Living with the dead


Living with the dead

Living with the dead – (C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reserved

Living with the dead. I found it somewhat ironic the way the colours kind of matched the landscape here, dead and brown for the cemetery and vivid ,green and colourful for the suburbia blocks.
Living with the dead.

I found it somewhat ironic the way the colours kind of matched the landscape here, dead and brown for the cemetery and vivid ,green and colourful for the suburbia blocks.


Freeways - (C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reserved

If your gonna do something, do it properly – I cant help but think as i battle the road works on the M5 motorway that their whole ‘duplication’ idea is gonna fail, so you start with a 2 lane motorway and its at capacity in the space of a years, you widen a section of it (west of king georges rd) to 3 lanes and then it just bottle necks like crazy, you then duplicate the tunnels and extend it a bit further….2020 will tell how that rolls out as I flew over Melbourne i could not help but notice they have a 5 lane motorway…
If your gonna do something, do it properly

– I cant help but think as i battle the road works on the M5 motorway that their whole ‘duplication’ idea is gonna fail, so you start with a 2 lane motorway and its at capacity in the space of a years, you widen a section of it (west of king georges rd) to 3 lanes and then it just bottle necks like crazy, you then duplicate the tunnels and extend it a bit further….2020 will tell how that rolls out

as I flew over Melbourne i could not help but notice they have a 5 lane motorway…

Lake Eyre vs Maisy Mouse.

Its only taken a month and half to get thru these images. There is still a bunch to go but i am outta steam :) and its kind of hard to edit pictures when you sharing your computer with Maisy Mouse or Peppa Pig and 2 kids ;)

I have included the GPS track for the two flights to give an idea of the distances out here, you can see from William creek to the top of the lake is about 140 km. If i ever go out there again I am going to check out that south eastern corner of the lake

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Happy Hartzell

Engineering is soo cool – whilst most would find this kinda boring and yeah, its just a bit on a plane, Sarah Joy made a great point that many people do not realise the amount of development work and effort that goes into the hundreds of assemblies and parts that make up a plane. Here is one such bit, one of the simplest constant speed propellers/hub you will see on small 2 or 4 seater aircraft.


I get to see lots of plane bits, but not that often a full propeller hub, in bits :) this one was a unserviceable and had all the bits from the last overhaul. So whaddya do with a Hartzell Propeller which you have in bits, a pair of verniers and a few spare hours? you model it of course and turn it into a animated mechanism. :)
well the spare hours is a bit of a lie, I really don’t have those, but did spend a couple of late nights on it :)

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Dehallivand DHC-1 ‘Chipmunk’, DHC-2 ‘Beaver’ & Northern American Harvard AT-6D

A slightly strange combination, however it is interesting to see two consecutive series Dehavilland aircraft, and quite frankly they could not be any more different! one a aerobatic trainer and the other a agriculture aircraft (i guess originally for pax and cargo). The North American Harvard is not something I have had a good look at, however this one is having some work done on it and its great to see the guts of it, the first thing that hit me was the amount of sapce between the firewall and engine, awesome stuff, that is gotta be a significant advatage of the radial engine! possibly offset by the fact you need half of iraqs oil to keep it going :).

Anyway onto some imagery;

The flying vodka and Smirn – off

Crazy stuff out the capital…

IL-76 Close call_

CA-26 Sabre

In 1951, CAC obtained a licence agreement to build the F-86. It was decided to power the aircraft using a licence-built version of the Rolls-Royce Avon R.A.7. This involved a re-design of the fuselage as the Avon was shorter, wider and lighter than the General Electric J47 that powered the North American-built aircraft. Because of the engine change the type is often referred to as the Avon Sabre. To accommodate the Avon, over 60% of the fuselage was redesigned along with a 25% increase in the size of the air intake. Another major revision was in replacing the F-86F’s six machine guns with two 30mm Aden cannons, while other changes were also made to the cockpit and to provide an increased fuel capacity.

The prototype aircraft (designated CA-26 Sabre) first flew on 3 August 1953. The production aircraft were designated the CA-27 Sabre and first deliveries to the Royal Australian Air Force began in 1954. The first batch of aircraft were powered by the Avon 20 engine and were designated the Sabre Mk 30. Between 1957 and 1958 this batch had the wing slats removed and were redesignated Sabre Mk 31. These Sabres were supplemented by 20 new-build aircraft. The last batch of aircraft were designated Sabre Mk 32 and used the Avon 26 engine.

This aircraft A94-983 lives at Temora and travels the countryside for the local airshows.

Augusta Westland AW139 Night Vision Compatibility

AW139, currently, from off the top of my head, there are about 10 in the country, 3 with EMQ (Emergency Management Queensland) and a couple based at CHC YSBK  with the Air Ambulance and the rest are either on mines or doing offshore rigs.

These aircraft are pricey, however you do get a pretty premium package if you can see past some of the minor issues they have had in the past. The one thing I do love about these machines is the really modern, up to date cockpit and avionics, although I would feel a bit more at ease knowing there was a mechanical instrument in there somewhere :) Even the poor old standby attitude indicator is an electronic display!

Nonetheless, making these aircraft NVG compatible is pretty easy, they are more or less pretty well compatible outta the factory, excluding a few non compliant items and all the local mods its pretty well ready to.

Tripod Refurbishment

Well, the day has come where I finally decided I had better do something with my tripod which has had a pretty hard life in the last few years, particularly due to the harsh seascapes it has had to endure, often with only a brief fresh water rinse.

The legs steadily got stiffer and the levers became pretty inflexible, a quick adjustment on the nyloc nuts may have helped, however it would only be a short term fix. I do plan on getting a new tripod one day, however not much point doing that until the current does not serve me correctly or becomes unserviceable. 400 bucks for a new tripod is better spent elsewhere at the moment.

The tripod is a Manfrotto 190XPROB, not a bad old tripod for the coin and definitely one that has served me well and will continue to do so for many a year I reckon. The basic material used is Aluminum (note i refer to this as AL or al or ally) and plastic, the aluminum comes in a number of forms, the legs are tube, probably a 5000 series AL or maybe even 6000 series, the leg joint fittings are cast aluminum, the junction of the legs and the swivel clamp thingy-m-bob are also cast aluminum, the head attachment fitting is a cast/machined AL product and the there are a number of small steel items, the periphery items are typically plastic and the cap screws appear to be cadmium plated stainless.

So, the main issue with this tripod is the legs and particularly the leg join fittings, mainly the lower ones have develop quite an amount of corrosion, this is not rocket science, these things have been dipped in and out of salt water for quite some time and no matter how much cleaning with fresh water there is always going to be some small amount of that Na stuff that gets holed up in some little cranny, not usually too much of a problem when all the AL surfaces are sealed, however once a small break in the paintwork occurs and that contacts with the Na and its aluminum’s equivalent of terminal cancer. Also having dissimiliar metals (steel and AL) in contact is not a great idea when the paintwork starts to go – galvanic corrosion.

OK, so these leg join fittings (referred to as clamps), they are simply a cast aluminum clamp which the legs past thru, they are clamped up to the upper leg using a standard phillips screw (fully threaded) and a loose nut, this provides the attachment to the upper leg and is fixed. The lower part of the clamp is passed thru the next leg section down and is secured using a non standard tee bolt with the last 10mm threaded, this is coupled with a dodgy steel washer and stainless steel nyloc nut. So, I am impressed with the fact they used a stainless steel t-bolt and nut but dissapointed with the washer, it is some form of steel and is probably a galvanised type however given the advanced rust (see picture) on it compared to the nut and t-bolt (which have no rust) it has poor rust properties. The loose nuts and phillips screws appear to be cadmium plated stainless, this makes sense if its low grade stainless steel and they plated it to try and minimise the galvanic corrosion between the dissimliar metals and also to play an aesthetic role as well. These have held up pretty well but are covered with teh white cancer dust that is aluminum corrosion.

Note: The latest version of these tripos do not have this dodgy washer, they appear to have replaced it with a washer head nut, probably a better idea, parts minimisation and its probably stainless. Refer to spare parts manual

The clamp fittings/leg joins – the lower ones have the corners pretty banged up and this where the corrosion has really set in. These fittings, as mentioned are cast aluminum, not the greatest in terms corrosion resistant AL. These are powder coated by the factory, a cheap, quick and effective paint and one i especially dislike, however its quite tough and has good impact resistant, however this also means brittle and one classic downer with powder coating is that is you do get any form of corrosion it will just run under the paint and the next thing you know is all the paint just drops off. This basically what has happened with these fittings.

So, the plan of attack – now note, why do all this? why not just powder coat them or something similar? these fittings will get chipped and knocked, there is no doubt about that, however having good corrosion protection whereby the corrosion is less likely to ‘run’ under the paint should give me a good couple of years before having to do this again, plus this is standard practice for most aircraft, including float planes that dip in and out of salt water on a daily basis.

1) Remove all paint from from the fittings, half of it can be flaked off…could use stripper but easier to just go straight to sandblasting below.

2) Sandblast / bead blast – removes all corrosion and provide a good surface finish for corrosion protection treatment. This is a 15 minute job.

3) Alodine (1201) fittings (alodine is a chemical conversion for aluminum, common place on all aircraft). This when done directly after the sand blasting is quite effective and and is better than etching the material. This stuff can be bought locally and its around the 30 bucks per quart (ready made, referred to as 1201), you can also get the powder based stuff (referred to as 1200). I left them in over night and it took to the material really well much more than I wa sexpecting. This usually leaves the aluminum with a golden transparent coating, more of a dirty yellow in my case but this is due to the cast material, on normal 2000 series alcad or bare aluminium where it is more typically used it is a more golden colour.

4) Epoxy primer – BMS10-11 another aircraft grade item, this stuff when applied to a alodined surface has great adhesion and they is not much out there which is better than this, its also pretty cost effective, 15 bucks a can, this stuff is typically a yellow/green colour. Compare this to epoxy primer you buy from bunnings and it is not really that expensive.

Now, note, check the two images below, the left is the upper fitting/clamp which had very little corrosion, the right is the lower fitting, you can see the result of the pitting and craters caused by the corrosion.

5) top coat as required, epoxy paints are better in my opinion, just gotta find a colour that suits :)

7) Replace all standard hardware with new stuff, bare minimum 316L stainless steel, typically referred to as marine grade stainless. This is particularly important for the dodgy washers which have copped a fair whack in the rust department.

Right, so what kinda hardware is it?

All metric stuff which makes sense since its made in italy.

The black cadmium plated pan head phillips head screws are M5, length 14mm perDIN 7985/ISO 7045

The loose hex nuts are 5mm per DIN934

The nyloc nuts are 5mm per DIN985

The washers are M5 unknown spec.

where can you get this stuff? boltsnutsscrewsonline of course :) postage is a bit of a bitch – you can probably get the same stuff from your average marine shop.

I replaced the loose nuts with stainless steel dome nuts, looks better :)

8) Treat the inside of the tube legs with Cor-ban 35 (BMS3-35)

and the final finish…

Kawasaki BK117-B2 VH-FHB vs Amanda (Glamour)

Why? why not? gotta love taking pictures of heliochoppers so why not challenge it a bit more with a human element. Now, admittingly this is nothing more than plonking a attractive model in the front of a attractive helicopter but nontheless it can work.

The BK 117 was a joint development between MBB and Kawasaki based on an agreement made on 25 February 1977. The agreement would replace two separate projects for twin-engined general purpose helicopters; the Bo 107 by MBB and the KH-7 from Kawasaki. Costs were shared equally, with MBB developing the rotors (based on the rigid rotor system used on MBB’s Bo 105), tailboom, flight controls and hydraulic system and Kawasaki developing the landing gear, airframe, main transmission and other minor components. Each company would have its own assembly line producing aircraft for local markets.

Each company was to build two prototypes (although Kawasaki only built one) to be completed by 1979; one for flight testing and the others for tie down testing and static testing. MBB’s flying prototype made its first flight at Ottobrunn on 13 June 1979, followed by the Kawasaki prototype at Gifu on 10 August 1979. Development was slower than expected, a problem made worse by shortages of skilled manpower available at MBB. Although it was originally planned for airworthiness certification to be achieved before the end of 1980, German certification was not achieved until 9 December 1982, with Japanese certifiation following on 17 December, and the all-important United States FAA certification being obtained on 29 March 1983.

Amanda the model (MUA Beccy Sedgman)