Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ducatti Voltage Regulator Relocation

After many failures of the Ducatti Voltage Rectifier/Regulator due to overheating VANS decided to relocate it inside the cockpit to improve the cooling. I decided that a better option was to relocate it inside the cooling tunnel. Here are in a few pictures the steps I took to achieve the relocation:

The components I used, an Al angle 2X2 1/8" thick with one side cut to 1"wide and a counterplate also 1" wide:

Cuts in the fiberglass of the tunnel:

Regulator secured on the angle:

Installed inside the tunnel:

And connected including a ground cable and lower cowl installed:

The ground cable goes to the battery housing:

As I decided to leave the initial connector untouched, I connected the extension I made to reach the tunnel with spade connectors but I had to secure the spade connectors with tie-wraps or risk a devastating disconnection
for the alternator. On the picture you can see the stand-by Regulator located at the initial location on the firewall. In case of failure of the active located in the tunnel this standby unit can be switched into active by disconnecting the failed unit and reconnecting the standby.

I have so far tested the new configuration in flight and had no difference in the amperage reading on Skyview. Only time will tell if this results in a better reliability but I believe it will.

Monday, October 21, 2013

At the end of a wonderful journey, the ultimate destination ...

Yesterday, Sunday October 20, 2013, a hundred and ten years after Wilbur and Orville first flight, I did the flight to Kitty Hawk with my friend Dan Kangas (also an RV-12 builder) to pay my respect to these two heroes of Experimental Aviation.

Destination KFFA also known as "First Flight Airport"

Just arrived at Kitty Hawk, circling the Wright Memorial with KFFA in the background:

After Landing: For the plane builder and pilot, it does not get any better!

My friend Dan, a great pilot who helped me get there:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Best Day in the life of an RV-12 builder

Thanks to my fellow EAA 1114 members Dan Kagan and Peter Van Schalkwyck we have a series of Videos they took on this memorable day

Arrrival of Peter Van Schalkwyck, the Waiex chase plane pilot:

Pre-flight briefings between chase plane and test pilot:

Let's go flying this bird:

Taxiing to runway 23 at "North Executive Triangle Airport" (LHZ for the pilots)

Down the taxiway to RWY 23

And off they go!

Watching from the sideline:

They are coming back!

... and landing:

Debriefing time:

... and it takes doughnuts to get the test pilot out of my plane!

Peter is leaving, got to go back to work after a job well done:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11/2013 : N124BX is Flying!

We had a great day and a great crew for the maiden flight of N124BX, RV-12 serial number 395.
We had a cute chase plane: Peter Van Schalckwyk flying his home built Waiex, member EAA 1114
We had a motivated test pilot : Stephen Merrit, member EAA 1114
My wife, Michele, Dan Kagan RV-12 builder, member EAA 1114, Rick Penke the airport A&P shop owner/manager with his crew and myself were among the bystanders enjoying the show.
It was a perfect flight and the plane lived up to its reputation, easy to fly and solid as a rock.
... and the good news: nothing to rework, the plane is flying straight and level, no wedge on the rudder, no pinching of the flapperons, what more could I ask for? Yes flying N124BX myself which will happen next week after Steve is done with the fly-off period of 5 hours.

Preparing to leave:

At runway 23 Threshold
We have lift-off!

Way to go , Steve!

Landing after a 30 minutes flight

"Solid as a rock" is the diagnostic of Steve Merritt, the test pilot

Here is a more detailed debriefing that Steve gave us on the spot:
Great job Steve! (but I thought he would never get off my plane!)

Friday, August 23, 2013

And now, we can fly!

Yes, today I got the Airworthiness Certificate for N124BX, the conclusion of 3 years of a labor of love. Here is the patient waiting for the visit of the DAR:

And here is the result of the visit of the darned DAR:

To his credit, the DAR found a few things that needed fixing. Fixing them will take less time that it took me to remove the about 50 nutplate screws that dot the floor panel under the seats but I was lucky, he did not ask to take the lower cowl off, a major annoyance in the RV-12.
$340 for 50 screws amounts to about 7 cents per screw... and I get airworthiness as a bonus!

The hilarious part was when the DAR started moving the sticks which produced an horrible "cling" I had never heard before . We soon located the noise to be an interference of the flapperon skin (both flapperons) with a rivet head on the fuselage! What happened is that the temperature was in the mid 90s for the first time since I installed the wings and the flapperons grew a tad longer, enough to hit the rivets... I mentioned the precision of my workmanship as both flapperons were affected the same way. You guys in the north better watch your flapperons when you come south!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

First Engine Run in Pictures

Today I had my first engine run with the help of Donald Berry a certified Rotax A & P. The following pictures taken by my daughter Anne who assisted in the preparation of the run tell it all:

Anne in the hangar, making airplane noise for the last time before the run:

The setup, plane tied to my car, just in case...

Preparing to crank under the eye of the expert, Donald Berry:

Engine started, I lost my hat:

Here we go, 2000 rpm, no hands!

2500 rpm, lost my hat again!

3000 rpm, I miss my canopy!

4000 rpm, that's it, I can take no more, no more, no more!

Victory lap back in the hangar