Aviation techs: starting a Fairey Swordfish

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by TonyT, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. TonyT

    TonyT Been here awhile

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    Not mine:cry
    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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  2. gravityisnotmyfriend

    gravityisnotmyfriend Long timer

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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!
    #2
  3. TonyT

    TonyT Been here awhile

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    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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  4. el queso

    el queso toda su base

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    Not a great video, but at about the one minute mark they shew the entire process on a Me109.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Cazzwgt8aUc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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  5. AlanCT

    AlanCT The Byronic Man

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    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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  6. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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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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  7. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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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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  8. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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  9. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Looks like they were using a flywheel to start the camera rolling too.:lol3
    #9