CAMS Aero Engines Gnome
Mr Wytenburg, who started building parts for old warplanes in Blenheim in 2004, has built an international reputation for reverse engineering and remanufacturing aircraft parts, frames and engines.
Building the Gnomes has "been a dream come true" for the aviation engineer, who had been trying to find one of the original engines to use as a template for almost five years. Once he had an engine to copy, he wanted to have five buyers lined up, to ensure it was a viable enterprise, he said.
Classic Aero Machinery Service owner Tony Wytenburg had spent the past four months working full-time on building the shell of his first Gnome 100 horsepower Monosoupape rotary engine.
Tony has stripped an original Gnome and generated CAD drawings from that. From those he will manufacture new engines as close as possible to the original. There were some significant engineering challenges associated with this, which Tony has identified and come up with modern day fixes to a 90 plus year old design.
Known issues included the concern that some of the original ball bearing sizes were no longer available. Standard off-the-shelf bearings are used, and modifications made to suit these. Other changes are the use of aluminium pistons and modern ring combinations instead of the cast iron used in the originals.
On Friday the 31st January 2014 at 3.35pm at the Omaka Airfield, Marlborough, New Zealand, CAMS Aero Engines 100 hp Gnome CAMS 001 ran for the first time. The official launch and start-up was scheduled for 18th of February at Omaka Airfield.
It cost about $200,000 to make one engine but the cost reduced considerably when manufacturing to scale. At the end of 2013, Wytenburg had three buyers on board and decided to get started early.
In order to maintain 100% authenticity, The Australian Vintage Aviation Society ordered a 100hp Gnome Rotary engine built to fit to the Fokker E.III Eindekker. The work is being done by Tony Wytenburg of Classic Aero Machining Service (CAMS), in Blenheim NZ.