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Old 02-15-2013, 12:53 PM   #1
TonyT OP
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Aviation techs: starting a Fairey Swordfish

Not mine
Was watching a YouTube video about starting a Stringbag. The mechanics walked the prop around five of six times and then two of them climbed on the port wing and cranked away (with some effort!) on something that sounded like the generator on one of those crank-to-light trouble lights.
Then I guess the pilot turned the key and the engine popped into life.
So, what were they cranking? How do these things work?
Cheers and thanks,
Tony
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:58 PM   #2
gravityisnotmyfriend
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That is an inertia starter. The crank spins up a flywheel. You'd have to crank 40-50 rounds which would get the flywheel up to speed, then you engage the clutch and the flywheel imparts its energy to the engine.

It's a lot of work - but at least you don't have to worry about a dead battery!
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:13 PM   #3
TonyT OP
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Thanks

I'd say they cranked it nearly fifty times and it certainly had some inertia to begin with!
That was on a nice level airfield. It must have been a whole lot more of a job in a North Atlantic swell with Illustrious or Victorious turning into the wind at full speed.
Thanks,
Tony
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:27 PM   #4
el queso
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Not a great video, but at about the one minute mark they shew the entire process on a Me109.

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Old 02-16-2013, 09:01 AM   #5
AlanCT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
Not mine
Was watching a YouTube video about starting a Stringbag. The mechanics walked the prop around five of six times and then two of them climbed on the port wing and cranked away (with some effort!) on something that sounded like the generator on one of those crank-to-light trouble lights.
Then I guess the pilot turned the key and the engine popped into life.
So, what were they cranking? How do these things work?
Cheers and thanks,
Tony
I was at a great air show they used to have in Genesseo, NY twe ty years ago and watched some guys start up a Swordfish that way. It was awesome, and looked like it took a lot of effort.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:29 AM   #6
the_gr8t_waldo
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a question for thoes in the know- what is the use of this flywheel AFTER the engine is upnrunning? surely something that heavy serves a secondary use.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:02 AM   #7
Beezer
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I don't think the flywheel is all that heavy... the gear train is very high though & it spins at a pretty good clip.

odd bit of film... the 109 has the swastika on the tail (not allowed in Germany I think) and he taxies past a Douglass SBD in US Navy colors. France 1994??? looks like 1954... I thought they had better cameras
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:39 PM   #8
the_gr8t_waldo
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i belive that airplane from the HENDON collection. u.k. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bf...eum_London.jpg and still in german colors. can't say if it's still in flying condition, had bad landing that left it upside down at the end of an runway in '97 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiYs_zqnOoQ
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:36 PM   #9
vtwin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
I don't think the flywheel is all that heavy... the gear train is very high though & it spins at a pretty good clip.

odd bit of film... the 109 has the swastika on the tail (not allowed in Germany I think) and he taxies past a Douglass SBD in US Navy colors. France 1994??? looks like 1954... I thought they had better cameras

Looks like they were using a flywheel to start the camera rolling too.
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