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What did you do on your airplane project today?

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TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
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13,463
Location
Memphis, TN
No, only because I am trying to cut some weight. Its done in silver Polytone same color as Polyspray. One less coat of each with plenty of UV still. The turtle deck will be red. Waiting for weather and time to merge to paint. Side panels will be bare aluminum with some red trim. See if I can pull off a 30's look. The aluminum panels were all going to be bare to minimize the weight, but stripping the sides, cockpit and bottom was so miserable with whatever it has on it, I decided it would be smarter to paint the cowl and other parts the proper color. Red turned out pretty good for a $10 quart at the Aeromart durring Oshkosh. Its really going to be more patchwork than show. Goal is dumping 100 lbs, but 50 would be a triumph.
 

gtae07

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Dec 13, 2012
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2,001
Location
Savannah, Georgia
Been sick for a couple days but went back out and bent a couple more fuel lines last night. Almost done plumbing the wings to the fuel selector.
 

Lucrum

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Jun 10, 2008
Messages
956
Location
Canton, GA
Mounted both MLG strut wheel and brake assemblies for the first time
Still no up/down locks or retraction/extension mechanisms
That's nextMLG on frame.jpg
 

gtae07

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Dec 13, 2012
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2,001
Location
Savannah, Georgia
Wing-to-fuel-selector lines are finished. Inboard tank mount brackets are drilled. Now I'm fitting and drilling the wing root fairings and documenting the rest of the systems installations there, with the expectation that I'll be pulling the wings back off in just over a week. Then I'll be able to move around my shop again.

Next up: Fit and rig the empennage, fix the air compressor, and install rudder pedals. Then fuel pump, more fuel and smoke system plumbing, and some panel structure.

Finish kit is ordered and expected beginning of May.
 

don january

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Feb 10, 2015
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2,829
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Midwest
Today I went and looked my plane over to see what to do next so I picked tailwheel area, I attempted to drill a hole in my tail spring off the KR-2 and realized just how shot my drill bits are.:gig: I don't know what smells better the wood burning or the drill bit smoking. I'm actually at a point to gather more ply and Alum and that is always a pain with the waiting game.:cry: But it did feel good to do something on the plane today.
 

Toobuilder

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Jan 19, 2010
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4,864
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Mojave, Ca
With the lower cowl/aftbody fairing pretty well roughed out, I started looking at the new gear leg fairings and wheelpants.

This is the first time the old wheelpants have seen the new brackets I built too many months ago. They fit pretty well. The gear leg fairings were the product of many attempts by my neighbor to get his Rocket legs right. He has become a regular production facility and he cranked out a set for me. Nice looking carbon pieces.



This shot shows why I have the slab sided lower cowl. The angle is deliberate to allow a neat 90 degree angle to the gear leg which means the intersection fairing needs no fillet. Simple, light, low drag.

 
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Monty

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Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Messages
1,294
Location
Fayetteville, AR / USA
Come on, don't be shy. What'ya get? :gig:

What do you get if you cross an elephant and a rhinoceros????


Elephino!!


A mongrel...name as yet undetermined. It's an incomplete Graham Super Midget if any of you are familiar. I plan to do unholy things to it...when I can find the time! It will definitely be on the slow burn path to completion....I figured somebody had to have multiple crazy projects besides Toobuilder....He should change his name to Threebuilder!

Monty
 

Toobuilder

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Jan 19, 2010
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Mojave, Ca
Crazy?!! Do mean to imply that having to duck and weave through a hangar like Indiana Jones exploring an ancient tomb is crazy?

Is the new mongrel going to see a BMW V-12 on the nose?
 
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Monty

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Jul 15, 2010
Messages
1,294
Location
Fayetteville, AR / USA
Sure. Move the firewall back to the spar, hang the V-12. Easy!
It might not be that bad...the Graham has a stretched, reinforced tailcone. There are two or three more bulkheads vs the regular midget. One of these is at the forward attach for the empennage, and another in the middle of the tail cone (something the midget needed). It has two more feet of wing/flap span vs the standard midget. The wing loading is 12 vs 14 lb/ft2. The center spar is totally different. The spars go all the way to the center with a fitting spanning the two with a lot of small diameter bolts similar to the RV center section. This eliminates the stress concentration problem the midget has with only two wing attach bolts. The airplane is sized for an O360. The weight difference between the O360 with CS prop/old electrics and the V12 is really not that much. Maybe 50 or 60 lbs depending on how it's configured. If I move the fuel out of the fuselage and to the wings, the bending on the spar should be about the same.

I'll have to check all this obviously, but I'm pretty sure it will pencil out-having run the numbers on the standard Midget before. The good news is the fuselage is only finished to the seat back, so I can adjust the wing FS if needed. I can also go with either wing-mount/Spitfire, or aft fuselage/Mustang type rad depending on CG.

This particular aircraft has a P-51D style canopy and retracts from a Swift. I would have preferred a fastback, but I can live with it :gig:
 

Toobuilder

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The fastback mod is not too hard even with a finished airplane, and with any luck you can cut down the existing canopy.

...should only add, oh, 6 months to the project if my record of estimating "simple" modifications follows current trends.
 

Monty

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Jul 15, 2010
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1,294
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Fayetteville, AR / USA
The fastback mod is not too hard even with a finished airplane, and with any luck you can cut down the existing canopy.

...should only add, oh, 6 months to the project if my record of estimating "simple" modifications follows current trends.
:roll:

I'm OK with the bubble canopy....
 

Marc W

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Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Messages
519
Location
Colorado
I haven't posted my progress in a while. I am almost ready to fly this bird. The airplane is at the hanger. I finished rigging the ailerons, connecting pitot/static lines and the new weight and balance today. I was very weight conscious during the rebuild and modification I did. I added some weight in places, for example, I added a remote oil filter and a larger airbox with more baffling. However I saved 11 lbs. by replacing the old lead acid battery with an EarthX battery. The net result is the empty weight is 3 lbs. less than it was before the rebuild and the CG barely moved.

Assembled.jpg

The weather is supposed to clear tomorrow and I will run the engine for the first time and perform a compression check. I have a condition inspection scheduled in two weeks. Meanwhile I am going to get more tailwheel refresher training.
 

Marc W

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Mar 31, 2017
Messages
519
Location
Colorado
I did run the engine today. It did not go smoothly. First I ran the battery down cranking the engine to get oil pressure before I started it. It was still cranking fine but the EarthX batteries have circuitry that shuts them off when the voltage gets to low. So I put it on the charger and we went to lunch. Battery was in good shape when we got back but the engine wouldn't fire. There was gas in the gascolator but none in the float bowl on the Zenith carb. The carb has a drain plug and I was able to determine the float was free through the drain hole. Of course that doesn't tell you if the needle is free but it would be a major project to pull the carb and check the needle.

The fuel tank was totally dry this morning and I bought one gallon of gas to put in it. I didn't want to put anymore in until I was sure it didn't leak. The plane has two Facet fuel pumps that are plumbed in line. There is a selector switch so you only run one pump at a time. Both fuel pumps had run normally when I first tested them this morning. Neither one would run normally this afternoon. They sounded very weak. You could barely hear them. I took the bowl off the gascolator and there was only a weak dribble from the pumps. I borrowed a voltmeter and the pumps were both getting over 13 volts when on. I then disconnected the fuel line from tank to pumps and verified that the gas was getting to the pumps. I had a good free flow there. So I bypassed the pumps and gascolator by running a hose directly from the tank to the carb inlet. She fired right up! It ran smooth and sounded good!

Running.jpg

I don't know what happened to the Facet pumps. They sounded fine until they got gas in them. They have been sitting dry since July 2014. I guess they don't like that. So it looks like I need to install two new pumps. I am also going to install a parallel gravity feed line to the carb. I will either put a check valve in it or just a on/off valve in it so I can select it if the Facet pumps quit.

It was a cool day today with temps in the 40's. I tried to run the engine long enough to get the temperatures up. The CHT eventually got to about 325 degrees. The oil temp gauge never left the peg which is at 120 degrees. The crankcase, oil lines and filter were just warm so I don't think the gauge lied. I can block the inlet air to the oil cooler but I wonder if that is enough to get the oil temps up?
 
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