I have not posted in this thread for a long while. I’ve been trying for quite some time to maiden my TF Spitfire on a weekend; my job interferes during week days. Unfortunately most weekends over the summer were either rainy or there were strong cross winds at the flying field. The few weekends that I may have been able to do the maiden flight was interrupted by other priorities.>>
I took a day off from work on Tuesday, decided after a medical appointment to take the Spitfire to the field for the maiden flight. At the field a group of retirees gathered around the Spitfire to judge the build quality and to hear what a Saito Gas engine sounded like when fired up. Everyone approved of the look and quality of the build; I told them they would be really impressed by the sound of the Saito when she fired up.>>
I started the engine; let it fast idle for 40 to 50 seconds to allow warm up. I then advanced the throttle to check maximum rpm before I launched the Spitfire. At ½ throttle, the engine abruptly stopped, I went for a restart and found that the prop/crankshaft would not turn, the engine was completely seized. I had to hang my head in shame after bragging to the retirees how well Saito engines performed.>>
I’m beginning to think I have a Friday or Monday assembled Saito gasengine? Right out of the box it had a faulty carburetor. Through warranty, Horizon Hobby sent me a replacement carburetor for the FG20. With the new carburetor installed, the engine ran very well, smooth, loads of power and sounded great, until Tuesday.
The engine only has 2hrs 20 minutes of total run time; it has not been run lean. The low speed needle is set at 4 turns 10 minutes from flush with the throttle arm. The high speed needle is set at approximately 1 turn 25 minutes from closed and the engine had a slight burble at full throttle which indicates slightly rich. >>
I am just glad the engine seized on the ground and not during take off. I would have lost the Spitfire and probably would not have known that the engine seized during take off. I would have associated the seized engine as the result of crash damage. I’ll send the FG20 back to HH for warranty work, hopefully they will let me know what actually failed and caused the engine to seize.