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Old 11-18-2016, 03:46 PM
j-red j-red is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lewes, DE
Posts: 365
Default 11/14-11/17

Busy week! I built and hung my engine this week which really opens up a whole new range of tasks that can be completed.

Information about the engine build can be seen here:

The installation was much easier than anticipated based on experiences others have posted here. Maybe I was just expecting the worst, who knows.

There are still a few tasks to be done before the engine is complete including many of the accessories, but i had to get it out of the church kitchen before the ladies found out I was using it to build an engine! (long story... the short version is that it was clean, had lots of counter space, was going to be unused for several weeks, and is on ground level with double-door access to the outside so i could roll the engine hoist directly from there to the parking lot where the "workshop" is (I live in the parsonage next door and am building the 6a in the shed behind the house...)..

Checking the fit of the cowl to make sure it all looks right.

Sometimes your helper just wants to go nuts

Last edited by j-red : 10-14-2017 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:30 AM
Lemmingman's Avatar
Lemmingman Lemmingman is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 689

Originally Posted by j-red View Post
it was clean, had lots of counter space, was going to be unused for several weeks, and is on ground level with double-door access to the outside so i could roll the engine hoist directly from there to the parking lot where the "workshop" is
I completely understand this logic and think its a marvelous idea. Besides, you're closer to the sandwich making items for that spur of the moment snack. The ladies at my church wouldn't have found it acceptable in any way, either. Hang on, let me wife wouldn't have liked it. She's still going on about it...apparently even washing greasy hands would be unacceptable. Apparently there is also something to do with making children's meals and baby formula...I dont know...I shouldn't have asked. Now she's texting a friend.
Gil Brice
McKinney, TX EAA-1246
RV7 - Working on fuse, fuel, brakes etc...
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:09 PM
j-red j-red is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lewes, DE
Posts: 365

It really is nice to have (fingers crossed) all of the purchases behind me. Aside from the odd clamp and paint to cover the "scars", everything is in hand to finish this project. The firewall forward has gone together relatively quickly since it's a matter of re-assembling things that have largely been together before.

The ring gear was modified for the CPI ignition sensor magnets. They included in the kit a machined drilling template, the drill bit, tap, magnets and threaded plugs. I was initially nervous about the right placement of these critical magnets, but the SDS kit made it very easy. The mounting points for the hall sensor and coil packs are very nicely made and easy to install.

The original FAB was crushed in the accident, so a new one was made and fitted. Doing so allowed me to measure, order and install the control cables for throttle, mixture and carb heat. On my previous build, each of these was an agonizing experiment of how and where to route them. Not so here. The original builder did a good job with the brackets and such, and I can't say enough about the online help I received by looking at pictures from others' builds.

A starter came with the engine, but an alternator did not, so a Nippon Denso 55amp unit was obtained from the aviation isle of Auto Zone.

I relocated the oil cooler to the left rear baffle and did some beefing up of the area in the process. The last time this flew was 2009, so at the very least, the hoses were 7-8 years old, and so all new fuel and oil hoses were made from stainless braided line.

As of this morning, all of the FWF sensors (except EGT and CHT) are wired and done. The EGT/CHT are next to run and hook into the EIS, followed by exhaust hangers, then the final primer runs and most of the engine work will be done. The cowling still has to be fit to the air box and then there will be plenty of clamping/cleanup work to be done, but I'm hoping to be able to take it to the airport in January.

Last edited by j-red : 10-15-2017 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:47 PM
rv8ch's Avatar
rv8ch rv8ch is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 4,311
Default Great work!

Wow - you are a machine! The speed that you are getting this together is really impressive. I've been working on my baffles alone for months...
Mickey Coggins
"Hello, world!"
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:16 AM
j-red j-red is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lewes, DE
Posts: 365
Default New Years' Weekend

Having done pretty much everything that could be done in the shed behind the house, it was time to call the tow truck. This is the same driver who came to haul N601DR almost exactly two years ago. I don't know whether he was surprised to see me still alive or not, but his wild-eyed expressions that seemed to say "You're kidding, right?" were gone this time. Great guy to deal with. Came at a moments notice and only charged $150 for the trip which, considering the time and effort required to rig up some type of support system on a typical pull-behind trailer, was well worth it.

Prior to the move, I finished the airbox, built the fiberglass juncture between the FAB and the cowl inlet, finalized all firewall forward wire bundles, and installed about a hundred Adel clamps.
Tom at TSFlightlines made my final primer runs and I can't say enough about the speed and customer service I received there.
I built my exhaust hangers in the style shown here on the Vetterman's page:

Going through the punchlist, I realized that the nosegear breakout force had not yet been set and drilled, so that was done. Had to sharpen my cobalt bit three times and take long "muscle relief" breaks, but it's done.

Anyway, all that led up to this weekend. Sunday afternoon, we hauled the fuselage over to the hanger, and on Monday started hanging parts. The family I'm renting the hanger from has three college-age boys, so they provided the muscle for wing-installation. The first took about three hours of painful kneeling inside the cockpit to get all of the bolts in. The second took about 30 minutes! Granted, they aren't all tightened yet, but at least at that point the boys could go back inside and get back in bed.
Just as I was about all "airplaned out" and ready to head home, my flying mentor stopped by and offered to help. With renewed energy (or at least pretending to have some), we were able to hook up the vertical and horizontal stabilizers, elevators and rudder! Immediately, we both remarked at how smooth and balanced everything was!

So, here she is, finally looking like an airplane:

Last edited by j-red : 10-15-2017 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:47 AM
j-red j-red is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lewes, DE
Posts: 365
Default 1/13/17 First Engine Run

With the prospect of an unusually warm (70 degree) January day, the time seemed right to try to get a first run in on the rebuilt o-360. I attached a mechanical oil pressure guage in addition to the one linked to the GRT EIS so that I could watch pressure build as the prop was pulled through about a million times, so it seemed, to pre-oil the engine. Satisfied that oil was flowing freely, the top spark plugs were installed. Then, after doing yet another thorough inspection of all hoses, wires, and cables forward of the firewall, the moment of truth arrived.

Canopy: Closed
Mixture: Full Rich
Electric Fuel Pump: On
Electronic Ignition: On
Impulse mag: Off (Wanted as few risk factors as possible for the initial start)
"Clear Prop"
Crack Throttle
Crank 'er up!

She started in about 8 revolutions. Oil Pressure on the mechanical guage is 50... now 60... Ok, nice smooth idle and no emergency signals from my observers. Avionics on to get the full engine report.

Fuel Pressure with electric pump on: around 6.5psi. engine pump only: stays about the same. Good.

Oil Temp Climbing appropriately

Fuel flow at idle showing 2 gph or so. Is that right? It later climed to 9gph at 1700 rpm, so I conclude "probably."

CHT's and EGT's take some time to register, but appear pretty even with the exception of the #1 CHT. It registers 50-100 degrees cooler than the others for most of the run. Now, it could be the sensor, it could be the fact that the cowl was off and that cylinder was getting more prop blast, or it could be a problem. Opinions would be appreciated. EGT's were about the same as all the other cylinders. More testing will need to be done with another sensor and with the cowl on...

Now, most of my experience is behind a small 6-cylinder corvair conversion, so "smooth" is a relative term, but my observers have two lifetimes of aircraft engine experience and seem to think things are running smoothly.

The test included both starting and running on the E/I, the Impulse mag, and then both together. All starts were quick and clean. Engine was run up to about 1800 rpm. Too much beyond that took too much brake pressure to hold.

I need to adjust the mixture slightly. Don't seem to get much if any RPM rise when leaning which should be the case prior to cutting out, thus proving that the mixture is, indeed, rich enough for appropriate engine cooling.

A final, brief, taxi test concluded the session. It was basically just a return to the hanger, and can be seen in the following video.
Rebuilt RV-6A N94CR
RV-8 N803DR completed, flying.

Last edited by j-red : 10-15-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:08 PM
rvbuilder2002's Avatar
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 9,662

I assume by mixture adjustment needed because of the lack of RPM lack of rise at shut down, you mean idle mixture? That has little if any effect on the mixture when running main jet during climb/cruise, so it wont influence cooling, etc.

Congratulations though... it looks like you are very close.
Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
Van's Aircraft Engineering Prototype Shop Manager
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:35 PM
j-red j-red is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lewes, DE
Posts: 365
Default Feb 2, 2017: Ready to Fly

The past month has been spent on a thousand small items that had been pushed off, but the list has finally dwindled to only those things that can wait until after flight testing to be completed (mainly paint).
Taxi testing this week indicates that all systems are functioning as expected, documentation has been updated, and the annual inspection is scheduled for this next weekend, weather permitting. Lots of sitting and making airplane noises. Sitting next to friends reveals that the "Almost a 14" mod has proven to help comfort dramatically, as it allows one seat to be forward, and the other back which staggers shoulder room and makes the upper fuselage feel much roomier.

I made this quick reference card for the Zenith (based on a borrowed design... gotta give credit!) and found it very helpful to have handy in the cockpit. Modified it to reflect the RV's data/procedures. It isn't as thorough as the POH which I'll also have in the cabin, but serves a different purpose anyway. On the back are weather minimums and light-gun signal charts, and its laminated for durability.
Rebuilt RV-6A N94CR
RV-8 N803DR completed, flying.

Last edited by j-red : 10-15-2017 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 02-21-2017, 01:30 PM
j-red j-red is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lewes, DE
Posts: 365
Default 2/20/2017- The second first flight of N94CR

I watched from the ground as a remarkable professional took to the air in 94CR yesterday afternoon. I can't imagine I could have been more excited even I were in the cockpit myself. Almost as soon as the ground roll commenced, she leaped into the air. Both of us who were watching from the sidelines could hardly believe that it happened so quickly. "Was that even two hundred feet"? asked my friend. For the next half hour, we watched and listened to the yellow speck in the sky as the test pilot flew it through a series of maneuvers. It was only then that it occurred to me: This project was begun almost exactly nine months ago- it's like our family has just had a new baby! (My wife does not read this blog, or else she'd smack me right about now and explain how nine months of hanging out in the shed doesn't even come close to the pain and suffering of childbirth... and she's right, of course, but in the moment the comparison seemed appropriate!)

Ten minutes in we concluded that if there were a major problem, he'd be back on the ground by now. Indeed there were no major problems, just a few minor items will need to be taken care of (for the life of me I KNOW I double and triple checked the roll trim for proper direction, but somehow still had it backwards). In fact, I got the impression from his comments once on the ground that if it were not a test flight with a planned 30 minute duration, we might not have seen the two of them back home for quite some time! Largely a tribute to the original builder's work, 94CR is a very light weight 6A which, I was told in the debrief, was rewarded by superb handling.

Before we knew it, the pilot and plane were taxiing back to the hanger and she was handed over with an unqualified blessing.

It's almost surreal thinking back over all of the small jobs that added up to this day, but reality will quickly settle in as we begin to look forward to all of the adventures yet to come!

Rebuilt RV-6A N94CR
RV-8 N803DR completed, flying.

Last edited by j-red : 10-15-2017 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:15 PM
Raymo's Avatar
Raymo Raymo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Richmond Hill, GA (KLHW)
Posts: 2,340

Awesome news. I felt exactly the same way when mine flew last month for the first time.

RV-7A - Slider - N495KL - First flt 27 Jan 17
O-360-A4M w/ AFP FM-150 FI, Dual PMags, Vetterman Trombone Exh, SkyTech starter, BandC Alt (PP failed after 226 hrs)
Catto 3 blade NLE, FlightLines Interior, James cowl, plenum & intake, Anti-Splat -14 seat mod and nose gear support
All lines by TSFlightLines (aka Hoser)
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