On Patrol…

While the Sting is in bits (Almost finished now, thanks for asking!), it’s great to have access to another aircraft to get airborne in, even if it is open cockpit and usually freezing.

There was a little bit of tinkering required for the Eindecker as the tailwheel had seized up and disintegrated. Replica WW1 fighter tailwheels should be rarer than hen’s teeth, but actually Machine Mart do a fine selection. A bit weird that they label these Fokker Eindecker tail wheels as ML309 Threaded Stem Rubber Swivel Castor. But they are only £6.95 each.

Tinkering complete it was time to launch off on patrol. Having secured the cowling with 30+ screws the engine wouldn’t start. Sod’s law. I had neglected to connect the starter motor to the battery. The battery had been off all winter on trickle charge and had been connected back up. So I thought!

30+ screws removed, cowling off and 30 seconds to reconnect the cable. Cowling on, 30+ screws refitted and ready to go. Normal wear for the open cockpit includes full clothes under a flying suit with a leather jacket on top  which looks the part.

But this was such a hot day that I tried without the jacket and suit, and it was fine. We took off on the westerly runway and turned right to head north. The early turn is required to avoid the trees at the end of the runway.

25 minutes later we were back, having satisfied the craving and got air under the wings of the Eindecker for the first time since November.

Looking forward to the next time I have a day off and it’s warm with light winds. Roll on summer…!

(Good photos by Wallace as usual)