Flight Testing the WAM Diesel Europa at 100 hp

Over the 5th and 9th October six test flights were made with the aim of assessing cooling efficiency with the new engine, now equipped with a MTV-6D 157 – 106 propeller, and at higher power settings than were available with the earlier prototype engines and different propellers. Sixteen test flights have now been completed since 2nd January 2001. The new hydraulic MT propeller was fitted in anticipation of the production WAM-120 and its integral oil feed to the propeller and governor mount pad. Until the new engine is available the MT is being used as a ground adjustable.

The punch of the new engine was immediately apparent on opening the throttle for take off on the damp and rather soft grass at Bicester. Timed climbs were made averaging 800 ft / min - respectable for a Europa with a fixed pitch propeller, and at an all up weight of around 1250 lbs. A timed climb was also made from brakes off to 3000 ft in 5 min 10 sec. The propeller pitch had been ground adjusted to give 2500 rpm in the climb at 80 KIAS.

With the Europa stabilised in level flight at 2000 ft and 2650 rpm, 120 KIAS was maintained comfortably, and the oil and coolant temperatures were both well within normal operational limits. This setting equates to around 70% power with the present 100HP rating. As has been the case during the whole test programme, the engine ran very smoothly with a low level of cockpit noise. After gathering the test data I had no worries about burning up a litre or so more diesel with some low fast passes to provide some more video clips which will no doubt appear on WAM’s web site shortly.

In summary, this latest batch of test flights clearly demonstrated the excellent progress being made with the WAM120. Future power increases and a return to a VP propeller promises exciting performance in up-coming test flights.

10 October 2001 John Brownlow