All Ready…

Shined up and ready for first flight thanks to Matt and Cheryl’s elbow grease!

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Taxi Testing and Bedding Brakes

Matt and I began reassembling the airplane after inspection was complete. The interior is in again. Jeff Point came over this evening and performed some taxi testing and bedded the brake pads in. According to Jeff, “Man, this thing’s got some snort to it!”

Airworthiness Inspection

Yesterday Tim Spreen of the FAA gave N526T one serious inspection. He accepted my application for airworthiness. In other words, legally, this is now an airplane and no longer just a pile of parts. The operating limitations have no significant limitations. My test area is nearly the entire state of Wisconsin. Next step is to reassemble the airplane, do some taxi procedures, and if all goes well a first flight in the very near future!

Sanding

Cheryl and Matt assisted again. We got the idle screw set at 650 RPM and got the fuel pump relay set so that it isn’t prematurely kicking on the backup pump.

We built up the back of the top cowl to allow sanding of the front side. This eliminated interference with the prop. Then ran the engine for the first time with the cowl installed. Found that the top cowl is fine but discovered the lower cowl is now showing some interference. Next, same procedure on the lower cowling!

Spectacular Day

So on the day of my first engine run, while the engine lit off, it died fairly quickly. Over and over. A very frustrating and worrying problem.

Today, after troubleshooting assistance from tech counselor extraordinaire Jeff Point and EFII vendor and wizard Robert Paisley, we discovered the fuel delivery mapping was not properly programmed.

After reprogramming the ECU to proper values, the engine lit off and ran strong! We cycled the prop, delivering oil through the governor. Everything worked like a charm. No leaks at all of any sort. We ran the engine up to 2000 rpm, this thing was making power! More fine tuning to do, but certainly a victorious day.

Cheryl and Nick also came over to wish us good luck and manage the fire bottle. Cheryl inspected for leaks and found a little condensation from the oil breather line, which was to be expected.

Weight and Balance and First Engine Start

My dad came to the hanger and helped with the weight and balance. The airplane weighed in at 1120 pounds with a CG of 81. A little more tail heavy than I’d have liked but seems manageable.

Jeff and Glenn then came over for first engine start. Cheryl and Matt assisted as well. Went well, but a few hiccups need to be straightened out…