Jul 18 2012

Western Trip 1

I had quite a few recommendations for places to visit, so It looks like I’ll be spending a bit of time in ID, WA and OR.  After checking out taxes it looks like WA has the edge as it has no income taxes.  OR  has no sales tax, so living on the border seems like a good idea. After spending a bit of time in the northwest, I plan to head south (along CA or UT, NV to visit AZ, NM then travel across the southern states back to SC.

My first leg from Charleston SC to Detroit MI was fairly uneventful, except for some REALLY hot weather on the ground.  Cruising at 10,000 ft was absolutely delightful with a OAT of 62f and it makes me look forward to the fall.

The only issue I had was the failure of the vac pump.  It has already been in service way longer than normal at about well over 1000 hrs.  normally, they last for 4-500 hrs.  The trick here is to disassemble them every 3-400 hrs and clean the internals with mineral spirits.  I am having my spare shipped out and it will be in the plane before I leave Detroit.  There was some weather coming into the Detroit area just before I arrived, but the loss of the vacuum system wasnt an issue as I have a backup electric gyro in the plane.

I did some simple mods to the plane (winglet root fairing) and fuel blister to cowl faring.  They were made in 4 hrs or so out of some 1/4″ and 1/8″ foam sheets with 5 min epoxy and attached with metal foil tape and am amazed at the speed I picked up.  The winglet airflow is now straight as an arrow.



After calibrating my air speed indicator yesterday (its now within 3 kts at 150 TAS) I find I am now cruising at 164 k, TAS at 6.8 gph at 2400 rpm (normally it was about 155 kts)  I just hope they stay attached through the western trip so I can cover them with glass and change them into something more permanent than an experiment.

Right now I cant tell the absolute speed increase since I did the ASI calibration and fairings at the same time but I know with certainty, I am going quite a bit faster.  As soon as they fly off, get eaten by the prop, or I return home, they’ll be taken off to get the real good data points for comparison.