Looking back I guess a fair bit has happened in the last 3 years since the last update on my MII project, however, From my minds perspective, that of an impatient, “I want results and satisfaction now dammit” personality, it seems like a life time of 1 step forward and 2 back. I still maintain the belief, as outlined in my last report that only those who have no life, family, career or any prospect or desire to have any, should consider taking over, or starting a plans built aircraft project.
Enough of the Rant, and on to the update, In July “the thing in the garage” as my wife calls it, moved to taking up space in Garry Wrights Hanger at CEN4, also in that month it went from being the “thing” to officially being C-GVRZ and having an affirmative stamp from the MDRA and a conditional C of A. The reassembly went well despite the discovery that the English language is too limiting to personal expression if you can’t use profanity when installing MII wing attaching bolts. Despite the all clear on the legalities for GVRZ to take first flight, the freedom one has when making one off alterations to an aircraft can come home to bite you when it comes time to actually making noise and wind with the thing in a timely manner. In my case I designed and built my own Fire wall fwd so it was pretty naïve of me to think I was going to fire it up and have perfect oil temp, CHT and hot fuel flow. The last 2 months have been spent modifying, or at times re designing various components and systems to be able to keep the prop spinning. Most of the modifications I made to the plans were FWF, nothing in the airframe was modified thankfully, or this tie it down, run it - fix it, dance could go on for a while yet. Some of the things I have had issue with are fuel vapor lock at the Rotec TBI regulator, High under cowl, and oil temps and probably my biggest issue although it doesn’t hold up first flight, it just pisses me off immensely, is the water based poly urethane paint adhesion problem that is appearing, first where there was/is heat, and now around some taped edges. I choose to use a water based paint as most of the airframe will be left bare to polish later but the fiberglass and matching trim was painted in my attached garage at home and having had one bad experience in my younger years with the effects of urethane paint and a leaking respirator I thought better of using a solvent based paint of any form in my garage. However right now I’m thinking that stunting my kid’s growth a bit might be a better outcome then having to strip and repaint the cowl. Most of the issues short of the %$#@%$ paint thing have been addressed, the post “completion” modifications are, Changing the oil cooler lines from -6 to -8 and removing a sharp angle in the line to clear the oil filter housing, rerouting 2 fuel lines, making a shroud and blast tube for the gascolator, installing a fuel return line to main tank with a solenoid valve to be able to purge fuel after hot soak or to operate as a full time return system if MO gas is used, installing a small louver to lower cowl to augment hot air flow from the dead air space on the corners of the firewall, modify cowl exit surface area, several revisions to Rotec TB including resizing some fuel tube outlet holes, resizing regulator spring and blast cooling the regulator. The inlet cooling size may yet have to be opened up but so far in static testing the CHT are reasonable for ambient temperature. Once any and all ground running and taxi testing looks good, the first flight will be planned.
A bit of Info on GVRZ:
- I picked up the project in Gimli, Manitoba in 2007, it was started by the MDRA inspector there in 1999, he had lost interest due to 2 other planes being built at the same time.
- He had about 1000 hrs into it when I got it, I’m afraid to add my log sheet up to see how many I have in it now, nor will I add up the invoices on the chance my wife sees the number, You know the one, “really dear I can build a plane for under $30k”……not.
- I choose this design over building an RV mainly due to tapered wing and looks of the plane, not to mention the relative rarity compared to the RVs.
- Toughest part of the build was the canopy, I had quite a few feet of ¾” alum tubing “lawn art” before I finally got the bow angles just right, then there was the fiber-glassing, which is fine, I love what you can do with fiberglass, I just hate the sanding of it, the amount of which is directly proportional to your skill level, mines not very high apparently, and I have a mild allergic reaction to the glass fibers.
- Most enjoyable part of build was doing the panel layout, instrument install and wiring, mainly because you were doing stuff that you could test and play with after you were done, most of building is making something that will be used at a later date, so no immediate gratification.
- Longest stretch of inactivity, 7 months in 2012 never touched it from Sept to April, Life, kids hockey and just plain didn’t feel like working on it.
- Most hours put on in one week, 72, spring of 2014.
- Longest string of profanity uttered after a personal injury while working on it, 2 mins, 37 seconds, hand slipped when making up a braided hose end, garage door was open, next door “church “type lady still won’t talk to me, maybe for that or the first engine start up at 8:30 Easter Sunday morning, not sure which.
GVRZ has a 400hr O/H 0360 engine, Rotec Throttle body, a Lightspeed Ignition/1 mag combo, modified Vans FAB, sealed plenum baffles, GRT EFIS/EIS combo on separate bus with Alt, AS as redundancy in EIS, empty wt came in at 990lbs, bit heavier than I hoped, but still have the Prestolite boat anchor starter to jettison, licensed gross wt. 1600lbs.