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Intermittent problem with Merlin 160

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Intermittent problem with Merlin 160

Old 06-20-2015, 05:49 AM
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grbaker
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Default Intermittent problem with Merlin 160

I have had the turbine for about 10 years. Propane start.

Every once in a while it starts normally, I put the hatch on and try to taxi out but it has very little thrust and doesn't want to move. So I advance the throttle some more and the sound from the turbine changes and it turns into a huge blow torch. This has happened at least half a dozen times, twice while airborne (resulting in loss of airframe). You can shut the turbine off, let it cool down and it will start up and run fine. The ECU has been upgraded at least once, and this issue has happened before and after the upgrade.

I sent it in to Todd for bearings once and he discovered massive damage due to overheating and he actually replaced all of the internal components of the turbine. The issue has happened twice since then. I got quite a few flights on it before it happened the first time but less that half a dozen before it happened again. I thought maybe it was something I was doing that was causing this, but this last time (yesterday) I know I did everything I should have.

Anyone have any ideas? Bad pump?
Old 06-20-2015, 01:27 PM
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Boomerang1
 
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I have had this happen on a couple of occasions with a Wren SS, usually on the ground after idling for some time.

This only began since the engine came back from Wren after a rebuild. I suspect the acceleration delay is too aggressive
but as it has only happened twice I'm just careful accelerating off idle & have not adjusted anything.

It will be interesting to hear opinions on this.

John.
Old 06-26-2015, 10:01 AM
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grbaker
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UPDATE:
Gaspar has responded that he thinks the turbine is injesting exhaust during startup resulting in unstable combustion. I'm working on a solution to prevent this from happening.

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