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TOSG Thruster Projects - coming year.


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This is to provide an update of what TOSG will be doing over the coming 12 months and we have some big projects in hand that will whet a few appetites. The Thruster is not a dead, antique museum piece and there is much going on to keep them current with new expectations while also providing effective coverage of traditional ultralight taildraggers in affordable form.

 

 

It is mainly for Thruster owners and enthusiasts out there who are not TOSG members as TOSG members will be getting a full account and photos in the current Bulletin (now in the post).

 

 

First up it is apparent that for my sins (which must have been bloody considerable) that my attempted semi retirement has been a failure and I am coming back for one more year. There is still work there I should have finished and maybe turned my back on too quickly.

 

 

Note please that I am NOT renewing my instructor ratings! However, on a mutual flying basis, I can give people orientation to the sharp corners of Thruster operations and techniques to deal with the aircraft. This will be done in a T300/582 that I have just finished rebuilding. It will cost you $110 per hour because the owner wants some return on wearing her aircraft out! A T500/BMW will be also available in a few months time.

 

 

There are two prime projects. One concerns the Thruster Swift (that most of you have never heard of) and the other is a BMW powered T500. Prepare to drool!

 

 

The Swift project has been on the go for quite some time. There was a dual purpose – the Swift itself and the parts that would go into the Swift that would be individually available to any Thruster owner to enhance their own machine. At the same time this would help clean up the parts supply area that had dried up from the Thruster factory.

 

 

The Swift concept itself could be any existing Thruster two seater (with the exception of the Flash and any of the Glasshouses), give them new systems for valid training or sport flying, make them more comfortable, and tame their behaviour on the ground so they are more of a normal taildragger rather than a demanding witch!

 

 

In addition I wanted an aircraft with a fully enclosed cockpit, capable of 65-70 kts cruise with a R582 engine at around 16 lph fuel consumption. Most of all of the above has already been done in one form or another and is already flying – the Swift puts it all together and does so legally!

 

 

The objective therefore is to take any existing two seater, do a benchmark rebuild on it and then put the Swift enhancements on it. For a private owner, or a small school with little money, you could have an “as new†effective machine for around the $25,000 to $30,000 mark (maybe much less depending on what you start with).

 

 

It will have reduced wing angle of incidence brackets to tame its behaviour; a 5 stage flapperon system including reflex for more efficient cruise; manual control aerodynamic rudder and elevator trimmers; a streamliner pod to reduce drag and increase pod strength; a fully sealed and enclosed cockpit with bulged doors for shoulder room and for map pockets; a consequent four outlet ventilation systems (enclosed Thrusters do get hot in the summer); anti interference drag fairings; spats, differential wheel brakes; plus a few other goodies.

 

 

Or owners can have as few or as many of the parts as they like and they can do the work themselves to keep costs even lower.

 

 

The reduced wing incidence bracket has attracted a lot of attention and this potentially affects the aircrafts declage. With my CAR35 engineers we have designed a wool tuft test flying programme so we know exactly what is going on in all flight regimes and can get the angle exactly right to do the job intended.

 

 

While the new glass fibre stuff is totally kosher, there was still a legality question mark hanging over it so all of that will be put under an Engineering Order as well.

 

 

When this is all finished then it will ring true like a bell when tapped!

 

 

The BMW is an allied story. There were three attempts to fit these engines to Thrusters and only one worked. It was built by an engineer but not a CAR35 engineer so was never certified. It has been high on my presently dwindling TOSG “X Files†for a very long time!

 

 

Now I have commission to benchmark rebuild the aircraft and get the engine certified. From that will come a retrofit four stroke option for current (or prospective) Thruster owners. I will be going down to central NSW in a couple of weeks to get it plus bang on a couple of doors while I am there.

 

 

This will consist of a rebuilt BMW R80 engine upgraded to 1000cc BMW R100 status but with a back up dual ignition system; a rotax C type gear box; adaptor plate, and brand new engine mount. We are looking at about $9,000 for the lot with “how to do it†notes including how to responsibly revise the weight and balance.

 

 

We believe this is a sensible four stroke option that you will be able to get with bank card rather than heaps of finance and consequent insurance bills. This particular machine has done around 300 hours with the engine and it is working reliable. Unfortunately it barks like a starving dog with straight through exhausts so we will be putting a new design (by Daffyd Llewellen) vortex exhaust system on it that will have it burbling along very nicely.

 

 

On top of all that TOSG has been grinding along and we now have approx 200 page owners handbooks for all the production models that include heaps of operational and airworthiness data. These have been done as the original aircraft manuals are now no longer available and so many have not been passed on at the point of sale of second hand aircraft.

 

 

But, to quote a famous phrase “that is not allâ€Â! The TOSG web site is being totally revamped and the presently stored TOSG research and reference material will be uploaded and presented in a fashion where it is easily and clearly accessible.

 

 

Ian Baker and Roy Gilby will be bearing the brunt of that – I just do the writing! I am a bloody barbarian when it comes to computers!

 

 

I have a few other projects on the simmer but I do not want to talk much about them at this stage.

 

 

After all that then perhaps I can go quietly to sleep and/or get on with what I so much want to do – my main training manuals – in relative peace.

 

 

To finish off – everything is alive and well in Thrusterland with a lot coming!

 

 

Aye

 

 

Tony

 

 

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