Chapter 23 – Silver Bullet Ordered!

I’m still in the throes of researching, documenting and integrating the ton of info I acquired at RR.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the phone, collectively, with Gary Hertzler regarding the prop, Sam from Saber Manufacturing regarding the prop extension, and my engine guy, Tom Schweitz, from Aero Engines in Winchester, VA regarding my engine.  It was good to reconnect with Tom after over a year having talked with him last since not only did I get some refined engine specs for Gary so he could build my Silver Bullet, but things have changed A LOT in the aircraft engine world . . . e.g. ECi no longer exists since Continental bought them out!.

[One quick note on ECi: since ECi no longer exists, Continental is apparently not overly concerned about hawking it’s wares to the experimental market.  Tom noted that if I have an issue in the future with ONE of my tapered-finned cylinder jugs –an ECi exclusive product– that I could quite possibly have to buy FOUR new jugs since the tapered-fins are no longer in production!  He has a set of 4 new certificated ECi Nickle+Carbide cylinder jugs that he’ll swap out mine for free… well, actually the cost is about 8 pounds added back on my engine!]

Ok, the good news is that I got all the info I needed for Gary and the proverbial informational cats were herded & coordinations made with all the players concerned regarding the prop.  The bottom line is that I got my order form filled out and sent off to Gary!  So within the next couple of months I should be the proud owner of a Hertzler Silver Bullet prop!

Marco's Silver BulletNate Mullins' Silver Bullet

I tried to find a stock photo, but couldn’t so here’s a couple shots of Silver Bullet props on my buddy Marco’s plane…





. . . and on Nate Mullins’ Long-EZ:




Besides working to get the prop ordered, I’ve also been working on an ACS order, a McMaster-Carr order and I just saw an email where Wicks Aircraft is having free shipping tomorrow on any order over $100.  I’m trying to finalize a few more pieces of 4130 and aluminum that I need, so I was figuring those out before submitting those respective orders.

One piece of aluminum in specific was for the GIB control stick.  I made a huge design departure on my aircraft where the GIB stick is concerned, which I’m very grateful that I made the discovery on how exactly it works back there.  Why the change?  Well, after spending a considerable amount of time in the back seat of Marco’s Long-EZ, I realize that during any period of heavy control usage: takeoffs, landings, pattern work, etc. that I have to move my right leg over to one side ESPECIALLY if the stick is mounted (his is removable).

When I queried the old guard on this, including Terry Lamp, the builder of Marco’s bird, they all said to make the stick removable!  It’s interesting how it takes a bit to reset our own paradigms, since mine in this area had always been to have the back seat control stick hard mounted.  Somewhat of an instant replacement (as JD sells it!  Good job JD! ha!) in case the front stick has issues.  After the flight back to Chesapeake from RR, I concluded that the only real logical thing to do was in fact make the GIB control stick removable.  With the design of the right side arm rest and the engineered plans version of the flight control system, there’s no viable way of getting around NOT having a permanently mounting control stick if you want to save the GIB’s thigh from being pummeled black & blue during any maneuvering flight.  Ok, big breath, big sigh … AND decision made to not hard mount the aft Infinity Control Stick!  In fact, it stays at home as an extra stick and instead a simple, lightweight, removable stick gets put in its place …

something like this:

New removable GIB stick

I dug out the control stick that I bought from the Cozy Girrrls, measured the OD at 0.617″ and then found some spare 2024 tubing stock that fit it.  The ID of this stock is 0.634″ and the OD is 3/4″.  I had some spare foam handle grips that I got from McMaster-Carr, so I threw one of those on the end.  Wow! It fit and felt perfect!  Done!  For final measure, I took a plastic cable channel insert that fit into the end & slid that sucker into place.  I can always swap that out, but for now –once I cut the tubing to length– I’m calling the GIB control stick COMPLETE!

Tomorrow I plan on getting the shop organized, taking into account the CS spar now mounted permanently on the fuselage… yes, that beast takes up some space!  Then I’ll continue for another few days to work these odd ‘n items before getting back to finalizing the canard & elevator install.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.