March 26, 2011

X-Air almost there

We made good progress on the X-Air today. The new water temperature gauge is a VEDO unit. On their data sheet which I managed to locate this week it specifically says not to use PTFE joint sealant tape on the sensor thread because of the possibility of preventing earthing. We had used it and although I doubt the amount we used would have that result, we still removed it. Then we removed the centre access plate on the main panel and got access to the wiring again. After tracing the wires we were interested in we removed the ‘illegal’ voltmeter without too many problems. One of its connections came adrift in the process but I doubt that it had been responsible for any of the issues we’d experienced. Then we started up and watched the temperature gauge only to see no movement on it still. A quick check of the fuse in its circuit that was also shared with the voltmeter revealed that it had blown – I think caused by the old water temperature gauge which I’d checked during the week at home and found to be totally inoperative. So we switched the fuse over from the currently un-utilised GPS circuit and lo and behold the new gauge started to work perfectly.

That meant we were very close to completing all our work at last. All we then had to do was have the new tyres and tubes that Ken had purchased during the week fitted on the main wheels and a small residual crack that remained in the exhaust after a weld repair a few months ago rectified and the X-Air would at last be ready to be signed off for its check flight and eventual permit. We ended up by removing the exhaust for welding and both of the main wheels for Ken to take away to a tyre fitter’s for the new tyres to be fitted. That will also give us a chance to clean the insides of the hubs and lubricate the brake mechanisms which I always knew we should have done anyway so when everything we removed is refitted, hopefully next week-end, the X-Air will be just about ready to go. While chatting over a cup of tea Peter said we’d been working on it for about six weeks. I’m sure he’s right but it doesn’t seem that long. Even so, I’ll be glad now when we’ve finished 😉