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FLIGHT.

JULY

7, 1938.

REALLY PRACTICAL
Out and About in the Chilton Lightweight : Cruising at 100 m.p.h. on 30 h.p. : Safe Characteristics
By M I N D I C A T O R " In the course of this cross-country flying the machine was not by any means kept on a steady course or a t constant altitude, yet the inclusive average over the out and home run was in the region of 88 m.p.h. On the only soberly flown section of the route I timed the machine over a distance of ten miles; the wind was almost across my track and the distance was covered in a little over six minutesa time which gives a speed figure of about 95 m.p.h. This was at an engine speed of 3,400 r.p.m., which, with the particular airscrew in use, seemed to feel about right. Actually, the unit, at least according to the Ford people, is perfectly safe up to about 7,000 r.p.m. ; not oaly, therefore, is there little danger of over-revving on a dive, but this high limit also permits variations in cruising engine speed to suit the slight differences in airscrew design which so often appear in the small sizes At 3,400 r.p.m. the throttle was approximately half open, though without a manifold pressure gauge it is not possible to calculate the amount of power which is being taken out of a unit. For those who still consider that this engine speed is somewhat high for reliability, it is worth remarking that it is merely equivalent to the normal top-gear cruising speed of the Ford Ten car Since the modified Chilton engine has a special cylinder head and a special forged crankshaft, with, of course, an airscrew thrust race, there is every reason to suppose that the unit should be adequately reliable and hardwearing judged by aircraft standards Practical tests with the engine have, in fact, included 100 hours a t 4,000 r.p.m (full throttle), and examples fitted to Drones have done up to 250 hours without requiring anything more than routine adjustment. Naturally enough, it is possible for the radiator water to reach an unnervingly, but nevertheless perfectly safe, high temperature if the engine is badly overdriven The Chilton has a temperature gauge on the dashboard, and in normal cruising flight in mid-summer this temperature did not exceed 95 deg. C.which is just about right for efficiency. 1 have concentrated rather on the engine side of the business because this, I feel, is one which may be doubted first of all by the prospective owner, however much he may like the Chilton as a flying machine pure and simple. Except for what is perhaps, an over-light rudder, it is impossible to make any complaints about the adequacy of the Chilton's controls at any speed from 40 to 140 m.p.h. At the stall, with flaps up. the machine tends to drop its nose a trifle while one wing falls away very gently, and in these circumstances the rudder becomes the master control, the merest touch keeping the machine level at an indicated speed of less than 40 m.p.h. With the flaps down the actual stalling speed is lower and the machine appears to remain quite stable and under full control with the stick held right back. The Chilton flies and turns perfectly on ailerons alone. Coming in to land with the flaps, of notably extensive area, in the fully down position. Different flap angles can be selected for different circumstances ; the operating lever is on the left side of the cockpit

The Chilton, though a miniature, is well proportioned and looks right. Mr. R. L. Porteous posed the machine for this and the other photographs. LE last y e a r I s p e n t a short period in t h e air with t h e p r o t o t y p e Chilton m o n o p l a n e a n d felt a t t h e t i m e t h a t here was a m a c h i n e which, t h o u g h economical in first a n d later costs, was y e t entirely fit for serious use. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h e p a r t i c u l a r d a y was by no m e a n s ideal for t r y i n g o u t a n y new m a c h i n e l e t alone one a b o u t which, in view of its q u i t e exceptional performance, I felt a c e r t a i n , p e r h a p s , justifiable t i m i d i t y . T h e r e a r e ultra-lightweights and ultra-lightweights. A low cloud-ceiling effectively p r e v e n t e d a n y a t t e m p t t o discover e x a c t l y w h a t h a p p e n e d t o t h e m a c h i n e near t h e stall a n d , as t h e Chilton is intended equally for t h e novice a n d t h e e x p e r t , its slow speed characteristics seemed, after all, t o be t h e very ones which would m a k e or m a r it as a flying m a c h i n e . However, a week or two ago I had an opportunity of renewing acquaintance and flew the machine for about three hours in good weather conditions. This, too, was the first of the production models, in which one or two minor improvements had been incorporated Gradually, during the three hours, 1 gained more confidence, not only in the machine, but in the power unit which, as a converted car engine, might otherwise cause the prospective owner some slight misgivings. The Chilton-Ford engine continued to perform with monotonous smoothness and regularity, and, furthermore, I found, on a trip down the South Coast and back again along the line between Lympne and Tonbridge. that the Chilton's cruising speed really is 100 m.p.h., as nearly as makes no matter