June 27, 2009

Excellent day!

In more ways than one. It’s been a bit of a scorcher and as I type this we’re paying for that. It started with a few rolls of thunder then it went from rain to hail and it’s now back to a steady downpour. But I also had an excellent day as far as MYRO is concerned.

I wanted to feel that I was moving forward constructively so I thought I’d make a start by fitting the new engine mountings, the voltage rectifier and the starter solenoid. The latter two items I got from Mark at Galaxy and when I had a look at them a few days ago, I found that both had slightly rusty screws fixing them to the bracket on which they are mounted. I had given them a couple of blasts of WD-40 in the hope that this would ease them as both had to be removed to get access to the bolts holding the bracket to the main tube and it had worked a treat.

I was slightly concerned about the new engine mountings though. Because the engine tries to rotate in the opposite direction to the propeller, one set of mountings has to go on top of the engine brackets and the other set underneath. The engine brackets are made from a 90 deg section alloy extrusion and because the dimensions are limited, the mountings that go underneath must have the edge that goes against the upright of the bracket trimmed off. When I fitted them, however, I found that even with the edges trimmed, both mountings sat slightly proud of the surface on that side because they still slightly fouled the inner curve of the extrusion. I found that the scope for further trimming was rather limited so I gave one a bit of a file to get it to sit down as far as I could, which was about the same as the other did anyway, and fitted them both. Most likely nobody else would have worried about it! Here are a couple of pics showing this part of the day’s work.

null

null

By the way, the other unit that’s mounted on two brackets behind the engine is the fuel pump.

Now, I haven’t yet got the official go-ahead to replace the screen and door plastics but the job will have to be done anyway, so I thought I’d make a start. Step one was to take the doors off which was easy enough as they are mounted on piano-type hinges with a long pin that’s inserted from the top and goes through the length of the hinge. By removing the pins, the doors come straight off.

Step two was removing the screen. The screen is attached to the fuselage upright tubes with cable ties so those only needed cutting with a Stanley knife. It’s also attached to the pod with a combination of plastic bolts and cable ties and I was pleasantly surprised to find that because a flat of each inner nut was against the inner upper surface of the instrument panel, all of the plastic bolts could be removed single-handedly from the outside. Snipping the cable ties then freed-up the complete instrument panel which could then be carefully removed. Once again, here are a few pics of this stage of the work.

null

null

null

I’d originally thought about removing the pod completely to do any renovations and renewals to it conveniently off the airframe. However, I thought that if I just removed the pedal assembly, which needs a bit of de-rusting and repainting, this would give me enough access to the interior of the pod to do all of the work I needed to do. So out came the pedals.

But then I got to thinking again. I doubt anyone will have this much of a chance ever again to do the thorough job on MYRO that it needs. So should I remove the pod after all? I agonised for some time, as it meant removing the front forks and wheel as well as four pod mounts, two undercarriage trailing links and the ties between the rear of the pod and the bottom of the fuselage covers. Then I recalled the advice I gave to someone a few days ago about something they were worried about doing, which was, ‘Just Go For It!’ So that’s what I did and here are the resulting pics.

null

null

Once I’d got it off I knew that I’d done the right thing. It’ll be easy now to clean and renovate the pod itself, and I might even go through with my original idea of having it re-sprayed. Have to be careful about the weight though. And now cleaning and repainting the pod floor tubes will be a doddle as well.

So that was the end of day one and I was really pleased with the progress I’d made, despite the large numbers of small boys who all wanted to know what I was working on and what I was doing. Taken all round, an excellent day 😀