I decided a while ago that I should sell 56NE, my X-Air. Having three ULMs is a non-starter. You can’t fly that many and maintaining them all is a time-consuming nightmare. As the Savannah is my main preference and I’ve been spending some time flying the Weedhopper following the work I put in to rebuild it, I haven’t flown 56NE for many months. It does no aircraft any good to be just parked in the back of a hangar – they need the air under their wings.

So a few weeks ago I began getting 56NE ready for sale. The main job was to improve its appearance by renewing the special varnish that the previous owners had applied to its wings and fuselage. This has done a good job of protecting it from the harmful effects of UV but over the six years that I’ve owned the aircraft it has been worn off and degraded in many places. So I applied a new coat and since then 56NE has been left under covers in the barn to protect the new finish from dust and grime.

Since then, what with my car and other problems I’ve not had much time to get back onto preparing the aircraft for sale but this was given new emphasis when a soon-to-qualify student pilot at Ste Foy expressed a strong interest in acquiring it a couple of weeks ago. So yesterday I swapped it and the Weedhopper around in the barn at Malbec, removed the X-Air’s covers and started the engine.

It started and ran fine but I couldn’t get its tickover to drop below 2000 rpm, which isn’t good. I suspect that one or both carb rubbers might be slightly perished allowing air to enter the engine but I can’t be sure until I remove the carburettors. And while I’m doing that, I might as well replace the cables, which look a bit tatty, plus a couple of the cable rubber boots that have split.

Not much work, just general maintenance really, but it’ll take a few days because of the time to order in the parts that I’ll need. I’ve told the prospective purchaser and also sent him a few of the pictures that I shot yesterday, which I’ve posted below. He’s impatient to see and fly in the aircraft, but I’ve told him that it will be to his advantage in the long run and he’s had to accept the situation for the moment as when I do sell 56NE I want everything to be just as it should be.

Anyway, here are yesterday’s shots.

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The old girl has scrubbed up very well and despite the fast tickover, it’s engine started easily and ran sweetly. Even so, I won’t be sorry to see it go when the time eventually arrives 😉