Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hangar and 10 work

This week I am still without an airplane so I spent more time on the 10 and even more time in the hangar working on spiffing it up for its newly painted occupant.  Looking forward to brightening up the hangar a bit so this weekend with the help of Mariah and Harry I managed to get the new ceiling boards up and taped.  Next up is some drywall for the bare studs and then some nice white paint on the walls...  should really brighten up the hangar a lot.

On the 10 I managed to finish up the rudder, and get a start on the horizontal stabilizer.  There is a lot of deburring, drilling and such before anything starts going together.

On a side note I got a chance to fly with my friend Ben who built an RV-12.  I have never flown in a 12 before and it was both familiar and different.  Since its an RV it has the RV feel to the flight characteristics, but since its a light sport, it has far less power and speed.  It was still a great flight!

Bent the ears over the counterweight.

Rudder complete and ready for storage.

Working on the forward spar on the horizontal stabilizer.  Here I am drilling the "feet" that are used to hold the forward edge down to the fuselage.

Here you can see the "feet" as this is a shot looking up at the bottom of the spar.  The clamps are holding a piece of aluminum angle to the bottom of the feet to keep them parallel with each other.

Here is Harry and his ingenious tape rolling tool.  In this picture we are running the tape over the seems.  If you look at the top of the pole he is holding you will see the roll of tape we are using....ingenious...

This is a "before" picture of the hangar ceiling...
And here it is at the end of our work day.  So much better but still lots of work to do on the walls.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


I don't know if Airplane-less is a word but it certainly fits my situation right now.  I have finally dropped the airplane off for painting!!!!  Jeff and I flew to Chilliwack BC on Friday to deliver the airplane to Upper Valley Aviation.  I will hopefully write up another post later on with more pictures that Jeff took.  I'm hoping to have it back in the next 3-4 weeks!

In the meantime I got a chance to get back to the RV-10 yesterday.  I started working on the trailing edge of the rudder and was able to get it riveted with better than expected results.  I used the 3M double sided tape to hold the AEX wedge in place as recommended by Vans but there was a slight wave in the unfinished product.  I decided to go buy a 1/2" stainless steel bar that was long enough to fit the entire trailing edge.  I then clamped the rudder to that bar (after putting in my rivets and tape) and then proceeded to rivet the edge together.  As you can see in the picture it came out great!

I also started on the leading edge roll process but wasn't able to finish that completely.

You can see the stainless steel bar I used as a bucking bar to rivet the entire trailing edge without moving the rudder.  In this picture I had not quite finished the process...still had to flip the rudder and do some back riveting to flush the shop side of the rivets that you can see slightly poking up.  For the back riveting I used my tungsten bucking bar and moved it from rivet to rivet as needed.
This is as far as I got with the leading edge of the rudder.  Should be able to finish it up this week and move on to the horizontal stabilizer.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

1st Annual is in the books

Lots going on with N1605A in the past few weeks.  First the airplane should be headed to the paint shop this month.  Not sure exactly when because it depends on the shops schedule but I am anticipating 1 to 2 weeks from today.  I'm excited about getting some color on my baby!

Second, I have been making several modification to the airplane to help resolve the high oil temps that I have been seeing.  Even during the winter flying season I can get oil temps above 220 degrees if I'm not careful.  So in an effort to resolve this issue I have done a few things including removing the screen on the inlet of the cooling air hose at the baffles.  I also installed a angled oil adapter.  This had nothing to do with the cooling but I did remove the oil filter mount and the vernatherm to test the vernatherm for proper operation.  Turns out there was an issue with the gasket that caused my oil temperature problems.  Look at the pictures below and you will see why I was having problems....

Now a short story about my attempts at a post annual condition inspection flight.  I made several changes during this period and I wanted to go fly the airplane before I put it back in general service.  The new battery worked great on the first start, the airplane taxied out for run up and while I waited for the oil temperature to come up I decided to update the EFIS database. Well that took longer than anticipated so I shut the engine down while it finished.  Five minutes later I went to start the engine and guess what....yep the prop only turned about 3".   Well, I was over half a mile from my hangar in an airplane that would not start.  So, I figured I would pull the airplane back the hangar....ok, that was a dumb I walked to the hangar, got my tow bar, some bungee cords, and some tie-downs and drove back to the airplane.  Hooked it up, and towed it back.  Then I put the airplane away and went home in a less than good mood.

Fast forward a couple of days and last night I stopped by the hangar, pulled the airplane out and fired it up for a nice evening flight.  Got back and again after shutting down the prop would only move about 3".  Sounds bad but its all due to some new electronics I am beta testing.  Bottom line, I am happy with the way it all came out and most importantly the oil temperature problem is gone!!

I made another change to the airplane as well.  During flight at high speed I have to hold pressure down to keep the nose down.  I decided to raise the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer a small amount to see if I can reduce the pressure needed.  The first attempt was with a shim of about .032".  That made very little if any difference so I upped the adjustment another .064".  That seemed to help  but I won't know until I get my wheel pants back on and try a high speed run.  I did notice that my trim tab servo motor is not strong enough to move the tab very far from center at high speed.  Not sure what to think about that...

One more item for this post.  I installed a new battery and battery box.  I have been using the standard PC680 for the last 8 months or so and have recently ran into a couple of situations where I pulled the airplane out of the hangar to find the battery too weak to crank the engine.  I am guessing I must have discharged it too far at some point in the not too distant past.  The new battery (EarthX ETX900) has circuitry to prevent over discharging and it also has almost twice the cranking power of the PC680. The new battery also gets a new battery box that will fit it and a PC680 if I ever decide to go back.

Nothing to report on the RV-10 build as I have been focusing all my free time on N1605A.  Soon I should be able to get back to some RV-10 work.

Note the small opening available for oil to flow through this gasket.  This is the oil filter mount sitting on my bench with the gasket sitting on the sealing face.

Here is the gasket with me holding it against the accessory case.  See the half blocked hole on the left? Thats the inlet to the oil cooler...

This is my high tech Vernatherm test jig.  Tin cup full of oil with a heat gun to apply heat.  The Vernatherm is sitting on the bottom of the cup so that I can measure how much it rises as it reaches 180 degrees.  It worked out perfectly and the Vernatherm was functioning properly.

THis is the new battery and battery box I purchased from EarthX.  This battery is suppose to have almost twice the cranking power of the PC680 and from what I have seen it does.  We will see how long this one lasts but for the price it better last a VERY long time.

The yellow lines I drew on this picture are the location where the exhaust is occasionally touching the cowling.  I will be sending this section of exhaust back to Clint at Vetterman Exhaust soon for some adjustment.

The next two pictures are side views of the engine after the first year of flight time.  Still looking pretty good!

Not every day you see an airplane in the rear view mirror!