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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mooney Rising--First Flight

Uneventful--that's a pilot's favorite word, particularly when speaking of the first flight for our (nearly) completed rebuild. It was my first flight in a Mooney, as well. What a great little sports car feel! I loved it. The engine performed flawlessly, though we do have a few squawks with the avionics, including the comm radio and altimeter. It's already being fixed. After that it's all about flying. Stay tuned.


Base to final

Spicewood (88R) off the wing tip...staying close to home on our maiden flight.





We found a nifty little spot right in the middle of the back seat kick panel for the fire insurance.





Monday, September 22, 2014

Ready for Takeoff

And suddenly it's here--that day we've been working toward for the last 10 months. The limited time we had Saturday was spent attaching an interior vent hose, inspecting the tail cone area, attaching the last pieces of plastic surrounding the nose wheel well and attaching the cowling. It's signed off and ready to fly. We taxied it to the fuel station, filled it up and taxied it back. The JPI was doing its job and all looked healthy. The nose wheel steering felt particularly sensitive to this Cessna pilot. It will take getting used to. Unfortunately, neither Glenn nor I have the opportunity to fly this week, but stay tuned as we begin our flying adventures. He is well qualified to fly her. I have to get 15 hours of duel instruction and 25 landings in order to meet my insurance requirements to fly passengers. I'll enjoy the learning curve as I haven't done much flying in the last couple of years.



Looks better in the natural light.
I'm customizing our own check list based on the best I could find on mooneyspace.com.

Glenn fueling the left wing. All dry on the port side. (This wing has been virtually empty for 10 months.)

David getting ready to make his first start and taxi.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Shiny Spinner

We completed the wiring of the panel mounted Garmin 396, programmed the JPI, installed the alternator fail light on the panel, re-installed the nose gear doors that I managed to install incorrectly, and polished the spinner. We have lots of paperwork to catch up on and our mechanic needs to sign off, but we're very close to flying.
Notice the piano hinge. It was a late night after a long day and I couldn't get my head around why the landing gear truss was scraping the gear door. I continued trying to fit a square peg in a round hole by adjusting the tie-rod, then finally gave up. Glenn had the aha moment on Saturday and realized I had attached the wrong side of the piano hinges. After we flipped the hinges and re-adjusted the tie-rods, the doors worked perfectly. Now about that ugly scratch, we'll touch it up.

The GPS is wired and mounted and the JPI is programmed. We'll record our exact fuel usage for a few flights the old fashioned way and fine tune the electronic fuel usage accordingly.

The spinner is shined and mounted. Nice work, Glenn. More photos next time.

Monday, August 25, 2014

CLEAR PROP



Red letter day on the Mooney--we cranked up the engine after nine months of giving it love and attention. A few puffs of white smoke from the oil that was coating the pistons and then it was purring. The new alternator and starter worked great and the engine analyzer worked perfectly. It's time for our mechanic to complete his inspection so we can start flying her. First stop--the avionics shop to get the radios swapped out.





Monday, August 18, 2014

Closing the 'Business End'

We made nice progress over the weekend completing the installation of the JPI and replacing the nose bowl. It almost looks flyable.
There were several systems to connect to the nose bowl including the light, ram air cable and oil cooler.

...and cowl flaps.

Fresh parts including gasket to seal the ram air opening.

This panel insert has the JPI mode switch and data port, a set of headset jacks and a push-to-talk that we installed by the co-pilot's right hand. Nifty. When we turned on the JPI, the cylinder heads and exhaust ports read 97-98 degrees--we knew they were registering properly. It was HOT this weekend.

The prop had been gathering dust since November.


The prop and governor have really neat mechanical components. The bolts that hold the assembly on the engine are designed such that they can't work themselves out, and then safety wire is used as a redundancy. I'm confident the prop will not come loose or fall off.

Spinner set in place for photo.

We pulled the spark plugs and turned the engine over to make sure we had proper oil pressure. This also tested the new starter. We'll be firing up this old bird within the week and do some more system testing. Then back under the microscope by our mechanic before she takes flight.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Finalizing the Installation of the JPI EDM 700

The blog posts have slowed down during the dog days of summer, but we made some nice progress yesterday working towards the completion of the engine analyzer. Among other variables, we'll have fuel flow, cylinder head temps, exhaust gas temps, oil pressure, rate of cooling, voltage, and particularly lean of peak settings. Next--completion of wiring to the gps and the JPI unit on the panel.
The new2"  hose from the muffler shroud to the cabin vent was installed.

Two yellow wires connect two sensors, the CHT probe and the EGT probe, per cylinder.

All bundled neatly.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Almost Down to the Punch List

The interior is essentially complete, except for a few plastic covers that will go under the panel after the avionics are finished. The exhaust is installed. We're currently installing a JPI engine monitor and wiring back seat intercom terminals. The JPI installation requires mounting various sensors and wiring them to the instrument on the panel. It will allow us to keep a close eye on the internal happenings of the engine and allow us to run lean-of-peak, extending engine life and saving gas--all good. After that, the prop and hub go back on before running the engine. It's more work than it sounds, but we're really not that far away.
The taupe/black welting was a big monkey on my back and was tedious, but turned out great.


Preparing to drill holes in the exhaust for sensor probes.


Glenn working with our new friend Tony.

That spider web of yellow are the wires to the sensors.