Tractors in the Sky
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    arlen's Avatar
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    Tractors in the Sky

    Someone here today mentioned that they liked the sound of radial engines. When I say I grew up on a farm, I really mean I grew up on a farm with airplanes AND tractors. My father was a machinist, welder, engineer, A&P mechanic, farmer, flight instructor AND a crop duster. He couldn't cook to save his life though
    Here are a couple pictures of one of our Stearmans. He operated the same two airplanes for 50 years...So we had them apart a few times. One of the pictures is the radial after a fresh rebuild. That is how we spent the cold Minnesota winters...wrenching on those things. It is a 9 cyl, 680 ci, 300hp lycoming. We had enough brand new spare parts to operate another 50 years,all bought after WWII surplus for pennies on the dollar.

    That's my brother performing a very common task...adding oil.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Airplane-14.jpg   Airplane-29.jpg   Airplane-119.jpg  
    Last edited by arlen; 04-08-2013 at 08:27 PM.
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Wow, your Father sounds like quite a guy!







    So, what happened to you

    Just kidding of course, I love those pictures! Is the plane still in the family? Do you fly?
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    arlen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    Wow, your Father sounds like quite a guy!







    So, what happened to you

    Just kidding of course, I love those pictures! Is the plane still in the family? Do you fly?
    At least I can cook I may have picked up a few other skillsAfter my father's passing 15 years ago, we sold the planes. Without my father's skill set and administrative duties ,and the fact that there were 7 siblings...most of which had long left the area, they became rich mans toys.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Brings back some memories....

    I cut my teeth early in my A&P career working on round motors. R2000s, R2800s, and my favorite, the R3350. Heck even the occasional R980 thrown in for fun.

    Nothing sound like a round engine with a single 8" tail pipe on start up.

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    RRMCCABE's Avatar
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    Very cool. Bet that was fun growing up.

    I have been hit with a flying skillet if that counts for anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    Brings back some memories....

    I cut my teeth early in my A&P career working on round motors. R2000s, R2800s, and my favorite, the R3350. Heck even the occasional R980 thrown in for fun.

    Nothing sound like a round engine with a single 8" tail pipe on start up.
    HA HA...You worked on the big ones People on this forum think their tractors are "cold blooded"
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    HA HA...You worked on the big ones People on this forum think their tractors are "cold blooded"
    You ain't kidding. Ha! Used to take a few hours with blankets and heaters to get the oil warm enough so you could walk the props through. Only then could you attempt to start one.

    I did put my hands on a couple of R4360s. AKA the "corncob." 4 rows of 7 cylinders, 28 in all, 56 spark plugs and a massive turbo that you couldn't wrap your arms around. Ridiculously over complicated working piece of artwork that was very labor intensive to work on. All for 3500 HP. The 3350 was smaller and produced the same HP with only 18 cylinders! (2 rows of 9)
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    4 rows of 7 cylinders, 28 in all, 56 spark plugs and a massive turbo that you couldn't wrap your arms around. Ridiculously over complicated working piece of artwork that was very labor intensive to work on.
    Small wonder you're moderately competent on a 3 cylinder diesel.




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    Arlen, those pics are just too cool. Thanks for sharing them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    You ain't kidding. Ha! Used to take a few hours with blankets and heaters to get the oil warm enough so you could walk the props through. Only then could you attempt to start one.

    I did put my hands on a couple of R4360s. AKA the "corncob." 4 rows of 7 cylinders, 28 in all, 56 spark plugs and a massive turbo that you couldn't wrap your arms around. Ridiculously over complicated working piece of artwork that was very labor intensive to work on. All for 3500 HP. The 3350 was smaller and produced the same HP with only 18 cylinders! (2 rows of 9)
    And those were the days prior to the computer age! The engineers that developed these engines must have been close to geniuses in operating their slide rules to perfection! Just trying to get the firing timing sequences right, must have been a hard to believe work of art!

    I had never anything to do with those type of things, but I could tell your local doc how to take your kidney stones out without getting you a deadly infection! Does that count?

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