Over the last month, I have worked several small(ish) tasks on my Bede BD-4C airplane project. Unfortunately, I am behind schedule enough that the plane will not make it to AirVenture 2018, but definitely look for it in the summer of 2019.
The oldest task, not yet reported here, was fabricating an air filter box. I bent up some aluminum and bolted it to the air intake on my Lycoming IO-360-A1A fuel injected engine. Here is the back half of the box, without the filter.
The top of the box looks pretty much like the bottom but has a flange for some SCAT duct which will run to the air inlet on the cowl. For a filter element, I cut up a K&N high flow air filter and sealed the edges with RTV.
I did a little bit of welding and adapted a tow bar to fit onto the nose gear of my Bede BD-4C. Anything that involves heating steel to orange hot is fun! I used some scrap tubing with an inside diameter of 1.5 inches, which fits over the nuts that hold the nose wheel onto the plane.
I have a Dynon headed pitot/angle-of-attack tube installed in the left wing. The plastic tubing for these sensors runs through the wing spar and into the fuselage. I installed fittings on the tubing at the end of the wing, and matching fittings on the tubing in the fuselage, so that I can readily remove and reinstall the wing, detaching and reattaching the tubing. Here are the fittings on the fuselage side. Note that the pitot tube has the female fitting and the AOA tube has the male fitting. By installing them this way, instead of both fittings being the same gender, it is impossible to cross these up and connect them incorrectly.
I swapped out the antique automotive alternator, installing a new B&C Aero alternator. No photos, sorry.
I loaded raster and vector maps into my MGL iEFIS system. Now I can choose whichever seems better at the moment. As received the iEFIS has eight screen layouts. Screen 3 is half map and half instrumentation. It looks like this, depending on which type of map I choose to display.
I did a fair chunk of electrical work on the plane. When I installed and tested the headset jacks for the front seat (pilot and copilot), I found that I could only hear stuff from the copilot headset. After much debugging, I found that several wires were installed in the wrong spots in the connectors for the audio panel. I am quite sure that the pins moved around on their own, in the dark of the night. I am quite sure that I did not install them this way.
- The pilot’s headset wires were in the wrong spot.
- The copilot’s microphone wires were in the wrong spot.
- The wires carrying audio received via the communication radio to the audio panel were swapped with the wires carrying microphone signals from the audio panel to the communication radio.
I fixed all of these problems, installed the Delta Pop Aviation Red Tail communication antennas, and was delighted to find that I could hear radio stuff and the intercomm works.
Lastly, in case anyone ever tries to tell you that building an airplane is a waste of time or is not good for you, check out what just a few hours of airplane work this morning did for my physical well-being.
Here’s to your health!