I wrapped up the condition inspection today. It was too dark to take it up for a test flight, so I'll have to do that later. Other than the few things I mentioned, I didn't find anything wrong.
Fortunately, I was able to pop off the extra glass and flox mixture I used for the gear leg fairing attachment.

I then fabricated and epoxied some 0.063" aluminum strips onto the fairings. I curved the upper ends to follow the curvature of the gear legs.

I drilled some extra holes in the strips and then countersunk them so that the epoxy would flow through and help lock the strips to the fairings. After the glue cured, I sanded everything flush with the strips.

One of the fiberglass ears at the top of the gear leg fairings broke off on the left fairing.

The one on the right is cracked all the way through and is likely to break soon.

I had used electrical tape to hold the brake hose to the gear leg. This broke in most of the spots, so I took it all off. I didn't get a picture of it, but I just wrapped the electrical tape around the gear leg and then used some zip ties to secure the brake hose.

I pulled the tailwheel fork off to clean and lubricate it. While it was off, I swapped the control arm with one that has a hole for a tie-down hook.

Continued 2016 Annual

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I cleaned out the coking that occurs in the check valve that dumps into the exhaust pipe. It was maybe 20-30% blocked and is easily scraped out.

Since I added the tee into the breather line to add an extra check valve as a safety measure, the hose clamp on the upper side of the tee was rubbing against the engine mount. I shortened the hose below the tee to get the hose clamp to clear the mount.

This allowed me to just use the adel clamps to secure the check valves to each other and to the hose. You can also see that I painted the place on the engine mount that was scratched.

One of the two welded on brackets for the heat shield near the alternator also broke. I'll have to order another one of these.

Started 2016 Annual

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It's been a long time since I updated the blog, and I'm trying to fix that. I have around 157 hours on the plane now and it's time for its second condition inspection. I know it's Valentine's Day, but Jenn had a bunch of work to do today, so she joined me at the airport while I got started.

I started by draining the oil.

While the oil was draining, I inspected the engine and baffles. Surprisingly, one of the baffle attachment bolts on the #4 cylinder was missing. Fortunately, this didn't seem to cause any problems (likely because the plenum keeps everything from moving).

One odd thing I noticed was that a couple of pieces of the chrome plating on the #2 cylinder's intake valve pushrod cover flaked off. This is just cosmetic, but it's peculiar that it happened and only happened in just this one little spot.

Dynon released version 12 of their software which adds auto-trim to their autopilot. To enable this, I needed to rewire the trim to go through the Dynon Autopilot Control Panel instead of through the Vertical Power VP-X. This entailed several hours of laying on my back under the panel rerouting wires.

The Autopilot Control Panel needed power and ground to run the trim servos. Fortunately, I still had a few extra power pins on the VP-X, so that was a quick addition. I then needed to reroute the four wires from the trim switch and the two pairs of wires to the pitch and roll trim motors. These eight wires all had d-sub pins or sockets, so I built a new harness that extended the wires from this point.

After finishing up the rewiring and upgrading the software, I ran the trim calibration routine and then flew Jenn to lunch in Half Moon Bay to test it out. The auto-trim worked great and kept the plane in trim the whole flight.

Moved Hangars

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We've been keeping our eyes open for a box hangar that would let us put our Bonanza and the RV in the same hangar. One came open at the Reid-Hillview Airport (KRHV) where we keep our Bonanza, so we grabbed it. I flew the RV up yesterday and had to shoot an LPV approach to just above minimums. That was the first low approach I've flown in the RV, and the autopilot flew it beautifully. ATC asked me to maintain best forward speed on the approach, so I flew the approach at 170KIAS until about 4 miles out. I still popped out on about a 1.5 mile final at 140KIAS. I kicked off the autopilot, chopped the power to idle and still had to do a full-rudder slip the whole way down final to get down to 70KIAS over the threshold.

I picked up a truck this morning, and with the help of a few buddies we got all of the rest of the stuff from the old hangar moved over and set up.

The new hangar is 35'x50', so there's plenty of room for both planes. Even with both in place, there's at least 3' between the planes and enough room to comfortably walk around both of them.

We got my giant shelves set up and filled them with all of the stuff from both hangars. I still need to unpack and organize everything.

We also got setup the back corner with a couch and recliner and our old TV and stereo.

My buddy Dan and I laid out and painted some lines so that we can ensure the planes go back into the same spots each time.

I set up my workbenches behind the wings of the RV which should work out well.

Added Filler Around Lens

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I had previously cut the lens opening larger than necessary because I knew I would use filler to make them fit the lenses exactly. This is way easier than trying to trim the lenses or opening to fit exactly. I added a couple of layers of electrical tape around the lens to act as a release and then installed it on the wingtips. I mixed up some epoxy with microlight and squeegeed it into the joint.

After the epoxy cured, I popped out the lenses and sanded the filler back so that it's perfectly flush with the edge of the lens.

The weight of the landing lights could cause the mounting plate to flex. To stiffen it, I added a flange below the joint with the backing plate. It's bent to the inside so that it doesn't interfere with the light.

I used the first landing light backing plate as a template to make the other one.

I left some extra material on so that I could fit it precisely to the other wingtip. Despite the fact that both of these cutouts were made at the factory, they're slightly different.

After trimming and drilling, here's the other backing plate installed.

I then installed the lens to make sure the backing plate doesn't touch it.

Here's how much clearance I have around the landing light.  There's over 1/4" below the light.

There's about the same clearance above the light.

There's also over 1/8" from the position light. With this much clearance around the light, I'm not at all worried that these could touch the lens from the inside. If they could touch, they would vibrate against each other and scuff both the light and lens.



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