'd bought off E-Bay a couple of weeks before. The nice man brought it up from Helston in Cornwall as he was staying with his parents for Christmas in Weston. I met him on the Weston road, thus saving me a 360 miles round trip - bless him, I say! Full description below sig. line should you be interested.
I took it to the crank up as a static exhibit & it attracted a lot of attention, too. Even found a MoP that knew what it was ;o))
The Bernard repeated its clock-like performance, fulfilling is duties in a very frugal fashion. Amusingly, it was a nearly-stationary engine, making about 90o of a circle on the damp tarmac. I didn't count them, but I'd guess there were twenty engines present.
I bought an interesting little oil can for £2.00 and a brand new water container of about five gallons capacity in galvenised steel as a cooling tank for the L'Aster At £6.00, I bit his hand off!
Brian had done one of his lightning restorations on a Coventry Victor flat four and very nice it was too. A big 1.8 litre motor, it looked very well alongside his 300cc MA2 & 800cc flat twin.
Flat twins have a reputation for soaking up the fuel & the four was no exception, getting through half a gallon in about ten minutes. Arrgh.
There were three Armstrong-Siddeley Diesels present on a trailer in their working clothes and a Douglas SV45 unusually running on TVO. It's claim to fame was that it was the last one built, the chap's dad being on final build at Douglas on the day they went bankrupt. Estimating his chances of getting paid that week at zero, ho trundled the engine out of the gates on a sack truck in lieu of payment.
The WAE 342 UAV powerplant is supplied by Meggitt Defence Systems for use in a range of Unmanned Air Vehicles such as the Snipe, Skeet & Banshee target drones and Sparrowhawk, MART, Phoenix & Spectre remote reconnaissance aircraft.
A flat twin, simultaneous-firing two stroke of 342cc, it is of all aluminium construction, the bores being hard chrome without an iron liner. The three piece forged steel crank is supported in deep groove ball bearings & carries two conn rods running on needle roller big ends. Weighing just 7.5 kilos (16.5 lbs), it produces 26 BHP at 6,750 giving an excellent power to weight ratio of 0.39kg/kW (0.65lb/bhp),
The Phoenix - pictured here - is a typical aircraft of this type and in current service with the British Army. Used for a number of activities which includes long range artillery spotting, it has an all-up weight of 150 kg, a duration of better than four hours, an operational ceiling of around 9,000 feet and can operate up to 30 miles from its launcher. It is designed for parachute recovery and can be rebuilt in the field and used repeatedly.