Wednesday, 20 February 2013

New tools and Anodising

I've bought some tools for the electrics jobs to come.

They are a ratchet type crimper, a wire stripper and some micro nippers.

The ratchet crimper is the one to get as it takes the brains out of crimping - giving the perfect pressure every time.

The wire stripper is an auto type which if you view the video below you will see has a complicated action that grips the wire and then strips off a certain amount (set by the little metal angle on the end) and then releases the whole lot. This stripper has an AWG (American Wire Gauge) range that will cover almost everything I am doing (bar the battery and starter wires).

The micro nippers are just the thing for cutting tie wraps in hard to reach places, and they cut with a flush edge so that the tie wrap doesn't end up drawing blood from you later down the line when you are reaching in to do some maintenance.

I'm also getting a bunch of parts anodised this week.

Firstly to protect the aluminium from corrosion and secondly because I don't like the gold coloured anodising that has been done on several parts. I'll be going for silver on everything.

Electrics Tools

Parts for Anodising

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Manual labour

This is all I seem to be doing lately. Reading manuals...

The EFIS and Transponder are arriving next week. The Radio will follow at the end of the month as they are out of stock just now.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Rotron Lecture

Last night I attended a talk by Gilo Cardozo, (the founder and CEO of Rotron Engines) at the Royal Aeronautical Society here in London.

Absolutely fascinating stuff!

A good bit of the talk was about his adventure of flying over Mt Everest in a para motor.

The previous height record for a para motor was 17,000 ft.

He had to design and build an engine capable of 30,000 ft.

He did it in a very short time scale and ended up with a single rotor, rotary engine which was heavily supercharged. (3 bar pressure)

It weighed 25kg and produced 100hp - a first for power to weight.

He was partnered with Bear Grylls and Bear was the one who flew over Everest after Gilo's engine lost power on the climb up due to the supercharger drive belt breaking.

The twin rotor shown below weighs just 22kg (block, including alternator and starter) and puts out a peak power of 210hp, (yes you read that right) with a max continuous of 150hp.

A smaller single rotor engine of 40hp will go into the new eGo. A Sub 115kg aircraft that is nearing first flight here in Cambridge, UK.

Rotron have over come the two big drawbacks of a rotary engine: Heat (internal) and oil consumption.

They do this by having cold air (with a mist of oil in it) pump around the engine (through the gold port covers you see below). This air cools the internals of the engine and also is compressed (effectively like a supercharger) before being introduced into the combustion chamber.

The oil consumption is now down to 400:1

Also they use ceramic seals which never wear out and are not affected by heat.

More about Rotron here:

And the eGo here:

22kg, 200hp

Rotron founder Gilo Gardozo
eGo, 115kg empty weight
Prototype is nearly ready for first flight

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Week 78 - Panel, Aerials and static tube install

Hours to date: 801.5

Lately I've been mainly reading installation manuals - for the Dynon D180 - all 157 pages of it! For the UL power engine it's 50 - the UL one is very clear and with lots of diagrams and photos - the Dynon one is not so good but should be okay.

I've still got to read the Trig Radio and Transponder ones - about 60 pages each.

I'm now ready to take the plunge and order the Dynon EFIS and Trig radio and transponder. After that I'll be about £6,000 poorer!

So the focus for me at the moment is to get the panel installed. So that's what I've been working on.

As you can see below there are 3 mounting points. Although I am thinking about doing what Pete does and cutting the panel into two sections. The lower one stays put and the top section can be taken out pretty easily for maintenance or troubleshooting.

If I do this then I'll have to make up a little box for the lower section so that I can mount that to the bottom of the safety cell.

The two sections will then get joined by a flange and anchor nuts.

You can see my final panel layout below - the only thing that will change is I may put the ECU switch behind a cage (same as the Master and 2 ignitions) as if that is flipped off then the engine stops!

The other switch will be a general one for Avionics.

The other work I've been doing lately is installing the rudder cable tubes, plus the aerials for the transponder and radio.

They are pretty nifty aerials especially designed for composite aircraft - so that they do not need a ground plane. Pete uses them and says they work very well.

They are from a US company called Advanced Aircraft Electronics. The aerials themselves can be ordered from Aircraft Spruce.

The transponder is the smaller one towards the rear, the radio is the large one wrapping itself around the inside of the fuselage.

These are just stuck on with flock.

As you can see I've also installed the static fittings and tube to the static ports. Still got to run that all the way up to the cockpit, but I will wait until I have made up some larger straps to cover the rudder tubes, transponder aerial cable and static line all in one go.

Final panel layout (before it changes again!)

Aerials and static lines plus rudder cable tubes all in place.

Side mount for the panel

2 side mounts for panel in place

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

New Rotary engine from Austro (Diamond Aircraft)

No new aero engines for years and then two come along at once!
This thing is impressively light.
Obviously the weight quoted of 27kg is only representing the engine itself and not the installed weight. 
Even so this looks like a great little unit for a Twister (which was of course originally designed around a Rotary engine).
It also seems like they have solved one of the worst problems with a Rotary and that is oil consumption.
The granddaddy of this engine was built and developed by Norton for their motorcycles back in the 80's. It later became Mid-West and was then sold to Diamond Aircraft.
Text below From the Austro website.
Austro Engine successfully tested brand new rotary engine
On the 8th of January 2013 the engine AE80R which is in development since 2.5 years successfully performed on the Austro Engine test bench. As a final target it will have a weight of 27 kg with an output of 80 hp (58 kw).

Compared to the AE50R (55 PS Austro Engine rotary engine) the new engine has no loss lubrication system anymore which results in an extremely low oil consumption. A dual FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) controlled fuel injection system will keep fuel consumption on the lowest possible level. The engine is designed to power small manned or unmanned aircraft.

According to Christian Dries, Chairman and Owner Diamond Aircraft, the AE80R might has the potential to become one of the leader in the extremely weight sensitive market of LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) and ultra-light aircraft. “The engine has no vibration and therefore it is ideal to power UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) with highly sensitive equipment” he added.