Morning Glory
ClearNav Vario 25% OFF SALE till Dec 24!
Motorized Bergfalke Mk1
Ian McPhee Aviation
Serving Australian Soaring Since 1972


Over 2000 gliding boom mics now sold worldwide!

July 2002

Finally the 303 has been released so now coupled with the 302 vario/logger Cambridge can offer an easy to use system at about 2/3 the price of what was previously available. Also the system is ideally suited for syndicate and club use. The pilot's names can be entered in the front screen and saved with there name is their preferred settings including finish heights etc. Probably the only disadvantage but clubs and syndicates may consider an advantage is the logger is part of the vario and never leaves the glider so is always there and can never get lost!  To download a flight you need to bring a laptop with a working battery   (or palm) to the glider and download to form a disc. Not really that hard and you do not have to rush back for that forgotten logger.

As most people know now there has been a change of ownership of Cambridge with the new owners (Roy Ridgeway) based in Horne Lake in the deep south (MS). Board "populating" is done at Horne Lake while assembly is done at Vermont as is service. Dave Ellis is still there at Vermont and has a small interest in the organization so we have not lost "Mr Cambridge".

The 304 based on the Compaq Ipaq has been working well for those people with better computer skills. Cambridge have reduced the price of the mounts and I could only recommend same as I have heard several cases of people using a cable stuck in the base where the plug has broken the main board of  Compaq. Regretfully such computers can not be repaired and become a throw away item. If you look at Cambridge web site you will notice the mounts with goose neck use a similar goose necks as I use in the Boom mics - I put David onto the Italians. Cambridge are focusing on hardware and not software in the future. For 304 etc Cambridge have handed dealing with same to Chip Garner a comp pilot and software man. I can organise your software on line from Chip or you can buy direct from Cumulus Soaring. There have been many good buys on e-bay for Ipaq etc recently and I strongly suggest you look there. Compaq recently had an offer of large computer system and gave a free Ipaq with same and some of these appeared new on e-bay. Try and not outbid another glider pilot trying to procure a good deal. Recently Nick Gilbert and Giles Taylor were bidding against each other for a 1550 I believe. Nick did not recognise Giles bidding name his dogs name "Stellabell" - Nick uses STD55!! 

The has not been a lot of progress on PC programs on either the original DOS based software or Window based software. Neither do everything we need. I can not see much change is this as there is no money in doing same so no one is really interested. I believe many people are trying Seeyou.

Very shortly I will be shipping Microphone sr no 1000. Minor changes since sr no 940 has been a larger and more durable foam muff ($A2) which I believe will last much longer than the expensive ($A5) Aviation muff. Also the base has a bend in the base so mic comes out from side by 10 deg - very minor change

Well it has progressed so it has a top similar to the German ones and feet that spread the load. The basic stand is $A143 and with the special feet for soft ground  $A165. I am working on a version of the wing stand with 3 inflatable castering wheels which will form the basis of a one man rig gear. The plan is you would need 2 wing stands and this moon walker device - there will be no jack in the unit thus the need for 2 normal wing stands which gives the adjustment.

Well I have sold over 100 radios now and I hear of few problems these days which is great. Microair have increased my wholesale price twice in recent times with no change in retail price. Thus I now charge a small fee for the harness $A45 -basic and a little more for 2 seaters. Remember Microair have a list price of $A275 for harness and it is very little different to mine as both are built from aircraft wire. As a bonus I use varios colours instead of the Microair all white wires!!  I have mic Jacks at $A7.65.  I have been wiring up a number of touring type motor gliders of late and finally I have a good simple system and is based on a 4 gang C&K 7411 ON-ON-OFF . It is labelled DUAL down, SOLO middle and SOARING up. More important is what it does. In the down position both headsets are on as is intercom and everything else off. In the mid position the pilots mic is on and intercom is off but pilots can talk by pressing a button on panel and in the up position the boom mic and speaker is on and headset mics are off. Also in this position all electric engine instruments are turned off thus saving power when soaring. I also fit a second small 7AH gel cell and it and the main battery get charged by schottky diode and the gel cell is used at all times for radio, vario and xponder (except if it were to fail) and then you can resort to the main battery. Apart from the obvious advantage of not using the starter battery while soaring the other advantage of this is there is no need to turn radio off and on again as you restart the engine as there are no back emf spikes.

For me the xponder has been very slow but all reports now are very positive. The Microair Mode C is soon to be released. The other great thing about the Microair is it is also a digital altimeter and altitude alert system. Those calls from Brisbane Approach of "your transponder is out of tolerance - you will need to have it serviced" as you can see what is going to the man watching the radar screen. You can fix it yourself hopefully so think of the savings!! 

Nothing much has changed except Winter now have a range of faces in off white. I am not sure I will rush into ordering same. No matter where you are in the world I can organise your new Winter instruments for your new glider at the right price so please make contact with me and I will make sure you finish up with the instruments you really want - many people finish up with not the instruments they think they have ordered.

The first rope recaller will be on a Dimona soon to arrive in Australia. Tost are making a mini aero tow release which should get approved soon. In Germany release service is only based on cycles and is not time based. I am note sure if this has filtered through to Australia. Am selling lots of Tost tyres and tubes and if not in stock they soon will be. Springs are always in stock.

Since Cambridge discontinued the CAVII there is a real hole in my range. I am very confident I can offer something real soon from the Czech Republic an audio with a digital averager and the price will be acceptable.

For almost 20 years I have offered Bill Simkinson's KS Avionics mostly CHTs with shock cooling and EGTs. They are very good and come with a full on endorsement of Bert Rutan and as he said at Oshkosh in 1996 "these are the instruments to buy forget those other fancy ones over there". Why Bert said this is that KSA EGT system not only tell you what is happening when you fly it also gives you warning of a long term problem developing. If the "volume" type pots change there positions then something is happening in your engine. The fancy digital systems do not give you this important info.

As I mentioned earlier regarding audio vario TL Electronic of Czech Republic offer an interesting range of basically digital engine instruments at a good price. I  will let you know of progress as I will try the instruments first before I offer them for sale.

Recently I heard of a person leaving a canopy up and it blew down and all the plastic screws on the bottom rail sheared off. I think if metal 3mm bolts had been used then cracked canopy would have been a certainty so would consider changing to same. Besides they are less likely to be overtightened as they tend to grip better and may not come loose. I have Mecaplex rails in stock and am importing canopies from UK from time to time.

As most people know I am am keen to promote Aussie Jabiru  engine in a Motorfalke. Recently I visited Dafydd Llwellyn (a smart reg 35 engineer) at Clifton and a few weeks ago Jabiru at Bundaberg. At present the falke has a top VW mount in the shape of a trapezium and thus frame can twist. A "V" shaped mount which bolts in has been added to top engine mount  and now it is all triangulated. Daffyd has a frame at the moment which he is running a strain gauge over. Now in Germany the Falke and Sambro are used for towing using Rotax 912S and 914 The limit seems to be the ALL UP WEIGHT OF BOTH TOWING AIRCRAFT AND GLIDER BEING TOWED as that is what the Germans quote. Well the Jabiru 2200 in a falke could tow a single seater glider and maybe a light 2 seater but really the way to go is the J3300 6 cylinder. The real problem is the J3300 is not a certified engine (the J2200 is) and it is not likely to get certified because of cost. There is a ray of hope in that it might get certified in US if the conversion of J3300 into Cessna 150/152 goes ahead. The great thing about Jabiru is the costs of maintenance - our Jabirufalke has done 400 flight hours (over 500hrs if you believe in ground time) and the average costs of 100hly are $93 each!!!  This does not include welding on exhaust as we had nothing but trouble with their Jabiru exhaust - I must admit they gave me a full credit. We did our own exhaust with proper slip joints and we have had zero problems since. I still have not convinced Rod Stiff to change Jabiru. We also added our version of a Swiss muffler (stainless steel gauze and fibreglass packing) and now we have a wonderfully quiet Jabiru engine. The ignition coil comes from just about every Honda stationary engine from GX190 to GX440 (ie every fire fighting engine in Australia) and costs $A108 (feed a 6mm flow of air onto coil and it will not fail), spark plugs cost $3,  distributor $11 and rotor arm $5. With a bit of extra work we have CHT temps never exceeding 155 deg C temperatures unheard of in GA and Pawnees etc (they are closer to 215deg C in towing) and with oil cooler the oil temps never ever exceed 88 deg C!!  Unfortunately Jabiru have had a bit of a bad name caused by some of the earlier engines with the small heads and no oil cooler. There has been very little trouble with J2200 sr no 710 and up as this engine has the large heads, oil cooler and larger diameter Bing carburettor. The bigger Bing does mean the Jabiru runs on the rich side but this really is a blessing in disguise as the engine is guaranteed not to run lean.

Now frames for glider towing. The Germans only use the later C falke with the swept back fin. Personally I like what the French are doing. They are taking late B and early C falkes - with vertical fin and non bubble canopy - and a lighter frame but exactly same frame up front. I also prefer this model as it has much bigger 800 x 4 main wheel - the Cfalke uses much smaller 600 x 6 sprung wheel - as the bigger wheel rolls much better on soft ground. Finally the real advantage of motor gliders for towing is unlike dirty frame Pawnees etc there is very no chopped up disturbed air behind the tow plane. You really have no slip stream behind a motor glider so I pilot would have to retrain to tow behind a Pawnee - I am not joking either. Have a look at the back page of December 2002 of the German Gliding Calendar for an excellent drawing and article. Even with the J2200 there is no time that you can not both turn back and land back at the airfield - a wonderful safety feature. I would estimate the fuel used in a 2000ft tow would be about 5 litres and the tow time would be no more than a Pawnee as the glider has airbrakes and on tows to 2000ft and above you can have the engine full off when landing. So watch this space as it will happen! 

Well other items of interest including hour meters and air switches. Also have interesting range of C&K switches. I find Aust Post Express Post delivers overnight to most of the main Queensland cities as well as Sydney/Newcastle and Melbourne.

     Safe soaring
     Ian McPhee

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