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GreenAndKeen
13-01-14, 15:46 PM
Anyone know of a source for a cabin heat kit for an Xair 582? I've seen mention of them, but not seen anyone offering them. I've looked into doing it myself, using a stainless steel sleeve over the exhaust, high temp ducting, and a damper valve. I reckon I can do it for uner 175 but buying one is probably easier.

Paul

goldrush
13-01-14, 18:01 PM
Paul.. just a couple of words of caution, but don't let me put you off in any way.

"Home built" heater sleeves over exhausts tend to have a reputation of being a recipe for death... carbon monoxide from minor exhaust leaks etc..

I am not familiar with such a mod on the X-air, but in any event you will need to get the Mod approved.
(Unfortunately, although we have considerable latitude over maintenance etc, changes are a "different kettle of fish" and Mods "can" cost well in excess of the actual material costs)

If any aircraft on the UK register has exactly the same fitted, or there is an already approved kit, the cost and effort is much less.
So I suggest you run your ideas by the tech Office at BMAA before commencing.

Roger Mole
13-01-14, 19:30 PM
Paul, if there was going to be one you'd find it here in France where the attitude to mods such as what you're suggesting is much more relaxed. However, to my knowledge there is no such thing available off the shelf. I very much doubt that you'd get anything along the lines of what you're suggesting approved in the UK for the reasons suggested by Wally. Your only hope would be to have something utilising the water cooling system with an internal radiator and a shut-off valve but my own view is that anything using long lengths of rubber tubing on an uncowled engine stuck up front in the cold would result in over-cooling of the engine. If you check your temp gauge you will see that at this time of the year, even if you get the temp up to 70 degrees F before take off (and you should do) it will drop to around 60 degrees and stay there in flight, which is already rather low and too cold for much cabin warming. And your other problem is that the pod is just too draughty for effective heating anyway.

From someone who has flown an AX3 right through the year with occasional flurries of snow blowing in the cabin and who is flying an X-Air without doors the whole time down here, if you are that worried about the cold, you may have bought the wrong aircraft ;-)

Hope you resolve it successfully,

Roger

Rick Moss
13-01-14, 20:03 PM
I went through the mod process to add a home-brew heater to my escapade. It cost me 50 in mod fees and wasn't too onerous.

Mine is highly effective, but uses the coolant as a heat source via a matrix rather than heat from the exhaust. Cost of mine was circa 120 complete. You have hot water being pumped around anyway... Why not send some of it through a radiator in the cabin? Blow some air through that rad, and you've got yourself a heater.

Paul Dewhurst
13-01-14, 20:08 PM
Paul, if there was going to be one you'd find it here in France where the attitude to mods such as what you're suggesting is much more relaxed. However, to my knowledge there is no such thing available off the shelf. I very much doubt that you'd get anything along the lines of what you're suggesting approved in the UK for the reasons suggested by Wally. Your only hope would be to have something utilising the water cooling system with an internal radiator and a shut-off valve but my own view is that anything using long lengths of rubber tubing on an uncowled engine stuck up front in the cold would result in over-cooling of the engine. If you check your temp gauge you will see that at this time of the year, even if you get the temp up to 70 degrees F before take off (and you should do) it will drop to around 60 degrees and stay there in flight, which is already rather low and too cold for much cabin warming. And your other problem is that the pod is just too draughty for effective heating anyway.

From someone who has flown an AX3 right through the year with occasional flurries of snow blowing in the cabin and who is flying an X-Air without doors the whole time down here, if you are that worried about the cold, you may have bought the wrong aircraft ;-)

Hope you resolve it successfully,

Roger

quite a few Skyranger owners have successfully made their own heater mods and approved them - saves a chunk of money compared to buying a whole new bespoke exhaust and heater wrap. The guys at Deddington will be helpful provided you don't scare them too much!:)

In some respects doing it on the Xair is easier for mod approval than the Skyranger as you don't have firewall integrity to retain with fire proof control valves etc.

If using an exhaust wrap some sort of shut off valve will be required in case you get an exhaust leak into the system ( and Wally's caution whilst valid is less critical for a two stroke as the oil burning gives a very obvious smell form a leak).

otherwise its a just a case of making sure everything is secure and not likely to fall off and is of a size and position not to mess the airflow downstream up madly, and the ducting won't impede operation of anything in the cockpit or view out of it.

My biggest concern would be whether it would be effective - the exhaust is out in the breeze so any captured warm air will cool rapidly unless well insulated. And as Roger points out the cockpit is naturally drafty, and will need a lot of heat pouring in to make a noticeable change. But I guess even a bit of toe defrost might be a welcome addition!

not too sure if a water heat system would work too well - to have a matrix down in the pod would need an awful long hose run down and back which would be heavy and water might be quite cold by the time it got down there. Also the water temp max is only 50C on the 582, so less than half that of the 912, so much less energy available to tap. And might be difficult to mange the temp change between heater on and off effectively.

Paul

GreenAndKeen
13-01-14, 20:09 PM
Good advice folks and thanks - this is purely speculative at the moment, as I have a host of other things to spend cash on, like finishing my training...

I reckon getting the mod approved might be impossible, but I'm willing to engage the BMAA initially to test the water. The guy from X-Air Ireland has made reference to a cabin heat mod, as he mentions the requirement for additional vents in the doors. I'm awaiting a response from him as to whether he knows where one can be sourced. My X-Air has a lot of additional draft excluding, and having been up in it before, drafts were minimal compared to the C42 I'm currently training in. That said, the only way to know if it is already over-ventilated would be to try fitting a heater...

I agree that the water cooling option might be a non-starter. From what I'm told, if a 2-stroke gets too cold it can seize up. That would spoil my day ;-) I also think a water cooled solution would be heavier - additional coolant, hoses, matrix. The solution I have in mind (possibly with a titanium sleeve to keep the weight down) is very lightweight. A shut off valve was always planned - it might actually get too hot (as if!)

As for the carbon monoxide issue, multiple sensors can be bought for pennies, giving some redundancy (and I'm an old pro at electronics). A scrubber can also be installed inline, but I've yet to research their temperature operating ranges - the cold or heat might render them useless. They are also a bit pricey.

Thankfully, I'm not worried about the cold, but it would be a nice thing to have, and would encourage my family to join me on colder days. I've got lots of good clothing from my previous winter sports obsession. And I was thinner then, so less insulation back in those days.

I will speak initially to the BMAA - to me, it's more of an engineering challenge, but I appreciate the advice. It's worth exploring, even for the fun of it. It's encouraging to hear that these HAVE been approved in the past.

Cheers
Paul

MadamBreakneck
22-01-14, 20:06 PM
An alternative might be an electrically heated seat cover. There's a chap, Allan Lindsay, in Northern Ireland who makes them. PM me for contact details if you wish. I've used an electrically heated waistcoat in the past. It seems keeping the kidneys warm is the secret of cold weather comfort.


Joan
refs:
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/microlights/conversations/topics/71810
http://www.klan-heated-clothing.com/klan-heated-jackets-c-71.html

Martin Duckett
22-01-14, 21:38 PM
As an alternative to the commercial stuff you can also make your own heated jacket. I made one to use in my flex and it works pretty well. I used this site to get some some basic info
http://www.hastie.org.uk/heatedjacket.html
and then bought a Regatta body warmer. I suppose you could also use the same info as a basis for making a heated seat cover.
Martin



An alternative might be an electrically heated seat cover. There's a chap, Allan Lindsay, in Northern Ireland who makes them. PM me for contact details if you wish. I've used an electrically heated waistcoat in the past. It seems keeping the kidneys warm is the secret of cold weather comfort.


Joan
refs:
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/microlights/conversations/topics/71810
http://www.klan-heated-clothing.com/klan-heated-jackets-c-71.html

GreenAndKeen
24-01-14, 10:03 AM
Martin, I like the idea of a heated jacket, but hate the idea of being "plugged in".

I saw these:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pair-Of-Carbon-Fibre-Element-Heated-Seat-Retrofit-Kit-/330572233538?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item4cf7a3fb42

Current drain is 5A, so that's 60W each at 12V. My X-Air has a 170W battery charge rate (I'm told), so that leaves 50W to run all the other stuff. That's probably enough, as instruments in general don't drain nearly as much as heater pads. I've seen lower rated ones around too. This is my current Plan B option. It would definitely save on weight, and be a doddle to install. It will also be easier to get it approved as a mod. And cheaper.

I still like the idea of a convenient lever to turn on hot air, but in the end, Plan B is the simplest to implement, so I'll probably go down that road.

Paul

Brand1068
24-01-14, 13:40 PM
My wife got a heated jacket from Ozee - carries a small battery in the pocket.

Works rather well and your not plugged in, only downside is the battery's are not cheap.

Chris

dave nixon
24-01-14, 16:09 PM
12volt fan heater blowing on yer tootsies,ebay plugs into cigy socket,I've got heated insoles with re chargeable ni cads

GreenAndKeen
02-02-14, 13:57 PM
Problem solved, or at least alleviated:

Ultimate Speed Heated Massaging Seat Cover

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ultimate-Speed-Heated-Massage-Cushion-/330868579241

Currently selling for 17.99 at my local Lidl. I bought 2. Of course, I need to get them mod-approved...unless I wear it, which would look really silly ;-) The heat is quite good, and the massage is mental. They weigh very little too. I drove about today in the car today with no heater on, but a nice warm back, butt and legs. I hardly noticed the lack of car heat. My kids love them too, so if I can't get them approved, they're going onto their gaming chairs.

Paul

dave nixon
02-02-14, 14:10 PM
As they plug in to cigar socket they are just an accessory ? ,I. Sure I will be shot down in flames for saying it,I saw them yesterday and thought same as you good luck,once you have the ok it will be nice hot springtime.

GreenAndKeen
02-02-14, 14:27 PM
I'm not 100% sure - I would prefer to wire them in directly. Springtime, at Strathaven Airfield, is usually still sub-zero ;-)

dave nixon
02-02-14, 15:14 PM
Agree hard wired much safer,I recon they will be great as long as they don't draw too much amps

GreenAndKeen
02-02-14, 19:32 PM
900mA according to the book -11W each = 22W. Digging around the BMAA mod docs, the total current drain of the entire system can be no more than 60% of the power of the generator (170W on the Rotax 582 - allows up to 102W max). I will be well within the limits, unless there is some issue with another instrument.

The vibrate mode is very weird. I was expecting a gentle hum, but it's quite violent. Thankfully it can be switched off. It might be useful for long flights - the Xair isn't that roomy.

dave nixon
02-02-14, 20:40 PM
In cold temp I wear pilot type jacket( lidl of course) looks expensive and is warm never got cold until about 3000ft,my feet do so use heated insoles in footwear.