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Old 06-18-2016, 05:09 PM
J.R.2009 J.R.2009 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mt. Pleasant, SC
Posts: 8,153

That the single 4 blade prop he is seeing in the picture is mounted on the right engine which drives the rear prop. At the time the photo was take the left engine had already been started with the large black powder cartridge starter and the front prop was turning, so it's just a blur and not visible in the photo. The next step in the start process is to slowly un-feather the rear prop which will then begin to turn due to the prop wash from the front blades. This starts the rear engine turning without expending another black powder cartridge, an item that hadn't been produced for about 15 years and were becoming scarce. When a supply of the cartridges eventually runs out you must somehow covert to one of the very rare engine sets that featured electric starters, or convert the cartridge turbine starter to run off of compressed nitrogen. This is very feasible, but the serious downside is that you must always have a start cart with about 8 fully charged cylinders standing by to restart. Thatís OK if you are always flying off your own aircraft carrier, but not at all practical if as a civilian you just want to stop in at a small county airport for their annual pancake breakfast. Stop your engines there and you're in for the duration!

The picture Ohio-Don is looking at has a caption that says it was taken prior to the first engine start, but it is actually the first time the engine was started in about 15 years. You can definitely tell the front prop is turning because the man on the work stand has his head inside the cockpit so he and the pilot can converse over the engine/prop roar. I'm absolutely sure the engine is running because you should never intrude in another man's cockpit unless it is absolutely necessary - it's just "bad form old boy".

By the way, that man on the work stand is Lt. Cdr. David Moojen RN (retired), the last man to fly this exact aircraft when it was taken out of service in 1978 and flown to a deep storage base. I was able to locate him through the aircraft log books and the Royal Navy Yoevileton Museum. We then naturally invited him over to help us get the old girl running again. We also hosted another trip for him so he could fly in the Gannet when we took her to the annual EAA Oshkosh airshow a few months later. It was a very rare occasion because we were bringing an original Warbird, still in her original paint job, and with the original pilot on-board. Don't think that happens every day.


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