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[December 3, 2011]


Today I wrapped up the annual inspection of N987MB. Before I put the cowling on, I tossed on the oil cooler blocker since the weather is turning colder. It's amazing how long it takes to install all of the plenum, cowling, wheelpants, leg fairings and internal covers. After some quick inspection notes in the airframe logbook, the RV is ready to go until 12/31/2012!


So it was about 3:45pm and the sun was getting low in the sky. The winds were very calm and it was a perfect day to be airborne. I figure I'd knock the dust off the wings and take her for a few touch and go's. It has been over 3 months since I last flew (August 31), so I was going over in my head all the speeds and settings needed.

I pulled up to the end of the runway and waited for the oil temps to get to 100. Once they got there the run-up of the engine was flawless. I pulled onto the runway and slowly advanced the throttle. I don't know whether it was perception or not, but the RV seemed to be a lot faster than I remember. It was climbing at 2700 RPM at 100 kts. Usually I climb out at 90 kts, but it wasn't really necessary! I was at pattern altitude by the end of the runway. While turning downwind I noticed my airspeed was at 146 kts!

My second takeoff had similar performance. On the third and fourth takeoffs I thought I heard the engine surging. However the RPM and manifold pressures were solid. I am thinking it was just something in my head.

So I don't know how to explain the new power of the engine. Perhaps it's just in my head. I will have to run some more climb tests and max speed runs to see. The other two things I "fixed" was the intake connector tubes and the loose fuel line into the firewall.

I am thinking that the loose fuel line had something to do with the performance loss. I have a high fuel flow alarm of 20 GPH set on my EFIS. This is so if I develop a fuel leak, the EFIS will let me know as the engine should never consume this much fuel. I did notice on takeoff this alarm would go off. The first time I noticed it, I immediately decowled the RV and looked for any fuel leaks. I didn't find any. So I don't know how a fuel fitting which was a tad bit loose could cause higher fuel flow rates to be detected. Perhaps the fuel fitting was loose enough to allow air in, but now fuel out?

I also recharged my SIM card for my remote-controlled engine block heater.

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