ERacer Construction Log
The following tabs under this page show some of the construction photos I have collected over my 17 year process to create my ERacer Aircraft. Of course it is always an ongoing upgrade project...that's what makes it fun.
As you can see below, My US Air Force career, 3 daughters growing up during the process, as well and seasonal climate changes, made this a part-time hobby for me that I thoroughly enjoyed.
My ERacer was built in my various garages around the United States until May of 2012 when I moved it to its current hanger home at KFFC for final assembly and taxi/flight testing.
Below is my yearly construction hour breakown:
1995 21 - Del Rio, Texas
1998 100 - Abilene, Texas
2001 164 - Cabot, Arkansas
2004 117 - San Antonio, Texas
2008 77 - Peachtree City, Georgia
2012 381 - First Flight, KFFC, Peachtree City, GA
CHAPTER 1 -4 FUSELAGE ASSEMBLY
Left: The primary epoxy system for my ERacer was Aeropoxy 2032/3660
Right: My epoxy ratio pump. I used a 60watt bulb and a cover box to keep things warm in the winter.
Left: I started with the Bulk head chapter. This was the first bulkhead that I completed so many years ago.
Right: The Divinicell Foam fuselage sides..I first started using a knife to carve it out but quickly changed to a router for a much smoother surface.
Left: This shows the wood stringer being bonded to the fuselage side and the foam being curved to shape prior to glassing over all of it.
Right: My daughter standing by a completed fuselage side.
Left: A trial fit of the fuselage sides positioned with the firewall bulkhead.
Right: The fuselage sides being epoxied together with front bulkhead, instrument panel, and seatback. The structure is held together with braces and large rubber bands. The Firewall is not glued in at this time.
This is the 3" foam being carved out to form the fuselage bottom.
Left: After the bottom is glued into position, We flip it on its side to begin the shaping.
Right: Now the aircraft has entered what we call the "boat stage". All your friends and neighbors will think you are building a boat.
Left: re-inforcement tapes are glued in to further connect the bulkheads and the fuselage sides.
Right: I chose to mount a throttle hardpoint on the left side of the fuselage Note the trim lever in position and seatbelt hardpoint on the lower stringer.
The firewall is made of Bi-directional layers of glass and epoxy over Aircraft grade plywood covered in fiberfrax and then Aluminum sheet.
Seat back head rests with shoulder harness hardpoints installed into fuselage.
The Upper fuselage assembly is covered in the " Chapter 9 & 13 " tab.
CHAPTER 5 NOSE ASSEMBLY
Lower foam surfaces micro'd into initial position against the nose gear center structure, and bulkheads
Next the sides and top foam are micro'd in also.
After adding extra urethane foam onto the nose bulkhead the end result is a mass of foam waiting to be carved into the desired shape.
Foam is shaped and ready for final glass lay-ups
This is the nose structure after all the outer glass has been layed onto the nose structure.
CHAPTER 6 MAIN SPAR CONSTRUCTION
Left: This is the Jig for the main spar construction. This one was made with 3/4' particle board.
Right: Shows the interior layups going into the spar.
Left: Another shot of the interior of the spar prior to the cover.
Right: Spar sealed with cover and ready for caps and glass covering.
Left: This is the lower main spar cap made of Uni-directional glass tapes.
Right: making the final spar layups and installing exterior hard points.
Installing the main spar into the back of the fuselage.
CHAPTER 7-8 COCKPIT, CABIN AND CONTROL
Below are some pictures of the various control systems as well as some of the cockpit finishing on my ERacer.
This is the main control stick.. I actually carved this out of a 2x4 and formed it to fit my hand. I drilled it out and installed a push button in the top.
Left: The above pic shows the aileron bellcrank located behind the seat belt and connections to the two aileron push-pull cables.
Right:Above shows the aileron push pull cable connected to the aileron torque tube in the right wing.
Above pics show the seat belt shoulder harnesses first installed in the seats . I used 3 inches of temperfoam on each seat for a full length cushion. Green-hard, Blue-medium and Pink-soft foam were glued together in the shape of the seat and then later covered. These seats are very comfortable!!
Above is a pic of the finished seats. Since this time, I have changed the seat color to light grey. White would just get dirty way too easy.
The two pictures above show a number of things. The middle and right ones show the rudder pedals and how the brake master cylinders are mounted to the front bulk heads as well as the elevator torque tube and counter balance weights connected to the canard. The left is ashot of the rudder pedal and rudder cable/spring attachment.
CHAPTER 9 and 13 CANOPY AND TOP DECK
I got my canopy glass from "Todds Canopies" and used a fine bladed dremel blade to cut the plexiglass to size.. I left it a bit bigger than the plans call for a little extra headroom.
used a wood backing to initially mount the glass. I later cut the seat back outlines and then after mounting I decided to completely open it up by cutting out all the seat back wood.
Urethane foam blocks were layed into position for initial carving into the fuselage top deck shape.
The urethane was then sanded into the final shape.
My daughter,Emily, and I then proceeded to lay the needed layers of glass and epoxy onto the fuselage top section as well as the aft turtleback section. The turtleback section was also made of urethane foam blocks that were sanded into shape and then covered with bi-directional glass and epoxy.
The front top deck section was also cut off and the canopy attachment brackets and hinges were added. Two FE-11 air springs are attached to keep the canopy in the up position.
CHAPTER 10 LANDING GEAR SYSTEM
Chapter ten seems pretty difficult when you first look through it but everything came together very nicely. After cutting the holes in the side for the gear legs and clearing away the unwanted foam, A lot lay-ups began....
The three above pictures show the first lay-ups that make up the main gear linkage mounts.
The gear legs also require some additional glass lay-ups to further strengthen the gear leg attach points and also require a pad to be built onto the end of the leg to put the axles at the correct angle.
Right: This shows the linkage initial fit into the mounts that were show being constructed in earlier pics.
Center: The gear leg attached to the aircraft.
This is the reversible Olidyne hydraulic pump used to actuate the langing gear.
The above pictures also show how I used solid 1/4 aluminum tubing as well as -4 flex lines. The max pressure output of the system will be 1200 PSI though normally 1000psi is used to keep the gear in the retract position. The small black caps screwed into the lines with the white wires coming out are the 2 pressure switches. These were bought from Velocity co. The up pressure is set at 1000psi and the down pressure is 600psi. Solenoid switches are also used in the switch set-up.
Left: main gear pivit axle.
Center: Some of the hydraulic flex lines running from the nose gear actuator.
RigHT: The main retract gear hardware that was originally supplied with the gear system.
These 2 pictures show how the linkage works with the gear in the retracted (left) and the extended(right) positions.
Above is the Nose wheel struc and pivit bearing
Right shows an FE-11 gas spring that I added to the system to ensure the gear stays in
the overcenter/down position when hydraulic pressure is off or lost.
The below pics show two different configurations for the wheel mounts. In the left
picture, a 1/2" aluminum block is utilized as a backplate for the axle mounting to the gear leg. The right picture shows a solid aluminum "Talon" that slips over the gear leg and provide a solid axle mounting surface.
Either option works great.
The above pictures show the nose gear strut and the nose retract mechanism. One shows the foam being fitted and shaped to create the nose wheel well cover that attaches to the nose strut. The right is a shot of the finished product.
The 2 above pictures show how the main gear fuselage covers are attached to the main gear leg. The aircraft is upside down is these pictures. I used 6 ply bi-directional glass to fabricate the covers.
CHAPTER 11 WINGS AND WINGLETS
Left: Foam block measured, marked, ready for initial hot wire cutting.
Center: This was the 4' hot wire cutter..we also used a home-made 6' cutter for the large pieces.
Right: Piece of the trailing edge foam core complete.
Left: Here is a shot of the above piece prior to cutting. Note the wing template attached to the foam material.
Center: Pic of the interior aileron template prior to cutting of the aileron torque tube hole.
Right: Wing jigs bonded to garage floor
Left: Checking the cores prior to placing in the wing jig.
Right: Trailing edge foam cores mounted into the wig jig waiting for cap spar lay-up.
These pics show using a dremel with router blade to dig out areas for the hard points and the hard point layups. Also the initial lay-ups of the spar cap glass lay-up into position.
Left: Spar cap complete and peel ply covering.
Center and right: Leading edge foam cores micro'd into position on top of the spar cap.
The bottom halves of the jig are bondo'd to the work tabe and the othe halves are removed for the next wing spar layups. Unidirectional glass tape is layed into the channel for the upper and lower wing spar layups.
Then the wing in covered in bi-directional glass lay-ups.
Left: Pic of one wing completely glassed on both sides awaiting the final aileron cutting.
Center: Cutting out the aileron with a dremel and my home-made angle cutting tool.
Right: One aileron cut out complete.
Left: Both wings with ailerons cut out.
Right: Shows the installation of the aileron hinges.
Left: Aircraft leveled and both wings in position for initial mounting procedures.
Right: This is a pic showing how the ERacer push-pull aileron control cables hook into the aileron bell crank and control the ailerons on this aircraft.
Left: Winglet template attached to foam prior to hotwire.
Center: First winglet foam core cut out and pieces glued together.
Right: Glass lay-ups on one side of the winglet.
Right: This is a completed winglet with the bottom edge cut for attachment
and rudder line marked prior to cutting.
Left: Winglet bondo'd into correct position with a wood temporary support.
Right: Winglet attach point...ready to begin series of attachment layups.
Left: First attachment lay-ups on interior edges.
Center: Next layers of glass laid and peel-ply'd.
Right: Pic of interior lay-ups after cure...ready for next steps.
Right: Pic shows outer structural lay-ups attaching the winglet to the wing.
This series of pics above shows the lower foam structure being added to the lower winglet.
Left: Pic shows the rudder hinges, rivets, screws, hooks and return springs needed for rudder completion.
Center: Rudders are cut out and aluminum rudder horns are installed at the base of each.
Right: Rudder installed on winglet.
CHAPTER 12 STRAKES AND FUEL SYSTEM
The following is a little walk through building the ERacer fuel tanks/strakes.
---First the landing gear leg and wheel is raised to the retract position for proper gear well construction in the strake.
---Urethane foam is cut and placed between the gear leg and the main spar. The original spar mounting hole is plugged and glassed over. the 970 washers are placed to form a gap between the leg and the next layer of foam.
---High density 1/4" foam is used over the leg and made even with the previous placed foam.
The interior of the strake/fuel tank consists of multiple layers of different kinds of glass and epoxy rich lay-ups to ensure that no leaks will occur.
---The Wheel well is outside of the fuel tank area
---I created a small sump in each tank and bonded in a threaded flange into the bottom as well as the one called for in the plans that goes through the fuselage. The entire area is covered in stainless steel screen that is floxed into position.
---On the inside wall of the fuselage adjacent to the lower floor of the tank I installed a capacitance fuel probe in each strake.
---The fuel probe and the screened sump prior to sealing the strake. The upper blue pipe is an access for an extra vent or if fuel is ever need to be flowed back into the tank. I used this as another vent to the sump tank
---1/4" Divinicell foam is layed over the strake , curved down into the correct shape. Then a matrix of criss-crossed boards are layed over the foam and bondo'd to the foam to hold the curve of the foam in the correct shape.
---The foam is then removed and the inside of the tank top foam is covered with glass and the fuel cap receiver is installed. Note a ground wire is attached to the cap receiver to assure grounding during any refuel operation.
---The tank is then cleaned and vacuumed and cleaned a couple more times before the cover is re-installed and floxed into final position.
---After cure, the entire top of the strake is covered with glass. I also layed-up extra glass over the front inside area of the strake where I knew people would sit during entry and exit from the cockpit.
---The aircraft is at some point flipped over and the bottom of the strake is covered also. First the wheel well is completed...Left.. and then the entire lower strake surface.
---Lower strake with the glass covering. Note the triangular cut out. This is where I installed plexiglass/Lexon as a lower window on each strake.
---Urethane foam is then bonded to the flat leading edge surface...Left..., shaped into the leading edge and then covered in glass to form the leading edge of the strake.... Right
---These are my inter-connecting vent lines from each tank to the forward facing vents on the lower surface of the fuselage.
---I connected a push-pull control cable to the main fuel shut-off valve.
---Fuel capacitance probe installation from inside fuselage
CHAPTER 15 AND 16 CANARD CONSTRUCTION
The above pic shows the canard template attached to the foam block ready for the hot wire procedure.
Right: This shows the Canard supports attached to the work bench ready to receive the cut core.
Here is the same above core after the spar cap is attached. Note the hard points bonded under the glass to be drilled and receive the mounting tabs. Pics show drilling out the hardpoints and installing the canard attach hardware.
Leading edge foam being bonded to spar cap---Tip foam being bonded to end on canard
---Canard elevatorfoam having the main torque tube bonded to it.
---elevators skinned and hardware attached
---drilling out grooves for elevator hardware to be bonded into canard.
Canard tips being shaped and covered with glass.
---Canard hardpoints and attach hardware on the fuelage
---Canard trial fit and final bolt on with foam cover
CHAPTER 17 AND 18 ENGINE INSTALLATION
In December of 2011, I aquired my Engine. Now I have to begin the preparation for mounting and hook-up.
So now I have this Lycoming IO-360 from Air-Tec Inc in Orlando, FL. First thing is to look it over and prep the engine for installation.
Above: The first thing is that the standard Oil filter adapter has to go. The ERacer mount only gives 8-9in of extra space behind the mount. I will install a B&C 90 degree oil cooler adaptor. (shown in the far right pic)
Above: I have to cover the vacum pump pad. The oil restricter fitting is installed on the right pic (blue nipple). Top yellow nipple on the right pic is the breather outlet and the two under that are the inlet and outlet to the oil cooler.
---The engine with the stock oil filter adaptor off, the vacum pad covered, the fuel pump fittings installed, and the mag ignition wires installed. The large blue nipple in the middle covers the mechanical tach entry.
Above Right: This is the Precision Air Silver Hawk EX and the elbow used to mount horizontally.
Above left: Eracer engine mount. Im using the ACS Heavy duty mount cups with AN7 bolts.
Above right: I fabricated the P-leads from Bendix terminal lead kits using the guidance from "Firewall Forward".
Dont ever let anyone tell you that you need multiple people to mount an engine. I got this done by myself in about 2.5 hours. It was a slow process but a little patience goes a long way. Here is a quick synopsis:
1. Looking forward from the prop.- Using a hoist, I snugged the engine to the mount and put the Top inside mount biscuts into position ( the engine will hold these two in place) dont worry about the bottom ones yet. , a rope tied to the prop flange gave me the ability to adjust the horizontal alignment of the engine by looping the rope over the hoist arm and like a pulley, pull the engine up or down to adjust the engine deck orientation.
2. Insert the top left (Port side) bolt. It will go in rather easily Tighten that bolt to pull the engine in.
3. Insert the top right (starboard) bolt the same way. It goes in fairly easy but I did have to adjust the engine angle and height a bit. Now install the lower inside biscuts, you might have to loosen the top right bolt a little. The weight of the engine should hold them in. Tighten the top 2 bolts
4. The next bolt is the left lower. Now things get a little tricky. I had to tighten the top left and loosen the top right, and also adjust the hoist height a bit. Install the outer cup and bolt. It finally did go in but was offset to the right. Now, all 3 bolts are going to have to be tightened to get the 3rd bolt into proper positon and line up for the forth bolt.
5. The last bolt is difficult to say the least. I used a long screwdriver to shift the cups a bit but the bolt would not go in. I tried different combinations of loosening the other bolts and I finally took a long AN7 bolt and grinded it to a point. This worked better to shift the cups just enough to get the 4th bolt in. I had to screw it in using its own threads but dont bang it in, you could damage the threads. When it went in...I was very happy to say the least. Then you have to check/adjust the torque on each nut/bolt and install the cotter pins.
Above left is the first bolt--- the Port Top and center is the last bolt---the starboard lower
Right: As you can see, Its tight quarters by the firewall. I did put a .75in spacer on the adapter to get more space for my accessory case outlets.
I installed the elbow on the Throttle servo and moved the fuel oulet to the alternate port which works better for my installation.
Above left: Fuel injection servo installed with Elbow and Phenolic Spacer.
Above right: Ground straps installed
Above: Making the paper templates. I began the process of building cooling baffles from scratch. I first made templates from poster board fit and cut...I looked at Cliff's and Tore's baffle pictures to help me as well as many builder sites on the net.
---This is one one the inner clylinder baffles. I repositioned the one used for downdraft cooling to the upper side of the heads for Updraft cooling.
Above left: I traced the paper templates onto .04 alum sheet and cut them out. Then came the task of put on/take off/trim, put on/take off/ trim....I initially left a lot of excess so I didnt cut too much off.
Above right: This is a Positech Oil cooler, I have decided to mount it on the upper firewall and have a dedicated air scoop to it. This worked well for Tore's ERacer and since space is limited, It is about the only option for me.
---After determining a location and just how I was going to do this, I had to make a mount to hold it in position. Building an Airplane is fun After making the scoop layup over a foam mold, I added it to the upper cowling, over the filter
Above: The right and left aft baffle plate being fitted and adjusted to the heads.
Here are pics of the Left and right side pipes installed. I still need to add an extra support to each side and adjust the cowlings a bit to match up.
---On the left is a thermocouple probe.
---This is one of the support brackets that I added to the exhaust pipes on each side.
---The baffles with all the silicon seals added. Still need to seal the pipes better with the cowling on.
Above are some pics of the final installation of the engine....Fuel, Oil and electrical
Above: Moving day!! After 15 years, I finally got the plane out of my garage and into a hanger. My wife keeps forgetting to pull the car into the garage because she's never had one before! It took a few loads to get it all out to Atlanta Regional Airport (KFFC). 3.1 miles and 8 min away.
Above: After getting it all in the hanger, Me and my son-in-law began the task of installing the wings and canard.
Above: We had to get a few pics after getting all the wings on. Now about a thousand things to do still.
CHAPTER 19 COWLING INSTALLATION
Above shows the Cozy MK IV cowlings that I used as the base for my ERacer cowling. This was kind of like cheating but I wanted to see how it would work as an option. I figured I could always make my own later if things turned out bad.
Above is a pic of the lower attachment lip on the right and left sides of the firewall.
I alsohad to add a lip to the turtledeck for the cowling latches. I decided to use czus fasteners for attaching the cowling.
The above pics show a bit of the process adding the cowling attachment lip to the fuselage. I used foam as a "mold" to lay-up the glass strips.
I created an air diffuser to aid in naca cooling. I ended up removing much of the right side due to the engine components.
CHAPTER 20a SURFACE FINISHING
The following pictures deal with the surface preparation for paint. This entailed micro...Sanding.....multiple layers of clear coats of pure epoxy....followed by a high build primer ...and more sanding.
This is the high build primer that I chose to use. After sanding the aircraft down with the micro slurry. I clear coated with pure epoxy, roughed it up a bit and then applied this 2 part epoxy high build primer to the aircraft. I then sanded that down in preparation for the final paint that is shown in Chapter 20B.
I first started using Aeropoxy Light but found that dry Micro worked better so switched to that. So the sanding began.
On the wings I would spatula on a layer of micro of peanut butter consistently. Then I began using the "board of pain".
I logged many a hour sanding the surfaces to a nice smoothness. More sanding, Used a dust mask during most of this task.
After achieving the smooth surface. I squeegeed on a few thin layers of pure epoxy to "clear coat the wing. This gets most if not all of the small pin holes.
---Rollering on the high build primer and then a lot more re-sanding the entire aircraft.
---Aircraft ready for paint
CHAPTER 20b PAINTING
After the 2 part epoxy primer was applied and the aircraft sanded I decided to go with a Marine Topcoat Paint called Pettit EASYPOXY. This is a one stage urethane paint that can be brushed on or thinned and sprayed. The paint is relatively thin and lays down nice but did take some practice to spray. I started with the turtle back which gave me a variety of angles to shoot onto.
Above shows turtle back during painting. I had to paint outside so I could only paint on hot, dry calm wind days.
Finished product...Turtleback painted.
I next painted the various flight controls. I used a large air compressor and wet paint gun.
I tackled the wings next. The weather supported me for a good week of painting.
The canard was a relatively easy one to shoot.
The fuselage introduced a few challenges. I chose to not stand her all the way up. I just took my time and it came out pretty nice. There are at least 3 coats on all the parts.
I decided to add a red stripe. I painted it on using red easypoxy. Later I added some thin black striping that can be seen in current pictures. I also added my name and my wife's name to each side of the canopy.
Finished fuselage with stripe and names added....ready for an engine.
CHAPTER 21 ELECTRICAL PANEL INSTALLATION
I began by making a working template and then transferring it to the instrument panel for the initial instrument cut outs. In this pic I temporarily installesd some switches and circuit breakers. I decided to use the fiberglass bulkhead as the instrument panel. Here is the stone texture paint after I applied it.
This shows the back of the panel showing the electrical bus bar I built attached to the circuit breakers and the initial static instrument hook ups.
The above picture again shows the front of the panel prior to radio installation. I installed an Air Gizmo GPS panel mount to hold a Garmin 296-496 GPS radio at a later time. The far right shows one of the 4 ground buses I installed around the aircraft.
This is what the panel looked like at initial completion. Since then I have rebuilt the panel and replaced numerous components.
CHAPTER 22 FAA INSPECTION
After the initial break-in which has so far consisted of 4 engine runs up to 300F CHT at 1500-1700 RPM, I began the process of preparing the aircraft for the FAA Inspection. There are several items that have to be corrected and some overall improvements to be made.
After pulling the prop and extension off to install the rear baffles, I re-installed them and applied the safety wires. I will add Bellville washers after initial flight testing.
Above center: I had to create and build a Transfer unit that would reverse the cable action of the mixture control so foward would be rich and aft would be lean/idle-cutoff.
Above right: I also had to rebulid the right fuel feeder assembly due to some leaking valves and fittings.
Left: Adel clamps were added to stabilize oil, fuel, breather, as well as my protected electrical lines
Center: Pulley guards added to lower rudder pulleys.
Right: Airworthiness Certificate issued!!!!! (I'm on the left) on 22 August, 2012
My DAR spent 3-4 hours going over all the systems of the aircraft.
CHAPTER 23 FLIGHT TESTING
Taxi tests showed a need to stabilize the nose pivot so I purchased a beefed up NG-6A with roller bearings
Above center: I also discovered that the NG-15 casting that I had drilled out years ago to utilize a Davenport shimmy dampener had not been exactly drilled straight resulting in a small slant to the nose tire and this is what was making the AC make easy right turns and difficult left turns as well as pull right at slow speeds so I have replaced the entire nose wheel assembly.
Testing also showed a flaw in my secondhand airspeed indicator so a new one was purchased and installed.
Now the Aircraft is ready for its first flight.......
On October 6, 2012, I made the first flight in ERacer N382RB. I stayed near the field and climbed to 3000ft with the gear remaining down. After evaluating the flight controls, engine cooling and performance, as well and landing speed controllability, I returned to the runway for an uneventful landing....What an awesome feeling!!!
Below are my Taxi and the first 4 Flight test notes:
Taxi test 1 : Slow taxi with 90 and 180 degree turns. Engine run until CHT=350
Result : Aircraft pulls right and need heavy brakes to turn left and to
stop. Will check brake system.
Taxi test 2 : Slow taxi with 90 and 180 degree turns. Engine run until CHT=350
Result : As above, confirms original findings, left brake failure.
Installed spacers on axles and got vented cap for left brake.
Taxi test 3 : Break-in the pads taxi faster
Result: Speed 25kts and good braking. still pulling right
Checked alignment and found large toe-out on left wheel. Shimmed to paralell
Taxi test 4 : Increase speed and observe handling
Result: Speed 40kts and better handling...no airspeed readout on gauge, only GPS
Ac still turns right easy and left with difficulty
Taxi test 5 : Increase speed on Runway
Result: Speed 55kts, good handling at higher speeds and readout on gauge was 25???
Taxi test 6 : Increase speed on Runway
Result: Speed 75kts, good handling and gauge readout was 50???
Replaced airspeed indicater
Installed new main tires (originals were over 15 years old)
Taxi Test 7 : Increase speed to take-off
Result: Airspeed checks maybe a few higher than GPS and aircraft handled up to 80 kts.
At slow airspeeds, the AC still likes to pull right and turns easy to the right.
Takeoff test 1: Liftoff
Result: Could not get nose to come off with full back elevator, Did 2 runs to confirm.
Changed incidence on canard to specs +3 degrees, I was 2 degrees low.
will re-weigh for takeoff CG again. Brakes did not overheat after 2 taxi runs
but AC still pulls right at slow speeds ..max CHT=360
Taxi Test 8 : Check if nose will lift off at 75, check distance down runway at 75,
Check A/S idicator with GPS, Video Run
Result: Only ran to 60kts for engine test. A/S indicator 5 knots off from GPS.
Taxi test 9 : Go to 90 kts and check elevator nose lift and distance
Result: Nose wheel lifted at about 75kts....excellent
However, left braking for alliglnment has affected takeoffroll distance during
the first 30 kts so I will replace the entire nose fork assembly and pivot to
correct the flawed one that is on the AC.
MAX CHT= 360. #4 hottest. This is as high as CHTs have gone during all test.
Taxi test 10 : Test new nose wheel strut and fork, turns 90 and 180, slow/high speed.
Result: AC tracked straight, turned in both directions easily and overall handled great!
I did a high speed taxi run to 75kts. Nose came off at 72 on GPS. A/S
indicator seems to indicate a little high. I will use the GPS primary and
cross check with indicator. AC ready for first flight.
6 October, 2012
Flight Test 1: Initial flight evaluation .5 hrs
Result: AC rotated nicely...stable takeoff climbed at 100-110
crosswind 130 CHT went to 360 max. Oil temps went to 230..could be better
seemed to stabilize around 220....Aircraft requires a lot of back pressure,
seems nose heavy, need stronger trim.
.5 hours handling good no problems on landing
24lb ballast and book kit cg= 100.2
Flight TEST 2: Same profile: .5 hrs Changes: added voetex generators in front of oil scoop=
RESULT: no improvemnet on oil temps. CHT up to 360, Oil temp up to 235, stabil 220-230.
kind of bumpy today, OAT 75. AS induicator matches GPS most of the time.
AC is still nose heavy, added stronger spring which helped but still seems nose heavy.
14lbs ballast and book kit CG 101.6
Flight Test 3: Same Profile: .5hrs Changes: new oil temp gauge, larger oil cooler scoop,
new baffles additions to #4 cylinder.
More tension on trim lines to hold springs. 10lbs ballast and book kit. CG=102.3
RESULT: Oil temp gauge needs sender so old one was used. OIL temps 190-220...very good, dropped
about 20 degrees, CHTs were the same and maybe a bit higher 340-375 trim was much better
and held most of the pressure. AC flew nice and landing was better...great flight
Flight Test 4: Area profile: 1.3 hours Put the gear up/down test and fly longer (150TAS record data)
RESULT: Gear retract at 110- kts. no problem...speed increase to 120 Gear cycled up and down
and it worked great. Did have a small leak around resevior. Temps were stable at 190.
and CHT 320-340 with gear up and power at 21-2300. Speed stablizes at about 145kts with slight down
deflection in canard. Got speed up to 160kts...no flutter noted.cimbed to 5500ft. In
climb temps went to 360 CHT and 210 oil. 325 CHT and 180 oil temp in cruise.
As I go into November with 11 test flights complete and 12.2 hours on the aircraft, I will further test the clean and configured stall speeds, the best rate and angle of climb speeds as well as the max speed of this ERacer.
After all test flights, below is the speed and stall info from my ERacer.
Altitude RPM IAS TAS MPH
8000 2200 132 153 175
8000 2300 141 163 187
8000 2400 151 175 201
8000 2500 160 185 212
8000 2600 163 189 217
8000 2700 166 193 221
Lycoming IO-360 with a 66 x 78 propeller
- Canard stall is at about 65 kts in an accelerated as well as a power off stall : clean as well as in a fully configured condition for landing.
-- Power off stalls tend to be more of a gentle drop of the nose.
-- Accelerated stalls tend to result in a bigger nose drop that feels more like a conventional aircraft main wing stall even though it is a canard stall.
I have now completed 20 flights and have logged 25.5 hours.
Rudders works great now at all speeds, the new fuel probe is installed, the Hydraulic line that was leaking has been replaced, the fitting that was leaking oil has been tightened, and I have built a double-cup removable cup holder.
After my last flight, I found that I had a small fuel leak during the flight which was a result of some poor plumbing and engine vibration. One of my fuel lines was putting torque on the "T" fitting coming off the fuel pump. I have ordered a longer line with a 45 angle on one end to fix the problem and I have moved the inline fuel filter that was also causing part of the problem. I will show a before and after pic when I complete the repair.
After getting a couple test flights in and getting the tanks empty, I decided to change out the left fuel probe that was having issues. Now I have 2 fully fuctioning fuel guages, I will still continue to "stick" the tanks before and after each flight.
-- The aircraft holds 18 gallons in each main and almost 2 gallons in the sump for a total of 38 gallons. (I lost a couple gallons of space in each main tank becuase I chose to add the strake storage and window on each side of the aircraft)
-- At 2200-2300 RPM I burn 7.0 - 8.0 gph
The 40 hour test flight phase is complete and the aircraft is now signed off, fully operational, and ready to take passengers. Thus completes the Flight test Chapter.
Please reference the "Current Flying" tab for my status and the "Upgrades" tab for any future modifications that I WILL make.....Thanks
ERacer Construction is simple and can easily be accomplished by the first time builder with no previous experience. I can say that with confidence because I completed my ERacer and had no experience or even the internet to help when I began construction.
I have broken down my construction photos into the Chapters in the plans to give you an idea of what to expect during the building process.