One more exciting thing happened this week, I finally got my registration from the FAA. It look a long time because of course I goofed up the serial number....not sure how but I did. Its getting exciting!
I also finally made up my mind and started work on the plenum. Rather than band-aide the whole thing together I decided to do it right. This starts with cutting the plenum and salvaging those pieces I think I can. Then I fabricate two new inlets that actually fit the baffles. I plan to make the inlets semi permanent mounted so all I have to remove is the "lid" to get to the top of the engine. I think that will make the access easier and therefor more likely I will "pop the top" to do occasional inspections beyond the annual inspection. So, step one is complete...I have hacked the plenum up. I am now forming the new inlets. That involves using Styrofoam board sections laminated together and a rough file. You can see the pictures below to see what it looked like. Next I lay several layers of fiberglass and carbon fiber over the mold. That's about as far as I have progressed this weekend. I still have a few more layers of glass to put on the mold but its coming along now.
|Here is how we sit as of Sunday evening.|
|I saw these fuel tank vent fairings on a vendor site and decided they looked cool so I bought a couple. This is one that I loosely fit to see how it would look. I need somebody in the airplane to help me tighten them down.|
|Same website had these fuel tank drain fairings.|
|And finally, the reason I was at said website....I needed some rudder pedal extensions. These will help me keep my feet off the brakes.|
|Ok, so here is the decision I made....I cut the Sam James plenum into pretty much just a lid (as you can see in the next picture). These are the inlets that didn't line up properly and would not seal on the back side.|
|Here you can see the center baffle piece I fabricated. Its not fully trimmed yet but that will come after I finish the inlets.|
|In this picture you can see the both the old inlet and the new Styrofoam form that I am laying fiberglass on to fabricate the new inlet. Notice the big difference in air flow area.|
|Here is the new left side air inlet. As I mentioned earlier I still have a few layers of fiberglass to apply but you can see already how much better it fits.|
|And here is the right side inlet. I have to add a flange to the top of this inlet or to the plenum, not sure which I am going to do yet. Probably the inlet.|
|While I was waiting for the inlets to dry I went ahead and put another coat of micro on the canopy skirt and then promptly sanded it down. This side is pretty close to being done but the other side still needs a little work.|