Category: LongEZ Upgrade

Dec 23 2019

Air flow inlet

When I received the rebuilt Bendix throttle bottle from Airflow Performance (AFP) I also order an air filter and the flow guide to attach the filter to the fuel servo.

he strange thing is the flow guide has a 3.25” flange and the K&N filter they sell requires a 3.5” flange. I ask AFP what I should do and they really didn’t have an answer for the issue. I was told to just cut a piece of PVC pipe and use the ring as a spacer to fill the gap… Yikes! do people real do that sort of thing on their planes?

Amazingly, I happened to have some 1” AL stock of the right size and decided to machine my own flow guide.

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That 1” AL is really thick and difficult to work with. After cutting the block off I needed to remove the center to make a hole.

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Next is is spending a bit of fun time on the lathe.

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Four hours later, I had a new flange with the 3.5” flange I wanted which was basically free. Now I’ll return the $135 air inlet back to AFP.

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Dec 02 2019

Fuel Injection Installation

Today I started removing at the Ellison throttle body fuel system with the primer and facet pumps. I also sent the entire Bendix system to Airflow performance for overhaul.

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Dec 01 2019

New panel

I thought I would show what the new panel would look like.

Making the panel out of .090” 6061T-6 aluminum will actually be fairly easy to do. I am looking forward to that part of the project. IMG_0610-2019-12-1-20-04.jpg

Nov 25 2019

Wiring removal

Today I started on removing the wiring from the plane. I wanted to preserved some of the original wiring (starter, ignition, etc).

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A nice looking instrument panel. I wold the entire panel to Spencer for a cozy 3 project he is working on.

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I decided that I wanted to wire the plane differently and with the installation of the Dynon SkyView system, the harnesses will be completely different. I felt it was better to replace everything.

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Nov 24 2019

Successful Move

Today the Cozy was brought home from the airport.

A very dear friend, Roger was instrumental in helping me remove the wings and he bought over his large trailer to transport the plane to my shop.

Tomorrow I’ll begin disassembling the plane’s electrical system which will be a little challenging because I want to preserve some parts of the system such as the ignition and charging systems, while removing most of the rest of the dash and electrical wires and instrumentation.

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Nov 23 2019

Disassembly of the Cozy 4

I am finally ready to get started. For the last few weeks I have been working on the panel design and wiring schematics.

It is time move the plane home. It took a few hours to prepare for wing removal and transportation. Tomorrow Rodger will be stopping by with his trailer to move it to my workshop. Yay!

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Jan 19 2018

PMag Blast Tube

A requirement for a PMag installation is the addition of a blast tube on the base to assist in keeping the unit cool. Since PMag does not sell an adapter, it forced me grab some scissors and create a template. It took little time and is very light weight.

Here is two orientations I needed for both of my PMag.

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Here is a very easy design to cut and bend the adaptor which insures the air is directed into the cooling grill on the bottom side of the unit.

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After bending the metal (.015” AL) a tube was riveted on and all was sealed with a bit of RTV.

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Enjoy.

http://nickugolini.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BlastTubeforPMag-1-19-18-2018-01-19-16-21.pdf

Jul 02 2017

Transponder Antenna Test Complete

Here is an update for the angular slot transponder antenna.

My second test was conducted at 1200 ft, 18 miles from Charleston International. At this distance and altitude ATC had no problem receiving my transponder squawk.

Finally, I today I returned from a 1.5 hr cross country trip at 7,000 ft with the goal again testing the plane on a real trip. Again, no issues or complaints from ATC. At one point I was 55 miles from the receiver again with no issue noted from ATC.

Although my current installation location ideal due to the fact it is in a small cardboard enclosure and just one foot in front of the existing ground plane which covers almost the entire bottom of the cabin it still seems to work perfectly. If anything, this would be a worst case installation, but it works.

I know this antenna will be the one I install in my next plane.

Next Up, I’ll connect a test antenna for ADS-B in the hell hole (again, the few places in the plane free of ground plane paint).

Jun 18 2017

Annular Slot Antenna

Yesterday I tried out a remarkable transponder/DME/ADS-b antenna I made. It is called an annular slot antenna. Very easy to build out of brass sheet stock. I never heard of this type of antenna. Apparently they are used extensively and most military aircraft use this type of antenna because they are no drag and totally flush on the surface.

Jack Wilhelmson told me about this antenna (he made one, but not tested) and gave me the drawings/materials, so I thought I would try making one for the plane.

Here is the fabrication drawing. Units are in MM, and be aware of the funny looking (European) “1” they look like a upside down V. If you look at the date of the drawing, you’ll see what I mean.

http://nickugolini.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/annularslotanttena-2017-06-18-12-58.pdf

The write of of the antenna…

http://nickugolini.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/AnnularSlotantennatheory-2017-06-18-12-58.pdf

It was easy to solder it all together, and I had an extra BNC panel connector for the cable. It took about an hour to fabricate.

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It is so simple to make I wondered if it would work at all given that it does not have a large ground plane, and is very weird looking.

TESTING:
To test the antenna, I temporarily ran a jumper cable from my existing transponder antenna location to the new antenna and went flying. At 3000 ft, I flew outbound from KCHS. At 25 miles, the transponder reply to ATC became intermittent. I was told by ATC that is about normal for most airplanes at that altitude which was very good initial test result in my mind. As soon as I banked around to return to the airport they immediately picked me back up again. So possibly, the signal was being shielded by the engine and the extensive ground planes installed in the aircraft.

I plan to leave the antenna connected in the plane for a while so I can test it on a real cross country flight to see if it performs as well as my existing external antenna. If it does, then I will definitely be using this design for my transponder/ads-b antennas in my future airplane. I would use it on my plane, but the entire bottom of the fuselage is painted with ground RF paint so I have to stick with my existing antennas.

This design will save a bunch of money, and I don’t have to worry about installing large ground planes for external antennas. Low drag transponder antennas are $80-$160 for a shark fin type. This one is no drag. One could hollow out the fuselage foam in the put a layer of glass to seal the foam and flush mount them on the interior of the plane and you would have no antenna exposer at all on the exterior.

Best of all you can build 2 of these antennas (for transponder and ADS-B) for about $25 with brass you can buy on amazon or a local hardware store. I am amazed I never heard of the design.

Here are some pictures of the build.

A BNC panel receptacle number 31-203-RFX about $4.00 Obtained at a local electronics store.

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Trim off a bit of the unneeded insulator to help with the fabrication:
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You could screw or rivet to hold the connector to the ground plane, I just soldered it.
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After soldering on the center rib, you attach the side supports. A cleco makes it easier to hold the rib in place.
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Attaching the electrode is easier if you pre-wet the areas with solder, then hold the pieces together to connect the parts. After the center electrode is done, solder the side supports to the ground plane.
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Done! I used a piece of card board to make a small enclosure case to protect the element and for testing.
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Oct 07 2016

Hurricane Matthew

As of right now, Friday, 9 pm the weather in Charleston, SC hasn’t been too bad.  Lots of steady rain thorough out the day, since 1 pm.   I would say 10-25 knt winds.   

Hurricane Matthew  is located somewhere between Jacksonville FL and Savannah, GA.  The forecasters are still not sure if Matthew will pass east, slightly off the coast of Charleston or slowly turn out to sea resulting in a direct hit to Charleston with the eye wall.     The eye wall is where the winds are the strongest, don’t cha know.    

During 1989 Hurricane Hugo, the eye of the storm passed directly over my house in Charleston.  It was really creepy to have the winds blasting from the east, then dead calm for about a few minutes.   You could walk outside, no rain or clouds and the stars clearly visible.   Ten minutes later the winds were blasting from the west with the same intensity.  The two strong hits wind events, 180 degrees apart resulted in lots of damage   Needless to say, I hope this one stays off the coast.   

The real fun in Charleston will start about 2 am (tropical force winds).  At 5 am we will get the the real hurricane force winds (>74+ mph).    5 am – 7 pm will be the worst period for the storm.      

Fortunately, I live inland about 14 nm NW of the nearest coast line and am surrounded by dense tall woods on high lot with no chance of flooding.    When I built the house, I engineered it with the Hugo experience in mind, so I am actually a bit excited, eager but also apprehensive about the next few hours.   Sort of like your first flight in your home built airplane. How good are your building skills and will your survive the experience intact quickly races though your mind as the throttle is advanced.     

As far as my airplane, it is still safely tucked in my garage.    Talk about crazy good fortune….  

I have just completed a year long upgrade on the plane and had planned to take it to my hanger THIS weekend and reassemble it.    

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I am glad the last minute delays of life kept the bird home a bit longer than I had planned.  My hanger at JZI is probably as old as I am and I dont have a lot of confidence it surviving a really bad storm. The only thing that matters at the airport is the wings and if they are damaged it is an easy repair, and heck and they needed to be repainted anyway.  No big deal.  

Time to close.  I still have power and internet and want to make of the most of modern technology watching Luke Cage on Netflix before being returned to the middle ages using candle light at night to read a paper book for entertainment.