July 10, 2010

A successful day

The scorching hot weather that we’ve been enjoying in the south for the past couple of weeks or so looks set to continue for quite a few more days yet and although we’ve been told to expect some light showers on Wednesday, the temperature is still expected to stay pretty high. I bumped into a lady while walking the dog this morning and she said although it’s hot here, she’s just returned from Germany where they have temperatures of 38 and 39 deg C and without the breeze that we have that helps make it more comfortable.

Today was the day for the proper test of my patent prop pitch gauge and first of all I had to move the garden table to find a bit of shade where I could do the work. Here’s a shot showing everything laid out ready to start.

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I’d had to take a bit of a ribbing about my gauge from my mate Terry Viner on the BMAA Forum but I didn’t mind that in the least. The proof of the pudding and all that 😉 Here’s another shot that I took of the gauge in use.

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Actually I’d finished by then and I’m delighted to say that it seemed to work an absolute treat 😀 I was amazed how easy it was to set the prop up and how quickly I was able to do it. I’d finished within 10 or 15 minutes which I found incredible. And from what I could see, the pitch on each blade looked to be very consistent, although I won’t know for sure until the engine is run and I see what revs I get on full throttle and whether there’s any vibration.

My next job this morning was priming my new battery that was delivered a couple of days ago. It’s a small Varta motorbike battery and was recommended to me months ago when I asked for advice on the BMAA Forum. I got it from Tayna Batteries and it only cost around £25 so it wasn’t worth taking up the offers I’ve had from time to time of second-hand ones. The battery is a sealed unit but the acid comes separately. I wondered for a while how to get it into the battery itself (I’m sure there were instructions but they weren’t immediately obvious) and then I realised that you invert the acid containers (all six of them, one for each cell, which are joined together) over the battery cell openings then press down so the containers are pierced allowing the acid to flow into the battery. Then when done, you press the rubber seal into place and that totally seals up the battery. Ingenious.

Then I was off to the field. Bob and Paul were there sitting in the shade with, would you believe, two electric fans running powered by a small generator 😀 I left them to their brews as I couldn’t wait to get MYRO’s prop on. The guys came down to lend a hand a bit later and Bob loaned me his torque wrench which is smaller than mine and possibly more accurate, to run the main prop retaining bolts up. I have a feeling I’ve over-torqued the prop blade pinch bolts which only need to be at 6 ft-lb but I’ll leave them now they’re done. I think my torque wrench may need a bit of ‘exercise’ as it hasn’t been used for such a long time. It’s well-known that torque wrenches need to be regularly used for them to retain their accuracy and that’s the problem with mine I think. It’s not permanent, it just needs to be operated a bit. Then I fitted the battery and connected it up. I knew it would work because I’d tested the basic electrical system at home when I’d finished it but I still couldn’t resist seeing the warning lamp light up when I turned the master switch on and hearing the fuel pump click into action when I operated the switch 😉

All I then had to do was refit the wing join top and bottom covers and MYRO was finally finished. I said to Bob later when I left to drive home, it’s the first time that I’ve left for home and left a fully complete aircraft behind! Here are the first shots I took of a now complete MYRO.

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It was a great feeling to see how far I’ve come with MYRO and to know that now the end of the project is so close. But not quite! I found that somehow I hadn’t noticed that when I uncoiled all the cables that had been wound together in MYRO’s fuselage, one aileron cable was still wound across the rudder cables. So that’s my job for tomorrow. It won’t take long, just to disconnect the rudder cables, untangle the aileron cable and reconnect them. Bob was saying today that he couldn’t understand how I could fit the prop today and not want to start up the engine! Well, I was going to keep the fuel tanks empty until MYRO had been weighed as part of its permit inspection but maybe I will take a few litres down with me tomorrow and give in to the temptation 😆