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  1. #131
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Like many of us Bob, you're a perfectionist and I bet to anyone else it looks great

    Edited - tried to delete subscription to thread to stop repeated erroneous email notifications
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 09-09-20 at 15:04 PM.


  2. #132
    Co-Pilot BobH's Avatar
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    A few more pics of the pod now it has the altimeter, ASI, and centre mounting for the Pilot 111 that I use as a compass.

    I'll be mounting the engine gauges up by the binnacle that's just under the engine, where the ignition and starter buttons are. I've got a Tinytac for the rev counter, and the only other gauges are the water temp and the EGT. I haven't decided yet how I'll mount those, but I'll see if I can make up a mounting plate that will allow me to have the temp gauge on the inlet side and the EGT on the exhaust side. I'll show you what I end up with when I've done it.


    rear left small.jpgfront right small.jpgfront left small.jpgrear right small.jpgIMG_20180611_210013.jpg
    Last edited by BobH; 09-09-20 at 19:35 PM.
    XL's forever! Well, one of them anyway. It's all I can afford, not to mention the Raven and the Mini-Max. Oh, and I almost forgot the Spectrum as well


  3. #133
    Co-Pilot BobH's Avatar
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    Update,

    Spent the afternoon at the airfield yesterday, refitting the pod. You'd think it would be straightforward, but it was anything but! I had to remove the front wheel first of all, well that's pretty obvious, but then that leaves the front forks pointing down, and the two rudder pedals pointing up, and trying to manoeuvre the pod over these sticky out objects wasn't as easy as you'd think. At one point the pod refused to go any further, so I walked round to the side of it to find out what it was catching on. At that point the bloody thing pivoted, just as I put my face forward over the side of the cockpit coaming. Up it came, and hit me in the lip, splitting it. So for the next five minutes I had to try to stop the bleeding before I could continue.

    Having saved myself from bleeding to death over the pod I gently nudged the thing around till it got past whatever was stopping it from moving and eventually managed to get it more or less where it's supposed to be. Having got it there I had to keep it in the right position, and I found that a bungy on each side at the back, slung over the upper keel tube and hooked under the rear edge of the cockpit each side, kept it at the right height at the back, while I got on the floor and pushed the pod around at the front until the two mounting brackets were over the rudder bar extensions they were to bolt to.

    I wish I could say that after that it was just a doddle, but it wasn't. With the front forks in position, most of the large hole in the bottom of the pod is occupied, so trying to get one arm, let alone two arms up into the pod, while sat on the floor under it, so that I could put a bolt down through the mounting bracket and the rudder bar, then attach a washer and nut, proved to be less than doddle(ish). However, after much swearing under my breath, and with aching back and hip muscles, the job was done, and the pod was securely bolted to the airframe at the front. So now it was time to secure it at the back as well.

    This in itself was also something of an art form. I already had four P shaped brackets on the front two frame uprights that the pod was secured with, so that was no problem, but at the bottom it's a whole different story. You may not have noticed, and indeed I didn't when I first bought the plane, that there's an aluminium sheet rear fuselage thingy that the pod attaches to. I don't know how it was attached originally, but someone before me had obviously had problems with the pod and fuselage not quite reaching each other, so they'd pop riveted a plate across the leading edge of the ally sheet, that overlapped the back end of the pod, and then drilled and bolted the two together.

    Good idea! When it was originally done I'm sure it worked brilliantly. However, over time, the constant movement of the plane on the ground and in the air had led to two things happening. The back edge of the fibreglass pod and the leading edge of the mounting plate both began to deteriorate. Eventually the bolt holes at the trailing edge of the pod became V shaped cutaways, and the trapped nuts the original installer had used for tidiness had now become not so trapped. Indeedd, they spun easily in the ally sheet, so trying to get the bolts out proved to be impossible, and the only way I could remove them was with a cutting disk and a drill.

    So now I have an ally fuselage sheet with a pop riveted mounting plate along the leading edge of it that has very large holes in it and scuff marks from the cutting disk. Great! Add to this the V shaped cutaways in the trailing edge of the pod, and suddenly I'm left with the challenge of connecting these two bits of plane. Luckily I happen to have some 6mm bolts and some very large penny washers, so they were utilised with some success in this instance, and I only hope that the plane doesn't flex too much or they'll pull apart and you'll be able to hear the ringing of the penny washers, like windchimes in the breeze, as I slowly fly overhead at 2,000ft.

    Anyway, I digress. The pod was now physically secured to the airframe everywhere it was supposed to be, so now I turned my attention to the wiring of it. This consisted mainly of wiring up the throttle cable to the quadrant. Simple job, but with the design of the pod, not quite as easy as it might otherwise be, and quite tedious. It involved me first of all bending over the side of the pod trying to peer up under the left side of the cockpit coaming, and then sitting in the cockpit, bent forward and trying to get two hands up under a molding that seemed to have been designed by a midget with very loooong slender fingers. Needless to say I got there in the end, but my sense of humour was rapidly fading with the light as the evening drew in.

    So then I set about putting the new screen on as my parting gift, and this went quite well, as I'd already done a trial fitment at home, before separating the two things to get them into the car.

    With everything now wired up and ready to go I happily climbed into the cockpit once more, put the key in the ignition and turned the key, then pressed the starter button.

    Nothing, nada, zilch, just a deafening silence, was all that greeted me as I sat there in the fading light. So I was denied the pleasure of hearing the 462 coughing into life and scaring the local wildlife that live in the earth bank my plane is parked next to. Instead they got to sleep in their warm dark burrows for yet another night, with only the sound of a human voice muttering in pure and unadulterated anglo-saxon at the injustices of life and aviation!

    Ah well, life is a learning curve they say and I just wish mine was beginning to flatten out a bit. At 70 years old, climbing the steep bit of the curve is getting somewhat tiresome, and it's getting harder and harder to find the energy, the enthusiasm, and the motivation, to carry on climbing. Let's just hope that when I get up to the field again, the cause of the lack of engine life will be simple to diagnose and cure, and the plane will roar into life once more, like a pouncing panther, thrusting through the stinging thorns and clinging vines, to catch its prey and feast on the flesh of the fatted pig. No, hang on a minute! I've got my metaphores muddled up, the engine is supposed to roar into life and proclaim to the world that the Spectrum is back in business. The business of flying majestically around and scaring the local birds of prey with its enormous 40ft wingspan and screaming little 2 stroke. That's more like it!

    I've added some photos of the transformation of the plane from skeleton to skin, for your edification and delight.


    pod on front right.jpgpod and wheel on front right small.jpgpod wheel and screen on front right small.jpg
    Last edited by BobH; 11-09-20 at 13:29 PM.
    XL's forever! Well, one of them anyway. It's all I can afford, not to mention the Raven and the Mini-Max. Oh, and I almost forgot the Spectrum as well

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  5. #134
    Trainee Pilot Mike Calvert's Avatar
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    That sounds like a properly frustrating/satisfying/frustrating day! Fingers crossed whichever wire was disturbed by the whole cowl saga that is preventing the engine starting will be with reach of a normal non midget-cum-contortionist


  6. #135
    Co-Pilot BobH's Avatar
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    The problem was a fuse. In my rush to get the pod wired yesterday I twisted together a pair of wires that were hanging down next to the front upright. Little did I realise that those wires were the power wires for my Pilot 3. So when I put the key in the ignition and turned it, the main fuse went. Doh!! I didn't have any fuses with me yesterday, so I couldn't have fixed it anway. However, this morning I made sure to take the kitchen sink and some fuses.

    So I changed the fuse, wired in the power connector for the Pilot 3, checked that the system now had power, and pressed the starter button. This time it did spin over, but so slowly it couldn't have disturbed the skin on an anaemic rice pudding! The thing is, I didn't have a spare battery with me for the plane, and neither did I have any jump leads so that I could at least try to get it started from the car battery. So I gave up and came home. Now I've dug out the jump leads, and the spare battery (which is currently on charge!) and I'll be going up to the field tomorrow well armed with everything I can think of regarding starting a 2 stroke engine.
    XL's forever! Well, one of them anyway. It's all I can afford, not to mention the Raven and the Mini-Max. Oh, and I almost forgot the Spectrum as well


  7. #136
    Trainee Pilot Mike Calvert's Avatar
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    Oh the joys! It's a bit like me doing work on my bike or car, always need something I didn't think to bring out, so I wear a trail back and forth between the car and the garage, gradually accumulating easily twice as many tools and things than I started with

    Fingers crossed you have everything you need next time - and don't forget the foot pump for the tryres, and the spare oil, fuel.... kitchen sink...


  8. #137
    Training Captain Gentreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    ..........However, this morning I made sure to take the kitchen sink and some fuses...........
    Unfortunately you can't charge or jump-start a battery with a kitchen sink
    The three most useless things in aviation:
    • The air above you.
    • The runway behind you.
    • The fuel in the bowser.


    Rule #1: Always tie-down your aircraft to the largest heaviest object available. The planet Earth meets these requirements and is readily available in all locations.
    Rule #2: The great thing about twin engined aircraft is, if one engine fails, the other engine always has just enough power to get you to the scene of the crash.
    Rule #3: You can never have too much fuel in an aircraft. Unless it's on fire.

    Semper specto in clara parte vitae.

    .


  9. #138
    Co-Pilot BobH's Avatar
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    Gentreau,

    You're absolutely right!! However, I charged up a 19 amp/hr battery I happen to have sitting in the garage, and took that up with me today. I used it to get the engine going, and once it was up and running, I swapped the leads back to the original battery. I really need to get the original battery off and take it home to put it on charge for a day or so, but as I still need to do my hours I need to take advantage of the weather we're having for the next few days to try and get my hours covered.

    Anyway, after lots of faffing about I managed to get the engine running smoothly, fitted the Tinytac (chinese copy, but works well) and ran the engine up for a while to blow the cobwebs out of the exhaust, and there were a few! So then it was time to try and see if all the work I'd done on it was worth it or not. So I fitted my Pilot 3, togged myself up in my flying suit and helmet, and taxied up and down the runway for a few times, just to see if I could remember what all the sticks and pedals did. Luckily I seem to have remembered, so once I began to relax a bit I decided to see if I could remember how to fly.

    Well, it seems my muscle memory is still working, because as soon as I pushed the throttle quadrant forward everything just fell into place, and within seconds I was climbing out over the trees as though I'd been flying yesterday. In truth I haven't flown since the end of August last year, so I was surprised that it all just seemed to click straight away after a lay off of over a year. I was even more surprised that once I'd settled in to flying the plane without having to think about it, I was able to land it smoothly as well. In fact I did three flights in all and knocked up a full hour, and all three flights ended with smooth landings too! Nice!!

    The plane is absolutely filthy from sitting under a tree for a year, so I have to wash the whole thing down, and then go round and make sure everything is well lubricated so that there's no possiblity of rust creeping in anywhere. I also have to do the same to the left hand lower mounting bracket for the front strut as I did for the right hand one last year, i.e. make up a new cross sleeve and fit it. This is because there's some movement at the joint between the bottom of the left front upright tube and the airframe. It's a bit of a weak spot on the airframe, and it takes a hammering every time the plane is taxied or landed, so will need watching for any future wear as well once I've modified it like I did the other one.

    I've added a photo I took of the plane after the first flight I did this evening, as I was pleased that it all came together at last, and I wanted to remember the moment.

    She flies.jpg
    Last edited by BobH; 12-09-20 at 23:55 PM.
    XL's forever! Well, one of them anyway. It's all I can afford, not to mention the Raven and the Mini-Max. Oh, and I almost forgot the Spectrum as well

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  11. #139
    Co-Pilot BobH's Avatar
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    It was too hot on Monday to do much, but when I did go up to the airfield I spent all my time washing the wings on the plane as they were filthy. Dead bugs, dead leaves, bird poo, twigs, you name it, it was there on the wings. I used two buckets of water and quite a lot of Flash on the wings to get back to the paint underneath it all, and even then they needed another going over this morning before I could do anything else.

    However, once cleaned I turned my attention to other little matters, such as the ASI that I'd fitted. It's a nice big 3" one, but it's in Kts, not MPH, and when I flew with it, it would only go up to around 35kts. To get it to go up to 40kts I had to dive the plane very steeply, so not really practical for my use. So I had to dig out a couple of smaller 57mm ones that I happened to have. One of them seems to have something like beads of water or oil in it that look like condensation inside the glass. I put it in the airing cupboard for a week hoping it would evaporate away, but it hasn't. So I had to use the other one.

    Luckily, once fitted it worked fine, and I now know that my plane flies around at about 55mph at 5,000 revs, which is about what I expected it to, as that's what it used to fly round at before I mothballed it. The only problem I have now is that my stop watch has given up the ghost, so I'll see what I can get hold of tomorrow morning before I try to head off anywhere.
    XL's forever! Well, one of them anyway. It's all I can afford, not to mention the Raven and the Mini-Max. Oh, and I almost forgot the Spectrum as well


  12. #140
    Co-Pilot BobH's Avatar
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    Snuck in another half hour this evening. It was windy though!

    I took off into a clear blue sky and was amazed to see that my groundspeed was registering on the Pilot 3 as 27mph, meanwhile, my ASI was showing 55mph! So, a headwind of around 27mph. It stayed like that too as I sailed majestically around the North of St Albans, with a groundspeed of 78mph and an airspeed of 50mph. Then came the turn into wind once more, and the numbers were suddenly reversed. Now I was showing around 60mph on the ASI and 35mph on the Pilot 3. Still, it gave me plenty of time to line up on our 05 runway. The only tricky bit was getting past the big trees that demark the Western end of our 05, and with a 40' wingspan to manoeuvre between them, it was "interesting" to say the least. Still, I managed it, and once past them the runway loomed ahead, green and clear, and as I got closer to it, the air stabilised, so that I ended up doing a really nice landing. Then again, with a groundspeed of less than 30mph, I would have had lots of room to pull it back if things had started to go a bit strange. As it was nothing did go awry, and I rolled to a stop barely half way along the runway without using the brake at all.

    So then it was down into the Dell, to park the plane and try (repeat TRY!) to get the covers on. It took me ages to get the tarps over the wings. Every time I managed to get one end onto the wing, the other end would fly off. Eventually I got wise and used bungees through the tie down holes and across under the wing to hold the tarp in place as I pulled it round into position. Then I used a combination of straps and bungees to hold each tarp in place, and eventually, after battling for nearly an hour, the plane was covered. Phew!

    It's due to be windy tomorrow, but a little less so on Sunday, then Monday looks like it could be quite flyable, Wednesday also, but Thursday and sadly Friday (my 70th birthday!) don't look very promising at all. Which is a shame, because I do like to go for a flight on my birthday if I can.
    XL's forever! Well, one of them anyway. It's all I can afford, not to mention the Raven and the Mini-Max. Oh, and I almost forgot the Spectrum as well


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