It's been near-on 18 months since I updated this 'ere thread and I reckon it's about time to show that there is indeed progress occurring in The Mancave. I actually thought I'd updated this late last year, but must've got my forums crossed somehow...
So...What has occurred in the last 18 or so months? That is the million dollar question...
My younger young bloke had his first birthday, work is taking on more people and I'm assuming more responsibilities there and renovations to the house are taking their toll on plane-building time.
However, that doesn't mean there's been no progress on my aluminium mistress. She now has an engine, a brand-new OX-340S
instead of the old O-320-H2AD I had planned. The -340 is fitted with 2 P-Mag
electronic ignitions firing 8 automotive plugs instead of normal aircraft sparkplugs, and a Rotec TBI
throttle-body injector in place of a traditional carb. It's also been de-rated from 185HP to 165HP by the replacement of the standard 8.1:1 pistons with 7.2:1 pistons. This will allow the regular use of standard unleaded, well, premium unleaded anyway, Mogas fuel instead of Avgas, allowing around a 70cpl+ saving, a not-insignificant amount. Anything that makes flying cheaper means I can do more of it. This is especially important since the local airport has whacked on a $15/landing fee. With no daily rate!!!
. So an hour of circuits at Warnervale will now cost around double the hourly cost of my RV. $150/hour in landing fees for circuits?!? FML.
The panel is more or less installed, though it comes and goes depending on I'm working on at the time, though it is now "permanently-temporarily" installed as I think
I've finished the wiring.
The GPS antenna is installed on custom-made bracket above the baggage compartment and is connected to the EFIS, so I can see just where my mancave is on a map. The VHF radio is installed in the panel and the co-ax and antenna are installed. The SkyView system is wired to the Aux input on the Xcom so Bytching Betty does indeed have a whinge when I power-on the aircraft. Which, incidentally, doesn't let the smoke out - always a good thing.
A few months ago, I received the lithium battery, and that is installed, but not electrically connected yet. The fuel-flow sensor is mounted on the firewall, on a custom bracket, riveted where the brake line bracket would normally go on the LHS and all the engine sensors are connected to the EFIS, as are the P-Mag's. There are a couple of things to tidy up wiring-wise, but that's about it. The Fuel-flow sensor is downstream of the engine-driven fuel pump, so I shouldn't get the fluctuations other's report on running the electric pump. I hope.
Tom S. came up with a couple of custom-length firesleeved hoses, and Vans has delivered my new Sensenich ground-adjustable prop - and isn't it a work of art. IF the KRviatrix didn't scrutinise the credit-card statements, I'd order a second one just to hang on the wall.
The cowling is fitted, the baffles are installed, the plug leads are run, the alternator is installed on the vacuum drive. I'm using a PP FS-14B instead of a normal belt-driven model, in part to save weight and reduce complexity, but also simply because I don't need 60A capacity. And I don't think I ever will. The only thing you can truly never have too much of is beer.
These last few weeks have seen the tail mounted and the empennage fairings installed, the MLG wheelpants and fairings trimmed and installed, the canopy and struts installed and a good clean-out of those annoying aluminium shavings and dropped rivet mandrels allowed me to more or less close out the centre tunnel and seat pans.
So, here's some new and not-so-new photos of the build.
The new man-cave just after we moved house. You know you've got an understanding missus when part of your house-buying criteria is "can we fit an aeroplane in the back shed?"
The engine being assembled by ECI in the US.
Buy an ECI hat for $30,000 and get a free engine! An offer too good to refuse.
And hanging on the nose of the plane. A job that went surprisingly smoothly. 90 minutes by myself and it was done. 45 minutes for the first bolt, 15 minutes for each for the other 3. Big thanks to the future-ex-mother-in-law who was on baby-sitting duties while I was doing this.
The "squadron of paperclips method" was used to determine how much I need to trim from the engine baffles. Repeated several times...
Until you have a nice-fitting pink cowling. It will be painted, I'm not that in touch with my feminine side that I feel the need to fly around in a pink aeroplane.