Surely not? Yup.
I’ve missed a load of bits out I know. The fuel tank is standard Kart issue and 8 litres…
Anyway, less of the detail, just look at the pictures…
In June 2012 I took Spindizzy as a work in progress to a race meeting in Nottingham and it’s at events like this when you find out who your friends are.
The Sweetman clans saw how I was getting on and descended “en masse” to help out. They helped me fit a pair of rudders, pinched from RO3, some bike handlebars , routed the cable and generally moved the project on a great deal.
This next photo shows the morse cable going inside the hull at the front to reappear at the back. Any guesses as to where the silver metal piece came from?
RO3 was going to be a bit gnarly but for Spindizzy I didn’t want anything too fierce. In addition I also wanted an engine that would be easy to start and relatively trouble free. Nothing too close to the edge.
For those reasons I chose a Rotax 447 microlight engine. These engines have been around since God was a boy and are well used and understood. They are no longer in production but there are plenty about. the also have the advantage the because of a quirk in the UK racing regs they can be used in F3,my old stomping ground, F2, because they are between 250 and 500cc two stroke, F50 because they are weedy enough and FJ for the same reason.
It’s a twin cylinder two stroke making about 40BHP so it’s not going to set the world on fire but it’s good enough.
I had the engine frame made by Ken Rigley of K&M products near Newark. Ken has been doing Rotax frame for a long time and he just needed the diameter of the duct at the point furthest forward and the height of duct. He didn’t ask me what colour and I didn;t think there would be a choice. I was a bit surprised when it turned out red but as I was building a red craft anyway it didn’t seem to matter.
So, for this build I was going to need a hull and planing surface as before.
When I originally bought the moulds for the Outlaw I got a plug from which I pulled a mould. I still had this plug.
It is basically a top deck, a little heavier than I would like but perfectly servicable and good to go. It needed a lick of paint but that could wait.
Next, a planing surface. As you know by now I have a mould and so I pulled a planing surface from that. The construction was just the same as Randomorbit 3’s planing surface.
So now we’re up and running.
I asked Les Bran of Bran Fibre to make me an 800mm duct and he duly obliged. I made a GRP box to fix it to the hull but didn’t take any photos of the process. Oh well.
After fitting the duct to the hull it is time to fit some flow straightener vanes. There are some basic rules here.
I borrowed some moulds to make a set and all was going well unitl I tried filling them with foam for strength and the deformed beyonr recognition 🙁 My old freind Dan came to the rescue wth various vanes he had lurking in his collection. Not only that but he came rounod to help me fit then and also had a pair of rudders. Top man.
The duct is 1M in diameter, quite large for an F3 but I figured it would be about right for this craft. The duct was made by my old friend Dan who was doing it as a plug for a duct he was building and it was no longer required.
I collected it on a filthy night, strapped to the roof of the car as you can see. You can make out the Kevlar containment area that should hold everything together if a blade lets go and tries to leave through the side.
There is also a flat “plate” running all round the duct. This is to help to keep it circular, particularly where the blades run. It’s quite hard to stop a duct from flexing and as long as the part with the blades in stays circular, the rest can move around a little.
By now I had a new mould for a top deck/hull and a polished mould for a planing surface that I thought would give me one piece from which I could take another mould.
But, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here. I mentioned in the introduction to the Outlaws that I had formed a plan. the plan was to build a new craft on a light, interesting hull. It also involved twin ducts because I like twin ducts and a four stroke engine because I like four stroke engines. I’d still go shaft drive because otherwise engine choice is a bit limited.
We’ve seen how the top deck plug was mounted, buffed and a mould taken. The next step was to take a part from that mould.
For reasons unknown I don’t have any pictures of the new mould. Suffice it to say that the plug was pulled of the frame and the mould put onto it. Now I have a mould on a nice frame that can be rocked over at a jaunty angle to make laying up easier.
First up, after waxing and polishing comes a couple of layers of gelcoat. I chose a letterbox red. Then a mix of CSM and Diolen. I think I put down one layer of CSM followed by Diolen followed be CSM. It’s been a while, cut me some slack.
The plan was to use two fans, one for thrust, another for lift. The list fan duct is made from GRP as to be expected and was given to me by a freind who has moulds for this kind of thing and a spare duct.