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Radial engines

June 26, 2009

I flew and maintained this airplane for awhile in the late 1990s. We were doing charter flights for the automotive manufacturers, mostly between their various plants in Mexico, the Midwest and Michigan. We also flew industrial explosive for the rock mining industry in FL and the Bahamas.

Convair CV340

Convair CV340

Flying radial engines is quite different. More than anything it taught me that each airplane has to be flown the way it is intended to be flown. Fly a radial engine like any other airplane and it won’t last long. For example, you just can’t reduce the power to the engines much or the reverse stress loads on the master rod will destroy the engine.

Needless to say I spent a lot of time working on the airplane. In the end is wasn’t a sustainable business, the air charter market started to slow down in early 2001 and largely collapsed after 9/11. However, it was a great experience.

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