[August 2, 2010]

Today was the day.....time to see if I can make my airplane make noise, instead of me making it. I got to the hangar nice and early to take care of working on the wingtips. I had pretty much everything taken care of for the first engine start, airplane wise, so I used the time to take care of some of the many loose ends. I secured the plastic cutting board block I made to the wingtip rib. I then marked where the hinge pins would pass through.

I used a #40 bit and made some holes about 3/4 of the way through the block. For some reason my airdrill was misbehaving. It would work when I pulled the trigger initially when I plugged it into the air supply (insert joke about the band Air Supply here). I didn't bother messing around with it too much beyond putting some oil in it. I would much rather it have issues now then, say, the middle of the wings.

With the holes drilled and the wingtip hinges trimmed down, the blocks worked perfectly. Simple, secure, CHEAP - a perfect solution. My friends at the airport have the callsign of "HALF PRICE" for me for these kinds of reasons.

Bill Rogers yesterday recommended I log all the engine data my EFIS spit out for the first start. Great idea! I inserted a 1 GB USB stick into the primary GRT screen.

OK, so with that done my friends started appearing from the edges of the airport for my 5:00pm planned start. Steve Heaton (RV-4) showed up first and we talked airport politics and RV's for a while. Then Mike Rollison (RV-6) and Jack Savage (RV-4 and -8) showed up. Non-RV family and friends also showed up included my Dad, Bill, my roommate Neal and my girlfriend Christina. Mike R and Steve went over my firewall forward thoroughly and spotted a couple of things I should take care of (minor rubbing and routing issues mainly). Nothing critical to first start. Next we went over my first engine start checklist and Mike recommended instead of doing a run up to 1700 RPM and a mag check on the first run, to just run the engine for 2 minutes, check for oil, then another runup more like I had planned (I will post more details of my runup later, since I found a little lack of instruction online).

With that we moved the airplane out and tied its tail to Mike R's pickup and chocked the wheels. I got in and went over my checklist. Clear prop! The engine fired up, caught, but died soon. Tried to start again but nothing. Oops, forgot to prime the fuel system on that second start. Third start it caught and died soon after. Fourth start attempt the same thing. All the sudden Mike R shouts "Did you push the mixture forward???". Crap. Lots of laughter. Fifth start she stayed started! First thing I noticed was the tach appeared to be about twice as fast as the engine speed. So for the runup, I kept her at 2,000 RPM indicated, which would be 1,000RPM actual. Also my CHT for #3 was dead and EGT for #4 was dead. We kept running anyways and Mike signaled me to check for idle cutoff. The engine wanted to die so I kept it running up to about 1400 RPM indicated (700 actual) and pulled the mixture back slowly. The engine slowly increased in speed as it was leaned out (expected) and then died. After some pondering about the EGT/CHT issue, I popped the RV gin and have a round of handshakes.

After the engine shutdown, my bloodhound gang of oil leak seekers went to work. They found one drip coming out of the quick drain, and I found a small drip on the bottom of the governor pad. I am going to keep an eye on the governor pad drip and probably buy some sort of cap for the quick drain. I like the belt and suspenders method for the quick drain anyways. It seemed too easy to let oil out of the sump as it was.

The EGT and CHT temp issue was easily fixed because the cheap nylon wirewrap I used actually depressed the connectors latches and caused them to be disconnected. I cut the old junk off and reconnected the connectors. We also researched the tach issue and it just seemed to be I had the setting wrong. After some debate I conceded to letting the "experts" tell me what the setting should be, and also knew I could change it if they were wrong.

After we let the engine cool down a bit, I jumped back in and started it again. Much better start the second time around. We checked the idle speed first and Mike R adjusted the setting to around 750RPM. We ran the engine up to 1700 RPM and did a mag check. Both the MAG and EMAG both produced about a 200 RPM drop each. I was surprised the MAG drop was so much, because I would think the EMAG would produce a much hotter spark. Up to 1800 RPM and I purged the air out of the propeller hub until I saw a 100 RPM drop when I pulled the prop control back.

Third start of the day was a static RPM check. Throttle full forward baby. Wow, without a canopy it was quite a windtunnel in the RV! 2710 RPM was the most I saw on this run.

This crew is Neal, Christina and my Dad, Bill.

Here is where my EGT connector issue was. Very simple fix.

Oil on the exhaust pipe.....

And it was all coming from here. Quick drain was dripping.

My friend Neal took these great pictures of my project (he also filmed the engine starts).

This set of pictures is from my Dad's camera. It was great having other people photograph what was going on so I didn't have to worry about it.

By far my favorite picture of the day. Notice how I dressed up the the occasion - shorts that used to be long pants, 10 year old free T-shirt from an IT convention, and an old pair of shoes with blue marine bottom paint all over them.



Last Modified: September 4, 2017