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!