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Feb 06, 2009, 09:47 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
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For those who may have missed it - VMU-1


Attached is my interview done last October with the fine folks from VMU-1 of the United States Marine Corps. It is in PDF format and gives some good info regarding the use of UAV's by the Marine Corps. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed visiting VMU-1....

Joe
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Feb 07, 2009, 11:30 AM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
Another photo taken during my visit to VMU-1. A Shadow Wankel verses the venerable Typhoon 15/10....

Joe
Feb 15, 2009, 11:55 AM
American MoonMan
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Here is a photo of the back of the tee shirt I got from VMU-1 during my visit. It shows the newer version of their unit insignia...

Joe
Feb 15, 2009, 11:58 AM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
The SSV2 and Shadow...

Joe
Feb 15, 2009, 01:09 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
Wankel engine operation....

Joe
Feb 16, 2009, 11:27 AM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
Shadow 200 (RQ-7) brochures with info and photos. Files are PDF, and are 3 and 6 megs each. Good stuff, directly from manufacturer...

Joe

Shadow Brochure #1

Shadow Brochure #2
Aug 07, 2009, 11:00 AM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
If you have not had a chance to read the original article about VMU-1, take a few minutes and see what they are all about. Since the article was published, I have had some very nice comments and conversations with a few of the personnel from both VMU-1 and VMU-3, both of which are currently located at the 29 Palms base. Great people, and fun to chat with as well. Hope to get back out to their commands in the future for another sit-down and photo op. Hey, maybe I might be able to obtain a challenge coin or two!!!!

Joe
Aug 18, 2009, 06:05 PM
American MoonMan
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I did just receive an Iraqi Freedom VMU-2 challenge coin. Now to get one from each of the other two VMU's to complete a set!!!!

Joe
Aug 18, 2009, 08:19 PM
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quailbird's Avatar
You know Joe! Until I read this, and I haven't gotten through all of it yet, I thought the Wankel engine fizzled out. Didn't the Mazda's come out with one and for some reason (maybe gas mileage) I haven't heard about any for a while. Maybe I'm just sheltered in this little town and haven't heard.
Aug 18, 2009, 10:15 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by quailbird
You know Joe! Until I read this, and I haven't gotten through all of it yet, I thought the Wankel engine fizzled out. Didn't the Mazda's come out with one and for some reason (maybe gas mileage) I haven't heard about any for a while. Maybe I'm just sheltered in this little town and haven't heard.

Yes, Mazda did and still does offer a rotary engine powered vehicle (the RX-8). There are still many other uses for the Wankle, and they are still powerful, meet California emission standards, and get great mileage too....

Joe

Overview: 2009 Mazda RX-8 (1 min 54 sec)
Aug 19, 2009, 12:04 AM
Registered User
txflyboys2's Avatar
QB, if you haven't ever experienced an O.S. Wankel engine you are in for a treat! I own 2 that I have had since the 1970's when they first hit the RC market. Advertised as a .30-sized engine, they displayed the power very similar to any sport .40. VERY smooth and quiet running with a unique sound that only belong to Wankels.

I actually won the first pattern contest I had ever entered with a Wankel-powered Graupner Middle Stik. The judges were amazed at the power and smooth tracking and were still talking about it after the contest. A secret that I discovered in practice was that the Wankel also had another advantage over its conventionally reciprocating counter-parts.........all of the motion internally was in the same relative rotational motion as the propellar.

That created a gyroscopic effect on the plane in straight flight. At full power, it actually took more elevator command to turn the plane after establishing a bank. The difference was apparent to me, since I first began flying the Middle Stik with a standard K&B .40 engine before switching to the Wankel.

Sadly, there was a drawback to the first generation Wankel models........no means of lubrication to the front bearing, so you had to adjust the fuel mixture in a "4 cycle" rich setting to allow the engine to run cooler and allow the other bearings to be well lubed while in operation. There were several of my flying friends who learned this lesson the hard way.............had them set up to fly in a lean, 2 cycle setting and quickly had the engine to lose RPM at full throttle and even seaze with a burned needle bearing. Also, flying from a dirt or grass strip proved to take its toll over a paved strip.

Later models had improved design which allowed for all bearings to receive lubrication. I was tempted several times to sell my Wankels but decided to keep them to allow my son (the "2" in my username) to also enjoy the experience. If you treat a Wankel correctly and not make it a "knock around" engine, it will serve you well and is still quite a conversation piece both on the ground and in the air.

Joe, I don't mean to jump your thread, as I find it fascinating. QB, please PM with further Wankel comments, as they are a great subject and a favorite of mine.

Larry
Last edited by txflyboys2; Aug 19, 2009 at 12:09 AM.
Aug 19, 2009, 12:50 AM
American MoonMan
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Larry,

Not a problem as your information and stories about wankels might help others to make use of them for their own aircraft (and personal driving too). The mechanics at VMU-1 had nothing but praise for them as they are being used in the Shadow 200's they currently fly. They do look impressive and do the job in an excellent manner with little in the way of problems and difficulty in their use. Of course, the boys (and girls) of the VMU's really DO know their stuff too....

Joe
Sep 20, 2009, 11:41 AM
American MoonMan
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A new unit? VMU-4 may become a reality!!


Just located a PDF file from the Marine Corps entitled "The 2007 Marine Aviation Plan". For those who are into a lot of details, this has it. It goes into the organization and structure of the aviation elements of the Marines and many of their support elements. The thing that I found interesting was that there were several references to "VMU-4" as being a new unit to be created in the near future. In addition to the existing units (VMU-1 & VMU-3 at 29 Palms CA, and VMU-2 at Cherry Point NC) this will increase greatly the support available within the Marine Corps for UAV/UAS operations. No idea where they will be located yet, but does seem that they will begin operation using the Shadow 200 system, and most likely begin their training with one of the existing VMU's. All three of the existing VMU's have been deployed to either Iraq or Afganistan on one or more occasions and have had great success completing their missions. I look forward to seeing how VMU-4 will fit into the mix once they have been added to the roster. Included below is the file of the "Plan" in PDF format. It is long (132 pages), but might be worth looking through if you have any interest in real life application of UAV/UAS operations in the Marine Corps.,,,

Joe
Sep 20, 2009, 12:59 PM
Suspended Account
There's been a long standing rumor that the Wankel was held back because it was capable of extreme mileage. The inventor of the Wankel claimed he could get it up to over 100 mpg. Oddly enough, he was killed in a "robbery" at his home. Also oddly enough, nothing was missing from his home.........
The rotary engine is unique in the fact that the power curve has no peak. The higher it revs the more power it puts out. They also run smoother than any piston engine. Almost like a turbine in vibration.


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