Chapters 22-25 – Big decisions… a long time coming

I’ve made a significant number of big decisions on the build over the last number of months, with the last few culminating specifically last week when I helped Marco out with his first flight after he installed his Silver Hawk fuel injection system (same that I have) to replace a failed Ellison throttle body.  His flight went well and I picked up a few key tips.

Seeing Marco’s finished firewall, I took note of his goal to easily be able to remove the engine from the aircraft with minimal hassle. I find this especially valuable towards the end of this build when I may need to remove and mount it a few times for cowl fitting, finishing, painting, etc. This included Marco’s mounting the various engine sensors on small manifold blocks attached to the engine mount tubes, as well as very cleanly managing all the electrical connections through a connector on the firewall.  This helped answer some design questions I had in my own mind, especially since I got to observe how these features worked operationally.

Now, both Marco’s bird and Chris Cleaver’s bird are beautiful Long-EZs, but my dilemma with trying to decide what to do with my boat-painted bottom fuselage was answered when I scrutinized the finish on both their EZs… I realized that neither paint finish was perfect, and that I needed to focus on the main goal: get this bird in the air.  Again, that’s not to slam their finishes at all, but I had to be realistic and just realize that the bottom of my plane is not going to win any beauty contests.  That’s the price we (or I at least) pay for experimenting!  And I certainly don’t want to redo it all and add months to the build (yes, I realize that’s an ironic statement given I’ve been away from the build for a good bit).

After returning home, I took about a week to update a good half dozen electrical & connector diagrams, especially given that all my smaller gage engine wires will run through 2 connectors on the firewall.  I determined and verified all the firewall-transiting wire runs, what wires would go to which connector, and then ordered the connectors and associated pins and sockets.

Since my 11×17 printer had sat dormant for 6 months, I also needed to spend a good few hours cleaning and getting that beast online.

Speaking of cleaning, I also spent a good 4 days cleaning the shop, where the squirrels had apparently moved in and decided to have a few parties… a real mess.  Here’s a few pics of the calamitous scene I found:

Dust pert near everywhere!

We get a lot of rain here, and with my both my air conditioner and lights off, the insulation can get over saturated with condensation and drip down on whatever is below… here being the fuselage and strakes.  Looks bad, like rust almost, but it is just water collecting with lots of dust.

Thus, I rolled the fuselage outside and washed ‘er down good.

Another shot (note my new toy, a boat, in the background… yes, I strayed a bit while off the build!)

As the fuselage, wings, canard, cowling, etc. dried, and while the bays were clear, I tacked the insulation back up in place that the partying squirrels had knocked down…. it’s a constant battle trying to patch holes to keep them out!

I also gave the bays a good sweeping and a bunch of dusting of course.

Ok, ready to start building again!


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