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Old 09-16-2018, 02:00 PM   #269
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,159
Default Re: tell a Model A related story

The Aeroplane I Disliked.

Yes there was one. Called a Dromedary and came with the name painted on the fuse including a camel along with the beast’s testicles.
I had the use for an additional large hopper plane for sowing rice and spreading urea for only a short period , from October to January inclusive. Because of an experience with an ordinary pilot /contractor who flew the previous season, I spat the dummy and bought this low capital beast.
Even the assembly was troublesome. The aeroplane engineering operator took far too long and their bill was too big to jump over. That ended a long term relationship I had with them. It also ended their relationship with their ag operating subsidiary for whom they assembled some three. The engineering company went broke as a result of being too incompetent too frequently.
The aeroplane was built in Poland. The Poles have a good name for engineering. The workmanship was superb. It was grossly over built and no company in the West could have matched the building man-hours for the price. It was strong, except for two components and I’ll come to that. It was big and powered by a 960 hp radial which I understand was a copy of the American Wright -cyclone R1300 and that is single row of the twin row R2600 , the numerals pertaining to the cubic inch capacity.
It was designed off an American Rockwell Thrush which was the forerunner to the Airtractor. Both designed by Leyland Snow. The Poles imported 2 Thrushes, copied the wings and cabin, increased the wing span by means of an insert. It was so high off the ground one needed to do a check list before climbing into the cabin. For if you needed to do it twice you would need an additional sandwich in your dinner box. I was never game to put it under a power wire.
The controls were so heavy it was exhausting to fly. Okay for firebombing, but that was a frightening experience because of it’s uncontrollable pitch up after one dropped the load. But really too heavy for ag work whether spreading or spraying. I modified the ailerons and that was easier. The elevator could be manageable if one had the right hand on the pole and left hand on the elevator trim. The pedals for the rudder. Even a sumo wrestler would have found too heavy. The roll was so slow there could be no fine adjustment in lining up a spray run. It was just a beast and I hated it.
The engine oil temp ran in the red. I did everything to keep it in the green zone, even put on an extra large oil cooler. In retro I should have simply bent the needle in the temp gauge.
It was popular to re-engine these with Garrett turbine. They would carry heavy loads but were still dogs to fly. If one increases the power and thus the payload there will be other downstream components to modify. This be the case here. One poor bloke had a major failure in the fuselage when the longerons failed. He was about to touchdown and he survived. Another, a personal friend, had a wing come away whilst firebombing. He did not survive. The aft spar attachment failed.. And why did that happen? The court of law is still to decide. It could be a number of factors. The manufacturer has a time/life on the whole aeroplane and maybe this was exceeded. Maybe the hours flown may have been fudged. Who would ever know and no one is going to admit error.
I sold mine before either of these problems showed. They are permitted to be modified but the cost exceeds the value of the aeroplane. I think these big, robust, horrible machines should go to a kids playground, however even there litigation could well be a worry.

The Dromedary on the ground is Gary's and the one in flight is an internet acquired picture
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dromader internet.jpg (14.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg gary's camel.jpg (20.1 KB, 6 views)
I know many things,
But I don't know everything,
Sometimes I forget things.

And there are times when I have a long memory.

Last edited by; 09-16-2018 at 02:05 PM. is offline   Reply With Quote