Since the launch of this site I have made progress toward production of the three VFF versions developed so far. This additional page is meant to inform interested parties of that progress from time to time.
In August, I contacted a casting company in Seattle, set up a meeting with the owner, shop foreman and the patternmaker to discuss the process of creating casting molds and producing a "first part" for my approval. The first step was for me to generate working drawings from which the patternmaker will create the molds. After a few refinements, those drawings are complete, the information is in his hands and I'm waiting until his schedule permits work on my project. It is currently my understanding that I will have an example casting in my hands around the first of the year.
When I have an example of the final casting in hand (it is assumed that there will be a few adjustments along the way), I will begin making the fixtures required to do the final machine work. I expect that to take a few weeks at worst and have begun early design work toward that end.
I have received notice from the US Patent and Trademark Office that the patent application, No. 13/815,615 was published per standard procedure on 10/10/13, Publication No. US-2013-0263827-A1
This by no means indicates that the patent application is being reviewed at this time. It is simply part of the process. If you need some bathroom reading and have spare printer paper, have a look.
I have been notified that the patterns and core boxes for the "big" Hudson and the PDSC versions have been delivered to the casting company. The next step is for them to cast a "first part" for my inspection and approval. Since I was in contact with the patternmaker throughout the process of converting my table-drafted drawings into the CAD drawings from which the molds were made, there shouldn't be any adjustments necessary....I hope.
No surprise, this process took far longer than I'd expected/hoped for.
Yesterday, the 27th, I went to Seattle and picked up two each of the big Hudson and Chrysler castings and I must say they are pretty nice. I can see a couple of minor details I'd like to change but they appear to be as designed. Final machining will tell the story.
Have a look at the last images on the Gallery Page to see the raw castings. Another update entry will be coming soon.
Soon is a relative term.
Proof machining of the big Hudson and the PDSC versions is complete and revealed only minor, mostly cosmetic, changes were desirable. The drawings and patterns were altered for those changes and a run of 20 of the Hudson version is in the works. PDSC will come soon. The 202 Jet version is still in the pattern-making phase but will follow in a while. Having determined that the castings are correct, I have created the drill jigs and fixturing for the other operations and the tooling for those operations has been procured.
Jigs and fixtures have been "fine tuned" and a run of 24 castings has been fully machined to completion. I have secured a stable, high quality supply of regulator plungers and springs from Melling and my manufacturing processes have been turning out consistent, predictable results.
Each operation in manufacture is done by me, personally, so there is no finger pointing and no excuses in this shop. If it's wrong, I know who did it.
I have updated the Gallery page to reflect the progress, so have a look.
My Patent attorney informed me that the USPTO has "allowed" all 18 of the Claims set forth in the patent application. What this means is that if I pay the fees and wait two or three more months, the Patent will be issued. You can't believe what a relief this is!!
The USPTO has issued the patent, # 8,807,111
Production has begun and kits are available for the Hudson 232, 262 and 308 engines. Versions for the Jet/Wasp 202 and the PDSC (Chrysler) will be available soon.