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  #1  
Old 11-29-2015, 04:49 PM
Piper J3's Avatar
Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Hinckley, Ohio
Posts: 1,150
Default Winter Flying…

Flew today with OAT in high 30F. I’ve been working to seal some of the air leaks in the cabin as follows:

1. I made a cardboard bulkhead that fits directly behind the seatbacks and in front of the spar. This is fairly tight fitting and seals pretty well. The cardboard is a few inches shorter than the seat back frame.

2. I added boots to the stick openings primarily for safety (so nothing can jam the sticks) but also to stop loss of warm air from heater.

3. I added 1/8” x ½” foam tape to bottom of front canopy bow to seal against the sheet metal over the instrument bay. Works well.

4. Foam tape also added to bottom of canopy side rails and this works well too.

5. I made triangle foam rubber – approx. 4” wide with taper of 6” in back to 1” in front for side of seat bottoms against fuselage. Not happy here yet. Pilot and passenger still get cold air against hip and thigh at fuselage sides.

So here’s my question… I think I’m getting a lot of air coming from the main landing gear cutouts and also from the spar cutouts. Has anyone tried to seal these openings?
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Jim Stricker
Hinckley, Ohio
EAA #499867
PPL/ASEL 1970 - Sport Pilot since 2007
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub
RV-12 E-LSA #120058 AWC Jul 2012 - Bought Flying Oct 2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 406

LSRM-A Certificate 2016
Special Thanks to EJ Trucks
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2015, 05:00 PM
JBPILOT JBPILOT is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 1,602
Default What I did - -



Flexible clear plastic. Works pretty well.
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2015, 05:11 PM
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tomkk tomkk is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Port Orange, Fl
Posts: 798
Default

I just added L.G. leg and intersection fairings to try to seal the L.G. openings. I still have a significant air leak behind the seats. Have not had a problem with cold fuselage sides against our thighs.

To tell the truth, we looked at that air leak as an advantage down here in Florida but we were up in D.C. last weekend: 27 deg (F) on the surface, 6 deg at altitude and we pretty much froze our tushes off - cold air coming in from the baggage area and unable to get the engine temps high enough to keep us warm. I've fabricated a simple fixture to block a portion of the radiator if we go north again in winter. Not exactly sure how much to block off but it's adjustable and I'll have to experiment with it carefully.

Sure would like to know where the air is coming in, tho.
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Port Orange, Fl
RV-12 N121TK ELSA #120845; first flight 06/10/2015
RV-12 N918EN ELSA #120995 Eagles Nest Project
SPA Panther N26TK in progress

Last edited by tomkk : 11-29-2015 at 05:25 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2015, 06:02 PM
Top Cat Top Cat is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Fort Mill SC
Posts: 328
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"So here’s my question… I think I’m getting a lot of air coming from the main landing gear cutouts and also from the spar cutouts. Has anyone tried to seal these openings?"


I tell all my passengers thats the air conditioning system!
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2015, 06:26 PM
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tomkk tomkk is offline
 
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Location: Port Orange, Fl
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Don't the wing root seals get the spar cutouts covered?
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Port Orange, Fl
RV-12 N121TK ELSA #120845; first flight 06/10/2015
RV-12 N918EN ELSA #120995 Eagles Nest Project
SPA Panther N26TK in progress
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2015, 07:28 PM
JBPILOT JBPILOT is offline
 
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Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 1,602
Default In snow country - -

you learn where the air is coming from. It comes in around the spar openings. I felt it was too complicated to try to seal those openings and not affect taking wings off. The flexible vinyl "divider" keeps the cold air down low from coming forward, and my Heater Damper Door makes great heat, and the plane an all season comfortable plane.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2015, 09:21 PM
Dave12 Dave12 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Elkton, Md.
Posts: 1,368
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I will second that! JB's radiator damper mod rules, as does the oil thermostat!
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2015, 09:41 PM
BigJohn BigJohn is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Gloversville, NY
Posts: 1,549
Default How I reduced the air flow from the spar openings

Pull the pins and roll the wings out far enough to get access. You can have a helper support the wingtips or rest them on a padded table or stand. Attach some sticky backed weather stripping foam to the fuselage skin surrounding the spar opening. Make it a good tight fit, the foam will be fexible enough to allow the spars to slide back in, but will do a pretty effective job of sealing the openings.

Someone was wondering why the wing root seals were not sufficient to keep air out. I do not believe that is where the air comes in. I believe the whole interior of the wing is slightly pressurized relative to cockpit air. Visualize those openings out at the wingtips that reside in the high presuure air area on the bottom side of the wing.
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2015, 07:21 AM
JBPILOT JBPILOT is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 1,602
Default Hey BigJohn - -

I believe the rear of the canopy lifts a bit while flying and pulls a lot of air out thru. Even with the heater door open some, replacing some of the air escaping the rear of the canopy, there seems to be enough suction inside to pull the cold air thru the spar openings, and the landing gear openings. Some cold air comes thru the flap handle opening, ( likely from the gear leg opening ), and the spar openings. My simple flexible vinyl 'curtain' keeps the cold air in the rear and then it likely just goes up and out the canopy rear. I might try a foam seal around the rear of the canopy to see what that does to help. If you don't have cold air coming forward down low, and lots of real heat coming from heater, it makes it very comfortable.
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2015, 09:15 AM
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Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
 
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Location: Hinckley, Ohio
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I'm going to try experiment today. I'll use 2" blue painter’s tape to seal the gear opening at the outside of the fuselage. Likewise, I'll tape the wing root to the fuselage. My wing has rubber U-channel to seal top of wing root but I left the bottom of the wing open basically for drainage. I'll seal everything with tape today and report later after flying.

Edit 4PM EST - Well, I started taping and it really looked bad so I decided not to tape the gaps. Instead I added a little more foam rubber near where the wing pins attach and it helped considerably. I can live with what I've got going at present. There is still a pretty good draft going on in the baggage area behind the seats but I've been successful in creating an air **** which allows good comfort in front of the spar.
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Jim Stricker
Hinckley, Ohio
EAA #499867
PPL/ASEL 1970 - Sport Pilot since 2007
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub
RV-12 E-LSA #120058 AWC Jul 2012 - Bought Flying Oct 2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 406

LSRM-A Certificate 2016
Special Thanks to EJ Trucks

Last edited by Piper J3 : 11-30-2015 at 03:02 PM.
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