Monday, August 13, 2018

FM-300R on a L1B5 sump

This is a post that is completely out of order as I forgot to publish it when I was working through this fit up. I have a Lycoming Thunderbolt IO-540 with a cold air sump off of a L1B5. when trying to put the FM-300R onto this sump I ran into a bit of a snag. i.e. the sump is in my way!

As you can see here I have about an inch and a half up or out that I need to get in order to get things to line up. I think the BPE cold air sump has a very angled forward face to it that allows this fit up to work.

No real big deal here. This is a standard problem which many places sell spacers for just this problem. In my case I called Don at airflow and ordered a 4 degree spacer. I figured this would do the trick. So close!!! I am about 1/8" from fitting.If you look at the top corner of the spacer you will see it pulled away from the sump because of the top of the servo contacting the sump.

I have the servo on upside down here just to take a photo. This brass hex (the adjustable jet) is what is contacting the sump. I did contemplate just taking the 1/8" off of this hex. Also, Don had mentioned that we could remove the adjustability out of this...

I went back and forth with Don though, and Jeff Schans shipped him out a sump to work on some fit ups. Don agreed to help prototype a new bracket that would push the servo out the 1/8" while also giving me a place to mount up the linkage cables.

Presumably the straight spacer could be pulled back closer to the sump, but I am not sure that buys you any cowl clearance because the straight spacer will be pushing the servo inlet closer to the cowling.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Intake Decisions

I have a FM-300R, the Show Planes cowling, and a Lycoming Thunderbolt IO-540 with a cold air sump off of a L1B5 ordered the intake from Bryan and Showplanes, but things are pretty tight.

BLUF, here are the paths I am debating right now:
  1. Build a custom snorkel that is going to have some pretty sharp angles and a pretty funky setup around the FM-300R inlet
  2. Cut a hole in the Show Planes lower cowl and install a Rod Bower ram air setup and fairing
  3. Cut a hole in the Show Planes lower cowl and build a new air box/inlet
I have been swapping some components back and forth to see what option was going to be the best. To start, the FM-300R needs about 1/8" of additional clearance when using the 4 degree Airflow performance adapter. Right now I have been working with Don at Airflow and he has a cable bracket in prototype for this that not only holds the cables, but also gives me the additional clearance needed to fit the FM-300R with the L1B5 sump.

Airflow Performance straight spacer.

Airflow performance prototype linkage adapter.

This gets me pretty well setup without the cowl and intake. Getting the Showplanes snorkel intake in place with this setup is pretty tight. Well I guess it is a little more than tight as it doesn't fit. Here is the lower cowl installed in its final location with the FM-300 on a straight (NOT 4 degree) spacer.  There is about 1" of clearance between the servo and the cowl.

I ordered the straight spacer because with the 4 degree spacer, the intake transition had some clearance issues with the PlanePower 70A externally regulated alternator. As a note, the larger tube is not even on the "T" yet, this is just the T without the step up to the larger diameter tube that goes over the air filters. Also, this is with the alternator in the center of adjustment. Obviously, nothing is cut here either. I still need to transition the T to the FM-300R which has a lip on it for clamping purposes. I could bring this version of the T aft a bit in order to gain a little more clearance.

With the 4 degree spacer, there is much more space to work with.

With the 4 degree spacer, the 1/8 control linkage adapter, and the lower cowl put in place, there is roughly 2.25 inches of clearance. Which is not that bad.

With 2.25 inches of clearance and the angle of the cowl, this is what a 4" tube for a T would look like.

Here is what a non-deformed 4-5/8"s looks like. Mind you I have not run the engine yet, and you would have to expect that there would be settling that is going to occur as well as movement while running. This is the final dimension of the stock Showplanes intake tubing. 

For the left side of the intake, there is quite a bit of room to make the run directly up from where the notion T exists in the previous photos. The right side however there is not a lot of room between my vetterman (custom) exhaust and the PlanePower alternator. I was contemplating getting a smaller alternator, but I might as well not add those constraints to the setup if I am at this stage of the build.

This is pretty hard to see, but this photo is taken from the left side of the engine looking at the right with the T and the snorkel resting where ever I could get them to fit. The angles are possible to make, it is just a shame that this is the intake and there are going to be many >90 degree transitions.

Which really has me thinking why not just punch the intake straight out. I have been thinking about the Rod Bower design and I have an email out to him.

There are just sooo many bugs in Virginia that I feel like a large percentage of my flying is going to be with the ram air door closed sucking the warm air out of my lower cowling. I have been thinking about leveraging the C172 design.

Image result for cessna 172 air filter

I have also been looking at making that a little sexier and mimicking what the Sam James cowl looked like at one point.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Fly EFII ignition mount

I went with the FlyEFII System32 ignition (dual). They have a nice bracket for the coil pack, but this makes a pretty hefty assembly that needs to be mounted. There are various things people have done to mount this pack and most of them include standard adel clamps. I wanted something a little heavier duty, because this is a pretty heavy assembly. I ended up finding a light bar mounting bracket off of House Tuning that worked perfectly. This is the standard 7/8 tube rubber isolated light mount.

The coil pack holes accept AN-4s but the light bar mounts are 3/8s (or maybe even 5/16s). I placed a mcmaster order for some bushings (under bearings at mcmaster) to take the 3/8s holes and adapt them. The bushings didn't fit, so I reamed out the holes.

And then shortened up the bushings a bit.

This allowed me to install the front two mount points of the coil pack right behind the aft baffle on the main cross bar.

This looks like it is going to be perfect for the plug wire spacing (at least I hope so because anything other than this is going to be kind of a pain.

The last thing to do is make one hard mount point for the aft of the coil pack going down to the angled bar. I will do that another day. I am either going to come down the the angle bar, or I am going to install one of the bar mounts facing aft and flush mount a screw through the coil pack plate. For now though, it is pretty dang solid.

Transition Training

A couple of weeks ago my family flew out to Vernonia, OR so that I could fly 3 days with Mike Seager. I know this sounds a little bit crazy, but up until this point I have never flown nor sat in an RV-10. I have gotten a bunch of crap on that, but for me the 10 was a pretty easy decision. I was looking to build so that I knew how every single airplane system and control (at least in the plane that I was flying) worked. On top of that I wanted something safe, fast, 4 seater with a good user following. Also, at this point I am 2 years and 2000 hours into the build. If I don't like how this thing flys, well, its too late for that ;)

N220RV. The funny thing about this plane is that I was supposed to fly with Mitch in this 3 years ago when he was on the East Coast and I was debating building a 10. At the time, Mitch was going through a panel upgrade, and then he ended up taking the Vans HQ job and moved West. I guess now is as good as time as any to fly 220RV.

Mike has access to a bunch of RVs!

I knew this was a grass strip, but it really is a grass strip! All of my soft field "training" has always been simulated soft field.

I didn't take too many photos of the actual training. We did take this one of Mt Saint Helens though!

So what did I learn? With my mission being that I am doing the final layout and setup of my interior and engine, are there things I do or don't want?

  1. Seat Belt holder - I know this is a silly easy add, but an overhead hook to hold the front seat seat belts was a nice to have in 220RV.
  2. Yaw Damper - I have gone back and forth on this. I decided to put the brackets in as I was building, but I was not sure if I was going to put a yaw damper in. I honestly think that out of all the planes I have flown (not a lot), the 10 had a tail that likes to yaw a lot. Maybe it was the wind. Maybe it was my justification for buying more Garmin stuff. The short of it is that I am putting a yaw damper in my 10 for the sake of my rear passengers (my daughter and my dog).
  3. Flaps - The Dynon and Flap switch that was in 220RV was weird. The up position in the flaps was reflex. I couldn't or didn't want to get used to this. Up to me should be 0 degrees with reflex being an additional motion you do in cruise. When I got home I found in the VPX-Pro manual that the flap switch (momentary up and momentary down) default setting is to when you hit "UP" move to the 0 setting and while at 0 if you hit up again, -3. That to me makes sense.
  4. Doors handle - The stock door handles are ok. What is not okay are those stock wonky safety latches. I ended up with a full plane around 180 degree kit, center cams, and low profile latches. I like my decision on that.
  5. Overhead air - The front NACA vents do a good job of keeping your man parts well ventilated. The stock airframe is missing some air for your face. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018



Service Bulletin 16-03-28 addresses the cracking of wing aft spar web at the inboard aileron hinge bracket attach rivets. In addition, for RV-10 aircraft, there is a potential for cracking of the flange bends of the inboard aileron hinge brackets.

I currently have the bottom skins off, but I am getting ready to close up the wings, so I needed to decide if I was going to complete this service bulletin or not. The service bulletin itself states that the brackets should be inspected for cracks, and ff no cracks are detected, re-inspect at every annual condition inspection or until the modifications required by this service bulletin have been completed. It is tempting though, with the wings in the stand and the bottom skins off to just go ahead and knock out this bulletin. The reason you would not do this, is that you do have to drill a bunch of rivets out of the spar. That has a potential to screw up the holes and ultimately make things worse.

In the end I decided to move forward with SB 16-03-28. I started by taping everything off and trying to grind one of the rivet heads flush with the bracket. The thought on this was that you cannot miss the #30 hole if you are never drilling into it. While this seemed like a good idea, it took some pretty good effort to knock out the rivet after the head was ground off (the nice part about this is that you end up trashing the previous brackets, so you can grind into them all you want as long as you don't hit the spar)

After the first rivet removal in that technique I decided to go back to the tried and true method of just drilling out the rivet heads, breaking them off, and then punching the rest of the rivet out of the hole. I did get a little over ambitious with the grinder and touched one of the rivets that did not need to come out. I later drilled that out and replaced it.

With the heads broken off all of the rivets and a #40 drilled about half way into the rivet, the whole bracket pops off.

While this makes it look like I jacked up all of the holes, the dark shaded region is just sharpie from the original fit up. I was able to get everything drilled out without the drill bit ever touching the spar.

I forgot to take a photo with the bottom doublers in place, but I would definitely recommend going for the service bulletin if you are still sitting in the wing stands with the bottom skins off. This was an easy one.
Moving Day!

The time has come to move the plane out of the garage and into the hangar. We are pretty excited because we are not just going to a hangar, we are going to the EAA 186 Build Hangar. It will be nice to have the EAAs wealth of knowledge looking and criticizing the plane as the build continues.

The chapter had a converted boat trailer that we borrowed in order to move the plane. I was going to have a roll back come and pick it up, but in the end I decided I wanted to be responsible for the move and I also wanted to be able to load and unload at my own pace. This worked out even better than expected because my dad was in town to help with the process!

We got really lucky on the load. If you look carefully, the trailer in this position had the plane load in a level position. i.e. no incline to go up!

The drive was probably more stressful than the actual loading and unloading.

Time lapse of the load and unload:

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

MT Governor stud length

Previously I had installed my MT-860-3 but noticed that the studs were a little on the long side. I tried screwing them in a little further, but it felt like they were already bottomed out.

Here you can see that the stud threads are obviously too long to the point where there is non-threaded area showing past the governor.

Jeff Schans at Thunderbolt sent me next day a variety of stud lengths to rectify this. On the bottom is the original stud followed by some of the replacement options that Thunderbolt sent to me.

One thing I noticed as I was going through this exercise was that upon removal the threaded blind hole in the case was actually a lot deeper than I thought it was. So rather than swapping out the studs, I set the existing stud a little deeper and all was well. Sorry for the run-around Thunderbolt. Thanks for working with me.

Now back to research on the 860-3. I noticed that everyone seems to be using the 860-5 now. I have to go find out if I need to swap this out.