Early this morning I got an email from the show organizer who was still positive that something could be done to get the Bleriot certified, so I was suddenly getting hopeful again.
We drove to Blenheim and met with the show organizer. Another inspector was organized and already looking at the plane..
To make a long story short, we got it certified on Thursday. Started working on a few more engine issues. Decided that the timing of the magnetos wasn’t stable, moving around a bit, so I locked that by drilling through the lever and locking it with a split pin. Then set the timing to the required 30 deg before dead center.
One of the test run’s:
Or a video just a bit later on the day. Running a lot faster than half a year ago at home, but running very rough, its to rich:
As the engine was dripping during the run we thought that the float valve could possibly be stuck, so took the carburetor off, took all stainless steel lock wire off, open up the carburetor and had a look at this valve. It was worn out and decided to have it machined down a little. This was on the Saturday, the first day of the show. Still working on the plane inside that hangar. That was OK because it was a windy day, too much for my Bleriot to be outside anyway.
Because the float valve was a little shorter now, I decided to bend the float arm a bit to compensate for that.
That evening we did anther test run, and still saw fuel dripping from the carburetor. Ryan noticed that the priming valve was leaking.
Early Sunday morning I made a temporary fix to seal this valve, permanently for now, just to confirm that the leak is the problem. We did a test run and the engine ran very nice now. A lot of power, so much that the tail started to lift up so I had to quickly pull the stick to push the fuselage down again… Oooh this was scary, could gave gone wrong !!
A big lesson learned here. Always stick back when starting engine !!!!
So the engine ran nice now but was very hard to start without the primer. Also we noticed that the fuel level in the float was probably to low as the engine kept on dying after a while This was probably as a result of me fixing the float valve earlier. So two issues left to fix.
As this was the last show day we decided that it wasn’t going to run. I pushed the plane in front of the big grand stand for the opening action for the day together with 2 other planes, a “dummy” Bleriot and the “Pither” a replica from the same time as the Bleriot.
Had lots of nice and good comments from the public when they were told about how close we were to flying, but just didn’t get there.
Later on I parked the Bleriot back with the other planes. We made a few fact sheets for people to read. All good. More nice comments.
This day was my first relaxing day. No more engine work apart from the early morning stuff that last day.
Just looking at planes !!!!!! 🙂
After the show, we went to the Awards Dinner.
Dinner was really nice, and guess what!!!
I was given an award:
I was very surprised and honored:
So overall very good. We were very close, and almost there.
I suppose you can’t rush planes when they are not ready.
Will get the Bleriot back home in a week and will start working on these last few little issues in my own time 🙂