Wednesday, August 28, 2013

SB 13-08-08 Failure

I was getting ready to install the freshly engraved data plate. I thought it to be a good idea to keep the stainless steel plate separated from the aluminum surface it is supposed to get riveted too. The way to do this is by applying primer.
So I located and masked off the area where the plate is supposed to go.

Then I scuffed the area with an SB pad and cleaned it with Acetone and applied the primer to the aluminum as well as to the back of the plate.

It was too late in the evening to hope for a quick dry so I could continue with the drilling and deburring and riveting. I decided to just let it be alone and move on to do SB 130808, which I consider to be my personal Service Bulletin. That's due to the fact that I made Van's aware of the problem of the mismatch between a M5 nut on a AN3 bolt. I had already found a solution in putting a metal lock nut on the bolt but it was a different than the one Van's now wanted to be installed.
This is why I decided to mess with an otherwise perfectly working system (hint, hint).

Here you see the new nut in my fingers and the installed nut that I had chosen. I removed the metal lock nut and put on the new one. Finding the torque value was a hassle and I had to dive into the Rotax documentation to find 35 in-lbs for this bolt (if it was the original M5 bolt). I set my torque wrench to what I thought to be 35 in-lbs and started screwing. I was surprised that it did not unlock and kept on - which was the ultimate mistake. After a moment I heard a sharp crack and I new something had given in.
It turned out I had accidentally set the wrench to 55 in-lbs and the AN3 bolt, weakened by the hole drilled though its shank, cracked.

Van's web store does not list these bolts, so I sent an email and will follow up with them in the morning. Sure it's a long weekend ahead and so it will probably take until late next week before the replacement is here. I ordered two - just in case.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Left Turtle Deck Riveted

It is done. The last rivet has been pulled - about 3.5 years after the first one!

I admit that I had a sentimental moment after the event while I thought about the path behind me.

I also installed the engraved fuel cap and put my second one away for backup.

While I am ticking off things from my list, it appears that the Labor Day weekend will be dedicated to "if time permits" items. One big one is the nose wheel fairing and fitting the gear leg fairings which will be installed after certification. It will be much easier to fit them here in the car port but I am still not looking forward to a fiberglass dusted, long weekend.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tunnel Cleaned Up

I found the engraved data plate and the fuel cap in the mail when I got home. A beautiful work that Steve from Aircraft Specialty did. Great service, quick turn-around and reasonable prices.

The little nick on the latch of the fuel cap right under the T of the N-number was already there when I sent it to him. I've received it from Van's like that.

When I finished admiring them, I moved on to cleaning up the forward tunnel and making sure that the cables, tubes, hoses and wires were all snug and could not catch on the rudder arms.

The next session is likely going to be riveting on the left turtle deck skin and installing the rear window. Although, I might hold off on the window installation until I had a chance to speak to my DAR. It might be that the window would have to come out for the inspection.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Aft Window Work

I installed the left turtle deck skin so I could insert the aft window.

I also applied the fuel placard at the nozzle.

It is amazing how stiff this window is. It resisted quite a bit to "slide in" but I eventually prevailed.

Half way through.

And all done.

And then all went out again to open up the holes to #27.

The blue tape on the front edge is a sanding line. I will sand it back to that blue tape tomorrow and then it should be ready to be installed.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Seat Belts Installed

And another little step towards completion - the seat belts are in!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shoulder Harnesses Installed

I received word today that I should be getting my engraved data plate and the fuel cap some time early next week. I'm really excited and can't wait to see them.

Tonight I did not have a lot of time to work on the plane as I came home late. At least I got to install the shoulder harnesses.

More tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Landing Gear Section Completed

I was mainly closing out sections tonight. One of them was the landing gear section. The little covers I had primed yesterday were ready to get riveted.

So on they went.

And just as quickly they were riveted on.

I also finalized the wiring on the Avionics by tightening and cutting the wire ties.

Adjusting the audio levels is probably only doable in the hangar when everything is hooked up, including the mechanical stall warner.

I also crept forward in the Miscellaneous section by starting to install the retention devices.

And then the mosquitos got a bit annoying as it was dark and me the only lighted food source around.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More Small Stuff

It was mainly placard and clean-up stuff I did tonight. This time the rear area was placarded.

I also got way aft and attached the "No Push" stickers to the anti servo tabs.

Do you realize how amazing it is that I found this tabs? I built these about 3 years ago and stowed them away then.

There was not anything to do in the forward tunnel. I must have cleaned up everything when I screwed the seat pan in. Dusting maybe but that's it.

Recently I seem to be losing track of what is left to do with things because there are so many little things that are stacking up. So I found a new way making notes:

These are the outboard covers for the gear leg tunnel that will complete the landing gear installation. I decided to prime them first so the riveting part will have to wait till tomorrow.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fuel Tank Completed

That is about the only positive thing to report about tonight's session. The only thing left was to hook up the fuel sender to the wire that reports to the Dynon. I had done that before running the engine but I had forgotten to explicitly mention it. So I am using this as a straw to clutch on as the rest of the session consisted of taking things apart. A lot of things!
I removed the avionics skin again to tie everything up in there and finish the installation. I also removed the seat pan so I can clean up everything in the forward tunnel as well as finalizing the installation the crotch straps, etc.. I might just leave it open until I get to the airport as it will likely have to be open for certification anyway.
Which reminds me that I really have to call my DAR and discuss the details with him ...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Placards Installed

I had tried to verify that I had no air left in the lifter control but I only got to 50% of the task. I could only do the right side lifters to be exact as the lower cowl prevented me from removing the valve covers. This is clearly a task for the hangar when the cowl is off anyway. I might just repeat the whole procedure there but I was not up to removing the cowl for just this one test.

I took the spark plugs out and was surprised to see that they should signs of running lean rather than rich, which is what others has reported. I will keep an eye on it.

Then I went on to install the placards on the panel. First came the stainless steel name tag for the plane.

Then the rest of the panel stickers.

The ones that go on covers will have to wait until I had a chance to clean them thoroughly. They were left outside after painting and they are covered in dust right now.
Oh, and I finally registered the ELT with the feds, so I should get my sticker in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Skyview Updated to 6.2

Darryn correctly commented that my map data had expired. So to please him and to get my full map view back, I updated to V6.2 along with the latest aviation maps from the FAA.

It took a few minutes before everything had been updated (make sure to turn on Avionics and Autopilot switches as all the Dynon devices will be updated) but at least the new update process works with one single file and you can clean the hangar while it is updating.

Looks like some refreshing thunderstorms are building up around me. This is certainly very welcome!

1st Engine Run

You would think I had something better to do on a searing hot day in Tucson but to push the plane out of the carport so I could fry my brain in the open sun and running the engine for the first time - but, no, I had not!

Early, at 8am when it was just 85 F, I started closing everything up and putting the canopy back on and topped off the charge of the battery.

I threw in the cushions on the left side after installing the seat back.

I even checked what the fuel pressure would be without the engine running but with the electric fuel pump on.

2 psi - that looks a bit low and I will have to check with VAF to see if this indeed correct to be so low.

With the help of the Van's tow-bar I pushed the plane out into the driveway and made sure that the nose wheel and - more importantly - the prop would be still on or above the concrete ramp. I was really concerned about picking up small debris or gravel and so I swept the carport clean.

And here is the video of the first run:

Inside the cockpit I took some photos of the SV display during the 5 minute run. Note that I had forgotten to open the fuel valve which resulted in 0 psi fuel pressure despite the engine running (with the fuel from the float bowl). Follow the checklist!

Engine up and running, no fuel pressure - valve closed!

With the valve open fuel pressure was always high, close to 6 psi

Fuel flow zero? Great consumption! Oil psi drops from 64 to 52 when warm.

Higher rev and finally some way too high fuel flow. 

One noticeable but familiar problem is that the ignition A circuit loss drops the RPM by 150 revs which exceeds the 120 allowed by Rotax. I had the same "issue" with my previous bird that also had a 912ULS, so I won't worry too much about it. Ignition B circuit loss dropped RPM by around 90.
Overall it ran fine although somewhat rough even at 2500 rpm and so I warmed it up at 2700. It was very smooth above 3000.

After the run I pulled her back into the carport and set up a fan to cool the engine. I will yet have to check the lifters.

Oh, and we hit 107F when I was done ...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Engine Purged (and Burped)

When I got home I found some items I had ordered from Amazon to get the purge done. It was a sensitive low-pressure gauge (30 psi max.) for Acetylene and a Powermate 1/4" NPT regulator that looked much more solid than the flimsy HF parts. I could not get an HF regulator to safely provide 7psi pressure, so I gave the Powermate a shot.

I put the parts together and was very pleased with the quality of the Powermate regulator. It was easy to set it to as low as 3 psi and it smoothly came up to 7psi which was my desired purge pressure.

A 1/8" braid fits the spillover tube perfectly.

Please note, the red cap on the return hose is only to prevent anything from getting into it during setup. I removed it for the actual purge.

7 psi set up and flowing. The canister is constantly leaking air by a bit so there is a hissing sound during the purge.

Pressure started to build up slowly after a few turns. I could not get my camera set up fast enough before the 25 psi had bled back to 10 psi.

You do not need a second person to watch the gauge by the way. If you turn the prop as quickly as you can and then quickly get to the display after 5 or 10 turns you will still see the pressure for a few seconds before it slowly bleeds off.

You do have to watch the canister though. Mine was full beyond the max line and after building up 25 psi, it was way below the min line. So I filled it up again and repeated the purge to be sure I had not sucked air in.

After putting the engine back to correct setting, torquing the spark plugs to 15 ft/lbs. again, I burped the engine to remove the accumulated oil from the engine housing and found the oil at 3/4 of maximum.

I think this baby is ready for the first start!

If the fuel system holds the fuel that is ...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Prepping the Engine

It is definitely close to the first engine start. I filled the cooling system with 55% DexCool and distilled water.

The stuff looks like KoolAid(tm), so keep it out of reach from children!

After mixing 1 gallon and filling both tanks, I had about a quart left but I am sure there is air trapped in the system that will come out soon.

Then I filled the canister with oil. I was ready to give it the 3.5 quarts but the canister was filled to the top after less than 3. I assume this will quickly disappear when I purge the oil system.

I also sent off my fuel cap and the data plate for engraving.