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Rallye Minerva?

Old 31st Mar 2014, 15:44
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Rallye Minerva?

Hi guys,

Just to relight an old thread that is now closed.

What are the opinions on the Rallye Minerva - Franklin engine, 220HP 1970?

What are availability of spares for a/c and engine like these days? Issues with corrosion are a worry, is this still the case even with ACF50 treatment?

Erring towards a purchase with either a Rallye or an 'H' model continental C172 -for a group based at a grass strip around 700M long. The budget is around the 15-20 grand mark.

We all have a fair bit of previous time on 172's

Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 31st Mar 2014, 15:49
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Here's one to think about. Light Aircraft, Morane Rallye Ms-894 Minerva , For Sale, advert ID=29232

Last edited by Flyingmac; 31st Mar 2014 at 16:54.
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Old 31st Mar 2014, 15:55
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Wow! That is cheap. We were looking at one a little closer to home, in the SE, about double that price. What's the catch? - they seem to be much cheaper than an equivalent Cessna, and 220HP is a hell of a lot more grunt up front.

I've never heard of a Franklin engine. Engineer I spoke to has never seen one , but worked on Rallye's years ago, and said they all tended to have serious corrosion problems.
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Old 31st Mar 2014, 16:40
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Ah yes the Minerva! Came in two versions the MS894A and the MS894E. The 'A' had a stick and manual flaps. The 'E' had a yoke and electric flaps.

Noisy as h3ll inside and a bit cramped in the back for the pax due to the spar running through the cabin. For the pilot it is a hilariously fun thing to fly.

The Franklin engine was carburetor fed, not injected, on the three or four different ones I flew. Starting it on a cold day was a real b*gger and more than a few were lost to engine fires on start up.

Would I ever buy one? Well I am not certain about that, perhaps not. The later replacement, Rallye 235, was more up to date and a bit less agricultural with a lyco engine. A far better machine.
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Old 31st Mar 2014, 16:53
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It's a buyer's market for these aircraft at the moment. Horror stories abound.
If you avoid anything that's been kept outside you can pick up a real bargain.

The 220HP is a seriously capable short field load lifter. Spares no problem.
If you don't need the STOL performance though, the 172 will be cheaper to run, with lower maintenance costs. It's not so ugly, either. Then there's that sweet running O-300.
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Old 31st Mar 2014, 16:54
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Hasn't there been one of these advertised for sale in one of the flying mags for donkey's years?
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Old 31st Mar 2014, 17:24
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Yes. The Bristol Motors one.
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Old 1st Apr 2014, 11:26
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Rallye Minerva with a Franklin Engine? I used to own a share!

The short field landing and take off performance was quite remarkable, see note below!

But the Franklin Engine had hiccups ...at inconvenient moments. The propellor required different management; not straightforward like a Cessna l72. The slats were rather fun, earned the Minerva the reputation of being a French Farmer's aeroplane. You ate your main meal mid-day, with the normal intake of red wine, and the Minerva took you safely home again; when the slats pop out you know it is correct approach speed!

I flew with a companion from Bicester to Aboyne and back, only incident at Aboyne was I forgot the correct transponder setting, and informed Aberdeen Control that we were being hijacked.....

Got back to home base near Bicester, at the farm strip. This is where I found out about the Franklin Engine. I was undergoing training with the original owner's help; we took off with a 5 knot headwind from the narrow grass strip, which was surrounded by a turnip field. No problem, came in and landed. Next circuit the owner suggested I try downwind, as the trees were lower in that direction. My approach was OK, but not perfect, so I decided to GO AROUND!!!!! and shoved in the throttle, which killed the Franklin engine stone dead. We rolled to a halt at the end of the grass, and nosed over into the turnips.

How do bystanders manage to appear out of the hedges just as you have done something stupid? anyway, they helped us push the Minerva back onto the turf, we checked it over from stem to stern and top to bottom, could find absolutely no damage. Except for a couple of turnips in the spats. The recent rain had softened the ground nicely.

So if you decide to invest in the Minerva, which is TERRIBLY NOISY on takeoff, so unsuitable for a glider tug, be gentle with the Franklin if you need to go around.

Last edited by mary meagher; 1st Apr 2014 at 11:28. Reason: slats, not flaps!
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Old 1st Apr 2014, 11:55
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Was it a rich mixture cut which caused the problem?
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Old 1st Apr 2014, 13:55
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Minerva

Gareth08, I've sent you a PM.

As an owner of a Minerva, I've never had an engine cut-out or any experience of a rich cut (maybe I don't bang the controls hard enough . . ). One does become rather spoilt by the rate of climb and short field performance. Especially a long wet grass take-off, it just goes. The only "problem" on grass is an engine run up - the power is so much the wheels drag over the grass while locked.

Mine's kept in a warm hangar, no corrosion. Seems to me that any aircraft stored outside would be susceptible to corrosion.

Easy to fly. Great visibility.

Flyme
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Old 1st Apr 2014, 20:32
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Thanks for all the feedback guys! Keep it coming!
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Old 2nd Apr 2014, 20:03
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OK, Gareth, I just had a look at GINFO, there are 9 Minervas registered, with a number of photos, and those flying all seemed to have fairly hefty pilots; can anyone say how heavy you can be and still fly a Minerva?
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Old 3rd Apr 2014, 06:44
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I remember the Bristol Motors one (GAXOH) 'cos of the noise that prop made when in the cruise! It used to transit the Blackbushe/Camberley area almost daily. Almost sounded like a Harvard.
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Old 3rd Apr 2014, 08:46
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Mary

not sure if I would fit your description of hefty?
I'm a lean 1.92m 87 kg. (photo available on application . . . please send yours . . . )

aircraft empty weight is 714kg. MTOW 1,100 kgs (book figure). Long range tanks 220 litres = 158 kgs (SG 0.72).

Noise depends on prop and power settings. For take-off a definitive deep growl - the aircraft means business and starts climbing - I love it . Others can wait for the curvature of the planet.

flyme.
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