Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Shielding results....

I took about four hours Sunday to fully shield the kill switch wires that come from the magneto coils AND the lighting circuit coil leads that come from the engine. Where I couldn't get the coil connectors through the braid (it's 1/2" diameter) I split it down the side and secured it with wire ties. Where the connectors joined, I just spiral wrapped them with the flat braid and secured with wire ties. It doesn't look that great, but I guess I can live with it. It might look better now if I wrap it all (neatly) with black vinyl tape.

The results? I took her up for about a 20 minute test flight after I was done. I couldn't tell any difference at all! When I landed and shut off the engine, I had an epiphany. I decided to check the radio at that time. I pushed the push-to-talk switch and before I said anything, I could hear my engine cooling off! You know, the little ping-ping-ping that metal things make when they go from hot to cool? Then I listened a bit more with an open mic. I heard birds, insects and infinitesimal mouth noises that I never would have thought the mic would have picked up.

So my noise is that of my engine, and prop, and cooling fan, and wind noise, all going into my mic. Not sure how to take care of this. I ordered a MicMuff foam/leather cover for my mic from Oregon Aero. I read all the testimonials and "why MicMuff works" stuff on their site. They suckered me for $12 plus shipping for a total of $18.50. I didn't check into their return policy, but they certainly won't cover shipping either way, so to try it out and return it would cost me at least $13, so no matter how well it works, I guess I'll keep it. Of course I'll post the results when I try it out.

Oh yeah, one more thing, not that it makes a difference to anybody...IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! Big 43!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Cross country to Evergreen

I got to the airport about 9:00 and Don got there about 5 minutes later. We both prepped and preflighted our planes and discussed the trip and arrival into Middleton Field, the site of EAA's South East Regional Fly-In (SERFI) and we left about 10:00. The wind was gusting from the northeast and it was pretty bumpy. There was a military training route that we had to cross about 30 miles into the 50 mile trip. The MTR altitude limits were 500 AGL to 4000 MSL, so we gradually climbed to 4000 feet to safely pass above it. It was pretty cold up there, even with the snowmobile suit I was wearing. It was the first time I had been up that high in my MX with the previous record being 3500 feet way back in 1995. We found some smoother air past 3800 and enjoyed the rest of the flight at that level.

Don had some pictures that he wanted to take near the city of Evergreen, so while he was down on the deck, I hung out way up high, with the runways of Middleton clearly in sight. It took me several minutes to spiral down to approach altitude and as I was doing so, I spotted Don coming toward me from his picture-taking task and I gladly let him take the lead to the approach. We landed on the taxiway of runway 10, the same designated traffic pattern when SERFI is held. I didn't see Don's landing as there was a hangar in the way, but the wind was blowing! I didn't have any problem landing, but it certainly wasn't one of my prettier meetings with the pavement! We taxied to the FBO and shut down our engines and quickly made our way to the bathroom, as it was a 1.3 hour flight. After our business was done, we relaxed and smoked a cig or two and just shot the breeze. Before I left I took a couple of shots of the two static aircraft displays...an F-86 sabre and a T-28 Trojan. The attendant at the FBO cheerfully filled up my 2.5 gallon can twice while I mixed in the oil and topped off my tank. I paid and we suited up and left shortly. We followed basically the same path home and the air was even bumpier than before. There was no really smooth air to be found up to 4000 feet, but it was better about 3800 than it was at 3000, so I stayed there. Don decided to stay lower where he thought he was getting a better ground speed for his chosen RPM.

We flew around Greenville and the east side of the airport runway before following a familiar route back to Ft. Deposit. Landing was a non-event, even though I had a low bounce or two before losing enough airspeed to stay firmly planted on the ground. The wind was gusting directly across the runway but didn't pose too much of a problem.

The total distance for our flight was 106 miles and about 3.2 hours flight time. This trip provided two firsts for me...longest distance covered in one day and highest altitude in my airplane. It was a fun trip! Can't wait to do another!

This is where Don and I flew today. From Fort Deposit, Alabama to Evergreen's Middleton Field. 106 miles round-trip. Posted by Hello

Best shot of Don and his MXL Sport II that I could get. Posted by Hello

First time in my MX at 4000 feet MSL. It was COLD...even with my snowmobile suit on. Funny thing...it was 65 on the ground! Posted by Hello

Don was about 1000 feet below me at about 3000 MSL when I took this. Posted by Hello

After taxiing to the FBO and shutting down at Middleton field. Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

Don ahead of me at about 3000 feet altitude. Posted by Hello

I got this shot of the train about 10 miles south of Greenville. Posted by Hello

The city of Greenville with the airport the prominent feature in the background. Posted by Hello

On our way back from Evergreen over Greenville, James Kirkland shot this picture of Don and I flying together. We were at about 2500 feet or so, skirting around the east end of the Greenville airport. Posted by Hello

Approaching Ft. Deposit. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see Don a bit above me just before setting up for his landing. Posted by Hello

Blackhawk landing about four minutes after Don and I arrived back at Ft. Deposit. Posted by Hello

Taxiing along the runway. Posted by Hello

Sorry about the framing, but I had to act quick to get this one. He dragged his tailwheel for about 100 feet before taking off again! Posted by Hello

Friday, April 15, 2005

Easy to join Yahoo quicksilver group from my blog...

I just added a button and link in the right-hand margin of my blog to make it easy to join the Yahoo group "Quicksilver Ultralight Owners" (the group name is all strung together without spaces). I would like to invite anyone who might be contemplating owning any of the flavors of Quicksilver-type aircraft to join this group and lurk, ask questions and learn. There are about 10-15 regulars who post all the time, among which are Dave Matheny who writes for EAA "Sport Pilot" magazine almost every month. Also, Mark Smith shares his wealth of knowledge gained over the last 3 decades or so of flying, selling, and making spare parts and upgrades for these types of aircraft. There are others, including myself, that post questions, answers and advise all the time. Since the advice is free, it's up to you to determine the credibility of the source and the soundness of the advice, but with Mark there to comment (and his sidekick Steve Gould) it makes it easier to read with discernment.

Others regular contributors own several types of Quicksilver or "Quick-a-likes" as we like to call aircraft built by others in the same general style. These contributors are, at the very least, entertaining, and at the opposite end, very informative. Please join if you think you would benefit from the exchange of information. I check the postings there several times a day!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Shielding galore!

40 feet of round steel shielding braid arrived at my door yesterday, courtesy of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Company. After lengthy discussions on the Yahoo group "Quicksilver Ultralight Owners" the general consensus was that the radio noise I was experiencing was probably due to the kill switch wires and the wires that feed power to my strobe light. It was suggested that I test the wires before I shield them, but I'm not really happy with the wiring in it's current state anyway, so I'm just going to do it. Besides, the braid looks really cool! I hope it doesn't rust!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Today was the first day this year that I was able to fly in just my jeans and T-shirt. It was 82 degrees as I got to the airport about 5 PM. Nothing unusual to report. The air was calm on the ground and about 5-10 aloft, but that disappeared as the sun was setting. It was very hazy and even though it was warm on the ground, if the sun was behind the clouds, it was a bit chilly. When I landed about 6:45, I was starting to get chilled. Call me a wussy wimp. Go ahead. I dare ya! Here's some pictures that I took while flying.....

Just before touchdown on runway 15. Posted by Hello

A shot of the Ft. Deposit airport (67A) just before entry to the cross-wind leg for approach to runway 15. Posted by Hello

Site of a recent train derailment that I posted a picture of back in January. It's all cleaned up and back to normal. Here is the photo of the derailment back in January. Posted by Hello

My GPS mounting system. It's a great vibration isolator! Posted by Hello

Beautiful hardwood forests and green new growth near Hayneville, Alabama. Posted by Hello

I sure would like a home in a secluded area like this....see following shot. Posted by Hello

A new home going up in the middle of a big field. Lucky dog.  Posted by Hello

This appears to be a fertilizer storage and sales facility along the tracks between Montgomery and Ft. Deposit in a town called Letohatchee. Sure could use a paint job. Posted by Hello

I wonder how far the cows would sink in this stuff. It's part of their normal pasture. Posted by Hello

Some area's north of Ft. Deposit that I haven't flown over since last September. Looks quite a bit different in the spring. Posted by Hello

We're still trying to dry out after the 12 inches or so of rain in the last two weeks. ALL of the ponds are full and there's a bunch of water pooling in the low spots. Posted by Hello