Chapter 13/23 – Engine Baffles Installed

Today I reached 2 significant milestones: first, finalizing the Static ports on each side of the nose, and then also getting all the aluminum baffles installed on the engine.

As far as the third hole for the Static port is concerned, I posted a question to a thread on the COBA forum that was initiated by a question a few years ago from a builder asking if the plans 3-holed static port was still a viable option.  There was an extensive answer replete with a lot of data from a Cozy builder showing that it was still a very good option.

My question:  “Does anyone know why 3 static holes are used on Canards vs the standard one per port on most airplanes? Also, curious if anyone has static ports on both left and right sides? Would that still be 3 holes per side, or perhaps reduce the number of holes since total holes/inputs would obviously increase?

I was hoping one of the old guard gurus would chime in, and sure enough within an hour of my posted question, Marc Zeitlin took the bait, responding:
Redundancy would be my guess – if one gets clogged (and you should be checking them on each CI, if not each Pre-Flight) you still have functionality.

Yes – many canards have static ports on both sides (and I definitely recommend it) for redundancy and accuracy in slips.

Holes are zero cost into the AL tubing buried in the fuselage side – what’s the harm in having multiple?”

My research, thus, is complete! (It doesn’t take much to win me over… ha!).  After Marc’s timely reply I then drilled the third hole on each side, tested that air was flowing from each new hole, and called it good!

I also rounded up some 1/4″ Nylo-Seal connectors and installed one on the end of each Static tube.  Voila!  Static system lines operational and ready for hookups.

I then spent about 6 hours total mounting all the side and front aluminum engine baffle segments.

I gooped up around the perimeter of the each cylinder valve cover and wherever there was any contact between baffle segments.

I also riveted the corners as best possible given the clearance I had inside the engine bay.  There are a few rivets left to finish, which will happen when I pull the engine off.  Also, because of the angle I had to employ to get in there and squeeze the rivets, there are 2-3 rivets that I will most likely drill out and redo once the engine is off… again, to straighten up any cockeyed rivets.

Moreover, on the seam at the dogleg of the two front left baffle segments, I used pop rivets since I simply could not get in there with my rivet squeezer.

I had pondered safety wiring the screws and bolts that hold the baffles in place, but between VANs not providing screws with safety wire holes in the heads, and not having good tie-off points, I simply followed Steve Beert’s recommendation of putting a dab of RTV on each screw before installing it.  That, with either a star or split-ring washer will have to do the trick.

I’d say I got around 80-90% of the gaps and seams filled, but will need to spend a good hour or two filling in the remaining obvious —and not quite so obvious— openings up with RTV goop.

This push made for quite a late night.  Moving forward!

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