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Apr 17, 2018, 08:17 PM
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Restoring a Byron Originals Pipe Dream

I began flying in 1986 with the Guam Aeromodelers while assigned to Andersen AFB. One of our club members had a bunch of Byron Originals planes and few them often, but I noticed he liked flying the Pipe Dream the most. It didn't look great...a flying aluminum tube really, but man that plane flew great! I made a mental note to get one of these some day. Fast forward to 2001, got lucky and scored a brand new Pipe Dream kit from eBay. Great flying plane and survived numerous change of assignments while I was in the Air Force. It finally met its fate in 2011, radio failure led to a crash at low altitude. It looked rebuildable, so I saved all the crashed parts with the intent of repairing it one day.

It's been 7 years since I put away all those pieces. I started restoring my old Pipe Dream bit by bit....five years ago I decided to cut the foam wings and stab since I had extra foam lying around my shop. Then didn't do anything else on the restoration until a few months ago. I tore apart the busted wings to salvage the aluminum plug in spars (those things are hard to take off!!!) I straightened the aluminum spars as best as I could and once again set them aside. Two weeks ago I began my restoration again. I'll post some pictures of my progress.
Last edited by bugdude; Apr 17, 2018 at 09:09 PM.
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Apr 17, 2018, 08:47 PM
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I started with the fuselage first, couldn't find any locally so a quick internet search led me to Speedy Metals. It's basically 6061-T6, 1" OD, .083" thick. I bought two 48" long pieces. The next step was to duplicate the knurling for the engine mount. The Byron Originals tube had what I thought looked like coarse knurling. I called around the local machine shops and found out that they charge a hefty fee for knurling. Fortunately for me, I have coworkers in the company I work at that have access to a machine I got that for practically nothing.
Last edited by bugdude; Apr 17, 2018 at 09:58 PM.
Apr 18, 2018, 11:00 PM
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Boss Man's Avatar
I loved my pipe dream. It had only one futaba 3003 on the ailerons, flaps, elevator, and rudder. How it flew is a wonder. I had a Saito 220 up front that flew it great. This is a pretty cool looking pipe dream. What engine are you going with.
Apr 19, 2018, 07:03 PM
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Still planning to use the Zenoah G-38, it worked great before, very reliable although a lot heavier than the modern crop of gas engines you see at the flying fields nowadays.
Apr 21, 2018, 04:58 AM
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solitairyman's Avatar
Hi Dude,
nice rebuild!!!
And yes the G38 is a very nice engine!
Check however the big magneto wheel.
Due to the crash with the engine say prop hitting the ground hard on impact, the small cone that holds the flywheel on the shaft will probably be deformed.
Check also the crank shaft. Measure the two sides on the counter balance weights ... the bottom cover of the the engine must be removed.
My friend had asked me to check on his G38 last Monday...
Both are damaged on his, and the hit was not like on yours.
He ordered now both the wheel and a new crank shaft. ( the best way I think )
Anyway this model will fly again like before!
If you can't find the parts, check on Tony Clark in Germany.
Apr 21, 2018, 10:50 AM
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Solitary man hit the nail on the head. Right now, I'm working on a new 2 month old G38 that quit working, wouldn't start. He had a minor prop strike earlier. Later he had a dead stick and the spark plug cable got tangled and cut by the prop as it went in. He replace the coil but the engine still wouldn't start, just the occasional weak pop. Long story short, the key broke on the fly wheel and was out of time. Waiting on parts to repair.
Apr 21, 2018, 01:40 PM
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...I never had a key broken, but also never a crash that bad...
The worst I had was that, using the Fema starter, in the 8 years that I flew my SF25 C-Falke motor glider, the power went down in the end.
One day I could not restart before landing, what I always did.
After a save landing and some pushing to get back to the pits, I noticed the spark plug cap hanging down from under the cowl.
I just wanted to push it back on, but, to my astonishment, I found the spark plug still connected in the cap.
No wonder why I lost the power, the plug had turned itself out of my engine.
After fitting it back the power was again there...
So, lesson learned here, check once in a while the plug when it is completely under the hood.
But still the G38 is a very good engine!!
Did you know that you can upgrade it a bit?
My late good friend told me how to do this.
About 500rpm more, due to freeing the inlet channels from the counter balance weights of the crankshaft on both sides of the piston.
And sure that is what I always do to my engines...
Run much better, and doesn't harm the engine at all!!!
See the pictures.
Both the G38 and the G62 can be upgraded this way. The G45 has free channels already, so don't try it on this one...
All the best,
May 12, 2018, 07:06 PM
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I finished painting last week, I waited about 3 days for the paint (gloss white) to dry thoroughly. Last week here in Las Vegas we had 3 days of 100 deg weather, so that helped out with the drying time. Decided to start painting the bottom surfaces first. Masking for paint is always time consuming.
May 12, 2018, 07:12 PM
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Finished up the top surfaces today. Here are more pictures of my progress. I still have to make the fuselage pod, so I'll be carving out some foam today and tomorrow.

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