My First Passenger

I finished up Phase 1 which consists of 40 flight hours yesterday. After making my logbook entry and fueling the RV up I took my girl T up for a two hour flight along the shore of Lake Michigan to see downtown Chicago followed by a lunch at Lake Lawn. It was a awesome day!

Oil Cooler Butterfly Valve

Time: 8 Hours

Now that I have 20+ hours on the engine it is apparent that I will need better control of my oil temps. Even with a good portion covered I was only able to get the temperature up to 185°. The manufacture of the oil cooler mount/shroud, has a butterfly valve kit now that will allow you to control how much air you want to go to the oil cooler from 100% to 5% based on their website. So I ordered that kit form them as well as a cable and knob from McFarlane Aviation.

I needed to remove the cooler shroud so I would have access to the baffle. The first step is to mount the outboard pivot block that the valve rod rotates in. I measured half way based on the baffle opening and marked where I needed to drill for the screws. Once one was drilled I could use the other hole as a drill guide.

Once the outboard block was screwed in place I could drill the 3/8” hole for the rod using the block as a drill guide.

I removed the outboard block and opened the 3/8” hole to a 9/16” hole for clearance.

That hole got cleaned up and I installed the block again and slid the rod through the block and hole in the baffle. This allows me to level the rod and place the inboard pivot block so I could drill its screw holes.

Once the rod and pivot blocks were in place I could start on the plate that will act as the shutter. The one that came with the kit wasn’t perfect for my opening so I sue it as a template for one I made out of .032 sheet I had. I used the screw holes as a starting point and made extra measurements to get the size I wanted. I decided to do a double bend of sorts to get the lower half to close as much of the opening as possible.

After I had the shape finalized I added a small piece of aluminum tube that they supplied and a couple of washers on either side of the outboard baffle wall where the rod goes through. These keep the valve centered in the opening and keep it from moving sideways.

The way the valve opens and rotates inward into the fiberglass shroud causes a problem with the inboard lower edge of the sheet hitting the shroud. So rather than trim the cover and loss some of it effectiveness in blocking airflow I decided to modify the shroud a little. I measured and trimmed the shroud so that it wouldn’t interfere with the valve. I then created a mold out of styrofoam covered in packing tape and laid up a couple layers of fiberglass to create a bump out. This will hopefully provide enough clearance for the valve to open freely.

While the fiberglass cured I started the work on where to put the cable and pull knob for the control of the shutter. I decided to put it between the cabin heat and the alternate air pull knobs.

Once I decided that location I worked on the route where the cable would run. The first thing was to work on the firewall pass through.

Once that was finished I ran the cable through the gear tower placing the washer and nut on as I thread it through. Then I used adel clamps to secure the cable as I ran it across the engine mount to the oil cooler. Once I had the cable secured I could measure and cut it to its final size. I adjusted the length so that I had the proper through from open to closed on the valve.

I adjusted the cockpit end so that the knob was lined up correctly and tighten the not to hold it securely. I bought the cable and knob from Mcfarlane Aviation and had the custom knob say “Oil Shutter, Pull On” in the clear anodized.

With the cable all run and it’s function tested all I needed to do was prime and paint the valve, finish the touch up work on the shroud for paint.

I cleaned up the valve and painted it with the same silver as the baffles. I finished up sanding the shroud and primed/painted it as well. Once the paint was dry I started putting all the parts back together. I cut a new piece of the rubber seal that goes on the lip of the shroud to seal it to the baffle as it needed to be slightly longer due to the change in the side I made to clear the valve as it opened.

Now all that’s left is to close everything up and test it in the cold Chicago weather!

Engine Break-In

My new engine from AeroSport Power, IO-375-M1S, needed 15 to 20 hours of break-in. This required a high power setting, 25″ of manifold power, and 2300 RPM. They didn’t want me varying the power settings any more than needed, like for things like slow flight, multiple take-off’s & landings and such. So I spent the last 21.1 hours flying either close to my home airport or on a 200nm cross country circle that kept me within the 40nm radius I’m restricted to during the first 40 hours of flight called phase 1.

Today I finished the break-in and had no issues, oil burn over this time has been less than one quart and that happened earlier in the break-in period.

Part of the engine I needed to pay attention too was the temperatures of the cylinder’s. So I kept an hourly log of those and put them to a graph. I’m guessing that where you see the lowering of the average temps around the 4th hour is where the piston rings finally seated themselves but not for sure. Either way I’m glad this period is over and I can now move on to the tasks that I need to complete so I can get out of phase 1 and stretch the legs of this awesome machine!

10″ Dynon Screen Issue

Hobbs: 8.2

On my first flight just after the run up I had my 10″ Dynon touch display flashed all black, rebooted then flashed all green and rebooted again to a normal screen. It was intermittent and all back to normal without any other issues. That continued for the next two flight however at the end of my last 3.2 hour it did it again in flight but this time it froze on the main screen with the Dynon logo with a line of text at the top “Boot Error, Please Restart…Contact Dynon Avionics if Error Persists”. I email and called Dynon and they reached back out to me the next day. Unfortunately it sounds like a hardware internal issue and they need it shipped back. So I removed it, boxed it up and shipped it overnight via FedEx. The other down side is this unit is out of warranty since I bought it some years ago so that I could do my initial testing of my wiring harnesses. I know this risk and was willing to take it as I didn’t want to close up the RV skins after wiring was done to find out years later that they had issues. So Dynon says its an average of 10 business days for turn around and a flat $450 fee. I’m hoping for its quick return! I can still fly using the 7″ screen which is why I have two so if one dies the second will be a backup. I just won’t venture too far away from home, I’m still b reading in the engine and have 8.3 hours on it all ready. I needed to cover some of my larger oil cooler as with the cold temps here in Chicago I’m only getting 167° while in cruise and I need 180°. So I will make some plates of different sizes and see if I can come up with the right combo.

Engine Break-In

Part of the initial flying is dedicated to breaking my new engine…the AeroSport IO-375-M1S. I spoke with Darren and they want 15 to 20 hours of “Over Square”. Normally in the climb I would run 25″ of manifold pressure(MP) and 2500 RPM(25) but for the break-in they want 25″MP and 2300RPM for those 15-20 hours. This process is top have high pressure in the cylinders to push the piston rings into the cylinder walls. This is what keeps the oil from getting into the area where the combustion takes place. If I don’t do this the cylinder walls get glazed and the engine won’t produce the correct power and oil will be burnt. So with that said I’m just boring holes in the sky as I burn these hours off. For the first 2.5 hours I stayed close to my airport just incase I had any issues. After that I ventured off and spent 3.6 hours flying 411nm and played around with the Garmin GTN and the autopilot. Not mush to show in the way of photos but I did play a little with my GoPro Max 360 camera and did a short 3 minute edit on my takeoff.