As for the Islander, it required two .40 size engines. Paul had a Schneurle ported Webra .40. I loaned him a normally ported Super Tigre .40. He used ‘em. At the field he fired them up and they ran well with their identical nylon props, but he could not get them to harmonise. I don’t think we had a tachometer with which to check them. So he removed one prop and replaced it with a wooden prop with similar specs. When they started, the engines were “on song”. The plane flew beautifully and landed with both engines ticking over.
In April, 1988 I was visiting Jerry Kleinburg in San Antonio and he asked if I wanted to see his club’s Texas field. Indeed I did! It took about two hours to reach it. It was a well manicured piece of ground with many modellers there waiting their turn to fly. When his turn came up a fellow with a large impeccable King Air twin set to work firing up his .60s on his brand new white plane. I do not exaggerate when I say it took 40 minutes to get them running to his satisfaction, but he was meticulous!
He tached and tuned each engine repeatedly, but they were never “on song”. He swapped props. He changed props. He drained his tanks and used a new gallon of another brew. When he got them harmonised, they were not revving in synch. He got a lot of advice but settled on matching revs. He taxied out and made a fine take off. As he flew, he tried to get it to track hands off, but had no success. He decided to land and was at a head height level coming in over the wide open gate.
He did not have Paul’s perceptive talent. The gate posts were a yard higher than the gate top. The nacelle area ahead of the cabin hit the closest post. The wings folded forward and the engines all but kissed. As we left, I couldn’t help thinking Paul was really special.