Letters : LA Mag, May'19

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Letters : LA Mag, May'19

Postby Chris Martyr » Thu May 09, 2019 7:51 am

As a past fan of LA mag's 'Letters' page , it's always interesting to see on the rare occasions when one does appear.
But after reading the full-page letter from Jon Freedman this month , I was left wondering ; what on earth is his gripe ?
He writes as if being colluded against , even though Brian made it quite clear that the article was mooted in 2018 , and what better person to write it than somebody as knowledgeable as Jonathan Porter , who is obviously very conversant with both engine types.

After digging out both March & April LA magazines and re-reading said articles , I'm still none the wiser ,
because all that JP does , is make constructive and informed comparisons of the two types.

When comparing cold-start characteristics , the Rotax requires the throttle to be set at 50% and once started needs to be taken up to 2,400rpm to bring Gen.2 on line .
Starting the UL Power requires that one simply cracks the throttle slightly and presses the start button .
Considering that one method sounds pretty straightforward and the other has the potential to be downright bloody dangerous , I thought that Jonathan Porter showed admirable restraint there .

Similarly with the comparisons of the respective cooling systems . One uses liquid coolant and one uses air. As an unbiased observer , I won't divulge which method I think wins hands down . But neither did Jonathan Porter did he ?
And the same with the oil system . One uses a wet-sump arrangement and one has a separate oil tank . Again , for normal [non-aerobatic] use the wet-sump gets my vote every time , but all that JP did was to merely point out the fundamental differences.
Also , what was Mr Freedman's gripe with descriptions of the dual fuel-pump set-up ? All JP did was to compare the merits of both. For me , it's the parallel arrangement every time , but the reader was not 'steered' in any particular direction at any time over this .

With consideration to the fact that Jonathan and Patricia Porter are both massively experienced with both makes of engine , then in my eyes they are exactly the right people to be writing in our magazine . And well done to Brian for getting it all together .

But I have to say though , that Mr Freedman's motive in all this remains somewhat unclear.
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Re: Letters : LA Mag, May'19

Postby John Price » Thu May 09, 2019 3:42 pm

I can't find the like button !

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Re: Letters : LA Mag, May'19

Postby tomjbooth » Fri May 10, 2019 2:47 pm

Maybe I'm missing something but isn't the point that Jonathan and Patricia can sell the ULPower units in the UK and they can't sell Rotax? Is that not enough for the thinking man to suspect they can hardly be expected to be unbiased? Maybe I'm over-reacting but my own reaction to the May Letters page was the tardy nature of the "Editors comment" denigrating the writer Jon Freedman and finishing with a back hander re his failing to contribute in the past. I don't think such a lack of professionalism and constraint leaves the LAA in a good light.
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Re: Letters : LA Mag, May'19

Postby Brian Hope » Sat May 11, 2019 8:31 am

I think you mean tawdry Tom.
If somebody submits an adversarial or factually inaccurate letter, then is it not reasonable that the editor is permitted a response? You clearly have a different view but I respect your right to have so.
As far as being a back hander, the final comment about CFS not responding to offers of contributing material to the magazine is relevant to the discussion – CFS has been the importer of Rotax engines since December 2014 yet has not considered it worthwhile to provide educational material about their engines to the magazine of the association whose members operate the largest number of their products in the country. When the engines are complex, and different in many ways in installation, operation and maintenance procedures compared to traditional aero engines, some might consider they could do better.
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Re: Letters : LA Mag, May'19

Postby Chris Martyr » Mon May 13, 2019 8:57 pm

tomjbooth wrote: Is that not enough for the thinking man to suspect they can hardly be expected to be unbiased?


So Tom , please tell us what you perceived about this article which could have been biased ? It did not come out in favour of either of the two engines being reviewed . The article was totally unbiased , which is why I felt it necessary to bring it up here .

Please correct me if I am wrong , but doesn't Jonathan Porter's company have Rotax installation approval ? I would love to be proved wrong on this because if his company do not have Rotax installation approval then it makes the article in question even more unbiased.

Make no mistake mate , I am as grumpy and as cynical as they come and if I had the slightest sniff of a personal agenda , I would have been right on to JP's case. But all I could see was a straightforward comparison of two engines.

I do still wonder though , about why it was felt so necessary to make such a high profile complaint ?
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Re: Letters : LA Mag, May'19

Postby Chris Martyr » Tue May 14, 2019 8:11 pm

Hhhmmmm.....Interesting ! If you scroll back about 9 pages to Oct 2015 , there is a very interesting thread about Rotax engines and an article serialised from Oct '15 LA mag.

It was written by CFS's head guy at the time , Jonathan Porter . Many , including myself , were rather critical , not of Jonathan personally , but of CFS's extremely insular and almost quite contemptuous attitude towards the very people who were keeping them afloat financially . But I feel that that is now all water under the bridge . [ at least , as far as JP is concerned anyway]

The one point that is pretty clear though is that Jonathan is obviously very knowledgeable with Rotax products . As indeed he is with UL Power products . And those are probably the underlying factors that Chief Eng. Donaldson and our own esteemed Editor , Brian were factoring in when the article was first discussed . To imply that there was "bias" is almost a bit of mischief-making really .

The only single thing that does seem to stay constant though , is CFS' commitment in ignoring the industry that keeps it fed .
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Re: Letters : LA Mag, May'19

Postby PaulSS » Wed May 15, 2019 1:22 am

I've just received my copy of the magazine and I have to admit to wondering what he was whining about.

As the future owner of a Rotax 912iS I read the article with interest and took the information for what it is worth. I found it an informative piece and it served to add some information to my lacking knowledge. While reading the article never did I think the Rotax was unfairly compared to the UL Power engine. It is a fact that you need to open the throttle, that it is water-cooled and has a separate oil tank, so why try and make out that these facts were given an unfair airing?

I think the Editor's comments were more than fair and explained each whinge quite fairly. I don't think it was a sideways 'dig' to suggest Mr Freedman has had ample opportunity to contribute but has failed to do so. That's another fact.
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