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Can I get some opinions on this picture?

Discussion in 'General chat' started by kdryan, 5/5/12.

  1. kdryan

    kdryan

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    To the best of anyone's knowledge, there are no existing photos of the cockpit of the Mystery Ship I am working on. The plane (R614K) only existed for two years before it crashed and burned, and the twin (R13K) traded hands several times and had multiple configurations before being tossed into storage. Last I heard on that was that is was being rebuilt in England somewhere, btw.

    So my question is bout the altimeter and the fuel gauge:

    In the picture below, what do you make of the altimeter? First, let me explain that this is from NR1313, the Mystery Ship that Frank Hawks would fly cross country. My guess is the adjustment knob is on bottom, the first dial is the tens column for feet, the second is the hundreds column, and the top is two checkerboard dials for thousands. It never would have been flow over 20k feet (I don't think). Has anyone ever seen one like this before and would you happen to know where I might find a picture of it?

    On the fuel gauge, my assumption has been that it's a simple gravity gauge with a glass tube. Do you agree?



    [​IMG]

    My second thought on all of this is that there is WAY too much stuff here for a simple racer. The planes WERE flown from Wichita to Cleveland, but it was in a caravan with several other Travel Air planes and wouldn't need much more than basic gauges. The picture below is from the restoration of Pancho's ship, and while the restorers are spending legendary amounts of effort to make it accurate, I do not know if the R614K had the same layout or even if this is the original R613K layout. If that is the case, I haven't really wasted the effort here, as I had planned on doing NR1313 anyway down the road...

    Can someone tell me what gauges you see here?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks, Kevin
    Last edited: 5/5/12
  2. kdryan

    kdryan

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    Seriously? 90 people and no one has ever seen a gauge like that? Wow...
  3. Stiz

    Stiz

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    not a clue on the alt gauge, fuel gauge looks like a simple ball that floats on top of the fuel in the pipe and goes down with usage etc.
  4. Kai503

    Kai503

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    Hi Kevin,

    I'm more familiar with German vintage planes, so just a few thoughts.

    I would tend more to the second option. A racing plane should be as light as possible, so as less gauges as possible. Also, they have done really huge flights with very little equipment. I'm just reading the book of Koenig v. Warthausen. He flew end of the 20th with a 20 hp Klemm 20 around the world. Not even a mounted compass, but using a pocket one!

    My opinion on the gauges:
    Top: Altimeter
    Middle: Airspeed, Vertical airspeed
    Bottom: Magneto or fuel selector, ?, RPM

    Hope it helps.

    Kai
  5. Tejal Bernardo

    Tejal Bernardo

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    What I found about Motovita, it was intriguing me,
    ...When his second son Harold was killed in an airplane crash two years ago, Inventor Miller Reese Hutchison (dictograph, klaxon horn, acousticon) resolved to make some contribution to safety and efficiency of aircraft. Last week Dr. Hutchison, onetime (1913-17) chief engineer and personal representative of Thomas Alva Edison, brought forth his offering: "Moto-Vita," a device which measures the unburned gases in engine exhaust, enables a pilot to adjust his carburetor accurately in flight for complete combustion of fuel and, consequently, elimination of waste.

    Capt. Frank Monroe Hawks tried the Moto-Vita on a flight to Memphis, informally reported a fuel saving between 30% and 40%. While Dr. Hutchison's motive was to help airmen, his invention may have the far more momentous effect of overcoming the carbon monoxide (CO) evil in motor car traffic. His Moto-Vita, which can be car traffic. His Moto-Vita, which is a bridge of platinum and nickel wires (weight i½ Ib.) over which the exhaust gases pass. This bridge is electrically connected, through a tiny battery, to a sensitive ammeter on the pilot's (chauffeur's) instrument board. If the fuel mixture is too rich, the unburned gasoline vapor—hydrogen, carbon monoxide—will cause the platinum wires to glow hot (by its catalytic property), resist electricity. The battery current is thus shunted back through the nickel wires, to register on the graduated scale of the dial exactly what percentage of fuel is not being burned. Dr. Hutchison estimated the U. S. might save $1,000,000,000 worth of fuel per year (at a market price of 20¢ per gal.) by universal use of his invention.
  6. WarpD

    WarpD

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    I think that's called an 'oxygen sensor' in modern automobile engines.
  7. Tejal Bernardo

    Tejal Bernardo

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    A kind of factor lambda probe in the cars, courious this device was installed in the Texaco 13 airplane.
    But I would like to know what gauge is those of the altitude device.
  8. kdryan

    kdryan

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    That's pretty much what it is. I didn't think of a ball being on the fuel gauge. I thought it was just a glass tube the fuel showed in to give the level. I like that idea. What I am most concerned about it the altimeter. I had thought that since most builders got their gauges from the same few companies that someone might have seen it somewhere on another plane. I didn't think they did one off designs for it.

    I almost wish I had never found that second picture, because the more I look at it and other pictures of the first two Type-R's, the more I see a difference in the flow of the fuselage just in front of the cockpit that isn't there in the final three. I have seen the NR-1313 on many occasions (dozens) in Chicago and I know the fuselage is a perfect semi-circle as in the first picture. The second one however, shows it to conform to the shape of the panel and I'm seeing that where I didn't before. At first I thought it might be a fatal flaw, but I managed to re-work the fuselage and windscreen. The bad news is that it's going to require extensive re-working of the cockpit, especially the panel and such.

    Again, this doesn't mean I wasted all of that work, as I can use it for the latter three models when they come up, but that doesn't mean I like it. :banghead:
  9. kdryan

    kdryan

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    Sorry guys, been doing a bit of research the past few days and decided to redo the cockpit, which is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

    I did find the altimeter and it's a bit unusual. I'll let the explanation speak for itself. The picture and the excerpt is from a 1930 catalog for aviation gauges, no less. It seems like a kind of a Rube Goldberg way of doing things, but I guess they had a reason for it...

    Going to Kalamazoo this weekend to see a replica Mystery Ship, so I hope to get a lot more answers. :)

    Attached Files:

  10. Tejal Bernardo

    Tejal Bernardo

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    Thanks Kdryan, the aircraft was a top secret at his times, it's because was named "Mistery ship" , the airplane have a great story behind, very interesting, In a web site you had doubt about a handle in the cockpit of the airplane, problably it should be the cowl flaps handle, or the parking breake:D good luck with your project.

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