September 27, 2009

Rather frustrating week-end

I trimmed the bottom of the screen back to the rear edge of the pod on the passenger side so both sides matched and got the passenger door on without too many problems. I then did what I should have done before I started heaving and yanking the other door, which was drill through the pod and screen and insert a small pop rivet with washers both sides to pull the edge of the screen back onto the pod. Then the door cleared it and closed beautifully without coming anywhere near to catching it.

What an idiot I am – if I’d done that originally I wouldn’t have damaged the other door. We certainly learn by our mistakes, don’t we – it’s a pity that some lessons are so painful and costly 😕

I phoned P & M to order a new door tube and Jim said they don’t have them any more. He said the best he could do would be to sell me a metre and a half of 1/2″ tubing which I’d have to bend up myself so I had to agree to that, but I’m not particularly looking forward to the prospect.

I gave the inside of the pod a good old vacuuming out because with all the drilling and trimming it really needed it. Then today I thought I’d knock out my radio interface. Looks like I was rather over-optimistic once again because it took me much longer than I anticipated and at the end of it all, it didn’t work. The intercom side of it worked OK and I could hear the radio through the headset but the PTT (push to talk) button that I made up was as dead as a Dodo. Obviously one of the connections is duff – and I thought I’d made a nice neat job too. I tried the PTT that came with the set up and that didn’t work either and I’m not really surprised because although the system didn’t have one to connect into the radio when I got it, it made sense that it should have done. The PTT lead was there but had been cut back and foolishly I stripped it out as it wasn’t being used when I was getting the system ready to be modified. So now I’ve had to order a length of multi-core cable and a 5 pin DIN plug to make up my own cable with a PTT connection from scratch.

So the week-end started and ended on a frustrating note and I just hope I don’t have too many more like it because time is marching on and the evenings are drawing in now, leaving much less time to get jobs done after the working day.

September 24, 2009

Drat and double drat!

After my earlier post, I did indeed slip out and get cracking on the padding and doors and my aim was to get the left side done today and the right side tomorrow.

I got everything off that I needed to pretty quickly and the first thing I found was that it wouldn’t be possible to slide the new rubber tubing onto the fuselage tubes after all. The internal diameter of the tubing is just too close to the tube diameter. You’d never be able to slide a whole metre length on, but it wasn’t hard slitting one side down with a large pair of sharp scissors and it looked OK when fitted.

Anyway, I got it cable-tied into place and then lined the door up. The left hand door has always been low at the front and high at the rear so I decided to be bold and as I am making up complete new hinge plates anyway, trim the lower edge of the screen back as it is quite a bit proud of the back edge of the pod. Then I drilled the new hinge plates and fitted the door. Result – pretty good. It was now much more level than before and the new hinge looked very neat and strong. Only one problem – as before, the bottom of the door tended to catch the edge of the screen when you opened and closed it.

So I pulled and pushed to get the amount of movement I needed for it to clear, and it just about did so. So, clever me, I decided to give the bottom a last yank over my knee – and snapped it at a rivet hole 😕

Suffering cats, the job’s done and now I’ve knackered the door tube. Now I’ll have to order a replacement from P & M and I hope to goodness it doesn’t come pre-drilled for pop rivets because if it does, you can bet the holes won’t line up with the ones drilled through the new door plastic for the old tube. So I end up solving one problem and creating another. I’m cheesed off to say the least 😯

And do you know what? The new padding didn’t make that much difference to the space in the cabin anyway…

September 24, 2009

Just waiting…

for the few more odd bits I’ve ordered for my radio interface to arrive (I can’t hear the doorbell from the garage as I’ve found several times to my cost) and then, as I’ve now also got the aluminium for the hinge plates, I’m going to do some work on the tube padding and doors. In fact the weather is SOooooo good for flying today that I thought of giving Rosie a ring and doing an hour or so in MZEL but although I’d love to, I think the time would be better spent working on MYRO. Mind you, I need to get down to the strip again at some time just to check that MYRO’s wings are still OK – I’m sure they are, though.

I’ve been doing a bit more thinking about MYRO’s pod graphic and I’ve come up with what I hope will be the final version. I’ve simplified the background by bringing the two sections together which removes the gap that rather confused the issue and slightly enhanced the wording. It’s shown below as a mock-up – see what you think.

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I think that’ll have to be it – I’m now totally out of inspiration 😕

Oh… there’s the doorbell now 😀

September 22, 2009

Lovely stuff!

The three lengths of foam tube that I ordered from the company near Maidstone arrived today. It is excellent in appearance, of very high quality with lovely thin walls. It’ll make for a really nice job. I wish I’d known about it before but the trouble is, unless you’ve done something like this previously, you don’t know what pitfalls you might fall into. It looks so nice that I’m thinking that rather than slitting it along its length and wrapping it around the tubes, like I did with the pipe insulation, I might release the tops of the two fuselage tubes (again!) and slide it on. It’ll take longer but it’ll look so much better. Now all I need is the aluminium sheet to make the new hinge brackets out of which is on its way (yes, you’ve guessed it, off Ebay) and I can go ahead with the job of removing and replacing the thick padding. Be nice if I could find the odd hour during this week so I can have it done before the week-end 😉

September 21, 2009

Graphic language…

… is what I feel like using!

As you can’t get hold of the official AX3 pod transfer any more, I’ve been playing around with designs for a vinyl graphic to stick on each side of the pod. I’ve created (and rejected) dozens over the past few weeks and I’m now rapidly becoming paranoid because whenever I design one I like, when I next look at it, I don’t 😕

I asked the guys on the BMAA forum what they thought but haven’t had any useful pointers, really, so as of now I’m stuck with my ‘preferred’ choice. Before I go any further, I knocked out a couple of examples on my laser printer, cut them out and stuck them on one side. The smaller one looked silly and the one I’m currently running with is shown below.

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Amazingly, the graphic shown is a metre long! I think that’s a little bit too big, but the general conclusion I’ve come to is that you won’t be able to really tell what it will look like until the engine and everything else is fitted and possibly even the wings too. By way of comparison, here’s how my original photo mock-up looked.

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Not too different, is it? But the lettering needs to be smaller, I think, and the body of the background made ‘fatter’ vertically, to look more like the original.

The Vertex car charger arrived today so I’ll be able to start work on the radio/intercom system now. I also ordered the three lengths of thinner foam tubing. I couldn’t arrange to see them first because the supplier said that my order was below their minimum value anyway but they’d process it if I just put it through on the Internet. Alright for some eh? Minimum order values in these straitened times – what luxury 😀

September 20, 2009

Chill-out kind of a day

I thought I might as well use today to clear up all those nitty-gritty little jobs that you always leave and say that you’ll do later but often never get round to. First I nipped down to B & Q to buy some aluminium for my new hinge plates and a pack of stick-on draught excluder to go along the bottom edge of the cabin top plastic where the doors come into contact with it. B & Q’s was rubbish and I got exactly what I was looking for from Wickes. Foolishly I didn’t measure the dimensions of the hinge plates and the small sheet of aluminium I bought turned out to be too narrow so I’ll have to look for another source for that one.

I’m glad to say, though, that the sum total of what I achieved today was very satisfying. I replaced the cable-ties holding the fuel cock to improve the appearance, cable-tied in the radio aerial lead to make it nice and tidy and fitted a specially cut piece of 1mm polycarbonate to cover a 6″ gap that exists in the middle between the seats between the back of the pod and the fuselage rear cover. It’s something I had in mind to do because I lost a retractable chinagraph pencil out of the bottom of MYRO when I was flying months ago and my solution will help to avoid that kind of thing happening again.

I also fitted the nose steering links between the rudder pedals and the front forks. Rosie mentioned ages ago that there are two types and that once when she ordered some replacements the ones that arrived were too long. I was disappointed to find that the ones off MYME suffered from the same problem and I guess that must mean that MYME’s pedal assembly must have been positioned slightly further back than MYRO’s. Maybe Cyclone received a complaint from long-legged pilots that they couldn’t get in! Anyway, there’s always a silver lining… because one of the old ones had a little bit of surface rust on it, I cleaned it up and gave both a coat of white Hammerite. Very nice – a big improvement on the originals 🙂

But the last thing I did that I was very pleased about was I repaired the little nip on the pod that was caused by the front forks when I first refitted the pod all those weeks ago. I always knew that I should and that if I didn’t and began flying MYRO, the damage, small though it was, would get dirty and then it would be too late.

Well, now I need feel guilty no longer. It’s done… chill man 😉

September 19, 2009

All very frustrating

I took another look today and had a sit inside and I think if I don’t replace the thick padding, I’ll probably regret it later on. It’s very frustrating because I’d hoped to get a lot done this week-end (and the weather is going to be good too) but in the whole scheme of things, what’s another week, really?

I did a quick search on the Web and found a company not far from me, near Maidstone, who sell various foam rubber components, including tubing. From their price list I’d need tube with internal diameter 27mm and 5mm wall thickness, which is less than half the thickness of the padding I’m currently using. It comes in black only in 1m lengths at £10 a time (not cheap!) and I’ll need 3 lengths so I think that’s the way to go. I might even be able to pop down there on Monday if I can find the time, to pick the stuff up so then I won’t feel quite so bad as the time lost will be fairly minimal.

As I couldn’t do much else, and quite frankly I didn’t feel like doing much to be honest, I decided I’d take a look at fitting my radio transceiver and interface. The transceiver is a brand new Vertex VXA-220 that I bought off Ebay from Hong Kong. It’s a superb piece of kit and will be much better than a crumby old semi-obsolete Icom. Been there, done that with Rosie’s 😕

The interface is a used Comunica which I bought with two headsets also off Ebay a couple of weeks ago. I know how to adapt it for my set up but I can’t do the job because a car lead for the Vertex that I bought off Ebay over a week ago, again from Hong Kong, still hasn’t arrived. I only need the angled plug off it (the whole lead only cost £4.50 including postage) but without it it hasn’t been worth starting the job. See what I mean about frustrating?

Anyway, the other day I cut the wide Velcro strips (yes, also off Ebay 🙂 ) that I’ll be using to mount the kit on the panel so I thought I’d see where the best positions for it are. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

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I need to have the transceiver high enough to be able to reach it and see the screen (one of the constant problems with Rosie’s old Icom) but leave enough space so as not to interfere with switches and controls and also not have wire and cable hanging around where someone (me or my passenger) could damage it or inadvertently pull out a plug. More tricky than you might think. Oh yes, and I must also leave enough room for the main placard on the panel as well 😉

September 18, 2009

Mind the doors!

Things were quiet late this afternoon so I thought I’d nip out and see if I could get the other door on. Having worked out a technique when I did the first door, the second one went on pretty quickly. It was again ‘off’ by the same amount as the first door compared to the original and the main conclusion I have come to is that it’s due to my having used thicker padding (good quality central heating lagging) on the cabin tubes that the doors are mounted on. In fact I’m sure that’s the reason. I don’t think it will cause a problem and I’m hoping that the thicker padding will last longer and not become as tatty as the original stuff did.

One interesting thing I found is that because I’d taped the first door closed, when I removed the tape it had developed a ‘memory’ and returned to the closed position much better and more easily after being opened. After I’d done the second door, I did the same thing and I hope that it will do the same as the other one. Here are a few pics showing the finished results.

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Now it really is beginning to look like a proper microlight 😉

I’ll leave this latest door overnight and then see what adjustments are needed. At the moment the bottom isn’t tucking in every time but I’ll see how it is in the morning. The other thing I’ve found is that because the doors swing completely forward when opened, the door plastics come into contact with the nuts on the four little bolts on each side that secure the hinges to the hinge plates, which explains the damage I saw on the old doors. What’s needed is a small, light metal plate to be stuck on the outside of each door plastic so it touches the nuts rather than the plastic, so I’ll look into that tomorrow as well.

I’m just glad that this particular job is finished. However, I’m now facing a dilemma. I’ve only sat in MYRO a couple of times since it all started coming together again and I had the feeling of being a bit cramped that I did not remember from before. I especially found it a bit tight around my left arm that you have to use to operate the throttle and now I’ve realised why. It’s that thick padding – because of it I can now see that I’ve lost something like 1/2″ of cabin width each side compared to with the original thinner material.

The problem is, I’m now always going to know that – and will it affect my enjoyment of MYRO? I don’t know, but I suspect it will 😕

Easy, you say, take out the thick padding and replace it with thin stuff. That will certainly solve some of the problems but it will create others, in particular the cable-tie holes for the hinge plates that have now been drilled through the screen will all be in the wrong places and, what’s more, the wrongly positioned holes will all be visible.

So there’s my dilemma. I know something’s not right, but if I correct it I’ll create other problems. The only way to do a ‘proper’ job is to discard this screen and make another one. That would make things perfect again and wouldn’t cost a lot in financial terms – only £40 or so for the plastic – but it would be costly in terms of time. My guess is that it could put things back by about a fortnight. Plus there’s the disruption – it would mean unbolting the lower fuel pump and pump drain and removing all the bolts holding in the panel, amongst others.

However, I think that after mulling this over for just a few minutes there’s a solution that will avoid all of that. That’s to make up new hinge plates with the cable-tie holes in slightly different positions and to also add cover plates on the outside. The cable-ties will also go through these and they will cover up the incorrect old holes in the screen. I’m sure that will do it and I think the final result will also be perfectly acceptable visually. I think I’m already beginning to breathe a small sigh of relief 😐

September 17, 2009

Could have been much worse…

For most of the summer we had non-stop strong westerly winds down here in the South-East and for the last week or so we’ve had non-stop strong easterlies. The difference is that because the easterlies come to us from over the North Sea they tend to be cold and also accompanied by low level cloud, both of which we’ve had. So the weather has not been very nice at all for several days.

Even so, I’ve tried to do what work I could on MYRO despite the unfavourable conditions. Last night I decided I’d attach the new cabin top plastic in readiness for fitting the doors so I began by doubling up on the padding on the upper parts of the cabin tubes to which the rear of the screen is attached, as had been done originally with MYRO. I especially thought that the extra thickness on the very top sections would be advantageous in helping to encourage the top edge of the screen to sit up, allowing the top edge of the door to tuck under, so that’s how I did it.

After a fair bit of fiddling around with cable-ties the job was completed so before I cleared up and headed back indoors I thought I’d see how a door lined up. I offered up the left-hand door and was stunned to find that it seemed to be a mile out! This was not only unexpected but was also the nightmare I feared most after all the work cutting and assembling the new plastics. After the inital shock had worn off I looked a bit more closely and came to the general conclusion that although the double padding was a good idea, maybe the amount I’d fitted was a bit over the top. So I decided that next time I’d take the double thickness off, fit the doors, and then add the double thickness afterwards rather than before.

So that’s what I did this evening. Off came a whole bunch of cable-ties that I’d only stuck on last night – I find that I keep doing this and the number of cable-ties I’ve wasted must now run into dozens – and off came the extra tube padding. Then I refitted the ties securing the front of the cabin top plastic and tried offering up the left-hand door again. This time it all looked much better – a huge improvement actually. Even so, despite using the old parts as patterns, there were one or two small differences, but nothing that was unacceptable or, more importantly, unsafe.

So I held the door in place with several lengths of wide masking tape, took a deep breath and drilled the screen for the hinge plate. Then I fitted it and attached the door. I could hardly bring myself to try closing it for fear that it wouldn’t, and indeed it didn’t. But nothing too much to worry about. First, my idea of extending the top edge of the door was a good one and looks effective, but I’d taken the extension a bit too far down so it was digging into the tube padding before the door was fully closed. A few minutes work with Stanley knife and file solved that one. Then I found that due to a slight misalignment, the bottom edge of the door was not always tucking in behind the edge of the screen and the pod, so I jiggled things a bit, carefully applied a bit of pressure to the door tube and that seemed to solve that one. If not, I can do a little bit more of the same.

To cut the story short, in the end the door didn’t look at all bad and seemed to open and close at it should, so to finish I cut down the extra tube padding that I’d removed earlier and refitted it. And that’s where I left it. I’m going to add a couple more cable-ties to the rear edge of the screen on the cabin tube to tighten it up and bring it more into the desired shape which will also have the added benefit of encouraging the bottom of the door to tuck in as it should do. So am I relieved? You bet! This was a job that I was a bit worried about as the door fit is absolutely crucial to safety. Was it the nightmare that I expected it to be? No, not really, but it was definitely a bit tricky and needed quite a bit of working out beforehand. In the end I think it could have been much, much worse – but I mustn’t speak too soon as I’ve still got another door to do 😕

Oh yes, a bit of good news to finish on. Having tracked down the provenance of my Arplast prop and liaised with LTS (the UK Arplast agent) and the BMAA, I received an email from Rob in the BMAA Tech Office today saying that the prop has now been approved and I can go ahead and fit it. So just the small matters now of the paperwork and £40 Mod Fee…

September 13, 2009

Doors on? Dream on!

It’s been another very long, tiring week-end. I was going to leave replacing some old, rusty nuts and bolts until after I’d done the doors but I did it instead as the first job on Saturday and as things turned out, I’m glad I did.

There are four bolts, two each on either side of the main tube in the top of the cabin that secure the cockpit side tubes to a bracket on the main tube. These were rusty and when I first started on MYRO, I ordered some replacements from P & M Aviation. However, when I came to fit them a few days ago, although the replacements were as specified in the AX3 Parts List, they were too long.

When I ordered some more items last week, P & M kindly offered to replace the long ones free of charge, which is typical of how I’ve found them throughout the whole project – very helpful and always offering excellent service. So I put the new ones on first.

The other thing I found was that when I replaced the nuts on them several weeks ago now, the thread on one of the two large bolts that pass horizontally through the main tube and secure the engine mounting brackets had stripped. When I ordered a replacement bolt, again several weeks ago, I could not remember which one it was so I ordered two and decided to replace both of them.

Lucky I did, because when I removed the second one, its thread was also very badly worn and most likely would not have lasted for very much longer.

And so I came onto the doors – doors and cabin top plastic actually. I took a few pics of the doors as references as I do so I know how things go back together when I’ve stripped them but mostly they were not suitable for inclusion here. Suffice to say that the left hand side was in considerably worse condition than the right, with lots of little splits, holes in the wrong places and digs out of its edges. The following pic shows the right hand door, the better of the two.

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The multiple drillings in the hinge I could do little about, but I was able to do quite a bit to improve the overall appearance. The main thing was to spray the front and rear door frame tubes, which were a mucky gold, white which will help in my aim of making the cabin as bright as possible.

I also found some right bloomers, which I was able to correct. For example, one of the cross tubes had been put on upside-down and someone had drilled a completely new set of rivet holes. Why would anyone do such a thing 😯

I made up a new left-hand door yesterday and today I did the right-hand and the cabin top plastic. I have to say that I was surprised how long it took – I expected to have the doors made and fitted in a week-end. Dream on! I ran out of time today long before I’d had any chance of even starting to fit them.

The following pic shows the final results.

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I’m pleased with the way they’ve turned out – I didn’t make any mistakes and in fact I added an extra small modification. There have been one or two instances, one quite recently, of doors blowing off in flight. I think the only way this can happen is if the upper front door edge is not tucked under the windscreen when the door is closed, allowing the airflow to get under it. I checked and MYRO’s doors always fitted quite nicely but just in case, I’ve extended the door front edge to give a bit more of an overlap. You can just see that in the above pic, where I’ve made the upper front edge of each door extend a half inch or so beyond the front tube between the hinge and the top of the door.

I hope this small modification works, but mainly I just hope now that the new doors will fit!

September 11, 2009

Sweating it out with fingers crossed

A friend of mine owns a property which is surrounded by grassland a sizeable chunk of which is pretty flat. I asked him a while ago if I might be allowed to keep MYRO there and he said he couldn’t see any reason why not. I reminded him of that the other day and he suggested that I should go and have a look as I hadn’t seen the property up to then.

When I arrived I was literally gob-smacked. The property itself is beautiful but what’s more relevant to me is that it sits next to a small area of microlighting heaven. The land is fairly elevated so it’s pretty well drained for starters which is helped even more by the ground being quite sandy. Also the area in question is firm, flat and evenly grassed with only a modest east-west downslope and also nicely shaped so you could have a choice of directions in which to land and take off.

The shortest ‘runway’ would be 06/24, shown below, at 175 yards. At one end there is a wide gap in trees on the perimeter and at the other a group of low trees situated some way from the end of the ‘runway track’.

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The next would be 11/29 at 210 yards, shown below, with medium-size trees at one end and low trees at the other.

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And finally there’s what would be 08/26 at 250 yards, again with medium-size trees at one end and low trees at the other.

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There are no nearby neighbouring properties that would be overflown on any of the above ‘runway centrelines’ which is, of course, a very valuable bonus and there’s even a lovely little sheltered spot between some high trees where MYRO could be left safely tied-down under covers.

At the moment my friend is still thinking about it so I’m having to sweat it out with my fingers crossed. I really hope that from my point of view he comes to the ‘right’ decision because as well as solving a key problem for me, it would also give me a superb venue to fly from, as it’s situated quite nicely almost in the centre of Kent.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

September 8, 2009

Bit of a lull

Was talking to P & M yesterday and I’m now expecting the rivets and bolts for the doors to arrive at any time. I’ve spent the last couple of days mulling things over and thinking about the next stages of the project and I’ve taken the opportunity to take a look at something that’s been slightly troubling me.

On the face of it, it appears to be a relatively minor thing – when the engine is fitted, will MYRO still fit in my garage? The total height of the garage interior is, of course, much greater than MYRO with its engine fitted (different story with the tail fin on though) but getting it in is the problem. I’ve got an up-and-over garage door which doesn’t rise to anywhere near the top of the door opening and there’s no way of making it go any higher. My initial feeling was that by eye, MYRO wouldn’t be able to get through the open door once its engine was on.

Now if this is right, it presents me with a problem. If MYRO can’t get into the garage it would have to stay outside and that’s not something I want to happen for any length of time. So I’d have to arrange to fit the engine more or less the day before I took MYRO to wherever it goes to have its wings fitted. Obviously, that would not be very convenient. I’d like to get everything done, fitted, connected and set up in plenty of time before getting ready to fit the wings – and I mean potentially weeks before because quite honestly, as yet I don’t know where the wing fitting, weighing, inspecting, test flying and permitting will be happening. Although I may be given permission, it’s possible that I will not be allowed to do all that at the place where the wings are currently hanging on the hangar wall and I’ll have to find somewhere else, so it will take a lot of pressure off if I can go ahead and finish absolutely everything that I can do here in my garage without having to also plan for such intricate timing and logistics.

However, today I made some quick measurements and if I’m correct, there will still be an inch or so of clearance. I hope that my numbers are right, as that will remove a bit of a worry but anyway, we’ll see when I can measure up again a bit more accurately 😉

September 8, 2009

New video

I put a new video in the gallery yesterday evening. It’s just over 10 minutes long and it’s a kind of work in progress, showing how I got started in the MYRO project and where I’m up to. You can see it by going to the video page and selecting the video called ‘MYRO – The Next Chapter’ or by clicking HERE.

It covers everything right from the beginning and as I go I’ll be adding to it until I’ve got a video covering everything from beginning to end. I’ve never been very good at taking photographs and movies as records of events, except for things like holidays when I was younger, so this will be a bit of a first for me. I’m very happy about that 🙂

September 5, 2009

Last lap… almost

I knew that once I’d got the pod back on and the new screen fitted, things would happen pretty quickly, but even I’m surprised at just how fast things are moving along. Apart from adjusting the throttle cable when the engine and carbs are on, the cabin really is finished. That’s if you don’t include cleaning the seats, oh, and swapping out some rusty nuts ands bolts up-top which I forgot to do previously. That’ll only take twenty minutes or so tomorrow so it’s no big deal.

The first thing I did today was connect the outer drain tube to the lower fuel pump, as shown below.

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Now I haven’t the faintest idea how this is supposed to work, but all I do know is that when I got MYRO, it had a build up of oily residue below the pump inside the pod and when I last looked, MZEL is going the same way. I thought the pump was a totally sealed unit but the man at P & M said something about there being a minute hole for any muck from the crankcase to drain out of. I don’t know what he meant but when I put the pump in, I put a smear of clear silicone on the surface of the pump that goes against the pod side in an attempt to prevent the oily muck from coming inside. Then I added the flimsy little rubber ‘terminator’ on the outside (which quite honestly I don’t think is the correct original part – it’s more like just a rubber battery terminal cover) and tried to seal round that with clear silicone too. Only time will tell if what I’ve done will work, but it’s a bad business when oily muck comes inside where you might have stowed a map, an article of clothing, something like that.

Then I turned my attention to the main wiring. Although I had cable-tied it all into place, up to now I’d only labelled the wires up and hadn’t actually made the connections. Because the wiring is a bit of a mixture, being mainly from MYME but with a few modifications that I’d thrown in, it wasn’t just a matter of connecting it all up by plugging in a few bullet connectors. Some wires had been damaged or, frankly, just connected previously in a very haphazard way and some were a bit short even. Although there was already an in-line fuse in the main 12V supply, I had to add one into the ‘black’ connection from the rectifier to the battery, which had been omitted. I therefore decided some time ago to use two fuseholders that were of the same design and could be clipped together, which meant modifying what was already there.

There is no need for bodged, insulation taped-wrapped connections nowadays. Heat shrink sleeving makes joins unobtrusive and professional looking and if you use insulated connectors (bullets and spades) properly crimped using a tool that only costs a fiver or so, you get a nice looking job that you can not only be proud of but that will also work reliably in the future. Here’s a pic showing the connections around the rectifier and the two new fuseholders.

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There are still a couple of odd earth wires floating around there but I’ll leave them for the time being until the engine’s on and I can see exactly what earth(s) I’ll need. The one-into-two black cable, by the way, is for the carburettor chokes. The next shot is of the upper fuel pump and it shows how all the connections are now just waiting for the engine to be dropped on.

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The heavy red cable will connect to the starter motor and the heavy black cable that is just hung on the tube for now I intend to connect back from the engine to the battery as the main earth. The bunch of connections above the fuel pump are the CHT and EGT sensors among others, which needed quite a bit of work a week or so ago when I was sorting out the wiring loom. I think all that work was well worth it now I can see it all falling into place.

Now back down to the cabin. As you can see below, I’m very pleased with how the electric fuel pump has slotted in nicely against the pod wall. I feel very fortunate as Rosie wasn’t quite so lucky with MZEL’s which had to be positioned slightly differently and hasn’t gone in quite as neatly.

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I put the black insulation tape on the tube while I was experimenting where to secure the throttle cable to and they will eventually be removed. The electric fuel pump connects to the fuel cock and the following pic shows how that is secured to the side tube.

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Originally I only used two cable ties but I added two more which also pass through the screen slot and hold the vacuum pipe to the side tube on the outside. They also stopped the cock from being able to rotate slightly on the tube but at the moment I’m not happy with the appearance and I’ll have to cut all four off and re-do them. Notice how I’ve run the wires to the electric fuel pump up behind the bottom edge of the screen. I’m very proud of that and I also think it’s a good idea because it means that no wires are accessible in the cabin where they might be caught in any way or cut.

I am very pleased indeed with how the appearance of MYRO’s cabin has been improved out of all recognition compared to the way it was when I got it. With the wings off, the cabin appears lighter than it will do eventually but even so, I think it has taken years off MYRO.

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I can hardly believe that I’m almost ready to drop the engine on – in fact it would only take a couple of hours or so to get it on and connected up. However, I’ve still got the door plastics to do when the rivets and new bolts arrive and the tailplane has got to go back on as well, so there’s still a bit to do. But even if I can’t quite see the winning post just yet, at least the last lap is now in sight 🙂

September 3, 2009

Loose ends tidied up

Took the opportunity to finish off the week-end’s left-overs and do a bit more this afternoon. I couldn’t get a 1″ tank cutter to drill the hole through the new screen for the lower fuel pump so I bought a pack of three sharp wood bits instead. I’d used a 13mm one of those to make holes in the panel so I knew a 25mm one would do the job fine, which it did. So I got the fuel pump permanently bolted in. I also re-fitted all the cable ties that I’d had to remove on the wiring up to the main tube and I experimented with fitting some pipe insulation as draught excluder in the front tube screen slot but I don’t like the look of it so I’ll try a different approach. As I had MYRO’s original length of rubber tubing that connects to the engine crankcase and runs between the vacuum connections of the upper and lower fuel pumps I connected that as well.

I then decided I’d finish off the cabin by connecting the lower fuel pump to the fuel cock and running the tubing from that to the upper fuel pump. I had almost a complete system of fuel tubing that came from MYME so I thought I’d have a look at that and if it was still in good condition, fit it. It was lucky that I did because I found it was rotten and cracked in lots of places. The tubing is the clear plastic type with braiding and there have been several postings on the BMAA forums warning about those exact problems with it, so I’m glad that I had been fore-warned. Luckily I’d purchased a couple of metres of new 1/4″ rubber tubing so I was able to fit that instead.

I then ran the fuel tubing from the fuel cock out through the screen side tube slot together with the throttle cables and by the end of the afternoon MYRO was really beginning to look the business with the fuel line, vacuum tube and throttle cables neatly cable-tied up the length of the diagonal side tube. All I need to do now is make the two connections to the electric fuel pump and apart from finally adjusting the throttle cable when the carbs are on, the cabin will be finished.

I’m almost ready to fit the engine – I doubt I’ll be ready this week-end but at the pace things are moving, who knows 😉

Oh yes, one last thing. I got hold of a couple of used Comunica headsets and a Comunica powered interface off Ebay yesterday. They weren’t too expensive so I won’t mind too much if things don’t work when I start hacking plugs off and making up new connections to suit my Vertex radio. Paul Lintott showed how to do it on the BMAA forum and it was one of his postings actually that originally persuaded me to go for the Vertex rather than an old Icom. So apart from a new battery, that really is everything I’m going to need for a fully flyable aircraft 😀