Thursday, 28 March 2013

Out of Africa

Remember the 1985 movie 'Out of Africa' starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep?  Needless to say, by far the best parts of the movie were the flying scenes featuring a Gipsy Moth.... Not sure what the rest of the movie was about....!

The aircraft used in the movie, G-AAMY is an American made DH 60 with a Wright-Gipsy L320 licence built engine (turns the opposite way to the British built originals)

This aircraft is still very much airworthy and has just been sold at auction in Paris for a hefty amount and is now destined to return to Africa, to it's new home in Kenya.

Hercules Propellers have been commissioned to design a propeller to optimise the take off performance of the aircraft, to compensate for the high altitude of the new base airfield (6000 feet) and the relatively high temperatures.  We have adjusted the propeller design to make sure that the engine achieves close to the maximum rated RPM when on the chocks, considering the altitude and temperature.  The pitch is particularly fine to minimise take off distance as these aircraft are not known for their take off performance at sea level in the cold - let alone hot and high in Africa!

This is the result.  It is a real beauty at 86" diameter, that's 7' 2" or 2.2 metres.  Not only specially designed to perform but also to look correct for the aircraft.

Although finished and ready to fly, the propeller is still with us, awaiting collection.  We will post pictures of it once fitted to the Moth.

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