July 11, 2010

Back down to earth with a bump

After the successes of yesterday, I allowed myself to be carried away by a sort of euphoria that had me convinced that taking to the air in MYRO was just around the corner and today I allowed that to cloud my judgement. I put 200ml of two-stroke oil in a jerry can and on the way to the field, I added 10 litres of unleaded with the idea that when I arrived, I’d try starting and running the engine for the first time.

I shouldn’t have done it because I hadn’t even bothered to check whether the spark plugs that were fitted were the correct ones let alone that they were clean and gapped correctly. All I know is that they were in there when I acquired the engine and I got Bob to torque them in without further ado. Then I gave the engine a few hand turns.

I added the fuel to the tank and was rather disappointed to see how slowly it transferred from the main to the second tank. Mike who sold me the tank said they found it slow when they had it but I have to say that it was slower than I expected. Then I climbed in, turned on the master and switched on the fuel pump. It rattled away but failed to produce any fuel. I was going to call it a day but Bob suggested turning the engine a few times on the starter to see if that might help. So I did and then tried the fuel pump again. This time it did its job – clever Bob. However, I expected to see the pressure comfortably exceed 0.2 bar but it only just made it. Anyway, I set the choke and gave the starter a whirl. After a few turns the engine fired and started but never ran anything like it should have. It was far from smooth and there was no fuel pressure unless I kept the pump on. Not right at all. I managed to get the engine running fairly smoothly at about 3000rpm but I couldn’t get the revs to rise any higher and I still had the fuel problem. I kept it running to see what would happen with the temperatures and then had a major disappointment. Bearing in mind that I’d carefully re-wired MYRO using MYME’s wiring loom and double checked everything along the way, I was really disappointed to see that only one of the two exhaust gas temperature readouts seemed to be working and neither of the cylinder head temperature readouts. What on earth can have happened to cause that. But even worse was to come. When I shut the throttle and switched off the mags, the engine kept running. This was terrible news. Strangely, Chris my GST examiner had asked me how I would shut down an engine that would not stop on the mags and now here I was barely a few days later having to do exactly what he suggested – apply the choke. It worked, but the problem suggests to me that there is something seriously wrong with the magneto earthing, on one cylinder at least anyway.

This is not a good development at all. I’ve already ordered up some new spark plugs but checking the wiring out is not going to be an easy job now that the panel and wiring loom are in place. But I’ll just have to do it.

After this what can only be described as a debacle, unhooking, untangling and reattaching the rudder cables was a doddle and it was good to see MYRO’s ailerons sitting exactly even and feeling just the way I remembered them. But these engine problems are now going to put me back yet again, probably by another two weeks at least. I wonder when I’m ever going to be able to start flying MYRO at this rate.

And before leaving for home I’d wanted to cover MYRO with my new tarpaulin that I’ve had for quite a few days as we’re expecting some rain in the middle of the week. No chance. Because of the wind, if I’d tried to do it alone, it and I too probably would have ended up in the next field, so I wasn’t able to do that either.

I was not in the best of moods when I left for home. Big problems at Linton are becoming a bit too much of a regular occurrence 😡

To finish off, a few more pics that I took today that put me in a slightly better mood – just 😯

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July 11, 2010

Dratted birds

A few off-topic musings that came to me while I was walking the dog this morning and which I posted about on a forum of which I’m a member.

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The roadsides and other green areas of the estate where I live are peppered with cherry trees. I guess when the original planners conceived of the idea they had visions of the glorious display of blossom in the Springtime and they were, of course, quite right. The magnificent spread of white and pink is indeed a joy to behold and especially uplifting to the spirit after a long and dismal Winter such as we had to endure this year.

But there’s one factor that the planners either overlooked or ignored. This year the conditions have been almost perfect, with a damp Spring followed by a glorious hot period that has resulted in a bumper cherry crop. They are almost all of small varieties that you wouldn’t like at twice if they were on sale in a shop but nevertheless this year they are delicious. And nobody ever bothers picking any.

Except for the birds that is. They love them. Even if any human did bother picking any from the lower branches they would still be left with the majority of fruit that is out of reach at the higher levels. And they take good advantage of that. They take great pleasure in devouring this at high speed and beginning their unique process that converts the fruit into a product that varies in colour from deep purple to garish red. This they then promptly deposit over the waiting cars that have been parked by loving owners below them, in waiting for the moment.

They make no distinction – the most expensive Mercedes is treated in exactly the same way as the most rusty old banger, sometimes the Mercedes might even receive two or three pot shots while the old banger might go completely unscathed. But woe betide the owner who, if their beloved motor is on the receiving end, ignores the fact because this stuff is like battery acid and will eat through your paintwork in a trice. How the birds’ backsides stand it I’ll never know. Luckily, I don’t have an expensive Mercedes, only an old Honda Accord, so I don’t have to worry to much when the birds wreak their vengeance on it 😉