For no further reason than that I like engines, I’ve put together an MFA Sport 500 ‘power pack’ from an original MFA Panther 46A engine and a collection of spares. The aim was to make a good educational tool at talks and airshow display stands but overall I just think it looks nice sat on my workbench shelf.
Writing up my PhD has taken most of my time but I’ve finally finished this project. Comprising the best picks from a collection of second hand parts along with a new canopy and wood parts this machine is now like new. The tail surfaces are from a pre-1990 machine and have the ‘high fin’ found on the first batches of the fixed pitch machine. With the introduction of the collective pitch version in 1990 the wood parts were modified to suit both and the fin was reduced in size. The Collective version couldn’t be flown without a gyro and so didn’t really benefit from the additional weather vane affect. I was going to use another ‘period correct’ Guest mechanical gyro but the one I sourced turned out to be at the end of its service life so I will have to keep an eye out for something appropriate. Considering my original MFA Sport 500 didn’t have a gyro installed I suppose it’s more authentic this way!
So that’s that really and I’ve got restored versions of the machines I learnt to fly including hovering/circuits (MFA Sport 500 and Hawk 30 MK1) and early aerobatics (Shuttle Z-ts). I’ve been looking out for a little Raptor 30 V1 with which I started 3D but have so far drawn a blank. Few have survived I guess, or perhaps the vast majority were converted to V2 spec. Raptors went on to become my main 3D machines with a pair of identically set-up Raptor 50 V2’s being those with which I burnt on obscene amount of fuel. Higher education then took over but not long to go now….
Having completed a collective version of the MFA sport 500, the bug had bitten and I decided to keep an eye out for a fixed pitch version to restore. I didn’t have to wait long as parts are plentiful and come up often. First job was to strip it all down and clean everything (I used antifreeze in a pan to do this). From then it was simply a case of choosing the best parts and putting it back together. This is about as far as I can go for now; I will need to keep an eye out for the remaining parts as and when they come up for sale.