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Thread: First, Build a Shed

  1. #531
    Senior Member Cherrybark's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    My main concern was where to break the system to measure flow. Thanks for providing that detail Eddie.

    I assumed the purpose of a fuel flow test, in a build that exactly follows the factory instructions, would be to discover any leaks or restrictions from debris. With this in mind, trying to position the airplane at the highest climb angle + 5 degrees seems a bit extreme. The EAA Flight Test Manual references the fuel system testing in FAA AC 90-89B. EAA goes on to say, "In some cases where it is unsafe to ground-test your aircraft in the proper climb attitude AND you have built your fuel system EXACTLY to an already-proven design, you may perform this test at another attitude, at your discretion. Regardless, expect your DAR to ask you for your records of these tests."

    I'll measure flow in a level attitude to make sure there are no restrictions. Then I'll give some consideration to digging a hole for the tail to sit in. "Yep, here are the numbers right here in the build log." Fuel tests and POA handbooks are starting to seem like unicorns.

    Reviewing the Kitfox instructions reminded me to double check that the hoses from the wings to the header tank run continuously downhill.
    Carl Strange
    Building
    SS7, 912iS, Oratex, G3X

  2. #532
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    I did similar to Eddie. IMO you donít need to be on a slope. Just disconnect the return line. Run the pump and time it into a container. That will tell you how much flow your pumps have and just observe the tanks and header tanks that they can keep up. My pumps will pump 60gph and I need 16gph at WOT. I would also do this before firing the engine to make sure you have nothing in the lines that would plug the injectors. In fact I started with the feed line to the engine and flushed it out first then by unhooking where it connects to the engine. This is also I time that you can verify your fuel flow indicators if you ran them that you are in the ballpark.
    Dustin Dickerson

    Building 7ss STI x 2
    Oratex
    29" shock monster
    EP912STI 155hp
    Garmin
    N33TF......FLYING!
    N53TF......FLYING!

  3. #533
    Senior Member Cherrybark's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Updates have been a little thin so I'll post a summary of recent activity. Honestly, these will seem like Laurel and Hardy have been working on the plane.

    Fuel flow test. Adding a couple of gallons of Mogas to each wing didn't reveal any obvious leaks and, since I used a quality fuel line, there was no odor. I disconnected the outlet hose from the fuel pump "box" and held a 5 gallon bucket in place while my wife sat in the cockpit flipping fuel pump switches, watching a timer, and making airplane noises. At home that evening the flow with pumps calculated out to 3/4 gallons an hour. I knew that was low but there were no obvious restrictions in the lines. Went to bed wondering what might be causing the low flow rate.

    Second fuel flow test. Woke up with the realization that we hadn't opened the two shutoff valves that are installed in the lines running from the wings to the header tank. The pumps were pulling against a growing vacuum in the header tank. Set everything up for a second test and measured just over 1 gallon an hour. Even had a nice free flow without the pumps running.

    Installing the fuel level placards. I saved this as one of the last tasks so I could visually see if the tank fitting were leaking. Two tanks on one wing had slight weeping. These were installed early in the build before I started using a two part, LocTite sealer for fuel and brake fittings. Decided to replace all of the fittings at both tanks. Now I have nice clean fuel level sight tubes. Of course, this is the month with a string of screw ups and this task was no exception. We've swung the wings a few times but never at this stage of the build. I can testify that it is very important to disconnect the tube that connects the flapperons to the control mixer. A slowly folding wing has a lot of leverage and will put a 45 degree bend in that tube before you notice. Debra has a supply of extras on hand and a replacement runs around $45 with around $8 shipping. Happily, there won't be many more wing swings in our future.

    Found a slowly weeping hydraulic fitting at one of the wheels and noticed the brake line on the other wheel was touching the brake. Had to replace one and, thinking of heat, decided to replace the other. This small project went without incident if you ignore the painful expense of the compression nuts with fixed olives that Kitfox uses. Those run $4 each. Would love to know the thread size on our brake fittings if anyone has figured it out. Would love to have a supply of regular compression nuts and olives on hand.

    Had a fellow EAA member, who has completed four builds including an Avid, come over for an informal inspection. It was remarkable just how good of an eye he had while walking around the plane. There were a couple of places where I needed to install a slightly longer bolt to show a bit more thread. And there was a missing cotter pin on one of the three crown nuts where the electric trim connects. One mistake just floored me. We both have the ground adjustable, 3-blade whirlwind prop and spent some time talking about setting the pitch, torqueing bolts, etc. After a few minutes conversation he smiled and said there was one thing that bothered him. He noticed I had carefully set the pitch so the airplane would backup when throttle was applied. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. And several fellow pilots had visited, spent time admiring the Rotax and prop, and never noticed the error. This guy spotted it immediately.

    Both Garmin autopilot servos reported hardware faults - one at a time of course. These seem to be from a batch of bad servos and Garmin replaced them without question. My wife spent a good part of the day perched on the luggage rack, stretching to reach the various bolts that mount the pitch servo and successfully replacing the unit. I finally cut the two inspection holes in the belly to help out. The inspector wants them cut anyway so he can touch all of the rigging connections. We tweaked the elevator control adjustment and I'm pleased the numbers are neatly in range. The roll servo reported a failure a few days later. It mounts behind the pilot seat and only took a few minutes to replace.

    Here's something you might make a note of in your manual if you're still building. I ran wing tip lights and magnetometer wiring, and the pitot tubing, inside the rear spars of the wings. When the wires enter the fuselage, they should pass forward of the bolt tube that holds the rear spar in place. If you pass them aft of this tube, they will interfere with fitting the turtle deck. Should you forget, it just takes a couple of hours to pull connectors and rerun the wiring...sigh.

    It's been a month of two steps forward and one step back. Final big tasks are to install the cowlings, doors, upholstery, and inspection plates and do a weight and balance. Then it's finally time to book a DAR visit and cross my fingers that there won't be too long of a delay because of the holidays.
    Carl Strange
    Building
    SS7, 912iS, Oratex, G3X

  4. #534
    Senior Member Delta Whisky's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Carl - Maybe I'm not understanding something - was your report of one gallon an hour for your second fuel flow test a typo? If not, please help me understand why you don't need some multiple of your max expected fuel burn. Thanks, Darrel

  5. #535
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Nice report! Good catch on the cotter pin on the trim. The prop...... you would of figured that one out real quick. The ones who didn't say anything about the prop probably just wanted to come watch you start it! I am also guessing you mean 1 gallon a min?
    Dustin Dickerson

    Building 7ss STI x 2
    Oratex
    29" shock monster
    EP912STI 155hp
    Garmin
    N33TF......FLYING!
    N53TF......FLYING!

  6. #536
    Senior Member Cherrybark's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    You both spotted the flow rate mistake. It actually came out to 1 gallon every 70 seconds or 51.4 gallons per hour. Just double checked the written fuel flow test to make sure there wasn't an error there.
    Carl Strange
    Building
    SS7, 912iS, Oratex, G3X

  7. #537
    Senior Member bbs428's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Your report was a real eye opener Carl. Even if it's a step back at times, your still moving ahead and closer to blue sky's.
    Somebody said that carrier pilots were the best in the world, and they must be or there wouldn't be any of them left alive. ó Ernie Pyle

    Brett Butler
    Building: 1998 Model 5 Outback, 912ul 110hp, G3x and 7 mods

  8. #538
    Senior Member Cherrybark's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    834 Empty Weight.

    Met three fellow EAA members on a 40 degree morning in the unheated hanger. One of the guys is and A&P and brought his very fancy scales. Working through the weight and balance procedure with someone who had the process down pat made it simple. The hanger doors were closed but, this being a residential airport, others noticed the gathering of vehicles and we had eight people in the hanger before the morning was done. Had a great time crawling around on the floor, drawing lines and taking measurements.

    Empty weight 834.
    Carl Strange
    Building
    SS7, 912iS, Oratex, G3X

  9. #539
    Senior Member jiott's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Exactly the same as mine.
    Jim Ott
    Portland, OR
    Kitfox SS7 flying
    Rotax 912ULS

  10. #540
    Senior Member Kitfox Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Quote Originally Posted by Cherrybark View Post
    834 Empty Weight.

    Met three fellow EAA members on a 40 degree morning in the unheated hanger. One of the guys is and A&P and brought his very fancy scales. Working through the weight and balance procedure with someone who had the process down pat made it simple. The hanger doors were closed but, this being a residential airport, others noticed the gathering of vehicles and we had eight people in the hanger before the morning was done. Had a great time crawling around on the floor, drawing lines and taking measurements.

    Empty weight 834.

    Sounds like a nice empty weight and I've enjoyed watching your build. Thanks for posting it. Nothing like a group of flyers at a hanger is there.
    Harlan and Susan Payne
    Flying Piper Archer
    Building STI Kitfox N61HP
    Engine and prop are undecided
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5A...oCVUP15G0uB-Yw

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