2019 Season with Euro F2


In the Euro’s first season I managed 4th in the UK F2 championship including plenty of second places and also a win against George, the guy to beat in F2 for the last 2 seasons.

Pre season

Having worked all winter the eurocraft first flew on my 30th birthday at a local farmer’s airstrip. It first ran without flow straighteners and with a guessed fan pitch on both lift and thrust, but ran extremely well. I had my eye on the new sump- checking oil ts and ps, which all looked manageable. I got 10mins of running before an oil leak from the thrust drive oilseal, but overall it felt good. Later i realised the lift fan running in 6th gear was much higher than regs allowed… 200m/s tipseeds, so on the next test i changed to 4th gear. I was able to get in a few more test sessions before racing started proper- including the thrust gauge- arduino datalogger. At Popham i was able to get a good 10minutes of hard running at race pace, again yeilding a big oil leak from sump and seal. Overall this was the most pre-season testing i have ever managed on a new craft.

Hull was laid over a long 4 days with Ricky in early 2017:

I really got working onnit once the Pintail was sold in Feb 2018:

First test in April 2019:

Allerton Part
First race for the Euro up in yorkshire, and it performed extremely well. As a 3 day european event, there were 6 races, not finishing one due to a….??? Apart from almost losing one of my 3d printed stator vanes, which were not upto the punishment of an F2 racer, the craft performed flawlessly. I had a few moments getting the craft pretty vertical, but generally it flew predictably and wasnt completely different compared with the Pintail.

Hacketts lake European
This was a much more challengine course and my lift setup was not good, losing skirt segments each time I went up the ramp and my craft eventually becoming undriveable- for about 3 races I just soldiered through 3 laps and came in. I made lots of changes to the lift system including pitching up blades, adding flow diverters, opening up ‘illegal’ holes, openign up bonnet holes, and eventually changing to open segments around the front made all the difference and i was back in the game. This was a brutal weekend for the craft, sustaining some nose damage and almost losing all oil at one point when the clutch pin fell out- i came in due to wrecked skirts to find a puddle of oil and only 1L left in the sump!. There was also a lot of wear and tear on me, tweaking my knee ligament and generally been busy being chief scrut for the weekend… one to forget, although the craft did show flashes of brilliance in the end.

Rother Valley
Again, a tough weekend where the craft showed glimpses of promise, but came away with a catastropic fan failure. I missed the first race, having noticed a loose coupling bolt on the grid- will change to make it more accessible next year. In the second race i got a great start into about 4th off the grid and got into 2nd by the 3rd lap, seemingly gaining on George- the craft felt great and was flying. Then i hopped onto the lake a few laps later and the bottom bracket on my fan frame collased, causing the fan to drop and cause a big mess- all blades were broken but everything was contained. And so followed a few weeks of repairs- the crossbar was snapped, there were a few holes in the duct and stators and obviously i needed to re-design the bottom bracket!

Towcester 1

I managed to complete thrust frame repairs and the craft felt good in practice at Towcester. Coming from the back of the grid I managed 3rd in the first race, with some close racing against Si. Starting from the front of the grid allowed me to use the four stroke accleration and I got into 1st place for a few laps until George out-dragged me into the lake. In the final race i managed to get out and stay in front, winning the race (although it was a photo finish with Geroge coming up right on the line). Overall a great meeting where i didnt really have to get the spanners out and got to spend time learning the craft- and the first to beat George in F2 for a whole season.
Towcester 2 was another great meeting where I again got 2nd overall, and 4 second places (could not beat George this time). Not much to say but the craft ran great.

 

 

Towcester 2

Best not to talk about this weekend… in the first day I managed to blow up 2 engines without completing a lap! The craft was flying beautifully in first practice, then I fitted drag flap and anti-stall vane for second practice and before I could tell if the changes made a difference the engine faltered and siezed. In the pits i found that the oil pressure releif valve had escaped from the oil pump, meaning oil was pumped directly back into the sump. ‘Luckily’ this is the first time i had brought a spare engine (an untested one). So we set to work hoverising this engine and fitting it into the craft. It took us three hours, thanks to Dave, Graham and Dad for slaving away to get it done. It started first time, getting onto the grid of the second race which was epic. However half a lap into that race the engine sounded awful and we later found that it had spun a big end, possibly due to not properly priming it before running. Even though it appeared to have great oil pressure as soon as it fired up. A weekend to forget about in term of racing! At least if forced me to give the race engine the refresh it deserves…!

Peaches Farm

Another tricky weekend, which got off to a great start, me leading the 1st race for a few laps, but having to retire due to coolant pump wiring connector failure, the engine quickly got upto 125degC and spat most of its coolant out! (One benefit of the lift fan mounted radiator was that you catch this issue early! I rectified the wiring issue and started towards the back of the grid in the second race gaining a few places, a third place for the season was potential if i beat Dave this weekend. After changing the oil in the evening, the craft felt much stronger and i also gained a few places in this race. In the final race of the season on the Sunday I was again making up ground, overtaking Si around the top corner, i then started lining up to attempt it around Phil, however as i came alongside him at speed, i couldnt turn in until too late resulting in a flip at the top corner. The craft and i rolled a few times and both got away with a few bruises, however the race was red flagged and that was the end of the season.

Posted in: Euro F2, EurocamF2, Featured, General, Racing Diary on November 10th by admin


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