Kick the Progress into HIGH GEAR!
- 1699.5 approx. Total hours (1475.9 By Me)
If you watch the above build-time info at all,
you'll see that I've been spending a little time away from home in the
past week. I've cranked it up to 4-8 hours per night, and managed
to get a ton completed. The schedule kept pushing up, and when my
DAR, suggested 2/12/06 as the inspection date, I committed to making
everything ready for that date. As I write this, I'm on an
Airbus headed to Portland to get my 5 hours (insurance required) for
transition training in the factory RV-10. I think this will be a
valuable step to getting the comfort to launch. I've never flown
with a skillful pilot that couldn't teach me something.
Yesterday my local EAA Tech Counselor Doug swung by for the 3rd and
final inspection on the EAA technical counselor program. He came
prepared to look it over very well. He was very happy with the
construction of the kit. I'll toot my horn for a minute...
Throughout the build I've had people comment on the quality of
the work I put in. I'm very proud that I didn't cut corners on
anything but maybe the smallest cosmetics. I don't have any
amount of extrordinary skill...any builder should be able to build to
the level I did. What I did have was dedication to an attempt at
quality. With the positive comments I've received, it helped me
validate that I shouldn't have too much to worry about when I put my
family in this plane, and I appreciate greatly all of those who offered
their comments and advice. John, Randy, Gary, Doug, and Rick
immediately come to mind. To all of those who are unnamed, and
I've met through the Matronics list, your tips and advice have also
helped accomplish a good level of quality. Thanks.
Below you will see some photos of my Nav, Strobe, and Landing lights.
All of these performed just great in my tests. The only
shocker to me was that even though you only need 3A each to run the
HID's, you still need a larger fuse because the initial turn-on inrush
current is higher than 10A for the pair. A 15A fuse fixed that.
I took a couple pictures of my 2 NAV antennas. Recently another
builder wanted to see positioning. You will actually find better
pictures if you look at the Colorado RV-10 photos I took. Those are the photos I referred to when I mounted my tail mounted NAV.
Some of the pictures aren't really for much more than taking a few last
shots before I closed out a section from being visible. It may be
a while before I see all of those spots again. I also shot some
photos of the scales I bought to weigh my plane. They are race
car scales, certified to what I think was .1% accuracy. I know
from testing with my own weight and other peoples that they were very
close at least. These race scales made the weighing a very easy
thing. The readout showed all 4 numbers simultaneously.
Oh, since there's some photos of the elevator trim cables, I'll post this tip that I posted to the matronics list:
Tonight I installed my elevator trim. Connecting the
trim wires on the remote ends is the last of my wiring to
connect, so I'm happy about that. I spent close to an
hour or more trying everything I could to get the trim cables
pushed from the forward part of the elevator through the snap
bushings and coming out the back. It just was NOT going to
happen. There was almost no way to get in there to align
the cable with the holes inside the HS either. Especially
doing it with the Vertical Stab mounted in the way, it was
just not going to happen.
Then I had one of those fleeting moments of brilliance....
and after that, it took only a few minutes to get both
of them through. Save this tip if you haven't done this
First, get some wire like coathanger wire. I used some
old aluminum pin material from some hinges used in previous
construction. Put a light in the center of the HS, towards
the forward part. Use the light to sight into the snap
bushings from the rear and feed that wire up to the front.
With the wire in, use a needle nose to pull it out the
entrance point for the cable. Tape onto that something
that's about 3/16" or 1/4" thick and flexible. Maybe
pitot tubing...I used scrap pieces of strobe wiring. You'll
need about 2.5-3' of it.
Another builder used some tygon static tubing I think and had similar results...might be even easier!
Now for the fun part!
With the engine ready to run, and all of the assembly done, it was time
for it's initial ground run test of the engine. First some
advice, double check your brake, fuel, and oil fittings to make sure
they're torqued properly. During the final assembly I had one
brake nut that wasn't tight and leaked a few drops of fluid before I
noticed. I had one fuel fitting that leaked when given 35 psi of
fuel. I also had one other unexpected issue...I had never
installed my upper cowl after I completed the engine work.
Previously I had allowed for clearance for the prop governor arm
to go up and down through a hole in the cowl. It worked fine when
I fit the cowl, but the cable wasn't attached at that time. Now
that I had the cable attached, the rod end made it a little larger, and
I didn't get full prop movement. I should have caught that
earlier, but I didn't. Just go very slow on your initial run.
Oh, one more tip. Before you drill your EGT probe holes, make
sure you have your lower plugs in place. I drilled my EGT's early
on, but left the spark plugs out since the engine was pickled...I
didn't want to drain the oil in the cylinders prematurely. Well,
I found out the hard way that my EGT probes ran into my spark plugs.
With the HIGHLY EXCEPTIONAL customer service of Aircraft Exhaust
Technologies and Aerospace Welding, both of Minnesota, I got 7
minute...yes 7 minute turn around on welding my mis-drilled EGT holes
shut. For what price? The same price you paid to read this!
That is fantastic service.
Oh, now for 2/8/06... What a day! We rolled that baby out,
and after a couple of times in and out of the cockpit, all systems were
go for engine start. I had previously turned the left tank on,
and blew a little pressure into the fuel vent hole by breath. I
hoped this would help prime the system a little and prevent the dry
pump from doing all the work. When I hit the boost and saw 35
psi, I turned the boost off and hit the key start. That
absolutely beautiful Lightspeed Plasma III ignition fired off on the
2nd rotation of the prop. I had put in too much throttle, so I
powered her back a bit right away, and then listened to the purr.
It ran BEAUTIFULLY! I cycled the Hartzell prop and MT
governor a few times and then the air purged from the system and the
fine to coarse pitch started working great.
Well, after sitting there for a couple minutes, I realized that what
Randy had told me was right....there was NO WAY I could start the
engine and not taxi it around a bit. I taxied down to the end of
the runway and took the active. I gave it a full-power run up to
verify the max static RPM which came in at 2690. Let me tell you,
with 260HP up front, those brakes do all they can to hold you in one
place. By the way, Randy tipped me off, and I'm very glad he did,
that the brakes will screech and grind a LOT during their first few
runs. It did get better after some taxi runs.
With that all done, slowly added full power and started my roll up RWY
36 at KLUM. My chelton screens showed the runway layout, and my pitot
system came to life. Now some people do and some don't like the
idea of a High Speed Taxi. I decided to go with it, but not try
that bunny-hop stuff you hear about. I hit about 50 mph and
backed off the power and came to a slow sotp at the other end of the
runway. Wow! That thing really puts you in your seat! Aerosport Power
(Bart and Sue), if you read this I just want to tell you I think you do
FANTASTIC work and I've very impressed with this engine. I
couldn't resist a couple more higher speed runs and then, since I had
verified engine operation at all power settings, it was time to shut it
down. I verified that the mixture did indeed go all the way to
idle cut-off, and the engine came to a stop with less shudder than the
O-360 I am so used to.
With that, we put the plane back in the hanger so I could get ready to go to Van's.
What about those TruTrak Roll Servo photos?? Well, I was having
bad luck with my TruTrak roll enhancement upgrade. I put it
together per their photos, and the 3.760 hole to hole pushrod length
just wasn't working out. These photos were taken to send them to
show them what it looked like at full Left, Full Right, and Neutral
aileron. I was getting about 5.3 or 5.5" of upward deflection
(measured to the wingtip) with full left aileron, but only about 4.2"
with full right aileron. The full Left came real close to their
servo stop, but the full Right wasn't long enough to be able to extend
the arm as far as the aileron bellcrank would go. I was about to
give up and send the photos but I decided to try to extend the arm a
bit. I set it to 4.10" and that gave me what I needed. I
think I have about 5.45" of travel on both deflections, with the Left
Aileron coming almost to the servo stop, and the Right aileron hits the
Aileron hard stop before the servo arm hits it's stop. With that
little chore out of the way, I can now relax and go forth into the
Airworthiness inspection, scheduled in 4 days.
Here's a SHORT (6.7Mb) video of today's engine run. And, here's a longer (71Mb) one.