Sunday, May 7, 2017

Finally got to see Crater lake today

I was supposed to fly over to my dad's this weekend for his birthday but for some reason Montana doesn't want to join the spring craze...bad weather forced me to take my adventure elsewhere.  So, Jeff and I decided to fly to Crater Lake and then stop at Sunriver OR on the way back for some lunch.

I had an interesting thing happen to me on the flight today, actually I had a couple of interesting things happen.  First I had my lowest sustained fuel flow yet in cruise.  I climbed up to 15,500' to see how the new induction was going to work.  I kept the throttle wide open which is theoretically the most efficient position and then I leaned to about 40 degrees lean of peak EGT.  After about 30 minutes of flight I found that the fuel flow was pretty stable at about 6.1 GPH and airspeed was about 150 kTAS with 2400 RPM.  Then I pulled the throttle back about a quarter of an inch and watched the fuel burn come down to 4.5 gph with a 145 KTAS and 2350 RPM.  Holy cow that was getting me about 42 MPG!

The second interesting thing to happen was my GMC-305 autopilot controller decided to put on a Christmas show.  It was blinking constantly during flight and nothing I did would make it stop.  Even after a power cycle the lights came back on and went to blinking.  I emailed Garmin and we will see what they say.  Here is a short video of the process.

This was a picture I took at full throttle.  6.2 GPH and 148 KTAS.  The fuel flow and air speed will drift up and down a little.
Here is one of the many pictures I took after I pulled the throttle about a quarter of an inch.  145 ktas and 4.7 GPH

Another picture of the same stats.
I took this picture so I could remember what the throttle/mixture settings were.

Oh yea my head wasn't in the cockpit all day....  This is mount Hood as we were headed south.

A few pictures of crater lake as I circled it.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It's all about induction

Hello to my avid readers...both of you (thank you my dear for reading).  :-)

These past couple of weeks I have been working away on my new induction system.  As I think I mentioned Harry tried his hand on the metal lathe and produced a very nice base for the servo.  I put a little more time...and lots of plastic into the 3D printer and I think I have finally come up with a solution that will work.  I got a chance to fly it this past weekend and there was a HUGE increase in static RPM during takeoff.  Top end is still not measured but based on what I was seeing in cruise I lost nothing and gained a lot!

Jeff joined Amy and I for a trip up to Friday Harbor a Friday or two ago.  On the way back the sun was setting and it was beautiful out so Jeff formed up on my wing for a couple of pictures.  This is the best of the lot...sure wish my camera (IPhone 7) could do this justice!

This is the base piece.  The shiny aluminum ring you see is what Harry made and the plastic ring is the mount for both the air filter and the filter shroud.

This is a view just before I put the cowl on for test runs.

Perspective is a bit off here but what you are looking at is the new induction system from under the engine looking up.

This is how it fits in the cowling...almost perfect!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Catching up with lots of little stuff

It has been a while so I thought it was time to post a few pictures.  Lots of changes recently both flying and otherwise.  For example the West Seattle house renters have finally moved out so I have been busy trying to get it ready for sale.  The housing market has improved significantly from the last time I tried to see it.  I've already had an offer for almost double what I listed it for in 2009.

Elsewhere I have been having lots of fun with the CNC and the 3D printer, some of which you will see below.  The weather hasn't been great for flying so we only got a couple of flights in lately.    I redid my exhaust hangars as well as finish up my annual air worthiness condition inspection.

This is the new oil cooler exit ducting.  The red hose is the inlet to my cockpit heating.  Overall it seems to work well but I've really only got one flight with it installed right now.

This is the CNC cutting out a test panel that will eventually replace my pilot side instrument panel. 
This is the new carbon fiber panel as it is being cut by the CNC.  If you look closely you might see that this panel actually has a blue tint to it....Carbon fiber and Kevlar.  :-)

See that white gadget in the middle of the seats.  I used the 3D printer to print that up..  See next picture to find out what it is.
Now my seatbelts wont slide behind the seats when I move them forward!

These seats come with a small black plastic plate that is supposed to protect the leather from the cross member that the seats lean up against.  Well since I installed the "Almost a 14" mod on my airplane the original plates didn't line up with the new cross member.  I decided to buy some plastic and cut my own...with a twist!  This is the template.
And this is what the actual piece looks like after I cut it out with the CNC.  Still not installed so no pictures of that yet.

Remember this?  I do....too well.  Actually I have decided that I am going to put it back in the airplane...with a slight modification....see next picture for a view of the test fitting after giving it a slight "trim".

Ok, here it is.  I really like it.  It gives me some arm support as well as a little more storage in the cockpit.  Besides one of very few things I didn't like about my cockpit was this center section.  Too much stuff gets dumped into that area between the seats.  Now I have to figure out how I am going to "finish" the new forward section.  I'm thinking a couple of drink holders...

Oh yea, we did actually go flying.  First time Jeff, Harry and I have got to fly together in a very long time.  This is us passing over Portland at about 1500' on our way to some excellent Mexican food at Molino.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

First nice day in a while....and it was hailing airplanes out there!

Today Jeff, Martin and I got a chance to take nice lunch run to Sandpoint Idaho.  The weather on the way over was amazing, nice and smooth with a good little tail wind.  The flight back was a little bumpy but as I told my friend Ben, even a little bumpy is better than being on the ground!

Anyway, here are a few pictures of todays flight.

Belly up to the fuel pump everybody...

The mountains to the north as we flew over the Cascades

Another picture of the Cascades

Yes, this is another picture of the cascades to the South but believe it or not there is another airplane in the picture.
Ok, now the airplane is a little easier to see.

And here it is up close...with Jeff in the background.  This is Martin as I was closing in for some formation flight that Jeff could photograph.

The Sandpoint valley as we descended down for landing.

On final for the runway at Sandpoint.

CnC finally makes a move.

Yep, the CnC is moving under its own power now.  Next up...a few test cuts/drawings.

My extra large and clean workspace...aka dining room table that rarely gets used.

Yep, the CnC actually drew that ChiliPeppr logo on the table with that sharpie.

Stepping back a little this is the whole solution.  You can see the two power supplies on the left as well as the TinyG circuit board.

And here is the other side with the laptop that controls the cuts.
Closeup of the TinyG and its power supply.  Those wires go off to the 4 stepper motors.

Here is the back side with the nice wire chains.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

CNC assembly begins and yes...another flight.

This week Jeff, Martin and I flew down to Tillamook to visit the blimp hangars.  We were aware that there used to be a museum there and were surprised to find that it is still there.

Work on the CNC is progressing and I'm enjoying working in the warm house.  I've basically completed the structure and now I'm researching the electronics.  The kit doesn't have much for instructions when it comes to the electronics.

A pile of CNC parts.

The pile gets smaller but structure starts to form.  In this picture I found that they had sent me the wrong size support beams (the cross member in the middle of the picture)

Squaring things up a bit.

Gantry installed.  At this point things are moving very smoothly.  You can see where I have the Y axis stepper motors installed but no belt yet.

And here we see all four stepper motors are installed as are the belts that they use to move.  One of the two spindle mounts that I printed up is installed and the support crossmembers are installed (after a trip to the table saw).  At this point the main structure is complete except for the spoiler board that acts as the base upon which my project sit.  Now its on the the electronics.

Jeff sitting in his airplane in front of the guppy.

Not a good perspective to see how big the guppy is but still a pretty cool picture.  That building in the background is a blimp hangar from 70 years ago!  It was huge, and it houses a small aviation museum that we didn't know would be open until we walked in an open door.

Martin as he was pulling up to the guppy.

The inside of the guppy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

More plastic parts and some flying

Seems like it's been so long between flights lately due to the weather but Jeff and I still managed to get a flight to the San Juans in this past week.  Friday after work looked like a nice day for flying so we saddled up and flew to Lopez Island.  There was  a beautiful sunset on the way home and it was just a gorgeous evening for flying.  The camera just doesn't do it justice.

I also spent a considerable amount of time working with the new 3D printer making some parts and prototypes of parts.  Below you will see a series of pictures of  the new intake that I designed with Solidworks.  So far its looking like it will work but I won't know until I try it.

Oh, I got the new CNC parts today.  Looks like I have a project for the next week or so!

Ok, here is the first part of the new induction.  This part will get bolted to the front of the fuel servo.  It has holes in the sides that I will eventually put some sort of door on that allows me to get alternate air if the intake gets blocked.

Next on the list is a plate that gets bolted to the first part.  The purpose of this piece is to act as a base for the air filter that you can see in a picture further down.  The small lip you see on the top is what the K&N filter will clamp on to.  The ring around the outer edge is for the cone to bolt to.  This part is designed very similar to the James intake I had on the airplane originally.

Attached to the plate is this big cone.  Actually this is only half of the cone.

Here is the bottom half of the cone with the air filter inside.

Another picture of the air filter.  I took this one to explain how the ram air will work.  I need to cut a hole in the top of the filter and then using the top of the cone (see next picture) I can have a butterfly valve to either allow air directly into the servo or to pass down the side of the cone and through the filter before entering the fuel servo.

This is a top down view of the top part of the cone.  Here you can see both the bypasses on the side of the ring, and the ram air inlet in the middle of the ring.

This is a view from the outside of what the entire assembly will look like.  The small hole you see in the middle is for the butterfly valve that I will use to control the ram air flow.

Another top down view.  Here you can see the area of the intake filter that I need to remove to allow bypass air.

Finally here is another part that printed that will be a phone holder Ram mount for the airplane.  I use my phone to take pictures a lot as you all know and I've always wanted a safe place to put my phone that is easy to reach.  This has edges to prevent the phone from slipping but it also has a powerful magnet in the middle that will hold the phone in the cradle without clips.  This works very similar to the magnetic phone holder I use in both the car and the truck.  This still needs some sort of cloth or rubber backing to act as a bit of a cushion.