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kaz3g

A great day to be Austering

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Thanks Dafydd,Mine is a J1B, the manufactuer's hand book says spins approved, the CAA approved POH says spins not approved. Got me bluffed ...

 

BTW Dafydd, this may interest you. Mine (VH-KBY) was operated by the Wagga gliding club back in the 70s and was pranged and totaled on an EFATO towing a glider. It was subsequently fully restored in 1998, but without the tow hook (damn it).

 

She is currently undergoing maintenance and I am looking for a tow hook, because the LAME at Luskintyre has acquried a 1938 single seat timber German Glider that has a max towing speed of 47 knots, which the J1B can manage. So in the not too distant future I will be looking for a tow endorsement and may be towing an antique glider out of Luskintyre. Perhaps you may know where I can get an Auster glider tow hook assembly?

I am, I think, able to supply a drawing; however you will need an Engineering Order to fit it, and I retired from CAR 35 work in 2011, so I cannot provide that. Whatever you do, do NOT put an American "gate latch" release (as sold by Aircraft Spruce etc) on it. Best choice is a Tost aerotow release; you may be able to purchase one from GFA.

 

I have never spun a J1B, tho I have about 600 hours of glider towing in them (and am pretty deaf as a result); I always thought they were spinnable, but never tried it. Best glider-towing propeller is the Bishton one (I do not recall the part number - probably BB 8150)

 

 

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The aerobatic Auster is the Aiglet which is essentially a clip-winged version of the Autocar in later manifestations. It started as a J1 but was soon designated J 5F-K. The "F" is the most common.

 

All Austers spin beautifully but those big wings with the rather low G loadings allowed really make it a bit risky in a 70 yo aircraft. I know some of the guys in the Auster Club in UK will do it, but not me.

 

I have a TOST hook you can borrow David, if you want to. Also have a wind driven generator which is going spare (mine has an alternator).

 

Kaz

 

 

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..... Also have a wind driven generator which is going spare (mine has an alternator)....

Thanks Kaz, Yes please, do you also have the dash switches that were associated with the generator, what will I owe you? I might also take you up on borrowing the tow hook if I cannot easily find one locally. I would like to know what happened to the original.

 

 

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My recollection is they were clipped wing and a separate endorsement. ( Such a demanding aircraft.) tee hee Mr Llewellyn would be able to fill you in better than me there as to wing section. As an opinion I would be surprised if it was symmetrical as the engines never ran inverted. They lose oil pressure fairly quickly and you should wait till the pressure is regular before applying power after you have been mucking around. Do it in a Tiger instead. There's plenty of them around and find out how you feel with nothing above you and you go inverted..Nev.

Quite correct. All the Auster series use the same airfoil as the Bonanza, Baron, and just about every high-performance piston aircraft subsequent to the Spitfire that didn't succumb to the lure of "laminar-flow" airfoils - i.e. NACA 23012. (Still in use on quite a few modern aircraft, also - I think Cessna used it on the Citation 1). And yes, Gipsy Major engines require an additional oil scavenge pump and an "inverted" carburettor, to run inverted - some Chipmunks were fitted for it.

 

 

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Thanks Dafydd,Mine is a J1B, the manufactuer's hand book says spins approved, the CAA approved POH says spins not approved. Got me bluffed ...

 

BTW Dafydd, this may interest you. Mine (VH-KBY) was operated by the Wagga gliding club back in the 70s and was pranged and totaled on an EFATO towing a glider. It was subsequently fully restored in 1998, but without the tow hook (damn it).

 

She is currently undergoing maintenance and I am looking for a tow hook, because the LAME at Luskintyre has acquried a 1938 single seat timber German Glider that has a max towing speed of 47 knots, which the J1B can manage. So in the not too distant future I will be looking for a tow endorsement and may be towing an antique glider out of Luskintyre. Perhaps you may know where I can get an Auster glider tow hook assembly?

David does this mean you are going for the vintage trifecta: vintage tug, vintage glider, vintage pilot?

 

 

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David does this mean you are going for the vintage trifecta: vintage tug, vintage glider, vintage pilot?

You'll keep sweet pea, I know where you live .... I'll have you know I am the youngest of the three (not by much though) LOL.

 

 

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David, You will probably need another prop and the engines tend to get a bit hot towing. Nev

Yes Nev, I was thinking of the potential overheat. Dafydd suggested the correct prop which I am certain would be a lot finer than mine. I cant get anymore than about 1900RPM on take off (max power is at 2100), mind you the Tacho is a little sticky on mine, so it is hard to read accurately. She cruises at 91 knots at 1900 RPM, so it would definitely be a cruise prop I would think.

 

Austers has a tendency to overheat in Oz without some proper cowl clearances, I was going to fit CHT and EGT gauges on mine, just out of curiosity.

 

 

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When do you call yourself OLDE David, like Koreelah has done. You're not even close Buddy. OLD has a new meaning these days.. . We have the numbers to vote it in.

 

Regarding the engine temperatures. It might be better if you didn't know. The oil won't worry you, because it won't be long enough time wise. Nev

 

 

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When do you call yourself OLDE David, like Koreelah has done...

Steady now there Nev. Who sez I'm old? I grew up in a place called Old Koreelah.

 

 

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Now I am getting withdrawal symptoms - mine has been grounded for two weeks with a broken fuel pump !!

Haven't been to The Oaks for a while, but last time I was there, there were a couple of Austers tucked away at the back of the hanger looking like they needed a bit of TLC and taken for a fly. (brought back a few memories) Just the smell of those old bird's, is one of nostalgia, like sticking your nose near an old English car with the wood and leather upholstery, providing the driver never smoked a pipe:no no no:

 

 

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Haven't been to The Oaks for a while, but last time I was there, there were a couple of Austers tucked away at the back of the hanger looking like they needed a bit of TLC and taken for a fly. (brought back a few memories) Just the smell of those old bird's, is one of nostalgia, like sticking your nose near an old English car with the wood and leather upholstery, providing the driver never smoked a pipe:no no no:

I have not looked in the past few months. There was a J5B there up till recently though. The owner of the airport was working on getting it running again. It was complete but will need a good clean !!

 

Mine is currently hangared at Camden but will eventually migrate to The Oaks.

 

 

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That must be the silver one you refer to Ian. Nice old plane, but had almost enough dust on it to plant a crop of spuds.

 

Hope he finds the time to get the old girl back in the air before too long.

 

 

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No - it was light blue with white wings. I know there is one hidden away somewhere there but I have not seen it - may be the one you are thinking of !

 

 

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No - it was light blue with white wings. I know there is one hidden away somewhere there but I have not seen it - may be the one you are thinking of !

I should get my A into G and get down there more often. Thanks for the info.

 

Alan

 

 

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Ducked down to the airfield at lunchtime to go for a quick fly - a guy I have seen round came over to talk - turns out he flew Austers a bit in the early 60s. Took him along and he had a big grin the whole time. Thats what Austers are all about !

 

 

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Yes Nev, I was thinking of the potential overheat. Dafydd suggested the correct prop which I am certain would be a lot finer than mine. I cant get anymore than about 1900RPM on take off (max power is at 2100), mind you the Tacho is a little sticky on mine, so it is hard to read accurately. She cruises at 91 knots at 1900 RPM, so it would definitely be a cruise prop I would think.Austers has a tendency to overheat in Oz without some proper cowl clearances, I was going to fit CHT and EGT gauges on mine, just out of curiosity.

The Auster J1B makes quite a useful tug, for gliders up to 500 Kg MTOW, provided it has a Gipsy 10-1 in it . But ONLY if you fit the correct propeller; a Bishton 8150 (81 inches diameter, 50 inches pitch) or second best, an Adams A49. There's no third best. It does need an oil cooler - The standard J1B cowl had a scoop for one. They were made by Delaney-Galley and they are as rare as rocking-horse manure. Without these, you will simply flog the engine to death. The one we had at Bathurst, set up this way, was VH-KCJ. You need to remove every non-essential item of weight. If yours has a Gipsy 1 in it (bronze cylinder heads) forget glider towing. The aluminium-head ones can handle it, but you have to be VERY careful not to shock-cool them. You will also need a glider-towing flight manual supplement - LOL.

 

 

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Some of you may have seen this before...if not here is 8mm footage of an Auster(anyone know what model?)towing a Kooka and Mucha many moons ago at The Isa...

 

 

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Some of you may have seen this before...if not here is 8mm footage of an Auster(anyone know what model?)towing a Kooka and Mucha many moons ago at The Isa...

The video says it's a J1N

 

 

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I have the type records for several marks of Auster; and the NSW Regional office of DCA had a paper on Auster types and how to identify them. Personally, I suspect they had a great heap of wings, fuselages, etc from subcontractors or whatever, and they simply took parts from the top of the heap & assembled them into an aircraft - and if it happened to be a combination of bits they had not previously come up with, they gave it a new model number, and just kept going . . .

 

 

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Yep...pretty much.

 

And then when they were shipped out here many of them had quite significant alterations again. Mine had a new and bigger tail, different glass, a transverse seat for two in the back and a different engine.

 

Many years later, a total rebuild and an 0-320 gave it a new lease of life.

 

Kaz

 

 

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Yep...pretty much.

And then when they were shipped out here many of them had quite significant alterations again. Mine had a new and bigger tail, different glass, a transverse seat for two in the back and a different engine.

 

Many years later, a total rebuild and an 0-320 gave it a new lease of life.

 

Kaz

Yep - the first three were standard J1B.

 

 

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For sure, and all these years later, they're still flying. Must have got some things somewhere near right.

Let's just set the record straight on that point. I've owned two Austers, and learned more than I really want to know about them as a result of that plus operating them as glider tugs. I also own an STC for putting Lycoming 0-360 engines into J5G Autocars, and I've written lots of EOs for them as a CAR 35 engineer. Yes, one can keep them going almost indefinitely, by the "George Washington's axe" approach. They are not all that economical to operate in the long term. However their weaknesses are largely a known quantity:

 

To be specific:

 

Airframe:

 

1. There is a weakness in the leading edge ribs, which are made from something like oversize umbrella frame material, on the upper surface, just ahead of the main spar. There have been several fatal accidents to glider tugs in the U.K. and one quite remarkable escape in Australia, due to this. The rib fails by upward buckling of its upper truss, under the very high suction load at that point, if the aircraft is exposed to a strong upward gust when flying at speeds above about 100 knots, and the failure propagates instantly to all the ribs in the wing. The cure is to replace all the wing leading edge ribs with pressed sheet metal ribs made from 0.050 inch material. This was done to the port wing of VH-WED, if my memory serves me correctly, after the owner managed to get it back on the ground with the entire leading edge of the wing buckled upwards. MORAL: Do NOT fly an Auster at more than about 95 knots, regardless of what its Vne may be - it is not designed for those speeds.

 

2. The ailerons have to be rigged about 3/4 inch down at their trailing edges, to prevent overbalance causing aileron "snatch" (abrupt hard-over) at the upper end of the speed range; this is caused by stretch in the aileron balance cable circuit, mainly due to extremely poor design of the aileron pulley brackets.

 

3. The flaps are barn doors, certainly - but if you are so foolish as to exceed the maximum flaps-extended speed, they will peel the rear spar out of the wing. The fix for this is to install steel-tube "A" frames, one at each flap bracket, running between the rear spar and the main spar, picking up on the flap bracket bolts, so the twisting load is not applied to the wooden spar.

 

4. Some aircraft have cast magnesium flap brackets, which are prone to rot away.

 

5. The control system pulleys are all too small in diameter for the cables, and they lack ball-bearings. They can be replaced with more modern pulleys, but the diameter problem remains. This shortens the life of the cables, and also causes considerable control circuit friction.

 

6. The main undercarriage pivot bolts bend in service and in doing so, crack the welded brackets on the longerons, because the design of the pivot lacked a spacer tube.

 

7. The main wheels are sized to use tyres made for Hurricane tail wheels, which are now unobtainable. The main wheel brakes are designed to fade completely after taxiing about 100 yards if there is any cross-wind, and the fairlead tubes from the heel pedals to the top of the undercarriage legs acquire a wear groove in them that completely locks up when the brake cables are replaced with new cables, so the brakes become completely useless. The cure is to modify the axles to accept Cleveland 600 x 6 wheels & tyres, and fit hydraulic toe brakes; there are several approved schemes for this.

 

8. The original tail wheel needs to be replaced with a properly-designed fully-castering one with a shimmy damper - a Scott 3200 is best. The tailwheel spring front bolt breaks regularly, in glider-towing it needs to be replaced at every 100 hourly inspection.

 

9. The early-type teilplane stubs had reinforcing tubes silver-soldered into them. The silver solder causes the stubs to crack, in the fullness of time, due to copper diffusion into tjhe grain boundaries of the steel. There is an AD on this; it really needs to be fixed by replacent the tailplane stubs completely.

 

10. The original fuel tanks are soft-soldered Terne plate, and they have an unfixable chronic leakage problem. The only cure is to replace them with made-to-fit welded aluminium tanks.

 

The pitot-static system has enormous errors, especially at low speed. It causes the ASI to under-read by 13 knots at the stall. This is the reason why many people find them difficult to land because they float. The do NOT actually land at 26 knots; when the ASI shows that, the real speed is 39 knots.

 

Engine:

 

1. The original magnetos are dreadful in too many ways to cover here; the worst is that the mechanical advance-retard linkage coupled to the throttle, wears the outside of the contact-breaker cam ring, and it only takes about 0.004 inches of wear here to prevent the points from opening at all. Lesser amounts of wear affect the ignition timing. The cure is to replace them with Slicks.

 

2. The engine anti-vibration rubber mounts - don't.

 

3. You need to wear ANR headsets, if you want to keep your hearing. They were invented too late, for me.

 

Apart from all that, they are quite fun to fly; but do respect their speed limits.

 

 

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