Microjet Engineerings Phoenix 30.3 Rob Wardale who designed the Vulcon
Philip Heward started designing gas jet turbines in 1983. To date he has designed 33 different turbines: Mk19 was the first to self sustain. On the 11 November 1989 the Mk 28 was the first of a new layout which was developed into the Phoenix as we now know it today. Many refinements have taken place since then and it is now the most powerful home build turbine available.
Continuous static thrust is 20 pounds at 105,000 rpm, consuming 250ml of fuel per minute. Minimum rpm is 35,000.
The Club Secs' Vulcon shortly before its first flight.
Photograph: Bob Nash
Bit of a wet start!
Photograph Neil Brayshaw
How did Neil take this when he was designated to gas tap duties?
I can confirm that the time I have spent coming to terms with hand starting the Phoenix has been an exciting time with a sharp learning curve which I have tried to share with many members of the club. It has been good to have Matthew and club members around to discuss problems. All came together at 15.27 on the 23 October when the wheels of the Vulcon left the runway for the first time, landing some seven minutes later without damage. A second flight of some six minutes followed. My sincere thanks to all who have helped.
During that first flight the turbine thrust was restricted to 14lbs which gave just about a 1 to 1 power to weight ratio. With the takeoff run up the main runway into a five knot wind rotation occurred at about sixty yards after applying up elevator. Five clicks of right elevon trim was required for straight flight. With the high thrust line there was a larger than expected nose up trim change with low throttle, the air brakes were not used but the engine was cut for a glide landing. Now I know the wheels are in the right place, several days work have resulted in the main wheel wells being formed in carbon fibre. However during the initial ground test when the fuel bag leaked, diesel fuel seepage resulted in the form core degrading close to the tank bay. That form has now been replaced, but re-skinning and painting remains. Another week or so should see it ready to go again.