The Midget And Sprite Club. Serving the Spridget since 1983
Many events are held throughout the year, at home and abroad.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE! ‘Old Boys’ run to Gatwick Aviation Museum.
A call from our “Wing Commander” (The Kent Area Representative - Alan) for volunteers required to lead “Old Boy Runs”. With trepidation, as this was going to be my ‘maiden’ flight, I stepped forward to offer a possible target - The Gatwick Aviation Museum.
The green light was given with the affirmative command, “Go for it”! With all systems go I contacted the manager of the Museum, Ashley by e-mail requesting a possible private viewing for the “Sprigeteers” (These are Flying Officers in control of either derivatives of the MG Midget - I’m told with the aerodynamics of a brick, Or, the more aerodynamically shaped Frogeye- they make the same noise). The prompt response to my e-mail (was received 3 months later!) confirming the possible ‘launch date’ - 5th March! This called for a low fly past recognisance of both the ‘Collection Rendezvous-vous’ and the Target.
As with all Aviation launch dates the weather is of a paramount importance - the morning proved to be perfect - Blue sky light winds and dry underfoot. The ‘Sprigeteers’ started to gather at the rvp, several had several flight passes, ending up in the car park adjoining Waitrose car park in Edenbridge. With sufficient ‘tyre- kicking’ and the novelty of having coffee in the Waitrose non-disposable cup, the squadron was ready for action.
As self-appointed squadron leader Biggles (Barker really) and under the tight control of the W C Anstead, I assumed, with a degree of modesty, the coveted position of ‘Top - Gun’ leading the force out. The target was reached on time, with only a few minor defects experienced, those adequately dealt with by the wing commander following up the rear.The group were treated to coffee and tea and then a comprehensive history lesson was given on the origins of Gatwick.
Did you know the Grand National Horse Race started there, with the grand-father of Lester Piggott winning twice!
The museum’s theme on the exhibits displayed was on the development of the jet engine and its use in military aircraft, from the Meteor that had no means of escape, save that of flying upside down, so the pilot fell out the cockpit right through to the Harrier Jump jet and the Lightning.
The day was very informative and enjoyed by all and our final treat was to allow a “photo-shoot’ of all our vehicles beneath the shadow of the ‘Shackleton’.
In order to refresh the ‘Flying- Officers’ after combat and to reduce battle fatigue a suitable watering-hole had been found and everybody enjoyed the refreshment.
I returned the Midget to its ‘hanger’ with “No-Kills” recorded!!
Following complaints from members, & others, about the longevity of the carbon release bearing as fitted as standard to 1098cc and 1275cc Midget & Sprite engines a roller release bearing has been made that is a direct replacement.
With much help from Clive Talbot it has been possible to reduce the amount of time, and effort, taken to produce a roller thrust / clutch release bearing to replace the carbon thrust bearings on 1275 and 1098 clutches as fitted to Austin Healey Sprites and M.G.Midgets.
These roller release bearings are a direct replacement for the stock carbon release bearing.
They use a readily available release bearing on a custom backplate.
There is no need, as with some clutch roller release bearings, to remove the clutch cover pressure pad and run upon the clutch cover splines.
It is now possible to modify some (but not all) 948cc / 1098cc clutch release carbon thrust races to accept a deep groove ball race with the appropriate criteria of size, speed rating, and static / dynamic radial load capacity. A steel pressure pad sits atop the bearing.
Roller Bearing For 1098/1275 Engine