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IC engine altitude record ?

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Old 04-07-2012, 06:13 AM
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j.duncker
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Default IC engine altitude record ?

About 60 years ago Maynard Hill set an altitude record of 26k. feet.

I believe he was using an IC engine.

Does anyone know what engine and what sort of setup he used?
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:25 AM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: j.duncker

About 60 years ago Maynard Hill set an altitude record of 26k. feet.

I believe he was using an IC engine.

Does anyone know what engine and what sort of setup he used?

John,

I don't know the engine, but this was his Sit-up!

Cees

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Old 04-07-2012, 06:34 AM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

http://www.modelaircraft.org/mag/mhill/hillindex.htm
http://www.rchalloffame.org/Exhibits...t05/index.html This one has period articles. Article says a Fox .59.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:07 AM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

The altitude record for IC engined aircraft is 35725 feet, turboprops went up to 38028 feet
Source:
http://naa.aero/html/records/search_...rr=1&ptr_nxt=1
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:03 PM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

Nowadays, it will be difficult to break Maynard's RC plane record. Our modern RC systems do not have the range like that old RC system he used. Plus you would need a special permit in the USA to attempt it too. The FAA has to approve the flight and record attempt. You would likely have to make the attempt from another country that doesn't have stringent rules against such flights by RC planes.

Maynard used a huge set of binoculars on a special moveable chair setup to allow him to see the airplane that high up. I suspect that chair and binoculars was something that was surplus from the military for high altitude observation from WWII or thereabouts. Maynard also got permission from the Navy to let him use their Naval base with restricted airspace to attempt the record flight too. At the time there was the cold war and the military and government weren't about to let the Russians beat them at anything.

Yeah I believe he did use a Fox .59 RC engine in the plane too. He did some pretty good adjusting of that needle valve on the engine to have it still work at over 13,000 feet up from almost down at sea level too. I beleive that his duration record was set using a Merco .49 engine.

I am surprised that the Russians didn't try to best his record later. At the time both of the countries were pretty competitive in all kinds of things.


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Old 04-08-2012, 07:44 AM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

Thanks for the help on this. I have been on a fascinating trip down the byways of the internet, reading about Maynard Hill Sampey radios and Fox engines.

It looks like he used a standard short shaft Fox 59 for at least one of the altitude records. The Fox story makes no mention of a special engine for Maynard Hills record breaking attempts.

It does seem amazing that you can set the needle at launch and still have the engine running with enough power to continue climbing at 25,000 feet. I did find a referance to Hill's use of high nitro fuel so I guess that provided some or most of the oxygen necessary for combustion.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:05 PM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

I would immagine the engine was spark ignition even if using glow fuel. His later engines were, and you can lean it out much more and have the engine run. His later engines used camping stove fuel, a very clean unleaded gas; he could have added nitro to that also, which is good for endurance. Also I think you could get a Fox .59 in spark. Also he would need the fuel capacity to get to the altitude as the climb had to slow as power and air density dropped.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:43 AM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

Earl,

The FAA gives special altitude clearances for a variety of reasons. I would be confident the attempt would be approved. There are altitude breaking events in many like rocketry, ballooning, etc.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:14 AM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

In modern attempts, FPV with GPS tracking systems can easily be used, so the huge tracking binoculars are not needed anymore.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:25 AM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

blw,
I think one would have trouble finding a location that has a airspace that is relatively protected from full size aircraft flying by. But maybe where the rocket people fly their rockets is a suitable place. Maynard got lucky with using a military base with a restricted airspace at the time he was doing it.

pe peivers,
Here in the USA the unwritten rule is that the RC airplane has to be within visual sight at all times. Plus we aren't really supposed to fly higher than 400 feet in many locations within so many miles of a airport. If they ever get the new FAA rules done they'll likely have new rules for FPV planes. Our other problem is the FCC limited the RF output of our modern RC systems so that range is more limited. RF amplifiers to boos tthe signal are pretty much all illegal here. To get around that, one would likely have to use the reserved Amateur Radio 51mhz channels for RC and boost the power on the TX from there. Maynard may have been using the 51 mhz radio channels for his altitude record too. Of course with less RF power, I suppose one could use a parabolic dish antenna and point it at the airplane for the whole flight too. Very tricky, but possible. Anyway, that had me thinking that one would likely have to go to a different country with different rules in order to be able to try to beat the altitude record as here in the USA if will be hard to do it nowadays. I don't think anyone has beaten Maynard's 26,000 feet plus altitude record yet either using a IC engne, and it was done way back around 1963 if I remember right.
But I am sure the military have drones that have beaten his old RC record, but would they count?
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:54 AM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

There's a rocket club that goes out to one of our local deserts and they get a FAA waiver to 25,000 feet.
I think the waiver might be the easiest part of this mission if it were tried today.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:23 AM
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Default RE: IC engine altitude record ?

We have a rocket club about an hour north of here, and in the proximity of Birmingham. The FAA issues a NOTAM for all pilots to read before flight. Using already restricted airspace is probably the easiest route.

One can always circumvent the AMA restrictions by flying at a non-AMA location and be willing to forego the insurance.
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