Our first club meeting for 2021 at the Public Schools Club enjoyed a very good turnout with over 40 members and guests present.
A minor change to our normal PSC format from now on is to remain in the dining room for the main meeting after the meal finishes. This is to avoid the club being charged $150 for use of the Hayward room where we previously met, that had been free of charge until now. I think the new format works fine and once a few of the chairs were rearranged, everyone could see the TV screen.
The reason for the large turnout must have been our guest speaker, Nick Mebberson, describing his company’s new 3 cylinder radial petrol engine design suitable for sport aircraft. This new product, being locally produced in Lonsdale SA, is the first all new design Australian aircraft engine in many years.
The engine has been road tested in a VW Beetle car and a 3 wheel motorbike, and is already drawing considerable interest from the sports car enthusiasts for road and track use. A light sport aircraft has already been obtained which will be modified for flight testing of the new engine before the year is out.
The engine will likely be produced in different formats, both water cooled or air/oil cooled, in normally aspirated and turbocharged versions. Where possible, the design makes use of commonly available spare parts to keep maintenance costs down. Purchase cost is expected to be similar a Rotax engine in the $30,000 range.
Ten days after the club meeting members were invited to the Bespoke Engineering factory at Lonsdale to see the engine running in its test cell. The factory setup is very comprehensive with plenty of room to expand as production ramps up. Testing continues with modifications to improve performance and streamline manufacturing techniques.
Afterwards, the two dozen visitors were treated to an excellent morning tea provided by Nick and his team.
We wish Nick every success with this unique and exciting venture. You can expect to see more of Nick around the club as has just become our newest member.
See photos from the workshop visit here.
The club currently has 56 members including 2 new members and 9 in the new category of social membership. There are still several more yet to renew so please get yourself financial in time for the AGM in April.
A reminder in ordering meals for our club meetings, the deadline is 3pm on the Monday preceding the meeting. This allows the chef to buy sufficient ingredients for the number of meals ordered. If you don’t order in time you will miss out! Also, ensure you are logged into the club website to order a meal AND you receive a confirmation email. If you don’t get an email then the order has not registered.
Our Treasurer is encouraging members to pay for meals online when you make the booking. This will help him on the night by reducing the number of people wanting a credit card transaction or needing change from their cash payment.
Coming up in the March 10th club meeting our guest speaker is Barrie Rogers, owner of an electric powered Pipestrel aircraft. Come and hear about what it is like to own and operate this new propulsion technology. Barrie will also be talking about an upcoming flight in the Pipestrel which will establish a new distance record for electric powered aircraft in Australia.
On the 14th March at 1pm, is the postponed workshop visit to see Ian Pearce’s Vans RV14. Ian’s aircraft is located in the East Hangars at Goolwa airport. The airport gate will be opened to allow visitors to drive from the west carpark along the northern boundary access road to the east hangars. Once you are past the runway undershoot Ian’s hangar is the first on the right.
Coming up very soon is the Barossa Airshow at Rowland Flat on April 11th. Tickets are on sale now. See the Barossa Airshow website for details. It is sure to be popular and traffic can be a problem. A better way if you are able, is to fly in, with the added bonus that entry is free to all pilots and their crew. You will need to register at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to fly in.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the March meeting.
The focus and the concentration and the attention to detail that flying takes is a kind of meditation. I find it restful and engaging and other things slip away. – Actor, Harrison Ford