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  #1  
Old 08-24-2019, 12:50 PM
Toobuilder's Avatar
Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mojave
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Default Rocket Return to Flight

Just completed a proper test flight on the Rocket one week shy of 3 years since last flight. No major issues. Was most worried about keeping new cylinders cool enough for break in (August, So Cal desert), but it appears my cooling mods are effective. Highest CHT I saw was a relatively benign 377. This is after full throttle, 2600 RPM for an hour. Oil temps slowly kept creeping on me and I was going to "knock it off" at 235, but it topped at 229.

Still have a raw, unfinished induction scoop inlet, but even still I was able to match my (super clean, Reno race Rocket) chase airplanes MP (24.3). This is already better than I saw in the pre mod configuration, and I expect a noticable improvement when the inlet lip is finished.

The SDS EFI was flawless. I was running the manual mixture knob a bit richer than the base program wanted but other than that the system was essentially invisible to me. Throttle response on short final was crisp and instantaneous, and idle quality on taxi out and back was perfect. It's a cliche, but it "runs like a new car".

Landed without incident and pulled the cowl. A few drops of oil from a couple easy to fix spots but overall looks clean and dry.

Good test. Hope to add a few more hours this weekend on top of today's 1.0
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WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
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Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI - Flying
RV-8 - Flying
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 -flying
1984 L39C - flyable, available for sale
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2019, 01:27 PM
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AX-O AX-O is offline
 
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Nice! Glad to see you back up.
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RV-4 fastback thread and Pics
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The information that I post is just that; information and my own personal experiences. You need to weight out the pros and cons and make up your own mind/decisions. The pictures posted may not show the final stage or configuration. Build at your own risk.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2019, 01:42 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Good work, happy to hear it is flying again!
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2019, 02:55 PM
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Default Atta boy!

Sounds like a smooth start - I hope that trend continues! Keep those updates coming!
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"Not everyone needs a Rocket. Some folks, however, shouldn't live life without one.
You know who you are."
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2019, 11:09 AM
TS Flightlines TS Flightlines is offline
 
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NIce job, Michael---want to hear more.

Tom
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2019, 12:02 PM
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Congrats Mike. Been a long haul. Will be interested in your flight test numbers when you get all broken in and get the induction mods completed.
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Turbo Subaru EJ22, SDS EFI, Marcotte M-300, IVO, Shorai- RV6A C-GVZX flying from CYBW since 2003- 434.4 hrs. on the Hobbs,
RV10 95% built- Sold 2016
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2019, 12:07 PM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Thanks Gents.

Flew over to IYK this am to put more time on the engine. Had a nice visit with Axel ant then put the SDS EFI to the test with a thoroughly heat soaked engine start. OAT was already 95 degrees and the area inside the plenum was probably sufficient to cook a large meat lovers pizza, yet the engine started on the FIRST BLADE and idled as smooth as silk. Agressive take off and initial climb to clear inbound traffic and the CHT just touched 400 when I pushed over into cruise. They quickly dropped 30 degrees and settled in at 350-370 across the board for the quick trip home. Would have flown longer but one of my gear leg fairings has rotated and made keeping the ball centered a real leg cramp scenario. Plus it's bumpy and hot up there today. Pretty miserable flying.
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WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
______________
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI - Flying
RV-8 - Flying
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 -flying
1984 L39C - flyable, available for sale
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2019, 03:12 PM
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F1Boss F1Boss is offline
 
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Default Gear leg covers. Ugh!

I have a ‘bit of experience’ with gear legs on the Rockets. I am right in the middle of re-doing that whole wonderful experience now. If I can recall correctly, this current plane shed 4 pairs of ‘em. I think I tried a few processes that simply did not work.

My runway does not help things - I guess it could be the best test of those parts, especially after no rain for almost 2 months, with the dirt being clay. I like to think of it having an undulating character...

So, I’m re-doing the whole setup for the 5th time - right before Reno! Wise move? Maybe not! Could be I display my ignorance in front of 200,000 people. The test flight should be Tuesday..

I have helped plenty of others work thru their foibles with these nasty parts - could be that I finally have a process that will work. I can supply pics if needed. Personally, I don’t want to do this again - ever.

Part 1: no more wood dampers. Yep - it works.

Part 2: aligning the dang things - not too bad. Holding ‘em in place (while staying aligned) is the trick.

I also know a guy who can make parts that fit up - if you are using the Rocket wheelpants. At least use his gear leg covers (composite) that are just about perfect.

Happy to hear the engine is behaving. I might ask you some questions once I get that far on the next project. I especially like the fact that it starts when hot. I think Ross might have mentioned that to me...
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"Not everyone needs a Rocket. Some folks, however, shouldn't live life without one.
You know who you are."
Budd Davisson, 1997
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2019, 09:13 PM
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Mark -I'm with all new fairings, but the leg fairing alignment is a holdover from the prior configuration. So, I'm not sure if "optimal". I plan to do an oil streak or yarn test to see if they are really at 0 AOA before I lock them down. Felt good on first flight, but that doesn't mean much when it comes to speed.
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WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
______________
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI - Flying
RV-8 - Flying
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 -flying
1984 L39C - flyable, available for sale
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2019, 02:13 PM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Did another 1.5 today. Put together a short clip of my fuel quick turn and how the SDS EFI handles a heatsoak event. Flawless:

https://youtu.be/Je0-Apg5JdM

Oil consumption is coming down though I have not seen the charactaristic CHT drop on any cylinders yet. Still running from 350 to 380 across the board - same as first flight.

Also played with the individual cylinder trim feature... It's like magic!
__________________
WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
______________
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI - Flying
RV-8 - Flying
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 -flying
1984 L39C - flyable, available for sale
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