Power output

The person who’s going to certify my plane came here the other day to look at plane and engine and had some doubt’s about the power output. I checked with a fiend I just met who is currently flying a Bleriot, who used to fly planes with a Velie engine, identical to mine, and who is a propeller manufacturer. His comments on the engine for my Bleriot was:

Gert, Cubic inch displacement and prop diameter matter and these are unrelated to horsepower. A modern high rpm 90 hp engine won’t fly my Waco 10 at all, but it flies beautifully with a Curtiss OX-5 90 hp engine and a 100″ diameter prop. Specifically to you, the Velie has 250 cubic inches and is extremely powerful, bears no relationship to say, a Continental 65 hp, it’s much more power. It’s a good choice for a Bleriot. The Rotec radial, which I have flown on a Bleriot, is too much, feels like too much, and changes the characteristics of the Bleriot as to lose all it’s charm. It’s a classic case of a slow antique being pulled by too much thrust. It makes for a lousy flying experience. The Velie is a very good choice. I would have used my Velie had I not had a Gnome rotary from the start.
Beyond that, the less power you use on a Bleriot the better and more authentically it flies. And since it is a good design by pioneer standards, it flies well regardless. C.W.

So, quite pleased with that answer !

Engine power rating

I asked Chad some questions about the power rating of the Velie, after my plane certifying man here in New Zealand asked me about it:

Gert, People that are not familiar with antique airplanes often think horsepower ratings matter. It doesn’t. Cubic inch displacement and prop diameter matter and these are unrelated to horsepower. A modern high rpm 90 hp engine won’t fly my Waco 10 at all, but it flies beautifully with a Curtiss OX-5 90 hp engine and a 100″ diameter prop.

Specifically to you, the Velie has 250 cubic inches and is extremely powerful, bears no relationship to say, a Continental 65 hp, it’s much more power. It’s a good choice for a Bleriot. The Rotec radial, which I have flown on a Bleriot, is too much, feels like too much, and changes the characteristics of the Bleriot as to lose all it’s charm. It’s a classic case of a slow antique being pulled by too much thrust. It makes for a lousy flying experience. The Velie is a very good choice. I would have used my Velie had I not had a Gnome rotary from the start.

Beyond that, the less power you use on a Bleriot the better and more authentically it flies. And since it is a good design by pioneer standards, it flies well regardless. Chad

First contact with Chad

At the time I started looking around for propellers here in New Zealand, I posted a message to my “plane friends” on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/airdrome_builders/ about my engine and how well it was going. I wasn’t asking about propellers, but, Guess what; one of my “plane friends”, also very interested in my project, contacted me and told me about Chad Wille (he LOVES his propellers).

Chad is a propeller manufacturer from “St. Croix Propellers” in Iowa in the US.

He flies a Bleriot that he built himself.

He also owns a Velie engine, like the one I am restoring.

And he has been building propellers for 40 years.

So “he is the ideal combination” !!!

Below is Chad with his Bleriot and a beautiful propeller:

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In the weeks following my first contacts with Chad, I learned a lot about propellers.

His Bleriot here has a 1910 fan type Anzani which has 210 cubic inches. My Velie has 250 cubic inches so my prop will be similar.

  1. He has lots of knowledge of the Velie so that is useful….. Learned a few things about the problems he had with his carburetor. The primer draws raw fuel directly out of the float chamber and will cause a lot of troubles with the mixture and will run rough if there is not a good seal when it’s closed.
  2. Also the carburetor, would need a simple “scoop”, catching the air.
  3. And there is a heat exchanger just above the carburetor that needs exhaust gasses, tapped of from one of the exhausts, to preheat the air fuel mixture, but more importantly heat up the carburetor, to stop ice from forming inside.
  4. And finally, the magneto, might need some work on the coil and the capacitor (condensor) that’s integrated in the coil. The coil could be corroded and would fail to fire.

 

First conrod

Got the first con rod off today, getting ready for the NDT soon. It’s the con rod for cylinder #3 ! 🙂

There is one “locking screw” that holds the wrist pin in place. The pin you see here on the right, the wrist pin that connects the con rod into the master con rod. The bigger hole you see there in that pin (top left) is where the locking screw goes in. Right opposite of the hole on the other side (that you can’t see here) is another hole. This is where oil is pumped into the pin. The oil then sprays out from the little hole in the middle of the pin. And also here, there is a little hole opposite that centre one. So this wrist pin in nicely oiled.

The pin you see on the left is the piston pin that connects the con rod to the #3 piston. That connection is just oiled with oil that’s splashed around.

So there is 3 more con rods to be removed from the master con rod, but the locking screws for those ones are to tight right now, so I sprayed some CRC on them so hopefully later today I can get those out.

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Decided to take the plunge today and split the crank shaft. Below is obviously the front end of the shaft, with the middle of the 3 bearings just visible behind the counter weight. The bit on the right is the crank pin. This sits of centric of the crank shaft and that’s the pin that the master con rod sits on.

The hole on the right is where oil get pumped into from the other side of the crank shaft. Oil enters the pin and comes out through the 2 smaller holes, just visible on the left and right of the crank pin. This oil lubricates the master con rod, and if you look at photo below, you can see that hole on the left also lines up with the 4 individual holes you see inside the master con rod bushing, creating a pulsating supply of oil that goes into the wrist pin you see in the photo above on the right, supplying oil to the that connection with the 4 normal con rods.

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Left, you see the back end of the crank shaft, where the big hole at the top end of the counter weight assembly fits the crank pin.

In the photo below, you see it from the back end. The back bearing is just removed. This open end of the crank shaft is where the oil gets pumped into, and
comes out through the hole going up in to the crank pin.

I am glad I was told to take the crank shaft assembly apart so it can be NDT-ed. My confidence of the engine keeps on going up. Still very impressed with the engine I have got here, that’s almost completely apart now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Gearcase crankcase and front

This week been cleaning more engine parts after I had a visit from Evan Belworthy. Evan, is going to certify and test fly my Bleriot when it’s all done. He had no comments at all about the plane as it stands right now !!!!!!

Also I wanted him to have a look at the engine, and as expected he wants me to NDT (Non Destructive Test) the crank shaft and con rods, just to be on the safe site. Something I always said I wanted to do anyway, so no surprises there. Plus I am going to have the bushings that are in the con rods, measured, while I can, as it feels like there is some room, now the oil is gone after cleaning.

So all in all all good, no drama’s. Just making sure its all going to behave when I rely on it !

Below, you see the back 2 photo’s of the gearcase cover, 2 of the crankcase and 2 of the front. I went to a local garage this week to ask how to clean all these parts. He said use diesel. He gave me a drum with a mixture of diesel and petrol, that he pumped out of someones petrol tank after they put the wrong fuel in. That stuff works really well !!!

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Evan Belworthy

Evan from Cust, a local aviation “fanatic” came to see me tonight. Evan, is going to certify and test fly my Bleriot when it’s finished. He had no comments at all about the plane as it stands right now !!!!!!
Also I wanted him to have a look at the engine, and as expected he wants me to NDT the crank shaft and con rods, just to be on the safe site. Something I always said I wanted to do anyway, so no surprises there. Plus I am going to have the bushings that are in the con rods, measured, while I can, as it feels like there is some room now, now the oil is gone after cleaning. So all in all good, no drama’s. Just making sure its all going to behave when I rely on it !

As new carburetor and crank shaft assembly

OK back on-line after problems getting into my “webs.com” account for editing this website.

In the last few weeks I have been disassembling magneto’s and the carburetor. Below is the freshly painted carburetor.

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Started putting all the bits and pieces in again. Will show you that tomorrow.

Did more today then expected !!!! :-), See here it is.

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Also cleaned the crankshaft assembly.  AS NEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW 🙂

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