Question Flying an Apache

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07 May 2023 19:23 - 08 May 2023 14:50 #3924 by Eric Parks
Replied by Eric Parks on topic Flying an Apache
After what felt like forever... "Double Trouble" Annie has decided to cooperate! We got the prop governor reinstalled and the newly repaired support for the prop governor cable put in as well. With the new gaskets and new spark plugs and ignition harness we seem to have finally found the "sweet spot" for Annie. We test ran the engines and everything worked as it should. So before we could let Annie change her mind we took her for a quick run around the pattern. Everything worked great so we are happy to say Annie is ready to fly. Of course we still have a list of "upgrades" left to do but they should be able to be done while still flying the plane. During all of this the engines have gotten easier and easier to start. Some of it is due to the improved ignition but I think a big part has been figuring out that Annie likes 5 strokes of prime to start. She has a drinking problem!!

Happy Mechanic!
 

Annie after finally flying like she should.
 
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Last edit: 08 May 2023 14:50 by Eric Parks.

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06 May 2023 14:19 - 07 May 2023 19:13 #3923 by Eric Parks
Replied by Eric Parks on topic Flying an Apache
We got the prop governor looked at by H&H Propeller and they reported back that the unit just needed adjustment. So good news! No real repair needed and they set it up properly (pun intended!). It has been reinstalled on the right engine. While we were in there (those expensive words again!) we found that a "support" (I don't know what else to call it) had the attach point for one of three legs broken. So it was removed and my friend that is an excellent welder took a few minutes with his gas acetylene torch to repair it. I was able to select some left over 4130 chrome moly tubing from our Bearhawk project that worked just fine. So really no cost to this repair other than the little bit of extra driving. My mechanic will file it down and dress it out and drill it and it'll be good to go.

The right engine also has new gaskets on the intake manifold, carburetor and air intake box. That should solve the roughness and low idle issues at low power settings.

No lost time as both my mechanic and I have been nose-to-the-grindstone with work stuff. The next few weeks look better so we should have the proof of the repairs very soon.

This is the repaired foot just after welding it. No dressing it up yet. 
 

This is a look at the entire prop control cable support. Notice my buddies work bench and how shop worn it is. We have done a lot of work building Bearhawk parts here and he has built MANY hotrods on this table as well.
 
 
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Last edit: 07 May 2023 19:13 by Eric Parks.

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16 Apr 2023 17:52 - 17 Apr 2023 08:00 #3911 by Eric Parks
Replied by Eric Parks on topic Flying an Apache
I think we all know how this is going at this point! More progress and more frustration. The good news is that we are only dealing with issues that we already had, not new ones. But it's time to finally finish this Whack-A-Mole maintenance!

We knew we had an engine that got rough. After all the ignition issues we had with the P-Leads we turned back to ignition even though trouble shooting initially ruled it out. We found a spark plug wire that was "intermittent" so that became a leading suspect although on weak evidence. However, after all this work it didn't seem smart to keep an obviously OLD harness. So we bought a new set of harnesses. They only came in RED. So we now have red ignition harnesses and I like them!   

Once we got the harness we wanted to get them on the right engine to test and see if it fixed our issue. Then we found out my new harness was made for -40E spark plugs and I had -38E. So of course I upgraded to -40 as they are a bit more robust. Once installed I test flew the plane. It runs great! Except when airborne and at low power settings (about 20 inches of manifold or less). Now that we have "isolated" the roughness we think it is related to the intake manifold or carburetor. 

But, the right prop had been slow to feather on run up. So are pulling off the prop governor to get sent off and repaired. While it is out we will chase down the manifold leak problem. We are still working on the CHT issue with the GEM and we *think* it will require a new gauge. So hopefully that too will get resolved. The final piece is the flap gauge and that requires a little attention to repair it and put it back in. I have just been eyeballing the flaps but it should be fixed too. Oh, and service the hydraulic filter. 

So that's the "final" list I HOPE!

While doing my "test flight" I wanted to see how fast I could push Annie. So at 5,500 ft and 23 x 2500 I got an average of 167 mph. For some reason I seem to always post the "slow" leg so this time I made sure to capture the fast speed. So here's evidence that it isn't just Mooneys that are fast at 201 mph! Of course I had to have a 35 mph tailwind to get that ground speed! The speed was rising and dropping and at one point I had 206 mph showing but it also dropped to 196. The North South legs were right at 167 mph each so I'm pretty confident of that speed.
 

In truth I was at a higher than typical cruise power setting to get that speed, about 79%. So I would not normally use such a high (and thirsty!) power setting. More typical for me is about 65% and 135 kts but at least now I have proof I can do 145 KTAS if needed. 

 
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Last edit: 17 Apr 2023 08:00 by Eric Parks.

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07 Apr 2023 08:31 #3902 by Jen D
Replied by Jen D on topic Flying an Apache
Let's hope Annie settles down and learns to "straighten up and fly right" soon!

Jen

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06 Apr 2023 17:29 - 06 Apr 2023 17:32 #3901 by Eric Parks
Replied by Eric Parks on topic Flying an Apache
Jen, I thought there'd be more fun flying and less test flying!! My new nickname for Annie is "Double Trouble"
Last edit: 06 Apr 2023 17:32 by Eric Parks.

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06 Apr 2023 16:46 #3900 by Jen D
Replied by Jen D on topic Flying an Apache
Thank you, Eric, for these in-depth posts and photos!

Jen

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