Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Airfix Jet Engine
I don't like flying. As far as I am concerned, it's not natural. But if I do have to get on a 'plne, then I want it to be fitted with something more sophisticated than a couple of windmills under the wings. I want jets. My Father though, thinks they won't catch on and prefers something with propellers.
None of this explains why my Dad and I were given an Airfix jet engine for Christmas, but we were. And it has finally been assembled.
First up, this is a big kit. At around a foot long, I've seen smaller jets powering model aircraft. Assembly involves no glue at all (in an Airfix kit ? Sacrilege) just lots of small screws, thankfully spares are provided as they had a tendency to fall off the bench.
Most of the parts are huge lumps of plastic but in the middle you get the guts of the engine. Basically this is lots of bits with blades threaded on to a central spindle. Jet engines are pretty simple beasts - air in the front, heat it up and thrust comes out of the back - so the build isn't difficult at all.
The only problems were that the instructions are rubbish for the wiring. Get hold of someone who can wire up a switch and light bulb (any 6 year old) and you;ll be fine. Basically all the red wires are twisted together and all the black ones (to the other black, not the red obviously) and there is a switch. How this got through proof reading is a mystery as there are duplications and at one point a wire is attached to the battery box using heat shrink cable when you've already done this with a proper bolt. If your brain is on though, there shouldn't be a problem. I'll admit to clipping it all together before we really got stuck in to construction just be sure.
The compressor stuff (in the photo) also needs to rotate freely. By taking the red cone off the back and shoving the spindle back and forth once everything is in place you can put enough lash in to get really free turning. If there is any friction or bits clipping each other then it won't turn under power.
Turning is achieved by blowing air on the front blades. Very clever and you even get the right noises.
As a modeling project, this is a bit limited. Assembly is easy - probably about a hour or so's work and once you've played for a bit it's not awfully exciting. The mouldings are excellent, especially the clear ones. It's very good for a science project though, or just if you like unusual objects.
Just to prove we made it work, watch the short film below.
Airfix Jet Engine for sale on Amazon.