Saturday, December 20, 2014

Canopy Strut

The weather hasn't been good for VFR flying. Low gray clouds or gusty winds have grounded Sally and me for most days. The few flights we've had we've remained in the pattern for landing practice. Satisfying but I look forward to something a bit more adventurous. Maybe next month.

Time to take care of some maintenance. If you watch the beginning of this video you'll notice the canopy itself. The gas struts have slowly begun to fail. Fortunately a discussion was started at explaining the various design changes this part has undergone. Shawn decided to buy multiple sets of P/N 280292, a slightly different number found on my strut. After careful measurement I decided to purchase a spare set from him. Hopefully I'll have a chance to install them next week.

* "I saw the pic you posted on your blog of your canopy strut. If you remove that sticker, which I'm not sure who put that on there, you will see the OEM info for the strut. 280292 100N 21/10. The part number, the force in newton meters and the date code they were made. Yours were made in the 21st week of 2010." - Shawn

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cold Sunday

The alarm clock went off in the early morning darkness. The temperature was below freezing. I forced myself to get up even though my aching body demanded more sleep. Bleary eyed, I checked the weather maps to see if it was worth the trip to the airport. It didn't take too long for me to decide to start a fresh pot of coffee.

S.O.G. (Snow on ground). The sun struggled to penetrate the overcast layer that the maps had said was at 5000'.  Thin patches of ice lingered at the edges of the reservoir I cross on the drive in, and on the puddled taxiway near the hangar. A small pile of snow was in front of the hangar doors, too close to the structure for the plow to scrape away. The thermometer inside read 35°F but felt colder. I unfastened the upper cowl to check on the Rotax. Then I found my home made engine warmer, snaked the duct up from the exhaust vent, under the left cylinders, over the prop housing, under the right cylinders and pointed the open end at the oil reservoir. I turned on the "low" setting and gently placed the upper cowling back on before going back to the warm car and my cup of coffee. 45 minutes later I went in and cycled the prop, short of a "burp" but enough to move some of the oil. After another 30 minutes she was warm enough to start.

The density altitude was -850'. Sally loves the dense air and nearly jumped off the runway. We stayed in the pattern for about 3 circuits then departed to explore the local area. SOG everywhere.The world had lost its color, everything was displayed in shades of gray. The season has changed. The radio was busy with other Sunday fliers out getting some exercise. Leaving Butter Valley we were faced with a flock of Snow Geese. I decided not to let Sally's white wings join up with them so cut my departure leg a little short. After a good work out we came back to Quakertown to an empty pattern.

I logged 6 landings. Sometimes it seems that no matter what adjustments you make, the "squeak" just doesn't happen. This time they were easy. Sally and I were completely in sync. It was really worth that effort to get out of bed.

Video Notes: Cold Sunday

Interesting Analysis: GA's Difficult Climb Back