Sunday, April 19, 2015

Baby its back!

Wooo Hooo, the RV is flying again as of Saturday and the full throttle issue seems to be resolved!  Harry, Anne, Amy and I flew to Jefferson County Airport for brunch and it was the first flight since I replaced the mufflers with strait pipes.  I noticed a couple of things, first the mufflers don't really do much for sound on the inside.  Second, the airplane is now able to get up to full throttle and develop max prop RPM.  Following Harry in his Rocket today I was able to hit 200 mph which is a first for me.  The red line for this airplane is a little more than 200 but I am very happy with 200 after all the stuff I have gone through.

This flight was the first in a couple of weeks.  During that time I finished priming the lower cowl, the wing tips and the nose gear fairings.  Still on the list is the main gear fairings and the spinner.  That may take a while because I am super excited about having the airplane flying like it should have from the beginning!

Amy is our tour director for this blog post and most of the photo's below are courtesy of her...

Lookie here, two of my favorite things in one picture!  This is taken while I was fueling up for the trip.

Sorry, couldn't resist another smiling Amy picture....

This is Harry's Rocket....I've been waiting a long time to get one of these pictures from my airplane.  I haven't had a passenger to take pictures with Jeffs airplane in flight yet so thats still on my list.

On the way home we buzzed Snoqualmie Falls.  Look at this picture, it looks like a watercolor.  Poor Amy was having a hard time keeping the camera still because it was pretty bumpy at this point in our flight.
Took this picture Sunday morning before Martin and I took off to trail Jeff in his RV-7A.  Martin installed a GoPro camera system in Jeffs airplane...but more on that later.

Another picture from Sunday.

Jeff and I stopped at Bremerton for lunch today.  This picture looks similar to the one I took a few weeks ago except this time I have my wheel pants and fairings installed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Still down but progress is being made

I think I needed this down time more than I would otherwise have admitted.  Turns out that I am making good use of this time to work on a few of the projects that still needed to be done but I didn't want to get started because they might interfere with my flying...

First lets go back and address a couple of issues from last week.  Turns out attaching the 'red cube' to the flow divider was not a good idea.  I posted some pictures of the installation on VAF and got lots of negative feedback about cracking fittings and some other less critical potential issues.  I won't rehash them all here but the possibility of a cracked fitting (which would cause a fire) is something I don't want to even think about.  This week I made a few changes that should eliminate that problem and still allow me to keep the red cube away from the heat of the exhaust.

Speaking of the exhaust...  I talked to Clint at Vetterman and he says that all of their testing has shown that there should not be any back pressure in the exhaust.  However when faced with the facts of what we saw he agreed to send me a set of straight pipes to replace the mufflers and then give it another try.  Those new pipes should arrive tomorrow and my PMags should be back by Friday so hopefully next weekend I will be able to fly again.  Good thing too, the weather is suppose to be awesome!

Now on to the work for this week.  I brought the lower cowling and both wing tips home and have been working all week on getting them finished and primed.  That task is almost done and will be done by the time I get the airplane back in the air.  I am excited about having these finished.

This is how the red cube now sits.  Its not hard mounted to the flow divider any longer but I still think I need to work on the new hose routing a bit.

This is where the hose comes out below.  The special part of this is that this hose has two layers of fire sleeve on it to help alleviate any  heat issues.

One of the things we did the day of first flight was to screw these two covers down with an odd assortment of screws.  We did this because the original covers were not thick enough to allow the countersunk screws to fit properly.  I fixed that this week by fabricating two new covers that are a little thicker and then countersinking the screws properly.  Now its all nice and smooth and looks much better.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Airplane is down for troubleshooting

Yep, it looks like N1605A is down for at least a week or two.  This past week I didn't get to do much flying due to weather and work but I did get to fly with Amy yesterday.  We flew to Friday Harbor for lunch with Harry in his rocket.  The flight was a bit bumpy coming home but since it was Amy's first flight in the airplane it was a great flight!  However, that's where the fun ends....

After Amy and I got home Travis and I took the airplane out so he could get his first ride in it.  During the flight the engine was not running like it should so we cut the flight short and went back to the airport.  After pulling the cowling we found a couple of possible causes but nothing that was obviously the culprit.  So we went to dinner with Harry and he offered to come over on Sunday (today) and do a little troubleshooting.  We started by pulling the fuel servo from his Rocket and putting it on my engine to see if we could replicate the issue.  Sure enough, at full throttle the engine started to bog down with mixture full rich.  Harry could even see black smoke coming from the exhaust pipes (mixture was too rich).  So we decided to pull the mufflers off of the engine and run it that way.  Guess what?  No black smoke and no bogging down of the engine at full throttle!  We then re-installed my fuel servo and tried it again.  Same result!  So it looks like we have found one more duck to knock off in the never ending journey to airplane nirvana!  I have an email in to the guy who built my exhaust to see what he thinks but right now it seems pretty clear that mufflers are not a good option for this airplane.

Amy at the Friday Harbor Farmers Market...I think there we at least 3 booths!
This is one of the troubleshooting steps I completed.  Here I am checking the cam to crank timing alignment.  This dial indicator is set to tell me when the valves start and stop moving.  The Dial indicator is courtesy of my brother Jim and his son Jesse.

Moving this "red cube" fuel flow transducer  from the firewall near the exhaust to this location seems to have eliminated most of my idle roughness.  Simple fix but so far anyway.

This is the bottom of that red cube where the fuel goes from the fuel servo to the flow divider.  I am getting a new fuel hose that is a bit shorter since this one is way too long now.
I took several photo's of the fuel servo replacement project today.  This is a picture of the throttle linkage washer configuration so that I would know which washers went where.

This is a similar picture but this one shows Harry's fuel servo configuration.