Carpenter builds wood model of 9-cylinder radial engine

Have you ever wondered how a radial engine works?

radial engine demo

A carpenter has built a model of a 9-cylinder radial engine. Ian Jimmerson apparently built this amazing project in his garage or workshop and everything appears to move just as it would in the real thing. But best of all, in the videos he very carefully explains how all of the parts work together.

In the first video he tells us about the design of the engines, and in Part 2 he goes into more detail and animates it with an electric drill.

Most of the earlier air tankers used various configurations of radial engines. For example, the P2Vs had Wright R-3350-26W Cyclone-18 18-cylinder engines. Some of the C-119s also had that same engine, but others had a Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major with a large 28-cylinder supercharged air-cooled four-row radial piston engine designed and built during World War II.

Bidding for Tanker 82 starts at $100

If you have ever wanted to own an air tanker this could be your chance.

Tanker 82 C-119The bidding for Tanker 82, a C-119, started at $100. But don’t expect to fly it off to your private air field right away. It can’t even be towed due to a problem with the landing gear.

GSA, describing it as “scrap”, is accepting bids for the air tanker formerly operated by Hemet Flying Service. It’s number, N13745, was de-registered with the FAA in 1995. The aircraft is sitting at Fox Airfield in Lancaster, California. Here is a satellite photo that shows a C-119 at Fox.

These first four photos were provided by GSA, and were presumably taken recently.

Tanker 82 C-119 Tanker 82 C-119 Tanker 82 C-119

Over 1,100 C-119s were produced between 1949 and 1955. A few were converted to air tankers after they were discarded by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Some of them had the “Jet-Pack” modification to supplement the power produced by the dual radial engines.

Two C-119 air tankers crashed while they were dropping on fires in California, in 1981 and 1987. In the first accident, on the Los Padres National Forest, the outboard half of the left wing flexed downward, snapped off, and began cartwheeling along behind the air tanker. The two-person crew was fatally injured when the aircraft struck the ground.

The 1987 crash occurred on a fire about 10 miles southwest of Mt. Shasta, California. At about the time the pilot dropped the retardant the right wing separated from the airframe along with the tip of the left wing and the tail booms. The crew of three was killed.

C-119 at Hemet
Tanker 82, a C-119, making an infield practice drop at Hemet, California. Photo by Steve Whitby.

Articles on Fire Aviation tagged “C-119”.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Walt.

Throwback Thursday: Monsanto ad

Phos-Chek
Vintage Monsanto ad for Phos-Chek.

For Throwback Thursday, here is a look at a vintage ad in which Monsanto is advertising Phos-Chek fire retardant. The ad includes the date, 1977.

The aircraft appears to be a C-119 which last flew over fires when? In the late 1980s? I seem to remember that one fell apart in mid-air while I was fighting one of the hundreds of lightning-caused fires in northern California in 1987. (UPDATE Nov. 21, 2014: we heard from Dale, who told us: “You are correct about the year of the C-119 crash in Northern California. There were 3 people on the airtanker when it crashed. The next day, Buzz Dyer, the USFS Airtanker Program Manager grounded all C-119’s from flying for the FS again.”

You can still see two C-119s at the Greybull Rest Area in Wyoming.

C-119
C-119 on final, about to drop on a fire, ~1972. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

Classic air tankers enhance rest stop in Greybull, Wyoming

A former Royal Canadian Air Force C-119 at the Greybull Rest Area
A former Royal Canadian Air Force C-119 at the Greybull Rest Area

When I drive through Greybull, Wyoming on highway 20/14/16 I sometimes stop at the South Big Horn County Airport to look at the dozens of old aircraft that are the remnants of the glory days of Hawkins and Powers. In 2012 there were still several old war birds on the ramp in front of the former H&P office. When I stopped today I did not see any aircraft on the ramp and the two retired C-119s that had been in the grassy field just west of the office for many years were gone.

Tanker 126 at the Greybull Rest Area
Tanker 126 at the Greybull Rest Area

It turns out that several of them have been moved a few hundred feet to the west at the highway rest stop west of the entrance to the airport (map). The aircraft are separated from the rest stop by a chain link fence, but there is a path developing in the grass along the fence where rest stop visitors walk to inspect and take pictures of the classic air tankers.

These photos were taken at the rest area through the chain link fence.

Greybull Rest Area, Tanker 127
Greybull Rest Area, Tanker 127, a PB4Y-2.
Greybull Rest Area, Tanker 136
Greybull Rest Area, Tanker 136, a C-119J

There are two C-119s. One is a J-model, Tanker 136, with the jet engine bolted onto the top, and the other still has Canadian Royal Air Force written on the side. It may never have been converted to an air tanker and does not have the jet engine. There are also two PB4Y-2 air tankers parked just outside the fence, Tankers 126 and 127.

There are still a couple of dozen old military surplus aircraft in the field northwest of the airport runways.
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Photographic essay of air tankers, by Joe Cupido

Aero Union's P3A Tanker 22
Aero Union’s P3A Tanker 22 getting reloaded at Hemet Ryan Air Attack Base while another P3A is headed towards the fire.

We are honored to present a photographic essay of air tankers by professional photographer Joe Cupido. He tells us below about his career in photography.

I grew up in a military family and acquired the love of aviation early on. When I was in high school I started photographing aircraft. Then later while in the military I became a Combat Photographer / Photojournalist and continued photographing aircraft professionally. I specialized in Air to Air photography working with the military and for some of the major aircraft companies. I was lucky enough to finish my career with about 5,500 hours in over 100 different airframes, 7 books and over 2,000 magazines articles on aviation subjects.

I’ve always enjoyed chasing fire-fighting aircraft whenever I had the time. The images below were captured over time and with a lot of cooperation from a lot of good people in the Air Tanker business. Without their help I could not have captured the images that I did and I thank all of you. Hope you enjoy!

Thanks Joe!

Hawkins & Powers Tanker 121
Hawkins & Powers Tanker 121, a PB4Y2, an ex-US Navy World War II patrol bomber.
McDonnell-Douglas DC 10
McDonnell-Douglas DC 10s, Tankers 911 and 910, operated by10 Tanker Air Carrier
Butler Aviation's Douglas DC7's
One of Butler Aviation’s Douglas DC7s, Tanker 66 during engine start. Nothing better than four smoky Pratt & Whitney radial engines.

Continue reading “Photographic essay of air tankers, by Joe Cupido”