Re: Show us your Thrusters!


It nearly crashed on the first flight. They fitted an 80hp 912 with a 3-blade Duc prop.  What they didn’t know was that the propwash was so powerful it sucked the air out of the Ultralam wings through the centre Velcro panel as Ultram was more air tight than Dacron it had the effect of flattening the aerofoil a lot. From recollection it tried to nosedive into the ground. The effect only occurred when the engine was producing power and air was flowing over the wings. They rectified that problem by putting eyelets around the edge of the centre panel and eyelets in the upper wingroot skin and cable tying the centre panel down to the wing. That stopped the air being sucked out and flattening the wing. The fuse tube was standard as far as I know except for the 912 engine mount and the fact it was shorter to bring the weight of the 912 back towards the CofG. The engine sat lower on the mount so part of the engine was below the fuse tube so it impinged on the forward visibility in the upper part of the windscreen. They put a slightly negative angle of incidence on the horizontal stabiliser. The thing I recall was that it had a longitudinal phugoid in pitch with hands off that meant it wouldn’t pass section S. I think it would have been fixable with a trim tab of some sort, probably a servo tab. My father had a flying school in Northern Ireland and was the Thruster agent in NI at the time. The aircraft G-FJCE was for one my father’s students. Gordon invited my father to come over and fly it with the 912 and I went and flew it with him. My father flew most variants of Thruster at one time or another and he said it was the only one that was better than the Super T300. We flew the 912 machine together and it went up like a rocket ship. It was an enclosed cockpit but it did have the enclosed Sprint fuselage as that hadn’t been designed at the time and came along later when they went down the Jabiru route instead. I think Gordon’s heart really wasn’t into pursuing the 912 especially after he had a close shave and the aircraft got delivered with a 582 on it instead.



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