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  #41  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:48 PM
Paul "OX" Harder Paul "OX" Harder is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Windsor, Colorado
Posts: 22
Default

Mike,
I figured you had plenty of input. The VP-X and the Garmin G3 were not available when I built my bird. You know how it is with technology....the minute I bought it, it was out of date! Good luck on your bird and if you get to Northern Colorado I would be happy to do a little tail chasing.
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  #42  
Old 03-20-2013, 05:04 PM
Strike69's Avatar
Strike69 Strike69 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
Posts: 94
Default Mid Month Update

After doing some transition training in an RV-9A today, I figured it was time for an update. Besides, with back surgery next week, I will be down for a while. I am taking this week off from work to make some progress and although it is slow going, I feel like things are moving forward.

Running wires and finishing avionics placements has been a top priority.

The Integrated Battery Back-up System (IBBS) is mounted to the rear bulkhead of the forward baggage compartment (say that 10 times fast) and drives the G3X in the event of power loss.



I tried to enclose the dimmer circuit only to find I grounded out one of the ICs and almost burned my fingers!



Updated switch panel.



Of course I needed to "plan" for the cockpit lighting.



One of the funest parts of this project is "designing" those things not part of the kit like the magnetometer mount and remote transponder mount.





The engine (Superior IO-360) and prop (Whirlwind 200RV) both arrived last week.



Depending on the progress with wiring this week, the fuselage may go on legs this weekend and the engine hoisted into place. So in prep, I did the wheels, brakes, and engine mount.





This last pic is in another post but want to keep a running log here so ...

The RCP will have all three engine controls. The mount is custom designed/made (see comment above) and I am engineering the push rods.



Many have asked about the push button in the throttle. A few months back they were being offered up on the classifieds. I believe DJM is where I got them.
__________________
Mike "Strike" Messer, CFI/CFII/MEI, ATP
RV-8A/F-15E/T-38/T-37/T-6
RV-8A Phase II
N-251WM
Garmin G3X/GTN-650/Dynon D6/GTX-23ES/TruTrak GX Pilot/GDL-39
Eagle XTREEM I0-360-B1HD2 (dual P-mags)

Last edited by Strike69 : 03-20-2013 at 07:36 PM.
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  #43  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:44 PM
sisner87 sisner87 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2
Default Good Luck

Good luck with the back surgery next week! If you need any help with anything (airplane related or recovery related) let me know!
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  #44  
Old 04-15-2013, 05:48 AM
Strike69's Avatar
Strike69 Strike69 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
Posts: 94
Default Milestones

Yesterday was a momentous day in the build. I hit two major milestones ... all in the same day.

With major back surgery just under three weeks ago, I am limited on the weight I can lift so I enlisted some helpers (the usual suspects) and borrowed an engine lift from the flight school where I instruct and got down to it.



Yes, I had helpers ... but there was no shortage of "supervision".



The gear legs required some silicone spray, muscle, lots of PATIENCE and a little bit of creativity - I ended up destroying an old long drill bit extension by grinding it down to make a guide bit/awl to help "influence" the legs into final position prior to dropping the bolt in place. The left side required a little extra influencing but we made it.



So around 1630 on 14 Apr 2013, N-251WM stood on her legs and walked for the first time! I have to say it is MUCH easier to push the aircraft around (even with the engine hung) on the wheels vs. the cradle.



Then down to business unpacking the engine. Let's just say there was foam EVERYWHERE.



Onto the lift, a quick check to understand how it all fit together and forward to the mount.



Again, a little bit of ingenuity (okay, one of the guys hanging on a rope wrapped around one of the bottom Lord bolts to move it into place) and the engine was hung around 1830.

A happy day. So she is tucked away in the garage now and ready for the big move this summer ... wherever that might be.

__________________
Mike "Strike" Messer, CFI/CFII/MEI, ATP
RV-8A/F-15E/T-38/T-37/T-6
RV-8A Phase II
N-251WM
Garmin G3X/GTN-650/Dynon D6/GTX-23ES/TruTrak GX Pilot/GDL-39
Eagle XTREEM I0-360-B1HD2 (dual P-mags)
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  #45  
Old 04-30-2013, 05:08 AM
Strike69's Avatar
Strike69 Strike69 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
Posts: 94
Default April 2013 Update

I recently passed the 500 hour mark of building N-251WM. Five weeks ago today I had major back surgery and I have had some time to reflect on the last 16 months. As I look back, it has been an incredible journey with a lot of learning, a few mistakes ... I mean re-dos, and a whole lot of fun. We do this for the journey, not just to have a great plane in the end, right?

Like I said, being creative and figuring out how to mount things that are not in the plans has been the most enjoyable part. Since the ELT tray didn't quite span the lightening holes, I had to fashion an angle and strip to secure the tray. It fits nicely under the battery mount.





In a previous post I indicated how impressed I was with the amount of room behind the panel. Well, now I understand why as I start to fill in the space with wires and pneumatic lines. I am just surprised EVERY box seems to need it's own pitot/static lines ... can't they just all get along and talk to each other?



As I get close to riveting the aft upper skin (the wires/lines have been run but I need to secure them), I cut a plywood plank for some lucky, small person (hopefully my girlfriend will volunteer ) to buck rivets.



Of course sitting around this past month I have had plenty of chances to review the plans and discovered an error in our engine mounting ... the Lord Mounts are backwards!!



At least this will give us a little more practice taking the engine off and trying again.

A little bit of wiring in the tail ...



... and my motivational picture for the month.



After the kids come out for the summer it will be time to move to the hanger ... I am running out of room and parts. Fortunately, the Air Force has decided to keep me here for a another year. I think they knew I needed a little extra time to finish the project so I could fly to my next assignment instead of drive ... at least that is what I am telling myself.
__________________
Mike "Strike" Messer, CFI/CFII/MEI, ATP
RV-8A/F-15E/T-38/T-37/T-6
RV-8A Phase II
N-251WM
Garmin G3X/GTN-650/Dynon D6/GTX-23ES/TruTrak GX Pilot/GDL-39
Eagle XTREEM I0-360-B1HD2 (dual P-mags)
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  #46  
Old 06-14-2013, 05:32 AM
Strike69's Avatar
Strike69 Strike69 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
Posts: 94
Default June 2013

Consider this either my late May post or early June post. Either way, the kids will be here next week and progress will slow down for the month with fishing trips, LOTS of time at the beach, and college tours.

I did have the opportunity to stop by the Vans Cave a few weeks back when I was out for my son's end of school trip. Doug and I had a great conversation and if you are ever flying in/out of DFW, it is worth the trip. I am looking forward to flying in when my build is done.

So on to the detail work of wires, wires, and more wires.







I said it once before and will say it again - it is nice to be able to jump around and work on various pieces as time allows. I finally finished installing the AOA ports and ran the lines.



Once I finish the fiberglass landing light mounts, the wings will be done.



With the engine mounted and the interior almost complete, the front end work is moving along.



So after a month with the kids out for summer vacation, it will be time to load her up and move to the airport. Until then ... a little shade, weekend flying, and trips to the beach.



Have a safe and fun filled weekend and summer.

- Strike
__________________
Mike "Strike" Messer, CFI/CFII/MEI, ATP
RV-8A/F-15E/T-38/T-37/T-6
RV-8A Phase II
N-251WM
Garmin G3X/GTN-650/Dynon D6/GTX-23ES/TruTrak GX Pilot/GDL-39
Eagle XTREEM I0-360-B1HD2 (dual P-mags)
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  #47  
Old 07-19-2013, 05:33 AM
Strike69's Avatar
Strike69 Strike69 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
Posts: 94
Default XPDR

Happiness is a working transponder ... with no sparks and no smoke!



After an extended break while the kids were in town, I got back to work in the 100 degree heat (hard to believe it is warmer here than where my kids live in N. Texas). The GTX-23ES is mounted on the aft left side behind the rear baggage. The original connections were only 3' long so it required cutting the three cables and making a new, long run from the panel to the back of the aircraft. After several "training" efforts, I figured out the proper settings for the Bulgin circular, environmentally sealed connectors and got it wired up. For the panel side, three wires with grounds into the connector was a challenging fit so a little creativity and the wires were secured.




Not much progress but small, significant victories. Now if only I could figure out the ELT ...
__________________
Mike "Strike" Messer, CFI/CFII/MEI, ATP
RV-8A/F-15E/T-38/T-37/T-6
RV-8A Phase II
N-251WM
Garmin G3X/GTN-650/Dynon D6/GTX-23ES/TruTrak GX Pilot/GDL-39
Eagle XTREEM I0-360-B1HD2 (dual P-mags)

Last edited by Strike69 : 07-23-2013 at 08:03 PM. Reason: Moved to next post
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  #48  
Old 07-23-2013, 08:24 PM
Strike69's Avatar
Strike69 Strike69 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
Posts: 94
Default AR Throttle Grip

For those who have viewed the previous post and wondered where the throttle grip pictures went, I have finished the PTT and decided to consolidate.

I recently ordered and received the AR Throttle Grip from DJM Manufacturing. The FCP lever arm required another 20 degrees of bend to fit the -8-1 panel and subsequently needed to bend the prop control as well but the fit is nice and very comfortable.



The RCP poses more of a challenge and after consulting with Dayton, I calculated the additional torque (yep, I reached back 20+ years to my EIT prep book), found the engineering to be sound, and will get a second grip only with a 3" extension. This will clear the roll bar bracket and provide greater clearance for the RCP occupant's left leg.



I disassembled the grip and end cap to drill out a place for the PTT switch. The USAF planes I flew had the switch on the throttle and I can't get use to using a stick mounted switch. I was surprised to see how beefy the end caps were and it took a little bit of drilling to make a hole big enough for the Radio Shack switches I bought.



Of course the wires need to go somewhere ... I channeled out a passage on the back side of the lever, covered it with high friction tape, and reassembled.



A quick check for connectivity and functionality and I am one happy customer. The angles work to allow easy movement without bumping the other controls yet allow for thumb movements of the RPM.



I wish I could join everyone next week but will have to wait until next year. Have fun!
__________________
Mike "Strike" Messer, CFI/CFII/MEI, ATP
RV-8A/F-15E/T-38/T-37/T-6
RV-8A Phase II
N-251WM
Garmin G3X/GTN-650/Dynon D6/GTX-23ES/TruTrak GX Pilot/GDL-39
Eagle XTREEM I0-360-B1HD2 (dual P-mags)
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  #49  
Old 09-01-2013, 06:16 AM
Strike69's Avatar
Strike69 Strike69 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
Posts: 94
Default August Update

I would like to say I have made significant progress but the truth is I have been flying a lot on the weekends and with a full-time job during the week, the hours devoted to building have slacked off. BUT ... I achieved a significant milestone yesterday - soloing out my first civilian student! Although I have sent many military students off on their own for the first time, this was different.

As for the TARDIS, I am moving along with the wiring, engine, and miscellaneous things.

With a glass-cockpit there seems to be miles and miles of wires. I have gotten things organized and working toward securing it all under the panel and in the engine bay.





I discovered (which is probably no surprise to others) that the stainless firewall is not the easiest material to work with. But I have started mounting things and installed the engine pressure sensor block (manifold, fuel, and oil). Yes, those are notes and a checklist to myself on the firewall.



My happiest moment came yesterday when I finished installing the wing tip landing lights. I have been wrestling with designing/building a fiberglass mount when the simplest answer (KISS principle, right?) was to bend and fashion an aluminum mount. The Aero LED MicroSun landing lights can be installed from the front and adjusted/aimed by adding washers without removing the wing tip. It still requires paint but happy to be done with that challenge.





I had hoped to be done with the cowl and baffles but I will have to settle for a test fit for my monthly motivational picture.



Until next month ... fly and build safe!
__________________
Mike "Strike" Messer, CFI/CFII/MEI, ATP
RV-8A/F-15E/T-38/T-37/T-6
RV-8A Phase II
N-251WM
Garmin G3X/GTN-650/Dynon D6/GTX-23ES/TruTrak GX Pilot/GDL-39
Eagle XTREEM I0-360-B1HD2 (dual P-mags)
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  #50  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:46 AM
Strike69's Avatar
Strike69 Strike69 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
Posts: 94
Default Operation BIG MOVE

There have been a lot of these posts lately but ...

The day comes when the project out-grows even a 2-car garage and must be moved to the airport. I know I probably could eek out a couple more months in the confined space but with flying as an instructor just about ever other evening and on weekends, I figured having easy access to the hanger would allow more time to actually build.

Before the move I did finish up the SCAT hoses to the panel vents (both left and right sides) but I still have to build a flow divider from the fuselage vent intake.





The other big accomplishment is securing the battery and starter solenoids, running the battery cable, building a connecting bar (out of copper) between the solenoids, and testing the battery/alternator switch - all check good.



I also got a 80% fit on the cowl but enough to provide some motivation.



Of course the big event was the move this past weekend. A 26' rental was the perfect width/length and the wheel wells provided a nice "chock" to keep the aircraft from rolling back.



A couple of 2x6s braced by 2x4s served as ramps and it fit perfectly.



Unloading at the airport was easy and now she is put to bed waiting for tail, wings, and canopy.



A big thanks to my move crew -



So if you are in the neighborhood (KPVG - Hampton Roads Executive just west of VA beach) drop me a line and feel free to stop by ... I'll probably be driving rivets!
__________________
Mike "Strike" Messer, CFI/CFII/MEI, ATP
RV-8A/F-15E/T-38/T-37/T-6
RV-8A Phase II
N-251WM
Garmin G3X/GTN-650/Dynon D6/GTX-23ES/TruTrak GX Pilot/GDL-39
Eagle XTREEM I0-360-B1HD2 (dual P-mags)
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