Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

3 hours left!

Spent the morning attaching this little mini-fairing to the nosewheel. I had to cut it down quite a bit so that it wouldn't get knocked off when the nosewheel pivots, but it turns out to be worth it: I think I gained at least 3 knots from this little guy. And it's not even sanded down yet, and I think I can extend that little tab at the top a little higher as well.

I wasn't planning on going out to the hazy central valley today, but I ended up doing it to get away from all this traffic. It got worse after I took this picture...

Not even at 75% power, but getting closer to Van's published 75% cruise at 162 knots (showing 157 knots here, I think I got it up to 158-9 at 75%)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

5 hours left in Phase 1

Did some flying on Sunday and Tuesday morning; airplane is running pretty well right now. Looks like the next area of attention will be cylinder temperatures. They are a bit warm, despite glassing in the inlet ramps on Monday.

Worst during the climb, pushing 450. They hover around 400-410 in cruise.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

.8 hrs: Fuel pressure finally fixed

After a failed attempt to fix the sky-high fuel pressure with a new fuel pump, I tried a bunch more things today and one of them worked. I suspect the problem was that the faston tabs on the (Dynon-supplied) pressure sender are a bit on the thin side, so they don't make good contact. This only became apparent when I tried to pull the fastons off to replace them. Even brand-new fastons didn't grip that well, so I soldered them on.

I also enlarged the restrictor fitting to the sender (on the theory that the fuel was boiling in the line, and couldn't vent the pressure), and filled the sender line up with fuel (larger volume harder to boil)...I guess these could have fixed it too.

3 PSI, I think the only time I've ever seen this in the green! It's always shown 6 or higher, sometimes as much as 20. No more wondering if fuel is spraying out the carburetor throat! (Supposedly the needle valve starts to leak at 14 PSI, but I guess I never really had 14 PSI...)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

2.0 hours: Haywire fuel pump

My mechanical fuel pump, which has been reading somewhat high since the first flight and has been well above redline for the past few flights, got really bad today. At one point I saw 20PSI (redline is 8PSI, supposedly the carb starts to overflow at 14PSI). I've previously checked that the gauge is calibrated, so Aerosport offered to send out a new pump under warranty. I paid them to overnight it to me, so hopefully it will be installed on the engine tomorrow with the help of the local FBO.

No interesting photos today, sorry. Was too busy gathering glide data while not worrying about the fuel pressure.

Monday, August 13, 2007

1.6 hours: mostly pattern work

Some nice morning flying over the Monterey Bay. Nice to have the sky to myself for once, though I think I heard Bill Randolph take off from Watsonville in his around-the-world RV-8 as I departed for Hollister.

I found a corn maze! Right near Hollister airport.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

3.6 hours: Pattern and salinas

Winds were howling today, leading to some real rough landings. At least I know the fairings are sturdy now!

Hazy over the central valley today.

I found a good use for my backup GPS -- by leaving it on the "NRST" page, it constantly tells me where to head in case the engine quits. It also has field elevation and distance so I can tell if I'm in gliding range.

First clear day over Monterey I've seen ever.

On the ground at Salinas (first time here, mainly as a bathroom break). Line guy rolled up with a cold bottle of water within seconds! Gas was overpriced though.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

4 hours and a jittery video

Just barely hit 20 hours this weekend, and using an improvised camera mount made from Shapelock plastic attached to my canopy handle, I took this video. Need to work out the vibration somehow. The mount itself is solid but the canopy/handle seems to vibrate a little.

Did some sanding of the wheel pants, now cruising at about 160 knots TAS (184 MPH), a few knots short of Van's numbers. I have some pretty big gaps at my intersection fairings and some other rough spots -- hopefully fixing those will get me up to full speed.