March 2022

In this month’s edition:

  • Down on the farm 40 this month 2/22
  • New Radio Exam Format
  • General Strut News


Down on the farm 40 this month 2/22

Klemm L25C G-ACXE

We have had a disjointed few months what with the new Covid variant and Jim (my build partner) and me contracting Covid late last year and Xmas and the New Year cutting big holes in the build and now Jim is away convalescing after an operation.

We have been building the baffle plates that fit between the Pobjoy cylinders that stop all that nice cold from missing the very small fins on the cylinders. (Old engines tended to be a bit light on the cooling fins probably due to the low power output which was down to the poor fuel available).

View of the wooden plug and male mould such that the cone section is contained while the radial flange is formed with a hammer

We left it until winter as it was a warm workshop activity. It also was one of the most difficult jobs as we had started them about 2 years ago and did not like the results. We have just recently borrowed a pair of original baffles to copy; there are 6 standard baffles and one very different one at the bottom which clears the oil pump.

View of the sections clecoed together before final drilling and riveting

Most of it was flat plates but there is a double curvature section where the flange meets cone section. Trying to do this freehand resulted in lots of waste and torn metal. I had some body filler with aluminium dust as filler which I brought for the aluminium body of the 1934 Alvis I am refurbishing. I took a female mould of the relative section from our original baffle and combined with the wooden plug made previously for free hand bashing which had given mixed results. By putting a tooling hole in the flat plate we managed to get the repeatability we needed as the installation was very precise.

View of the new standard baffle in place

We found that they had to be built precisely and we had to make templates for the final positioning of the 3 parts.

View of 5 standards and one oil pump baffle +7 rear brackets

Tony Palmer

New Radio Exam Format

Remember your radio exam? I remember being amused as the examiner put on different voices for each service. Whilst not many of us will be taking it again, you may be interested to know that the practical exam’s format is about to be significantly revised. The CAA intends it to address these issues:

  • Airspace Infringements that are often caused by the lack of understanding of the Air Traffic Service (ATS) provided and/or the use of an inappropriate ATS Unit (ATSU)
  • Airprox events
  • Increase in non-standard and non-compliant radiotelephony phraseology
  • Increased ATS and AGCS workload
  • Lack of pilot understanding regarding UK Flight Information Services available and how to make best use of them
  • Pilot lack of confidence when transmitting on aeronautical radio frequencies
  • Pilots and other users operating aeronautical radio equipment without holding a FRTOL

My number one bugbear isn’t on there though: pilots recounting their life history slowly while I’m on short final waiting for landing clearance (and yes, I’m sure I must have done it too).

Full details of the change are here: and if you’d like to brush up on radio skills, here’s the official manual: CAP 413


General Strut News

With the change of Covid rules and the general reduction of the seriousness of the virus we are resuming our club meetings by meeting this month at the Swiss Cottage in Shoreham.

Please can you spend a few minutes before strut night to think of things to do with the strut over the next year? My suggestions so far are :-

Ideas for evenings or days out.

  1. Quiz
  2. Safety evening
  3. Museum  visits:
    Berkshire (Miles)
  4. Mini fly-in at Palmersfarm or other location.
  5. A strut fly out, Possible at the LEC strip
  6. My wife had suggested that the fly-in have a theme, so it’s going to be based on WW2. With food from the time and come in period costume if you have something suitable (whatever you wear when you go to Goodwood revival) a prize for the best dressed participant. Also if all attendees bring a suitable raffle prize and all proceeds to the RAF benevolent fund.

I have some more ideas but will not mention them until I contact the relevant people. But I want ideas from the members.  If you do not come to club night next Wednesday and you can help with ideas or more then please contact me on 07790669163.

Because I won the 2021 Faulkner-Bryant Trophy for the most active person in the strut system I have been awarded a bronze medal by the Council of the Royal Aero Club and it will take place on Tuesday the 17th May at the Royal Air Force club in London to be presented by the Minister for Aviation.

Tony Palmer


  • Strut Club Night this month: Wednesday 2nd March, 7:30 pm at The Swiss Cottage, Shoreham.

For the latest list of events, go to the Events page on the Strut website.