Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The "End" of a long journey: The big day finally arrives!

Today Vic Syracuse came down and conducted the airworthiness inspection, we completed the paperwork, and he flew the first flight with me.  It was a bit briefer than planned, due to a trim issue (#*#_** micro molex connectors!!) but otherwise uneventful.  Weather was perfect, and the airplane flew as expected.   Very gratifying day, but not without a few frustrations.   In addition to the trim issue (which I already fixed by replacing the micro molex with a much better Deutsch DTM connector and new wires between the harness and trim motor), a few other issues cropped up (ADAHRS resets, induction leak, issues with standby alternator etc) that will need to be addressed.  The good news is that, with the trim fixed, none of these are show stoppers that will affect flyability.

Many thanks to all my friends who helped along the way, including my hangar mate Chris Kaniut (who was today's videographer/photographer), Andy Grimm, Galin Hernandez, Doug Geib, and many others who have been invaluable sources of help, knowledge, and support.

Vic and me:

Chris and me (I'm not that short, Chris is 6'7")

First flight video:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

First Engine Run

Today was the first engine run.  Had a few items to take care of before this could happen.  A couple of small fuel leaks and one oil leak.  All a result of "not tight enough" connections, resolved with a bit of "righty tighty" action.   Also continuing to tweak/ program the G3X system, updated databases on GTN and G3X, and added V-speeds (will use published speeds until flight testing establishes any differences on my airplane).

Had some trouble on first attempt to run engine - after fixing some related issues (including PMAG wiring), and resolving a flooded engine with help from Vic Syracuse, the engine ran smoothly.

Many thanks to my friend and hangar-mate Chris Kaniut for helping me troubleshoot.

Preparing to run engine (objects on ground moved out of way before running):

Engine run:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Getting ready for Airworthiness Inspection and first flight

Since last post, I've been installing all the various parts like wing tips and testing functionality of the avionics and lighting.  Correcting some errors along the way (one broken wire to trim on stick, wiring error in landing light, etc).   Also have pre-oiled the engine, performed weight and balance (nicely "forward" CG but a little heavy at 1285 lbs).  Yesterday, completed fuel flow tests (excellent results at 34/35 gallons per hour).

I'm continuing to program all settings like V-speeds into the G3X touch and configure the system in general (like autopilot settings).

Scheduled for inspection and first flight next week.  Should be doing first engine run today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Organizing Hangar, WINGS ON!!!, jack stands.....

Since moving to hangar I spent some time organizing the hangar work area including setting up the compressor and related tubing / outlets etc.

My friend Andy Grimm helped me install the VS, HS and elevators last week and today he and Chris Kaniut helped me install the wings.   It went well - despite my making a mistake on washers which caused us to have to remove/reinstall some of the bolts.   Having help makes all the difference.

Backing for one bench - note use of lid that SteinAir shipped my panel in: they laser etch a life-size panel on the lid.   A work of art, of course:

Compressor plumbing:

Wings on!!

Wing bolts in place. 

Jack stands under construction:

Chris and Andy:

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The big move - it's done!!

Yesterday my friends Andy Grimm and Chris Kaniut helped me load a big U-Haul truck with my wings, tailfeathers, flaps, ailerons, workbenches, compressor, boxes and bins of tools and parts, etc. etc. and move it safely to the hangar.   I own a standard T-Hangar but Chris and I found a good deal renting a 50x50 hangar big enough for both our airplanes - he has a really nice Bonanza.  I'll be renting or selling my T-hangar.

Today a tow truck came and we moved the fuselage from garage to hangar.  Very nervous during both moves, but considering the investment in avionics and engine (not to mention fuselage kit and hundreds of hours of labor) seeing that on a tow truck going down the road was a bit unsettling.  But it worked out perfectly and I'm close to permanently attaching tail and wings.

Ready to transport, still in garage at home:

On the street.  Neighbors who drove/walked/jogged by looked puzzled to say the least....


On the road:

At the airport:

Tucked away in the hangar:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Quick update: rear window, seats, belts, armrest

Working more on the interior and finally decided to install the rear window.  The sealant was a bit of a pain but it's pretty much a solo job, and went pretty well.  There are a couple of small gaps that I may go back and add a bit of proseal to later, but no rush on that.

I'm gradually moving stuff to hangar in preparation for the big move (fuselage to hangar), will probably get that done next week.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Transition training, working on interior

I returned early Sunday from Oregon where I did transition training with Mike Seager in the factory RV-14A.  It was very challenging due to mostly bad weather but we managed to get in 3 flights over 4 days, enough for a good checkout in the airplane.  I was impressed with performance, even more excited to fly my own when it's done.

I started working on completing the interior, and test fitting seats.  Installed crotch belts, and screwed down the floor sections that I can before final inspection.  Vic Syracuse wants me to leave panels open that allow inspection of all parts of the control system.

I got my steps powder-coated in white and installed those today.  Also installed the oxygen tank brackets (and tank as it makes more sense to have it installed than the loose brackets rattling about.

Will try to install rear window in next day or two.

Snowy/wet weather - taken while waiting it out:

Test fitting seats:

Steps installed:

Oxygen tank:

Steps padded to save my shins:

Floor panels installed.  The center black section is a special item from my interior company (Classic Aero) - they redesigned the way this part fits so their carpet section here fits better.

Flap motor cover:

The "End" of a long journey: The big day finally arrives!

Today Vic Syracuse came down and conducted the airworthiness inspection, we completed the paperwork, and he flew the first flight with me. ...