Continued the final inspection and high power engine run

September 16, 2012

So today I finished the final inspection. After words I did some more taxi tests to make sure everything was rigged right and the tail wheel responds the way I wanted it to do. This was also to double check the brakes were working well. I decided I wanted to make sure the engine ran well even up in the higher RPM area but the brakes barely hold the plane at 1800 RPM so I decided to tie the tail spring to a tie down ring and do a high power run up. After the engine had time to warm up about 10 min I did some leaning and mag checks (50 RPM mag drops!) I ran the engine at full power for about 5 min straight. At full throttle I was able to get 2450 RPM steady. So she has a lot of pull. I also checked to make sure the fuel valve, if turned off during the run, adaquately killed the engine, the answer is yes it does. I also did some acceleration testing on the engine to make sure if I poured on the throttle it would respond quickly with out any hessitation and it does this well too.

Time spent today 5 hours
Total Time spent 1635 hours.

Taking the plane back apart for final inspection

September 12, 2012

Today and yesterday I spent most of the day running through the appendix D of the FAR 43 checking and double checking my plane for airworthiness. I also had an A&P IA come by and take a look for a few hours to see if I missed anything. I had a few issues mostly with wire routings and but he didn’t see any major things. He had me put a large washer on the outside of my throttle and mixture rod ends (good catch). And I also had a slightly loose upper wing Istrut bolt (you could spin the washer but the bolt was snug) So I went back and checked all those bolts. I went down the route of torque striping all the controls and he mentioned that I had gone down a slippery slope so basically everything needed to be torque striped. I also had to take the belly pan off so that I could safety wire the gascolator.

Time spent 10 hours
Total time spent 1630 hours

Putting the airplane together for the weighing and weighing the plane

September 9, 2012

This is a numerous day roll up. The last several days I have been prepping for the aircraft weighing. Simply installing the panels is several hour ordeal. Between friday evening, saturday morning and all sunday I was able to get all the panels, fairings, cowling, and canopy on to the plane and fitting correctly. With the aircraft level I drained all I could from the fuel from the level attitude from the gascolator so that I would get the unusable fuel. I also installed the wheel pants. With the aircraft level I used a plumb bob to get the arm location of the main wheel and tail wheel. Using the forward leading edge as 65.05″ datum my main gear was at 52.55″ and my tail wheel was at 193.63″. After I was completely satisfied I pulled out my aircraft scales and pushed the aircraft up on to the scales and checked the level. The total empty weight of the aircraft was 830 lb. This is much heavier than I had hoped but If I install the Aerovoltz battery that will bring me down to 819 Which is pretty good.

Monday through Wednesday I spend several evenings getting the Pitot Static system leak checked. Originally I had pretty good sized leak on both the pitot and static lines. Monday brought several hours of chasing a leak in the Pitot line. I used the FAA suggested technique of attaching a surgical tube to the pitot tube and rolling it up to bring the airspeed up to cruise speed. So i brought it up to 160 MPH. Originally It pretty much flopped right back to 0 MPH. After I sealed the threads on the Pitot tube it has a very small leak of 2.5 MPH per minute. There is no FAA regulation so the acceptable leak but from best practices I see that 10% of the cruise speed per min is typically adopted that would be 16.0 MPH/Min so I am more then within that. Next Is the altimeter. I had to Tee into the the Static line and used the FAA technique of rolling up a tube then attaching it and letting it out till I got 1000 ft above field then timed the leak down. At first it leaked pretty bad but after I sealed the threads at the Pitot tube it held the altitude to 125 ft/min. Which at this point I am calling acceptable since this aircraft is VFR-Day only. If I was flying IFR I would think differently.

I also ran the engine again for about 15 minutes with the cowling on. After that I will remove all the cowlings for the final inspection.

Time spent 30 hours
Total time spent 1620 hours

Counter balancing and Attaching the ailerons

September 4, 2012

So Monday evening I double checked my math with the ailerons attached to the wings and slave struts attached to the ailerons. I used a Gatorade bottle safety wired to the upper aileron at the leading edge tube and poured 1 lb 8 oz of weight (I used BB’s they were cheap to buy and heavy) to balance the ailerons with the fuse level. So that meant that I needed 0.75 lb of weight in each aileron. I took each aileron home to balance them that night.

Tuesday after work I took the ailerons back out to the airport for final installation (I hope). This time I used new and correct sized hardware along with castellated nuts and cotter keys. What a damn bitch these things are to install! Getting the bolt in is no problem getting the washer and nut on is a another story, especially on the center hinge with the control arm in the way. It took an assortment of special tools like ratcheting end wrench, curved hemostats for pliers and box end plugs to go into my sockets to turn my sockets into low profile socket wrenches when accompanied by the ratcheting end wench and my hangar mates cool new low profile craftsman socket set. Side note everyone needs a set of these things I will be buying set soon. Anyway 6 hours later all were installed. I hope they don’t have to come off for any reason!

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1590 hours

Ground Running the Engine

August 31, 2012

Several day round up here.  I finished up the fuel system by re-installing the gascolator bowl.  I added about 4 gallons of fuel to the tank and checked around for leaks and found none.  I then opened fuel valve and started pumping the wobble pump which took apart and installed a new gasket and windings (so that could be a source of fuel leak to) and it took about 40 or 50 pumps to get the fuel down in to the fuel lines and into the fuel pump but it eventually got there and worked well no leaks.  I then installed the battery and checked to make sure the master switch worked and did some final checks and pulled the plane out of the hangar for the ground run.  I got in and primed it hit the starter and it couldn’t pull the prop through.  My battery is kinda old so this wasn’t completely unexpected but I have some suspicions that my starter solenoid was going bad.  It was getting late so just pulled the plane back in and called it a night.

Fast forward to Wed 8/29 I had a long weekend mini vacation so I got back to it on wednesday this time I brought out another battery that I new would work and tried that.  It didn’t even turn over the prop.  So then borrowed a buddies deep cycle gel cell batter and and turn the starter over and it did turn over with more authority but it wasn’t great.  It was however good enough to get the engine started.

I ran the engine for about 10 minutes and got the oil up to about 150 deg. The mag checks, oil pressure and oil temperature were also good. I had my buddy to a leak check while the engine was running, no leaks were noted. The idle RPM was a tiny bit low so that will need an adjustment.

Friday 8/31 I decided to change out the starter solenoid so I went down and got one installed it and tried my old batter again. It actually started it this time so that may have been part of the problem. I also checked the fuel screen again to make sure nothing was in it and everything was nice and clean.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1582 hours.

Belly pan fitting and misc nuts bolts and cotter pins

July 17, 2012

Tonight I spent several hours fitting the belly pan that I haven’t finished yet. I hadn’t checked the fit since I put the engine back on and I needed to cut out a part of it to fit around the gear leg. I also spent some time finishing up the flying wires by fairing them and then tightening the jam nut and installing the cotter pins. I also installed the second jam nut on the wing side of the wire. Finally I installed the torque tube aileron drive bolt.

Time spent 3 hours
Total time spent 1490 hours

Rigging the wing Part 2

July 16, 2012

Well with much reluctance I decided I wanted to adjust the AOI on the right upper and lower wing tips so that they are exactly the same as the roots. To do this I had to detension the wires. So I detensioned the wires but I ran into a bit of a snag litterally. Even though I had sprayed Molyibdenum Di-sulfide on all the wire threads I had one of the landing wire and clevis gall on me while removing them. I had to cut off the clevis and about 1/2″ to 3/4″ of wire. It looked as though I had enough wire left to tension them up again (I had plenty after it was all said and done). So this time I put wheel grease over the moly disulfide as a extra lubricant. This seemed to work better but I still think if I had to de-tension them again I will try something else some kind of combination/concoction. Steen puts some sort of black grease type substance and those wires are so smooth. Anyway after several hours of messing with that wire I finally got around to putting two AN960 washers unt the top wing leading edge spar an the lower right wing leading edge spar and then retensioned wires. Since I had so many problems with the wires I just started from scratch on the rig. This time I have 1.5 deg AOI at the root and tips of each lower wings and at the center section and tips of the upper wing. This combined with absoulutly no dihedral or anhedral in the upper with and 0.8 deg dihedral in the lower wings and wires are all tensioned to 750 lb. I have what I now deem a perfect rig. We’ll see how it flys then make adjustments after that.

Time spent tonight 4 hours
Total time spent 1487 hours

Rigging the wings and tensioning the flying and landing wires

July 15, 2012

Today I spent most of the afternoon rigging the wings and tensioning the flying and landing wires. I re-leveled the fuselage laterally and longitudinally at the cockpit longerons. I then leveled the upper wing and started tightening the landing wires to bring the upper wing to fully level with no anhedral or dihedral. I used my three livingston wing rigging boards one on the center section and one on each tip of the upper wing to check for anhedral and dihedral. If all three board tops line up there is none. I then started incrementally tightening the flying wires and landing wires to such that the tension came up but the wings didn’t move. I got the landing wires up to 750 lb measured this using my tensionmeter from Holloyway engineering. . The flying wires a a tad less tension since the geometery is more favorable, but both are between 650 and 750 lb as per the S-1S maintenence manual. I then checked my Angle of Incidence (AOI) to see where I was. The upper wing center section was right at 1.5 deg which is to be expected since I checked this when I rigged the wings before covering. The left upper wing tip was at 1.5 deg which is perfect and the left lower wing tip was at 1.5 deg along with the both lower wing roots. The right upper wing tip was at 1.0 deg and the right lower wing tip was at 2.0 so I’m off by 0.5 deg there or about 0.160″ or 2 AN960 and 1 AN960L washer if I do my geometry correctly. Unfortuanatlly the lower right wing tip is at too much AOI and the upper right tip is at to few so I have to de-tension to added the washers under both front spars. I tried very hard to get this just perfect during welding but I guess I just didn’t quite get there I was off by about 5/32″ boo hoo. So tomorrow I will de-tension and add those washers in and re-tension to see where I am no big deal.

Time spent today 6 hours
Total time spent 1483 hours

Attaching the Flying wires, tightening the bolt and nuts

July 12, 2012

Several day round up. After Eve and I got the wings mounted I was able to get all the flying wires routed and clevis and nuts installed. The next day I was able to get elevator trim cable routed and installed, even though it was a pain in the ass i got it done. I then worked on installing the new clevis’s on the tail wires. I figured it would be logical to get the tail rigged and wires tightened. I used my digital level to level the aircraft then i leveled the tail and tighten the wires. I made sure the tail stayed at 0.0 degs to match the longerons. I also installed the stabilizer support tube. Finally I installed the new 1/2″ spacer block and three bolts to finish off the elevators. I also spent some time checking the AOI on the wings to see where I was on the wings after tightening the bolts. I may have to make a small adjustment to he right wing lower wing AOI but we’ll see once I get the wings rigged.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1477 hours

Installing the tail and the wings

July 10, 2012

Today was another big milestone. I got the tail installed and the upper and lower wings installed along with the flying and landing wires. Everything was left loose so that I can rig the wings in the coming days. My loving wife was there to help me install the upper wing. Here are the photos:

Time Spent Today 3 hours
Total Time Spent 1467 hours