The long awaited start up of Russell Sutton’s 9 cylinder radial engine has finally come about, as these videos show and it sounds just like a proper radial should. He’s made some changes and additions since we last saw it, having to do with some plumbing for lubrication and the addition of a system for running the engine on LPG or propane, detailed in video one. However, as often happens with any project like this, initial operation has pointed out a few weak spots. After a short time running, an internal failure brought the engine to a halt, shown on video two.
The third video has the engine partially disassembled and Russell explains what failed along with his straight forward plan to get everything back together and running. Cylinder liners will be made from a more durable material and the pistons will need to be machined differently leaving a bit more of the top surface intact.
This is the point where the successful builders keep moving forward, diagnosing problems as they arise, fixing what needs to be fixed, reassembling and trying again. You persist until you succeed. Russell has a great attitude, knowing it’s far better to have these infantile failures while still on the test stand instead of under power in the airboat, the eventual location for this engine once it’s been proven.