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Building The Maltese Falcon

By Jim Shelley

Want to build a BIG model I.C. engine? Well now you have the chance! Anyone who has read Jim Shelley’s The Magic of the Midlands and the Black Country, to be found in the “Aero Engines” section, will know that Jim has a passion for big model aircraft, in his case a 15 ft wingspan Taylorcraft, and he developed the Maltese Falcon to replace the 100cc Flymo two-stroke engine he used in this, which drove an undersized prop too fast, and which sounded wrong. The result is a 260cc Flat Four, Side Valve engine which turns a (scale) 34” x 18” propeller at 2500 rpm, and measures 8” in length and depth, and 13” in width across the heads. Essentially designed to be built from solid, Jim can supply certain parts, notably a magneto kit, and standard Honda pistons can be used if you want to get your Maltese Falcon running as quickly as possible - parts suppliers are listed. Whilst not a beginner’s project, this engine can be built by any competent model engineer, and even if you just build one as your next project, will give you the satisfaction of blowing the club away, when you finally demonstrate it at an “On the Table” Club Night! And, of course, having built the engine, you could then horrify the neighbours by building a giant model aircraft for it to power! But what really intrigues me about the Maltese Falcon is what else you could drive with it, in some cases with modifications to the cooling arrangements; large scale model road vehicles, notably a large scale model tractor, and 71?4” gauge railway motive power, but an outboard motor, a GT lawn mower and a motor bike would also all seem possible for the clever amongst you.

£8.95 (P&P £2.55)