Maris Ezergailis (M.A.M.E. Engineering Managing Director) was part of a team of Engineers manufacturing a world war one rotary engine for David Marshall. David is Managing Director of Dave's Camair, an Aircraft Servicing Company operating out of Riddells Creek Airfield. Leader of the Engineering Team was Tony Villella owner of ARJ Tooling in Campbellfield. Tony had already machined the nine cylinders (all perfect replicas of the original) from solid steel blocks and Maris was manufacturing the CNC Machined and Milled parts to be fitted into the upper cylinder assembly.
The Cylinders had been weighed and each found to be too heavy by 0.8 of a Kilo. Tony had to mill between each fin at the base of the grooves to take them back to as close as possible to the original weight when the rotary engine was first manufactured.
The weight of the Cylinders came down, however Tony did not want to bring the weight down all the way to the original weight due to concerns that the thickness in some areas would be too low. Given this will be an operating flying machine, safety and strength are the primary considerations.
Maris had now produced the Inlet Manifold tube brackets (added to pictures page)
The Inlet valve assembly had progressed with the castings that would eventually hold the inlet valve (see Pictures) having been completed and the machining for the valve seat side also done. The pictures show the almost complete inlet assembly casting and the Jig used to allow the machining of the valve seat side (creating a reference) so that Maris could accurately machine and mill the top side where the valve retaining assembly was located. The original castings were steel; the replacement castings are of "Gunmetal" which says Tony "dissipates heat more effectively and will be stronger" otherwise they were identical.
The Engine (a LE ROHNE 9 Cylinder Rotary) had only the Crank Case still useable when recovered. The completed Engine will be fitted into a Fokker Tri Plane which was being built from the ground up by David at his workshop at Riddells Creek. The Fokker Tri Plane was the Red Baron's favourite aircraft.
Maris says the exercise is challenging, however one of the most satisfying and rewarding projects he has ever been involved with. (Photo's on picture's page)