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Jessie The Jeep

My Flying Control Jeep

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Yorkshire MVT Crank Up - April 15th

The season begins! Because it was the first big run out for "Jessie" since all the ignition work, I decided against travelling on my own to Tadcaster for the big convoy to the Castle, and instead decided to meet up with some friends near Croft and travel with them.

It was an early start, leaving Washington at 07:40hrs to meet up with the rest of the northern contingent a little before 9am. Two vehicles joined me there and we then continued south to Northallerton where our despatch rider joined our little convoy. Because I had a Sat-Nav, they stuck me at the front of our little convoy, so my dashcam didn't get much to look at.

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We made good progress, maintaining a fairly steady 45mph, and getting to the castle about 10:15. Some vehicles had already arrived, but the Tadcaster convoy didn't get there until nearer 11am.

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Once everyone arrived, there were around sixty vehicles parked up including two motorbikes and two folding para-bikes. It had been a misty start to the day, but got out quite bright at times and wasn't cold.

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People started drifting away from mid afternoon, and with a long drive ahead of us, me in particular, we set off North around 3pm. I got home about 5:15pm using just under a full tank of fuel on the 160 mile round trip.

Further pictures can be found here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2018/crankup.htm

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Breighton Aerodrome Radial Engine Fly-In - May 6th

The Breighton Radial Fly-In was my first camping trip of 2018. Unusually for a bank holiday, the forecast was for hot and dry weather. I made the three hour trip down to Breighton on Saturday 5th, with the Jeep doors off. I set up camp near one of the old wartime technical site huts. There were a number of people already flying, enjoying the beautiful weather. As the evening drew on, and the sun went down, I took the opportunity to get some pictures of the Jeep around the airfield.

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On Sunday morning, I helped the guys get the collection aircraft out onto the flight line. Here's four of the Real Aero collection, two Bucker Jungmanns, a Bucker Jungmeister and the Ryan PT-22 Recruit that I flew two years ago.

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Most of the rest of the collection were lined up outside the hangars. A few aircraft were undergoing maintenance, such as the Broussard, Arrow Active 2 and Yak18a, and they were left inside. Once the aircraft were all on display, I brought my Jeep around to its usual spot by the tower. In addition to the aircraft, the Bristol Hercules and Rolls Royce Merlin aircraft engines were there and made a number of runs across the day.

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I took around 800 photographs across the weekend, thinned down to around 600, and obviously can't show them all, so for a number of aircraft, I made some compilations to get more images into a single picture. Here's a couple of the more unusual radial engined aircraft that were visiting Breighton for the day.

Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz

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Morane-Saulnier MS.317

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Posted (edited)

On Monday morning, I got the chance to fly in Charles' Auster J/1N again. The last time I had a flight in this aircraft was in 2011, but it's only recently returned to the air after maintenance which was spread over 18 months.

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Monday was another scorching hot day, hot even before 9am. I packed up the tent first thing, had the Auster flight late morning, then had lunch. I left the airfield a little after 2pm.

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On the way home, the Jeep started to occasionally mis-fire. By the time I was much closer to home, it was coughing and spluttering and eventually lost all power and stopped about 20 miles from home. 

I had a bit of a fiddle and component swap to get it going, but was really too tired from the heat to be bothered. Lynne came to meet me with the normal car and took the Jeep trailer home using a 50mm ball adapter I made for the ring hitch.

The RAC turned up convinced he could fix it, although he said a big "Oh!" when I asked him what 24 volt components he had with him. He wasted way too much time trying and eventually gave up and put the Jeep on the towing dolly. My trip home was over 7 hours in total - which could have been shorter if the RAC had just hooked the Jeep up from the start. It appears that the ballast resistor burned out ( he never checked that ). The following day, I fitted a spare, and the Jeep started up and ran perfectly.

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Since it was so hot going home, I'm wondering whether the heat and the high voltage for three hours put too much strain on it. I've since messed around further with the voltage regulator to get the volts lower through the system. I also fitted a second ballast resistor to the firewall. This isn't connected, but allows a quick terminal swap should it happen again.

Further pictures can be found here - Radial Engine Fly-In

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Given the temperature the resistance wire will melt at I doubt a 10degC rise ambient temperature would have been significant.

The combination of higher voltage plus the running time is far more likely.

As to the RAC I wonder how often they deal with vehicles with traditional ignition and so don't think to check for what were once common failures.

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I recently asked an AA man what they carried in the way of traditional ignition parts and the answer was none. He, an older chap, said none of the newer patrolmen would know what to do with them anyway.

 

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To be fair, he was old school, with a classic car of his own. He had a 12 volt coil and spare condensor, but as he couldn't get my Jeep to run with them, couldn't be sure if they were working properly!

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I trailered the Jeep to the Yorkshire Air Museum over the weekend just gone, for their "Against the Odds" 1940's RAF Station weekend. I hadn't had enough time to mess around with the Jeep to trust it on a long drive. It was a great weekend with the museum's Handley-Page Halifax, "Friday 13th" outdoors for a rare appearance in the sun.

I took loads of photos, all shot in RAW format, so it will be a little while processing before I can add a report. Two other amazing opportunities presented themselves while there too, but more of that in the full report to follow. Hot on the heals of the YAM event is "Blyth Battery Goes to War" next weekend, then East Kirkby's "Lanc, Tank and Military Machines" the weekend after! A very busy May.

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Yesterday I had a little time to do some test driving of the Jeep.

Apart from the burned out ballast resistor, I think the main problem with the ignition has been the 24 volt ignition coil. I did a three mile test drive on the original coil which was ok to start with, but then the engine started missing slightly about half way through the trip. It was also very hot when I stopped for such a short drive. I swapped to the newly purchased spare coil and went for another four mile drive. So this time the drive was a little further, but similar speeds, and the engine ran well. It also started easier than the old one, even with the voltage has been dropped at the regulator.

I need a longer hot drive to be sure, but didn't want to go far in case Lynne needed to recover the Jeep with the Kuga. If all is well after a longer test, I'll order a second coil as a spare.

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Yorkshire Air Museum "Against the Odds" - May 11~13th

This was only the second "Against the Odds" event at Elvington, the museum's replacement for the Yorkshire MVT "Battlegroup North" event. As seen below, it was a rare chance to see the Handley Page Halifax outdoors and get some unique photos.

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I trailered the Jeep to Elvington as I hadn't had enough time to check over the ignition problem to be confident of a long trip. I arrived mid afternoon on Friday 11th and set up camp near the control tower. The rest of the day allowed me to get some photos of the Halifax and other museum exhibits without people in the way. 

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The Friday evening, after the museum closed and the public left, also gave me the chance to get the Jeep in front of the Halifax for pictures of the pair together for the first time. I took more pictures than I can show here, but having the Halifax outdoors is so rare, I didn't know when the next opportunity would be.

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By Saturday morning all the re-enactor and vehicle displays had arrived and were set up ready. They included a few civilian cars, a few other military vehicles, bomb disposal, airborne troops and dancers. I've combined a number of pictures on this page to try and show as much as possible without the pictures getting out of hand.

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On Saturday afternoon, we had a flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. I only had my 18~55mm lens with me so no close up flying pictures.

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While wandering around on Sunday morning, by chance, I happened to be at the right place at the right time to be invited for a look around the inside of the Yorkshire Air Museum Halifax. The aircraft is a recreation, based on an original Halifax fuselage with a Hastings wing, and is known as "Friday 13th". The Hastings was a transport aircraft developed from the Halifax.

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Later in he morning, I also managed a look around the HP Victor. The Victor, despite being a huge aircraft, has a very small crew space. Unlike its stable mate the Vulcan, who's crew compartment is split into two levels, the Victor is all one deck and is very crowded. There's nowhere you can stand upright and little space to move around. Many thanks to Andre Tempest and the Victor crew for the opportunity.

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Further event pictures can be found here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2018/elvington.htm

More Halifax and Victor internal pictures can be seen here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2018/elv_walk.htm

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Last night, I clocked up a 21 mile test drive around Washington, checking out the new Jeep ignition coil. The short drive the other day suggested the old coil was the problem, but I wanted a longer test at higher speeds to put more heat into the new coil. Other than the idle being higher now, all went well, with the engine performing without any problems. I gave the idle stop screw a quarter turn at the end of the trip and put the Jeep away again. I hope now that the ignition problems from the start of May are solved. Since getting the Jeep in April 2005, I've clocked up 14.700 miles, mostly trouble free.

I did another 4.5 miles tonight to fill up the tank for the weekend at Blyth Battery. I plan to take the Jeep on Saturday and the Dodge on Sunday.

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Ignition problems can get very tricky at times. Hope its sorted now so you can enjoy it to the fullest.

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