Piper Vagabond G-BOVB.
Pits S1S landing gear repair.
Various glider overhauls.
NEW PROJECT: TIPSY NIPPER G-AZBA
G-AZBA was in very poor condition, dismantling of the aircraft revealed some very disturbing faults (see rogues gallery)
Amongst the faults found were:
Cracked U/C legs (both), cracked cylinder head, bent nose leg, loose engine mountings, leaking rocker cover due to corrosion, rear main oil seal leak, broken stringers in fuselage belly, loose/missing cross brace wires in fuselage, pitot mast attachment broken, oil pressure gauge pipe worn and rubbing on firewall, incorrect connector used on mag' grounding wire, aft elevator push-pull rod pivot siezed, no means of fuel sampling from gascolator, various bolts and fittings very rusty and many many others.
The very small Nipper fuselage in the truck ready for transportation back to the workshops.
The fuselage has been Magnaflux crack tested in all stressed areas,stripped to bare metal, and inspected. Mod's installed are: Rudder/Fin and seat back relocation for increased cockpit room. It has been primed and top coated in 2pack synthetic paint, and is just recieving the new stringers.
Neil taking the Nipper for a quick spin in the lane.........anyone remember the Romper Room?
The engine has been stripped only to the core (Richard has approval for Limbach and VW engines for complete rebuild) as the condition of the big end bearings and camshaft do not necessitate further dismantling. New valves throughout and new exhaust valve guides. A new head is ready for installation, along with new rings (the bores were within limits and have been honed)
The engine has inverted oil and fuel systems, but is recieving the Leburg electronic ignition system, which includes an alternator and an exhaust system with silencer.
The stringers fabricated and installed with Turtle decking. The fuselage is now ready for covering.
The 1835cc VW engine parts for the Nipper. One rocker cover was so badly corroded that it was leaking! One head was cracked. The cylinders have been honed, the heads fitted with new exhaust valve guides and new valves throughout. The combustion chambers have been balanced and polished.
The Nipper fuselage wearing its new colour scheme.........needs some ballast in the front though!!
First engine runs with more work to be done on the fuel system, engine baffles and ignition system.
Close up of the engine, the Ford ignition coil driven by the Leburg ignition system has been moved next to the other one below the engine. The Leburg system gives exceptional starting hot and cold, can not give kick back due to a proper advance retard curve, so that starting is always with the ignition retarded.
Final engine runs to sort out a few "bugs" in the carb' heat system. Very pleased so far, the engine will now pull 3100rpm static.
Engine runs with Richard at the controls, all looking good!! Note the chocks!
Nipper wing stripped of fabric and awaiting inspection, repair and recovering.
The wing after inspection and replacement of upper wing skin at root and general tidying up. Now painted with anti-fungal varnish and ready to accept top covering.
Wing completely recovered, one dope primer, two spray coats clear, two spray coats aluminised, one undercoat, two white top coats and colour coats.
Instrument panel before restoration.
New instrument panel after restoration, just awaiting delivery of fuel gauge. From left to right: Oil press'/temp'; Fuel pressure;Vacuum;RPM;Fuel level;CHT/EGT. The grey instrument between the middle switches and CB's is the voltmeter required with the Leburg ignition system to monitor battery voltage and charging.
The wing finally meets the fuselage. The complete aircraft rigged in my garage less the new registration G-ONCS. The canopy is the old "carbunkle", however the new canopy has now been purchased and is the next job. A new frame is to be fabricated and the new canopy cut to suit.
The Nipper finally makes it to the hanger! Reassembly and checking rigging, followed by many engine runs and high speed taxi trials, full de-cowl and inspection followed by short hops and then a full circuit.
Slight adjustment of aileron cables but otherwise no rigging adjustments. The Ellison carburettor needed some fine tuning and a duct to deliver cooling air direct to the cooler, but otherwise all systems are perfect. We are very pleased with the final product, aerobatics are great fun, and only burning 3 imp gals/hr.
The aircraft has full inverted systems, and will sustain inverted flight, it appears that it flies faster inverted!! (probably pitot error!) A GPS check will prove the validity of the error. We are very pleased to announce G-ONCS won best Nipper at North Weald.
Richard at the controls on a fun day out at Andrewsfield, we had just flown an Extra 200, the Nipper didn't quite match up to it! The colour scheme was devised by Neils father in-law John Cooper, who was a graphic designer before retiring. I think it makes an ugly aircraft quite pretty.
Jodel wing completely covered, now being rib stitched to secure the fabric. ( The tail surfaces on the wall behind are from the Vagabond restoration )
Jodel G-ATWB transported the the airfield ready for reassembly to the waiting wings and tailgroup.
The Jodel makes its first landing after a years restoration.
The Jodel has passed its first flight tests, and had just had its "Flight envelope" tested here.
Piper Vagabond G-BOVB
Piper Vagabond G-BOVB loaded onto my trailer ready for the trip back to my workshop.
Piper Vagabond 85hp
G-BOVB engine prior to restoration.
G-BOVB interior prior to restoration.
Aeronca Champ Fuselage with the new headlining fitted and the first piece of ceconite fixed to the fuselage.
Aeronca Champ Fuselage completely covered, awating finishing tapes and doping.
My Luscombe Silvaire 8a recieving its wings at the hanger. This aircraft has been under restoration for some 10 years, and unfortunately has been shelved many times due to lack of time to pursue my own projects, one of the failings of being busy!!
The Luscombe in flight, really pleased with the performance and fuel burn, no problems encountered.
AERONCA CHAMP G-BRXG
Aeronca 7 AC instrument panel before restoration.
Aeronca Champ 7ac engine after overhaul, installation and engine runs, ready to cowl.
Aeronca Champ just out of the spray boothe,yet to recieve its undercart, trim and reg'.
The Champ out on its undercarriage after engine runs.
Aeronca interior showing restored panel and naked floor and sidewalls
Completed interior with rebuilt panel and new seats, carpet and complete refurbishment.
Aeronca G-BRXG, complete restoration, just prior to delivery back to Nayland.
G-BRXG en-route to Nayland with Richard at the controls.
LUSCOMBE 8A G-CCRK
After a long restoration over some 10 years we have at last finished my Luscombe Silvaire 8a. The length of time is due to it being shelved many times due to lack of time. However today 16th April it completed its first test flights with very few snags. First "Land Away" was at Nayland. Second at Andrewsfield.
I am very pleased to say the least. No rigging adjustments required, the engine is producing all of its 65hp!
A very happy Richard. First flight test completed, now to de-cowl and have a good inspection before further flights, then fly off 5 hrs and 15 landings before issue of the Permit.
First Land-Away at Nayland.
Interior showing Perspex panel in lower door, really adds to the airyness of the cockpit and visual lookout.
This trolley powered by two 12v motors allows the aircraft to move sideways, therefore allowing us to fit two 32ft aircraft into a 34ftx36ft hanger.
The Luscombe engine continues to settle down, oil and fuel consumption very good at 2.5-3 imp gals/hr of mogas, cruising at 90kts. This picture taken at North Weald on the 19th July.