Thursday, 26 July 2007

July Update

The develpoment of the bodywork for the car has been slow and frustrating, time issues in other businesses have prevented us from creating the right template for the moulds.

Testing of the current format has been limited although some high speed runs have been conducted, instability is likely to be an issue.

The car itself has therefore been reassessed from the current format with one of the 2 chassis manufactured by Hamiltons being carved apart to allow the format to be that closer to a dragster than a car with the target of developing greater stability in the runs.

The weather in recent weeks has prevented any testing of the new chassis as even a damp surface creates additional hazards we would rather not contend with.

The workshop build therefore continues without running the car in the hope that the 2 formats can be assessed side by side once the glorious british weather returns to normal.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

March Update - problems persist...

After advice offered from previously trusted sources regarding the issues raised on the excessive flames at the rear, our engine supplier Dave at Northwest Turbines viewed our video and resolved the issue in one fell swoop - the fuel previously provided whilst highly flammable (as fuel should be) had an oil content to thick for the fine oil feeds to the bearings.

Thanks again for your invaluable advice on this Dave - much appreciated - incidentally if anyone is looking at turbine engines - forget Wren - send me a message and I'll let you have Dave's contact details.

This resulted in poorly lubricated bearing requiring a much greater amount of fuel to be injected to obtain the RPM the engine required - too much fuel results in too much combustion which had to go somewhere - straight out of the tail cone.

Whilst quite impressive (especially at dusk) this could have resulted in our first use of our trusty fire extinguisher - this would not have been a pretty sight.

We now have a serviced jet engine with clear oil and fuel feeds and are now running on kerosene mixed with 4% turbine oil - a much finer grade than previously used.

Body work - is progressing although we are now onto our second moulding - its not easy carving and sanding a symmetrical shape from foam you know!! We will have progress soon and hopefully video and photos.

We have also had contact from another R/C speed merchant who is building a similar car although powered in a conventional manner - watch this space - a race should be arranged soon...

Monday, 19 February 2007

February Update - Problem Solved

The last weekend has been very eventful with the issues raised in the last update being solved - due to a worn glow plug the fuel ignition became intermittent when throttling back to idle causing excess fuel to be pumped into the combustion chamber resulting in the display of fire works from the tail cone and the massive increase in rpm.

It had also been noted that the gas and fuel valves are susceptible to the cold although this doesn't seem to have been the issue here - they are now wrapped in a warm blanket of foam - just the thing to keep them warm in this weather. Thanks again to Ryan at Mega models in Farnworth for their assistance with this!!

Once again suppliers are causing us problems with delayed deliveries - Peninsula Plastics are out of stock of the 1920mm x 760mm x 25mm blue foam sheets we need to complete the modelling of the bodywork so work has currently stopped on this until the new supplies arrive later this week. until this arrives we cant begin the carbon fibre moulding for the finished product. In fairness they have been very good in keeping us informed of availability - its just another one of those things.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Feburary Update - First Test Run

Not quite as successful as we had hoped - start up of the jet engine with turnover, gas ignition, fuel ramp and finally settling down to idle at 47,000rpm ran OK although a sizable heat spot was noticed on one side of the tail cone.

A few laps of a local car park was outstanding although when the throttle was brought back to idle the jet coughed and spluttered throwing flames through the rear diffuser and out of the tail cone increasing the rpm way above the idle speed of 47,000 rpm - so we have a little work to do understanding this and how to overcome this problem - if anyone has any ideas - please let us know.

All in all a very exciting half hour seeing the last few months work come to fruition.

The bodywork is also well on its way with the overall shape having been moulded from blue foam - this just needs to be turned into a carbon fibre shell which should be complete in the next two weeks and ready to fit onto the car.

The video of this evenings run is on You Tube at

Our other videos of the build and testing are also on You Tube under the title of 'Mach 2 Hamster'

Monday, 12 February 2007

February Update

Since the last update in January we have had marginally better success with obtaining parts from Amerang (Thanks to Paul Vickery who has been most helpful). Lee at Hamilton Fabrications in Atherton has also been productive in laser cutting the engine mount (which also houses the 1200cc fuel cell) and engine mounting brackets which were finally installed in the first week of February.

The second week of February saw the full installation of the engine and auxiliary components although we then hit a glitch preventing us from testing last weekend (3/2/07) - the weight of the engine over the rear axle is too great for the springs on the shock absorbers which now require a more substantial solution. Even the front shocks are just about holding up. The suspension travel is also a concern which could lead to the whole car flipping over and anti-roll bars are being sourced. Mega Models in Farnworth have been very helpful in finding suitable replacement struts for the front and rear and the said anti-roll bars.

Our first test run of the car took place yesterday (11/2/07) with 2 runs of about 3 minutes each using a little under a third of the power available - this thing really moves some!! As it was getting dark the video hasn't come out very well on this event but the next run on Friday or Saturday (16/2/07 or 17/2/07 ) this weekend will be videoed and put on You Tube as soon as possible.

In the meantime up to date photos of the build so far will be on You Tube in 'slide-show' format via the following link -

All videos and photos will be under the title 'Mach 2 Hamster', renamed from 'Jet Mach 2' after Mr Hammonds' valiant drive in his jet car. Hats off to Richard for his outstanding cool headedness and his remarkable recovery.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Video and Photo's now on 'You Tube'

Photo and video logs of our progress are now being uploaded on 'You Tube' so its now possible to see what we're up to and the progress we're making (or not making as the case has been for many weeks in the latter part of 2006).
The first video uploaded today being the first bench tests of the engine which were delayed due to not having a CO2 fire extinguisher available. As this was the first time either of us had run a jet engine we weren't taking any risks!! This can be viewed via the following link -
The next video which will be uploaded soon and will be a slide show of the photos which appear in the Snapfish gallery as mentioned in the January update.

Monday, 22 January 2007

January Update

Having now sorted out the issues with suppliers of parts, we are now getting much closer to having the prototype built ready for testing and demonstration.
The chassis, laser cut from 3mm alluminium sheet by Hamilton's Fabrications has been fitted out with the running gear, suspension and central braking system.
In the last week, we have test fitted the support components for the gas turbine engine and have checked the cable runs and fuel feeds to the engine.
These are now ready for instalation once we collect the engine mount this time cut from 2mm aluminium sheet and support brackets which are being manufactured again by Hamilton's Fabrications. These should be ready by Jan 26th and we should then have photo's of the completed car (with the exception of bodywork). This will take much longer to develop and perfect!!
We now have a site where we will post the photo's and video's of the cars development which can be found at and enter the following 'room code' mach2.