Monthly Archives: June 2016

Fuel Pump Testing

Since I was able to verify that the fuel tanks don’t leak like a sieve, the next step was to pump fuel through the fuel lines and totalizer, to flush out any junk, test the totalizer and make sure it was talking to the Dynon Skyview. Mission accomplished. Both sides tested and everything appears to be plumbed correctly. No fuel odor detected.

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The Airflow Performance fuel pump was able to maintain between 39-40 gph the whole time. I pumped about 4 gals through each side. I pulled the fuel filters expecting to see some junk, but there was nothing in the filter. I guess I can’t complain.

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Fuel Tank Testing

So, I wanted to test my fuel tanks before mounting them to the fuselage since it’s been only since 1999 since they were built. As the photos show, I set up each wing on sawhorses, grounded the wing, plugged the fuel tank outlet and quick drain, and added 10 gallons of avgas to the tank. I spread copier paper out under the tanks to catch any leaks and hopefully show blue stains if there were leaks.

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Bottom line is that no leaks were detected after leaving the tanks unattended for more than 24 hours. I then pumped the avgas back into gas cans using a small Facet fuel pump and filter. Nothing was caught in the filter. As far as I can tell, the tanks are ready for mounting on the fuselage.

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Wheel and Tire Maintenance

I decided to replace the tubes, re-pack the bearings and generally check out the landing gear. Even though the plane hasn’t flown, I was leery of the age of the tubes and decided to prophylactically change them just for peace of mind. I changed them to a set of Michelin Airstop tubes from Spruce and repacked the bearings with Aeroshell 22 grease.

Since the plane is on its gear and the engine is mounted, etc, I had to find a safe and sturdy way to lift it up for these activities. My company owns a pallet jack and I conceived of an “A Frame” support, which is mounted on a “pallet”. The pallet jack serves as the lifting mechanism and the “A Frame” support is mounted directly under the gear boxes. All pressure is upward and applied to the steel mount. Worked out beautifully and I plan to buy a pallet jack for the hangar.

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While I had everything off, I decided to drill some 3/4″ holes in the wheel pant bracket in order to expose the 7/16″ holes in the landing gear. Insert a shortened 7/16″ bolt in that hole and you have a sturdy way to jack the wheel off the floor with a scissors jack.

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Canopy Thoughts

The debate of whether to follow Van’s instruction in regards to using pop rivets to attach the canopy to the canopy frame vs. using an adhesive like Sikaflex to do the job without drilling holes in the canopy is a matter of preference. I chose to follow the instructions because I liked the idea of a mechanical connection between the canopy and the frame.

The RV-8 canopy is very long and experiences significant thermal expansion and contraction, and it’s not unusual for the canopy to crack. Rather than obsess about the possibility of it cracking at some point, I’ve decided that it will crack one day sooner or later and that when it does, I want to be able to replace it in a reasonable amount of time. Drilling out pop rivets is not hard and I’ve chosen to go that route with the inevitable replacement. I’m just resigned to it, I guess and I’m taking the approach, which I think will afford the easiest replacement.

Having now been through the canopy process, there’s a part of me that would like to have another “crack” at it anyway, so I won’t be devastated if that occurs.

Wings to the Airport!

I borrowed the company trailer and with the help of my son William, we hauled the wings to the hangar. They were laid flat on moving blankets with closed cell foam in between them, and then securely strapped down for the 25 minute ride. All arrived in good shape!

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