216 Finished, Show time

Well we have had a very busy few months finishing off the 216 and attending a few shows this summer,

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Our first outing was at the old RAF Pocklington Airfield where we had been invited to the 102 Squadron reunion  on the 9th and 10th of may, where the Merlin that we had cleaned up was unveiled

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On the Sunday we invited an 93 year old Halifax Pilot of 102 squadron Tom Sawyer to start up our 216, we didn’t have to ask him twice! he was chuffed to bits.


The next outing for us was at the Duxford Flying Legends 11th and 12th of July, before we went down we made a new tachometer from a Land Rover defender speedo. and a new air intake and fit some new guages.

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We modified the Land Rover speedometer  drive spindle to fit the square drive on the Hercules, then made a brass bush to hold it in.IMG_1628 IMG_1629

And here we have the finished article, the original tachometer drive altered to drive a Land Rover speed transducer which then drives a 80mm Land Rover Defender speedometer, we used a pulse multiplier bought from ebay to allow us to calibrate the speedometer.


We used an old Snapon timing light to calibrate the tachometer.

The next job was the air intake.

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This was made from a stainless steel 6″ bend split in two then spaced out to suite the intake.

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Pete made up a flange on the milling machine to fit the engine.

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Once welded up and polished , it certainly looks the part.

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We then fitted some new Gauges and a new cover over the hydraulic controls for the trailer .


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We had a great weekend down at the Duxford flying legends where we got through a lot of Av-Gas! Before we went down we fitted a couple of brass plaques, One for my Dads crew and the other for Peter Blackburn’s Dad.

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We ran the engine every 45 mins during Saturday and Sunday up to 13:00 just before the Air Show starts, It certainly drew a lot of attention.

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After Duxford our next show was a local three day family music festival called the DeerShed Festival only two miles away.

Last year we took the 216 just to show it as a static display, and the amount of people that asked us when we were going to start it! so this year we were invited back to run the engine and it was great success.

We decided before the DeerShed festival that we would take the 759 with us also, so this meant getting  it out of the pod and mounted on a frame! nothing like a bit of pressure, we only had two weeks to do this!

The first job was to make another frame.

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After a dry fit of the steel work, Pete milled in the mounting holes for the engine mounts.

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Once the mounts had been done the whole frame was welded up ready for the 759


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The first time the 759 has seen daylight since 1971, even as Peter was watching the engine come out of the pod a Swallow had a fly by.



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When we got the engine fitted to the frame , it was time to re-hydrate the engine before we lifted it onto a trailer ready to take to the show.


At the show we fitted a full size Rotol Prop, this has put an idea into our heads, should we design a frame to fit a 14 tonne truck so we can run a full size prop at some time!

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At the end of the show a friend of ours Ben Potter brought his 9 foot wingspan Steller’s Sea Eagle called Camillia over to have it’s picture taken next to the Hercules with all of our Grand Kids and friends . Ones born to fly ones built to fly!



Our next trip out took us to the Scottish Borders Agriculture Show at Duns on the 1st of August.

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A lot of local people had a lot of knowledge of the engine as there was two local Airfields that used to be home to Beau-fighters.

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At the Show there was a 1944 David Brown Airfield tractor tug, so thought that we would introduce them!


A young future pilot i think!

After the engine run,Gill my wife did a bit of house keeping and cleaned the prop blades.

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Our next job is to sort out the 759, when we had the full size prop on it , we tried to turn it, it was stuck!.

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Using a Snapon endoscope camera we looked inside the cylinders, all were like new as to be expected except No.14

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It looks like this one had missed the inhibiting oil!, we have took the head off and the sleeve is too rusty, so we will have to renew that one.

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