The Brakes Progress II

Whilst I was off having fun in Kent over the Christmas break, Chumley had his nose to the grindstone and has done a splendid job on the caliper mounting blocks.

I didn’t realise it would be quite so difficult to get hold of M10 x 1mm cap head Allen screws; I’ve located them now, but it took a bit of trawling on the net to find them. In the meantime, a Jodel prop bolt and what I think is an NSU Quickly engine mounting bolt, are doing service for the jury-rig.

I specified 1mm thread thinking that the vibration set up by the application of the brakes would probably be a very high frequency and the greater surface area of thread and the steeper the pitch, the less susceptible the whole malarkey would be to working loose and falling off. A good thread locking fluid will be applied on final assembly.

One of the things that I got wrong in the design of the block was the allowance for the hub carrier to block, mounting bolts. I’ll counter-bore the three holes to accept cap screws which won’t foul the disc. I had hopes that replacing the drum brakes with discs, might be a relatively simple job where I would remove the drum, shoes and the operating mechanism and just bolt on the new arrangements – not surprisingly, not so. The flange on the hub carriers where the caliper mounting blocks will be attached, are not machined surfaces. The mounting blocks need to be accurately placed, parallel to the hub flanges and perpendicular to the stub axle. I’ll have to build up the carrier’s flange with MIG weld (as near as needs be to cast steel rods) and then get Chumley to machine it true. That’s a lot of sausages.

Awkward’s Christmas project was to get his Cyclemaster running. Successive attempts over the year had failed to see more than a cough and a splutter – just enough to keep him interested. He had laboriously rewound the coil, temporarily replaced the old condenser with a modern equivalent, checked this, measured that and all to no avail, until this week. A reworking of the centre of the coil where the high voltage line is linked and replacement of the HT lead, has done the trick.

When I first came to Suffolk and began flying the old L4 Cub, the 1:500,000 aeronautical chart which covered most of my sphere of operations, fitted on my knee pad and looked pretty innocuous; I think this one was an edition from the early 80’s. For trips further afield, floating about in the club house there was always a bigger, more up-to-date map that I could borrow.

I was looking at the other Wright brother’s chart a few days ago and noticed that things had become a bit more complicated in my absence from the aviation world. Now it’s a serious international airport, there’s a whole big deal around Norwich sprung up, and Stansted’s airspace has got very flabby as well. Apparently, Stansted is one of the busiest airports in Europe so, yes, it’s a good idea to keep Bloggs from blundering into the picture unannounced. As far as the flying bit goes, there’s further complication in a requirement to understand how to fly VOR radials.

I’ve never used a VOR; I thought they’d put the brakes on those back in the 90’s.

Happy New Year!