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Let's play Darts

Old 05-28-2012, 12:53 AM
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fiery
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Default Let's play Darts

My DC Dart on it's first outing since coming into my possession

It is an example from DC's "quickstart" era, I'd say late sixties or seventies vintage *** EDIT - I am reliably informed it is an eighties example ***. Rescued from long hibernation and completed with a new prop driver, starter cam and integral tank, all of which were missing. It is now a very tidy example apart from two vertical scratches at 180 degrees on the beautifully anodised cooling fins. I'd say the scars are from an encounter with a pair of pliers in it's previous life. A pity.

It's a wee sweetie to run. Never having operated a diesel this small, I used the spring start device. I found it surprisingly effective. It's easy to start. It ran well on my standard diesel brew. No high ether concoction required. It pulled a Master 5.5 x 4.5 prop with authority. A 6 x 4 would be fine as well.

Good contra piston seal (no oily blow by leaking out of the compression screw hole) and snappy compression as evidence of a good piston fit. I've had a win. One of the 'lecky boys in my club wants one.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:06 AM
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spaceworm
 
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

It looks a bit like my McCoy .09 Diesel from 1953 or so. Red fins and slanted intake and all. Do you know which engine came first? Thanks.

Richard/Club Saito #635
Old 05-28-2012, 04:07 AM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

ORIGINAL: spaceworm

It looks a bit like my McCoy .09 Diesel from 1953 or so. Red fins and slanted intake and all. Do you know which engine came first? Thanks.

Richard/Club Saito #635

There were dozens of small diesel engines with a similar configuration produced during the 1950-60's.

Most likely they were all inspired by the remarkable British Elfin 149 diesel first introduced in 1950.

While the McCoy small diesels were nice engines they were regrettably a dead end in model engine development except perhaps for their CP design being the inspiration for the DDD heads.

The DC Darts were a direct development of the Allbon range of engines. The story is related on the MAN site.

I have three DC and one Allbon Dart and I'd judge the latter to be the best. Like the McCoy diesels some DC versions of the Dart are notorious for breaking crankpins.



Old 05-28-2012, 12:35 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

Actually fiery yours is an 80's Dart-very last end of the production-or to be accurate the very last model variant. There are two dead giveaways-the venturi is plain and unreamed from the top (ie it is not wider at the top narrowing down to the spraybar (done in the earlier models with a tapered reamer) and the fins are parallel on the sides. I'd both agree and disagree with loctite401-definitely agree that the Allbon Dart is generally a better engine than the DC, and agree that some DC Darts had a reputation for breaking shafts-actually this was only an issue with the very very last production models-and these had yellow heads. The issue here was bad shaft heat treatment which made the shafts brittle-either DC (or most likely a subcontractor) messed up the hardening and tempering process big time-and these engines rapidly developed a reputation for breaking shafts. Ironically-as has been mentioned elsewhere, this indirectly lead to the excellent PAW 55-after PAW received numerous requests to make replacement DC Dart shafts from disgruntled owners, and decided they might as well do a 0.5 diesel of their own. It also explains why the 55 has the same mounting footprint as the DC Dart, as being in production for over 30 years, the Dart is numerically the most common 0.5cc diesel, with enormous numbers of model designs published for it.
I would disagree with loctite401 that the Elfin 149 had any influence however-the Dart is based on the Allbon Javelin-which in turn was based on the slightly earlier (1949) Allbon Arrow-and had many features in common with the Mk1 Javelin-the captive gudgeon pin, the single arm comp screw, and the plain prop driver. The Javelin's ancestry was earlier than the Elfin-the Elfin was simply the best of three very similar designs-the Javelin, Elfin 149 and Frog 150-all with the same generic layout.
Looking at the pics below, the group photo shows from left, a mint Allbon Dart Mk2, a well used DC Dart, a Performance Kits Dart Special (which is nothing special as regards performance!) and one of the notorious last yellow head Darts-this one did have a broken shaft when I acquired it-but Jon Fletcher did a nice repair job on it for me. Note-in light of what I've said above-the difference in fin shape and venturi shape between the two on the left, and the two on the right. The next picture is an original Allbon Dart Mk1 series 2-made by Allbon. No tank, thinner fins, differences in porting and a green head (though the head on this one has been re-anodised) [the original Mk1, series one also had a green head-but a captive gudgeon pin, internal transfers, and a single arm compression screw bent at an angle-(like an ED Baby) Finally a DC made Allbon Dart Mk2 dating to around the mid 1950s.

ChrisM
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

I have a DC Spitfire 1cc engine, but I haven't done anything with it yet, except for admiring it some.
It has a carb with a throttle on it too.



Old 05-28-2012, 04:35 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

Thanks for your input Chris. The sharing of your knowledge of these "golden era" British diesels is appreciated.
Old 05-28-2012, 04:37 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

Earl, that looks like a PAW R/C carb on your spitfire. Is it a DC supplied R/C throttle?
Old 05-28-2012, 04:40 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

I don't know, but yeah it does look like a PAW carb though.
Old 05-28-2012, 05:26 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

As far as I know DC didn't produce throttles for any of their engines in this form-it certainly looks like a PAW throttle. A few-a very few-Rapiers were produced with an R/C throttle in the intake-but these were crude affairs-a bit like the Frog 349 R/C-just a barrel, and an idle hole-no means of adjusting either the overall travel, degree of closure, or idle. IIRC the shortlived Tornado twin used exhaust throttles, but I don't recall this being a standard fitting with the engine.

'ffkiwi'
Old 05-28-2012, 06:00 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

fiery-the more you delve-the more you find out how little you know-Jon Fletcher (a man whose skills I have immense respect for.......) and I correspond from time to time-and last year (or it may have been 2010) there were a lot of emails pinging back and forth between us about Allbon Darts. He's been sent a couple to work on and restore-and by swapping photos we discovered quite a few variations in cylinder porting-far more (4 or 5) than any of the magazines had ever hinted at-and coincidentally collectively came to the agreement that the very early Allbon Darts were a lot better than the later ones-not so much in quality of production-but in those subtle porting changes-and the timing changes that resulted.
.........for a start, DC Darts all have a fibre washer under the exhaust flange to seal the join-(look at the photos I posted earlier-and compare the DC Darts with the Allbon Darts) a paper gasket would do the job just as effectively-but be a little fragile-the fibre washer raises the liner by a significant amount-at least 1/32-1mm-which would be sufficient to change the exhaust and transfer timing. Did DC do this deliberately to alter the timing-or was it merely coincidental-that they chose to use a fibre washer for durability and ease of production? With a fibre gasket-and more compressibility, you could dispense with grinding the underside of the exhaust flange-leaving it as machined thereby saving yourself an additional machining operation?
...sometimes the reasons for change may not be clearcut...................look at the pic below-which shows three of my AM35s (there are two AM25s also mounted on the block, but they're deliberately out of picture)-all three are different-(and I have two more of the pink headed ones-both different!)-the left hand one has pink fins sitting atop a full crankcase width cylinder flange, the next one has red fins, a narrower exhaust flange, and standoffs at the base of the fins-the one on the right does not have the standoffs. Now there is no literature (meaning 'Aeromodeller' or 'Model Aircraft') mention of any marks or different models of the AM35 (though there was a Mk1 and Mk2 AM10, 15 and 25.......) yet these differences are real. Dave Hipperson-the former UK FF flier tells me he's identified at least 6 variants of the AM35......
This all begs the question-where/how do you distinguish between a variant, a model, a series or a Mark? The manufacturers may have their opinion, the users another-the collectors (who are usually the pedantic and fussy ones) a third...........
On another forum, I have been trying to untangle the confusing production history of PAW engines and model numbers-without a huge amount of progress-other than understanding that this is going to be challenging and time consuming! But for example-it can be critical if trying to obtain spares, if the crankshaft for example, was altered between one model of PAW 249-and the next (and worse still if you can't identify for certain which model you have............)
So if the magazines of the time make no mention, it is very hard thirty or forty years later, to account for changes in engines-unless you are lucky enough to run into someone who worked at the factory, and has a good memory...............

ChrisM
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:56 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

Hi Chris,
Ireally like to read your replies mate as you know your diesels, but ................

The lack of paragraphing makes my eyes hurt, it all reads like on big sentence to me and I find myself having to bookmark where I am and rereading it just to make sure that Idon't miss something - and I don't want to miss anything!

So just asking here, could you please break up all that good advice into more edible chunks?

Thanks.
Old 05-29-2012, 06:56 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

I forgot that I had another DC Spitfire .06 engine. This one appears to have never been run or mounted for that matter. It was stuck, but I heated it up, lubed it up good, and got it all freed up good again.





















Old 05-29-2012, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts


ORIGINAL: Recycled Flyer
want to miss anything!

So just asking here, could you please break up all that good advice into more edible chunks?

Thanks.

OK-it always looks a bit different when I'm writing it than the way it appears here.....

ChrisM
'ffkiwi'
Old 06-01-2012, 11:44 AM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

Here's a Dart that I bought some years ago
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:56 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

Beautiful engine.
Old 06-01-2012, 02:57 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

That's one to treasure.
Peter
Old 06-01-2012, 06:35 PM
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

Ive got a Case here just a case and it does not have a bush in it I think its the 1cc version like Earls , how would you go getting parts do I just by old ones from Ebay?
Old 06-11-2012, 07:15 PM
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fiery
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Default RE: Let's play Darts

A complete EWDEC yellow finned Dart just sold on *bay for $ USD 73.00. It would have been a parts prospect.
Old 11-15-2014, 08:30 PM
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Shown below is Allbon Dart Mk. 1 Series 2. Approximate year of manufacture? I suspect late 1952 or early 1953. The DC built Mk. 2 was being advertised in September 1953.


The contra-piston of example shown is stuck and will not move up when the engine fires. Otherwise it is in very good order. It will be sorted.
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:04 AM
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Derek, the problem with your question is that, AFAIK, Alan Allbon never stated what changes were being made at the time so, unless someone knows better, we're down to vague impressions and memory.
There aren't many original green head Darts around and I personally don't think that the green head was made after 1951, i.e. Darts only had a green head for about the first year, and perhaps even less time than that.
We were playing with Darts at school in 1952/3, and none of those were green head. I didn't even know that a green head Dart existed until I started collecting.
Old 11-18-2014, 08:45 PM
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My first DART purchased new from Hearns Hobbies in Melbourne in 1953 was pinkish red in colour on the head.
I loved and used it, but sold it with other diesels I had in 1958 when MGs and good looking girls took over.

I did buy an unrun DC version about 30+ years ago that starts and goes well. It's in a F/F Celeritas from 1953 Aeromodeller Annual as the first one was way back then.
Old 11-25-2014, 12:41 AM
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A 1950/51 Allbon Dart Mk. 1 Series 1.

http://youtu.be/miNvlnJ_bMg
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Last edited by fiery; 11-30-2014 at 09:51 PM.
Old 11-25-2014, 01:17 AM
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Very nice Derek... Hang onto it!
Old 11-25-2014, 01:54 AM
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Thanks Brian. Fits and especially piston seal are superb.

From comments I have read in published reviews it was an absolute revelation when released in Spring 1951. I now understand why.

Last edited by fiery; 11-30-2014 at 09:53 PM.
Old 02-19-2015, 05:09 PM
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A 1980's "Dart Special" made for and sold by Performance Kits in the United Kingdom.
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Last edited by fiery; 02-21-2015 at 09:37 PM.

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