Before I tear this big piece of machinery down I wanted to hang it on the front of the fuselage so that I could begin to get some measurements for the stringers, a few of the lines to operate it, etc. In order to do that I'd either need to make
an engine mount or build one. Spoke to Whitey about it and he said it'd be a hole lot easier if I found me at least the ring mount so that we could build it out from there. It took a little time and a lot more money to
get me a ring... but a ring I did get.
Sent off the check earlier this week to Oregon for that ring. Here's a picture of it from the guy that I bought it from. Still needs to have the stamped lugs welded onto it. With the lugs still off of it, it's a pretty good indication that it's never been used. Should be here sometime next week. I'll probably need to first get the gear onto the fuselage, then I'll truck it on over to Whitey's place to get 'er done; you know... hang the engine.
Did a little research on the guy I bought it from... looks like he's one of those Waco builder/restorers... a good ol' boy.
February 3, 2009 Setting things...
As of today's date, I have the dual-fork Homebuilt Special tailwheel from Aircraft Spruce. Wasn't exactly what I wanted, I wanted to put the Bob Tailwheel ($650.00.) Saw the Homebuilt Special tailwheel on ebay and got it for a great price... couldn't pass it up. Heard a lot of good things about it on the biplane forum. Figure, if I end up not liking it I could always sell it. So... the tailwheel is ready to be mounted.
Before being able to mount the tailwheel, I'll first need to measure, cut and notch the tubing and cut and grind the fittings for the main landing gear. I've been reading up on it in the hopes that I don't make a wrong cut or do the wrong thing. Stream-line tubing is pretty expensive and I don't want to be learning on it. Might just make a few practice pieces before I go and cut the actual tubing for the gear (would make sense, eh ?.)
I moved the fuselage on SuperBowl Sunday to a building behind the apartment buildings that Denise manages and lives at. Now it's just a matter of get crakin' on it. We'll see... I'm giving myself two months to build it and another week to have the tail wheel mounted. From there it over to Whitey's to size up the engine and hang it on the front of the Skybolt. (just thinking of being this close to hanging an engine on the front of the 'bolt... is dream-like... how long have I been waiting for this moment ?)
The engine ring should be arriving shortly, with the lugs. From this we will need to build the rest of the engine mount. I have photos of other installations that we can go by. And my multitude of questions to my good friend, Dale, in VA, is helping out tremendously.
Once the Jake is hung, and all the measurements have been taken, I can then begin the tear down to do the overhaul.
February 4, 2009 Lord of...
Just like the story by J.R.R. Tolkien's... it's the ring of power; The Lord Of The Rings ! I've been waiting all my life for this ring... (insert evil laugh.)
Uh... yeah, more to come. I'm not even close to finishing this yet.
August 2, 2014
A trip to Bob's;
Jacobs and a whole lot more...
Turns out that the guy sold me a ring for some other engine. It ain't near big enough for the Jake. That guy I bought it from... not so much a good ol' boy ???
A while back I had spoken to Whitey about the engine... he said he knew of a guy that knew quite a bit about the Jake. It was a friend of his up from around where he use to live. The guys name is Bob Boyer. Gave me his number and I remember callilng and speaking to him briefly at the time but wasn't really in the "moving on with the Jake" frame of mind.
That was back in 2009. Fast forward to 2014. I'm now in that Jake frame of mind and I give Bob another call. Nice guy. We started talking and I'm asking questions. Asked if there was a shop around here that he knew of that overhauls Jakes. He didn't know of any. He mentioned AirRepair, down in MS. He said that they owned the rights to the Jacobs radial now... (I had heard that somewhere else too). Another question I had was if he knew of a source for the engine mount. I have been having trouble locating one. (the one mentioned above is actually too small and it looks nothing like the Jake ring... I later found out). He said that they weren't really hard to come by and that he had a few around his place. He said he'd take a look and give me a call back about it. Asked him how much... and he said about 30 or 40 dollars.
We talked a little bit more and he said... I have a few Jakes laying around that I'm thinking of selling. Two of them are military overhauls; one with zero hours and the other with about 100 hours. The guy he got them off of said that they had paperwork with them. When he got there to pick them up he couldn't find the paperwork. It was someone he knew. Bob bought them as spares. I said I'd be interested in them and that they'd be good for an overhaul. He said he thought that they'd just need a visual inspection and maybe just a little work. Said he'd sell them for $3000.00 each. Talked a bit more and we ended with Bob saying he'd check and get back to me on the mount.
Two days later I get a call... from Bob. He left a message... He has a mount and mentioned the engines again saying that there were a few others... one that had been laying on a dirt floor, in a shed, that would be good for the bafflings and other misc. parts and piece.
I give him a call back and I said I'd see if I could make it up this weekend to pick up the mount and take a look at the engines. That was Friday. Saturday morning I called Bob back and asked if he'd be around in the afternoon. He checked with his wife and we agreeded that I'd show up around 1ish or 2ish.
It's Saturday morning and Andrea and I leave for Alexandria Airport (it's a little ways up from Frenchtown, NJ). Nice drive once we get on the Jersey side and start heading up Route 29. We pull onto airport road (which dead-ends into the end of one of the two runways at Alexandria Airport) and see a mailbox with Boyer on it... right off the end of the runway. It has a small road which leads up to a HUGE hangar and a house off to the side. We pull up the drive... I ring the door bell and Bob opens the door. It was the beginning of an amazing two hour talk and tour.
Walking throught his hangar there were all sorts of airplanes and airplane parts; his UC-78, PT-26, straight-tailed Cessna 172, Cessna 182, a few Jacobs radials, a few Ranger engines, ect ect ect... I asked him about the jet he once owned... it was an F-84. An ex-Thunderbird plane. That was a story all unto itself.
Bob could go on forever with stories... and he was a wealth of information as far as Jakes and their parts go. I didn't have a pad and pencil to take down all the names and numbers... but I'll be giving him a call back.
I brought up the engines again... went over for a little bit closer inspection. He mentioned that he had two constant speed props that he would sell as well. They were a little bit shorter than the standard 2B20's... they were set up for the UC-78. I'll have to take a look at where they are cut down to... but the price is right.
We left after the grand tour and two hours of chatting... I loaded up the Jacob mount and said I'd give him a call in a few days about the engines and the props.
August 5, 2014
Up in the air
with the Jake mount...
I'm really enjoying the build... but I want to get flying too.
The mount has really got me thinking. I'm not sure which way I'm heading/turning at the moment. I've got the mount... at least I think it's the right mount. It's the right mount unless there is a difference between the 755-9 and the 755-9A2. I'm looking at a photo of the back-end of a -9A2 and it looks different. But when I look closer... maybe it's because of a few bolt on pieces to the engine that allow the rubber shock mounts to be able to mount like that on the engine??? And it's a swing-away mount I'm looking at too. Which leads me to think this too.
And if that is the case... and I have THIS mount. Should I be happy with the 275hp (actuall 282hp) that I can get out of it and buy the two from Bob, or piss-away the years hoping to get this 300hp beast on it?
and... to make this mount work I'm going to need to cut off the existing mounts and re-make/weld on new ones. Or do I keep it as is and make an "adaptor" on the front-end of the fuselage to make it work ??? Not a problem... just a problem because I'm making it a problem.
The one guy I was following (his lead) sold his project not long after convincing me to hang the Jake. Not his fault... just not as easy as I thought it was going to be to figure out all this Jake hanging stuff.
Lots to still think about. But the first thing I need to do is get out the airport to see if this mount works on the engine, or not...
August 11, 2014 STILL up in the air...
with the Jake mount...
hey... I'm still here. Been busy over the past week. Andrea's daughter had her wedding this past Friday and my nights and weekend were filled with things about the wedding.
It hasn't stopped me from thinking about the build. and... the Jake specifically. I'm kind of heading out into uncharted waters. or... at least they haven't been traveled much by those I know. All kinds of questions are popping up...
Now that I have the mount for the 755-9... should I cut the existing mounting tubes off of it and re-mount with new tubes or should I use the existing mount as is (if it's too short) and build off of the front of the fuselage the additional length needed to be able to use the existing bracket as is? If using this mount... where do I get the shock mounts ? Do they even make them ? Who best to talk to about this ? Can I find images of what others have done ? I think PB Shaffer sent me some images... I'll have to find them.
August 12, 2014
with the Jake mount...
No real work on the engine mount tonight... worked on filing down the left over welds from when I cut the stand-offs off the pseudo-longerons. But that was all the "work" I did. Did mostly thinking... while I did that "work".
I need to get moving forward on this engine mount. Need to make decisions now... not asking "what ifs" forever... I'm not really getting any answers as to what to do with the engine mount. Which is fine. I just need to do what I've done in the past when faced with the same... gather as much information as you can and make an informed decision. It may be wrong... but that's part of the learning too.
okay... first decision. Spend the cash to zero time the -A2 or purchase the -9's, and make the changes to bring them up to 282 hp? My call... buy the -9's. I have the one mount and Bob said the one of the -9's that he had, had about 100 hours on it and the other zero hours. No logs... but Whitey knows him and I'll take that into the equation. Will "I" notice the difference between 300hp and 282hp ??? I think not...
okay... second decision. What to do with the engine mount I have? I'm thinking that I'll keep it as is (as mentioned before... if it is too short) and add onto the front of the fuselage. I'd like to build something that bolts onto the fuselage but may need to weld the extention right onto it. NOW, I need to figure out the length that the engine mount needs to be. I've been digging. I've been asking. As a matter of fact, I just emailed Miki. Asked him what his weight and balance is. He's on vacation and said he'll send it when he returns. I've also looked at the weight and balance on a Pitts 12. This with the weights that I'll put together should give me a close approximation of how long that mount needs to be.
It's a start...
Update: Just heard from Miki: The length of the mount from the firewall to the engine ring is 20.274inches (20mm). Weight of his engine is 447.538 lbs (203 kg). Weight of his prop is 103.61 lbs (47 kg).
The 755-9: 505 lbs dry weight.
August 23, 2014
Taking the saw...
to the mount.
Found a document from Dale, the guy that was hanging a Jake on a Skybolt... before he went and sold it. Saw that he made his engine mount 15.5 inches long. Spoke to Trevor11ac on the Biplane Forum and his dad's Jake powered Starduster has a 14.5 inch mount. This gives me some idea of where I need to hang my Jake.
So... hmmmmm... looks like I'll be cutting off the tubes from the mount I have and jigging up a new mount using the existing mount ring. Went over to the airport to check on a few things first. The mount holes on the mount align with the Jake's holes (check). and... I wanted to be sure that the accessories on the engine fit within the 15.5 inches that I would be making the length of the mount. My ruler showed 11 5/8inches (check). That'll leave enough room to work on it (somewhat). With all the information in hand... I didn't sit around thinking about it for days. I went about liberating that ring.
Side note: The Jake mount is about 70 years old. When I cut off the tubes and took a look inside... NO rust. Beautiful !
Took a few measurements and photos of the existing tubes and gussets.
- All gussets are .o70 thick.
- Larger tubes are .875 x .o49
- Smaller tubes are .75 x .o49
I'll be making the jig to hold the engine centered on the fuselage with no off-set thrust; dead straight.
Liberated engine ring.
January 3, 2015
Putting it down...
Wanted to put down on paper the kinda-location of the tubing for this engine mount and the associated sized. The tubes that are on the four points are the tubes that hold the rubber bushings for mounting. They 1.75 x .200 (thickness is in question... pretty close to it though). I'll cut these off of the existing mount and re-use.
This isn't to scale and it doesn't show exactly where the tubes go. It's for reference only (thankyouverymuch).
Click on above image for larger version.
January 6, 2015
in emails and making phone calls.
I've known about and have taken a look at it a number of times... the UC-78/T-50 website. They have all the manuals in PDF. Wanted to contact someone from there so I sent an email to Terry Sullivan (found his email somewhere on there). Sent an email to him at 7:32AM and got an email back at 8:46AM.
Terry sounds like one of the good ol' boys (I'd like to consider myself one of those too!). He sent me some leads for bushings but also sent his phone number to give a call to clarify my first question about a drawing for the bracket that is a part of the nacelle that the engine mount gets attached to.
Gave a call a little after 9AM... same day. A real nice guy. Started talking... he has a T-50 that he puts hours on (it's not one of those hangar queens). He gave me the name a of few guys; one for bushings (he thinks the Twin Beech bushing work with a brass bushing to take up the slack. Heck, I can probably just use the larger bolts (it's EXPERIMENTAL). Also said that most of the T-50 guys don't use the washers between the engine and the mount 'cause it just wears away petty quick anyway. oh yeah... the other one for possibly the fuselage brackets for the motor mount. Some guy down in VA.
I did some additional web surfing to see if I could find any images of the bracket mount for the motor that would be on the fuselage side of things. I came up on a site that has a guy doing a 3D CAD of the entire T-50. I had seen this before but had no real interest until now. I was hoping he had the bracket CAD'd out... but not yet. AND... one of the guys that has been a real help with the project... none other than Terry Sullivan ! (small world) Here's a link to that site T-50 Bamboo Bomber.
A lot of leg work going into this engine mount. Been thinking about getting back on the wings too. I'll need to check my ribs out to see what needs to be done with them before threading them onto the spars. Also... back on the instrument panels. Re-thinking them ???
March 7, 2015
and still thinking of the biplane.
I'm down here in Tortola. Brought the laptop and thumb drive so I can put some words down on paper... think of things I need to do on the biplane.
When I get back... one of the days after I get back, I need to go over an get me a piece of that stainless steel over at Fazio's Metals. A BIG place not too far from me. Nice to have them in your "back yard".
Not a project to really get anything done on the engine, although it will help move that along... it's more for me getting started on the aluminum skins of the front area on the fuselage. I need to have that firewall in place to move forward on the skins and not just play around in that area. Of which is a by the way... don't expect to move forward on any part of the biplane/airplane unless you have all the pieces to work on that particular part. Can you really expect to have a "finished" product if you don't have all the finished pieces. It'll be more like a exercise.
A week or so ago I started, yes, started, looking at doing the skins for the front and rear pits. Thinking it through and knew I needed that firewall to get things measured up right (it's hard enough getting the skins right on the first several attempts let alone on a firewall that ain't really there).
I'll get the stainless steel for the firewall. Make it. Attach it. Start working on the skins for the biplane which will allow me to get moving on the faceted windscreens and the rear pit bubble.
Update: March 17:
Didn't do much writing down in Tortola. Did a lot of reading... "Atlas Shrugged". Good book. Actually started it last year when in Tortola. Didn't pick it up again until we went back to Tortola. Close to finishing it now...