SEAWIND PILOTS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
Vol.3 No.1 Page 49 Jan 1996
What new resolutions might SPA aim for in 1996? I am looking forward to a year when the number of operational Seawinds more than doubles. That will be good news for SNA who for too long have had only Dick's and Paul's machine to show the flag. It should also be good news for SPA who will hopefully have more performance data to share with you. The group will also start to become a pilots association rather than a builders group which will really help in our identity from SNA.
The availability of suitably qualified Seawind instructors might also be addressed. This is a problem for builders who have had little or no water experience or handled complex aircraft with our engine configuration. Those who can offer help in this area might let us know so we can advertise your services.
Contributions this month come from John (Kivenko), Craig Easter, Mike Bowes and Paul (Array). Thanks guys for your efforts.
We have four new members since November. Welcome aboard gentlemen and please write, fax, internet or phone your thoughts in. We are a discussion group...we welcome your input.
The Matco wheels delivered with one of the new kits had cracks in the reinforcing webs of BOTH mains. One would almost certainly have failed in service. They were difficult to see until the application of a coat of white paint. For some reason cracking was confined to only the brake half of the wheels, where three bolts pass through. I am dealing directly with Matco to remedy this particular problem. Other builders experiencing this problem should call Matco at (801) 486-7574 and ask for Pam.
This incident underscores the need for all builders to carefully inspect each part they build into the airplane, since not all of these parts are getting the kinds of inspections that are normally associated with "certified" aircraft parts. Sure, it sounds like I'm pointing out the obvious, but I think we all get lulled into a false sense of security simply because we are installing "new parts fresh out of the box".
J. Michael Bowes
[editor's note. The following article is also in the last newsletter. I did not want to edit it out, as it maintains Dick Adams' original page numbering etc.]
LOVE OF THE SEAWIND
It is difficult to build a Kit aircraft. The only way each of you is going to finish this lovely bird is with love....yes you must keep that first love going. Remember....when you first laid eyes on her. Wow !! Instant love wasn't it ? You ordered that brochure, then that video. Oh Boy ! you were hooked. Then you talked to the person who sells the Seawind. You heard all the great things and you read all the right things. Remember, the first specs from S.N.A. back in 91 (That's when I bought January '91. Empty weight 2100 lbs., useful load 1100 lbs at 3200 gross, 1300 lbs at 3400 lbs gross. Rate of climb 1600 fpm, cruise 191 mph, stall 57 mph, takeoff on land 510 ft., water 780 ft. What a bird ! I knew I was in for this one, hook, line and sinker.
I was building now, this bird is too good to be true and only 1000 hrs to build her, hell...I can do this in six months. The best part is you only need a few hand tools found around the house. Maybe a drill press would be helpful. The 1000 hrs went by and I had hired help with the fibreglass work ( I am no fibreglass expert) The instructions kept changin' and I kept doing things over. I was getting disheartened, but every once in a while I would get a zing. Remember this one. Preliminary weight and balance. Empty weight 2003lbs, with oil and radios,2040 lbs. That's 1360 lbs useful. I CAN DO THIS...what a bird!!!!!!!!!! so what if it takes a few more hours.
Up and down, up and down. I would hear good things, then bad things. The instructions changed and I had to reset the angle of incidence of the wing.(75 more hours) but the weight and balance projections are right on. Uh Oh...the gear has to be recalled, it doesn't work. But I got it installed. What do I do now ? Rip the damn thing out and wait for the new one...(150 more hours) Keep building, this baby is going to be fast and light. I can take my wife camping and carry all the gear I want and still fill the tanks, range 1400 miles....keep building...keep building. But where are those parts, I have lots of unlabelled extra nuts and bolts but where are those parts; I can't keep building without parts! There late at last and I have to adlib a few times...even sometimes I have to make one rather than waiting. What the hell, so I have to make a few parts. I will just get this baby done sooner!
Remember when Mike and Sheree talked about the Seawind fever. Working 25 hours a day, having lunch and dinner in hangar 3 I related to that because I felt I was working at least that long and the money...oh the money that was going out...whew! !! Keep that love going. I kept working, waiting for the prototype to fly...keep working....keep working.
They flew, they flew...oh God ! They crashed ! The prop went into reverse. I have one of those props...oh God! What emotions, I was sick. I quit working for a few days. What did I do ? Now they say the building time should be about 1500-2000hrs. I already had 1900 hrs in it and it doesn't look half done...keep going, hire another person to help, I did and he was great. I was worried but I kept plugging.
Another zing: the flight test went great. They say that the Lancair and the Glassair have a pitch/stability problem but the Seawind doers not have that problem. You can fly her hands off. The rudder control is very effective with no Dutch roll tendency. She is good in 20 knot crosswinds. Under 50 knot stall speed...what a bird...keep working...keep working...I love this Seawind.
Another problem. They weigh the final aircraft. 2370 lbs...Wow...that's heavy. The good part is she performs as advertised...or almost anyway. 75% power..191 mph, rate of climb 1300 fpm+, stall 57 mph and of course the old country says "I told you so" she performs just as specified...mine weighs in at 2489 with all equipment. What's wrong with me, why is my bird so heavy ? Then I find that the prototype is really 2455 with equipment and radios. Boy...now that is heavy...I only have 700 useful. Well....what the hell, I'll be flying in a week and everything will be OK...keep that love going.
Well....everything is not perfect but she's a damn good bird. Stability problems ? Yup but that can be fixed, just a little more work on the elevator and ailerons. Rudder problems ?...Yup, but we can reshape the rudder. The cruise speed is lower, the stall speed is higher. The take off distance is a lot longer and the rate of climb is not close, but when I lock her up on the ramp and walk away and turn around and look....WOW!!! She sure is beautiful ! When I stop at an airport, people gather and they stare and they stare and they just can't believe how beautiful she looks...then I find myself lying a little about the performance. I sure do love that Seawind.
Last summer I took a two week camping trip in Canada with my wife. I had to fly her at 160 lbs over gross (3560) I couldn't carry what I wanted. The range wasn't there, but I had a great time and that's what its all about. So she has some problems what airplane doesn't, she is still the greatest amphib I ever flew (I have flown most of them) the old country and the factory would like me to hand you a bunch of gobble dee goop. Nope...I'm just going to tell you to keep that love going and I'm going to tell you my truth, and if they did they would be much better off.....jus' keep that love goin. GOD....I love that Seawind.
Paul S. Array
A year ago I visited Deland Florida where I met Doug Karlsen and Paul Array. Since then I have kept in touch with these two Seawind builders and was pleased to have Paul and his wife Mardy visit me in Canada last June. I found myself back in Florida this fall and contacted both Doug and Paul with a view to paying them another visit. Paul resides in Key West now, but visits his mother in Deland on a regular basis, as a good son should. He managed to coordinate one of these visits so that he could pick me up at West Palm Beach in his Seawind and literally give me a lift to Deland. This gave me an opportunity to spend several hours in a Seawind and to experience first hand what flying a Seawind was all about.
On the way to Deland, Paul seemed anxious to demonstrate the performance of his plane, undoubtedly as he felt that I was a rather neutral observer and would be able to corroborate the performance figures he has quoted in articles he has submitted to the SPA Newsletter. My observations are as follows. We were flying at 4,500 ft with an OAT of 70 degrees. Our weight was just about 3400 lb. We did not rely on the air speed indicator for speed but used the Garmin GPS (the average speed obtained in opposite directions). The wind was light so the fact that we may not have been going directly into the wind would not affect our results appreciably. The speeds we obtained with 75, 65, and 55 percent power as set according to the Lycoming manual were very close to 173, 160, and 150 mph respectively. Paul assured me that his engine gauges were accurate since he had tried several of them and got the same results with all. The rate of climb we achieved at full power at 99 mph was 650 fpm as measured by the vertical speed gauge. We made no effort to check the accuracy of this instrument (we should have). After we landed at Deland we picked up Doug and went to several of the nearby lakes to do some water work. By this time we had considerably less fuel, but Doug more than made up for the reduction in weight and we flew at about 3450 pounds. The plane got on the step fairly quickly and lifted off the water at 72 mph as measured by the air speed indicator. We did not check the calibration of this instrument in this speed range. When at 4500 ft we checked the stability of the plane by flying it hands off.
In very little time the plane banked in one direction and it was evident that if left unattended it would go into a spiral. Paul does not have a plane capable of hands off operation (maybe that is why he bought a auto pilot). My observations are that Paul's plane was built very much as the one I am building. The wing seemed to be correctly profiled and the flaps did reflex -10 degrees. The only difference I did notice was in the optional spray rails. Here Paul constructed his at the side, as they have them on the Lake and the Seabee rather than entirely under the hull as the factory plane and I have them. I came away from my experience in Paul's Seawind with the thought that more effort should be made by all concerned to determine the reasons for the drastic differences in performance of similar aircraft. It would then permit those with inferior performing machines to modify their aircraft in order to achieve optimum results.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the progress that Doug has made in his business during the last year. When I visited him last year, he was working out of what was not much more than a carport. He now has built a good size hangar at the airport, and has expanded his business to the point where this is even too small. There are still several Seawinds being built, but Doug has found a more profitable aspect of airplane building and is concentrating on that aspect now. Doug is importing inexpensive but high quality turbine engines from Eastern Europe and installing them in spray planes. In addition he is modifying the hoppers so that a much greater load could be carried. I spoke to one of the customers who happened to be at the hangar and he explained to me the great economies he will achieve with this new engine and hopper. Evidently the savings are astronomical.
Doug has set up a very professional shop. He has invested in a lot of machinery, and has even obtained a machine for printing identification numbers on electrical wires. This enables him to make up his own harnesses to professional standards. Recently Doug took advantage of living near Cape Canaveral and went to an auction of a company that was discontinuing operation in serving the space facility. He obtained wire, drill bits, and a multitude of various aircraft hardware at a small fraction of the normal cost. He even bought several painting robots even though he has no idea what he is going to do with them. So, if you happen to need a painting robot you know who to call.
Doug and Paul: These are additional matters I wish to include in the newsletter which refer to your activities. Should you wish to make corrections please let me know. This should go out next week.
MISCELLANEOUS TECHNICAL MATTERS
Paul array has installed a gadget on his plane to remind the pilot as to whether the gear is in the proper position for a land or water landing. To the best of my knowledge, the mechanism is hooked up to the pitot, as well as to sensors on each of the legs of the landing gear. When the speed drops below some preset level, say 100 mph the phrase "ok for landing on land" , or ok for landing on water is enunciated in the headset. This continues until a button is pressed to stop it. As this unit is quite expensive it occurred to me that an inventive tinkerer among us might be able to produce a budget price unit for use in the Seawind.
Several builders have mentioned to me that all control surfaces should have trailing edges of about one quarter inch thickness. We invite comments pro and con regarding this subject.
I was very impressed with the steering mechanism which Paul Array sells and has installed on his plane. I am sure that sooner or later everyone will be obtaining this additional feature.
Doug Karlsen has chosen to do an additional two things differently from the standard Seawind. Firstly he is putting tubes in all the fuel bays except the outer ones in order to keep fuel from flowing to the wing tips during an uncoordinated turn. The standard Seawind only limits the fuel from flowing from the inner bay. This will slightly add to the weight, take a bit more time and cost a bit more money, but it will control the flow of fuel to a far greater extent than the standard system. Doug has also replaced the elevator and aileron control mechanism by one of a commercially built plane which he obtained from a scrap yard. He will therefore change the path of the controls and will avoid the "pullup" which he finds objectionable.
Anthony L. Jurcan
114 W. LAKE SAMMAMISH PKY, S.E.
BELLEVUE, WA 98008
(206) 746-3995 (206) 324-9957
John P. Angelini
PO BOX 89,3152 STATE STREET,
CALEDONIA, NY 14423 (716) 538-4810
Robert Greene ALLIED DIESEL INTL.,
2874 CASTLE HWY 184 BANNER ELK,
PO BOX 3410,BOONE,N.C. 28607
(704) 898-5670(O) (704) 898-5675(F)
UPDATE ADDRESSES FOR BERT HOARE
Winter: 18562 Crosswind Ave
N. Ft. Meyers, FL 33917
(941) 543-7125(H) (941) 543-7125(F)
Summer: RR#1 Island View Drive,
Golden Lake, Ontario, K0J 1X0
(613) 625-2709 (H) (613) 625-2709 (F)
SEAWIND PILOTS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
Vol.3 No.2 Page 55 March 1996
March for me is the most depressing month of the year, here in Ottawa Canada. That says something for my age but with FWFA stuck outside in the snowdrifts it provides one more trial of my patience before that final inspection. As the steady stream of interested onlookers come to me on the all too rare occasions when it is in the hanger, I must confess I must sometimes sound like I have gone 15 rounds ! But last week an old flyer encouraged me, saying that on that first flight all the effort would be justly rewarded with a sense of accomplishment...and his conviction struck me.. he's right ! The finishing seems interminable but we have come so far. Stick in there, I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Filler articles such as this month's on engine maintenance indicate that we are running short on contributions. Remember all your letters take first priority so keep them coming. We welcome five new members John Totten, Larry Tremblay, Cam Anderson, Marc Wiese and Gary Neal to bring our members list up to 68 as of going to print. Also this month we include a current Membership list.
RUDDER TRAILING EDGE THICKNESS
On the comment on the thickness of the trailing edges and from some notes I had taken at a John Ronze seminar, the thickness should be 0.004xthe chord of the airfoil. In the case of the Seawind where the wing chord is 54" that would be 0.216 inches. The estimate of 0.250 is pretty close therefore. In the case of the rudder the trailing edger would be thinner at the top than at the bottom. In discussing this with others, they think it is the chord of the control surface...but it is the chord of the airfoil. What this does is make the control surface more effective by shearing away the air. The effective area of the surfaces (is therefore) greater without physically increasing the area of the surface. A pointed trailing edge can also be good, but the worst is a rounded trailing edge, because (then) the air tries to stay attached.
SPA VERSUS SNA
I had purchased the Seawind in 1989 from Haliburton and have followed its plight and triumphs since. I lost a lot of money when it folded (as did others) and have lived with all its up and downs.
Due to my continuous international travel I have not been able to start construction until just recently. However, as are some other builders, I am fed up with all the Factory and/or Silva bashing. It does nothing but hurt the project in all aspects. No Dick is not perfect, he's slow (more than likely due to the liability aspect as well as costs) and admittedly over cautious. However the Seawind is alive and more and more are being finished and flying every day.
I can't recall any of the various critics stepping in to purchase and carry on the Seawind project when Haliburton shut down. Not having any love for Dick on one hand, the man did save the Seawind from the ashes whereas if not, the various critics would have nothing...in the way of a Seawind anyway. Who of you would have gone through the pain, expense, embarrassment, delays etc just to crash test your product ? You critics (decided) as I did to stay with the Seawind when Dick first took over. We all knew there were many problems, corrections, changes we would all have to live with. Any one of us could have just sat back and waited for the perfect kit to be ready. We did not, so enough is enough.
We are all supposed to have the same goal - to make the Seawind the best and safest dam Airplane/Amphibian around. Is it not time we all started to work together toward this end...including the factory. We might never again get a free car-airplane wash as the Saturn owners do, but then again they have not, are not involved as deeply as we are since the beginning.
Perhaps through Dick Adams's insight to start the SPA this endeavour of ALL OF US working together toward one goal may be reached. Constructive criticisms, suggestions, ideas, new and/or better products, experiences, flight results etc., should be the format, not just a place to publish badgering poems, short stories etc. We have a lot of good people with a lot of talent, ideas etc in our builders - Let's PUT IT TOGETHER toward the same end.
Best regards Robert J. Greene
Cylinder replacement is such a common place in aviation that hardly anyone questions it.
What's more its been exceedingly common to "farm out" (or outsource) things like cylinder reconditioning, simply because the local shop may lack the special equipment needed to do some of the needed repair work.
Engineers are now mainly in the business, it seems, of removing defective components, sending them out and reinstalling the repaired items as they come back in. Unfortunately, this approach leaves a lot to be desired.
An example will illustrate what I mean. It is somewhat typical in aviation for the following scenario to occur. First an aeroplane goes into annual. The engineer does a compression check. Two cylinders (let us say) are judged unairworthy on the basis of poor compression, maybe 50/80 or 40/80 (even 60/80). The owner is told by his engineer. "These cylinders need to come off for repair, I won't return them to service without them being overhauled. Why don't you let me take them off and look them over and if need be we'll send them off to (some big cylinder shop) for repair". Or, in some cases, the decision is made to buy new cylinder assemblies from the factory.
Very few fixed base operators or independent engineers have the necessary equipment to do cylinder repair work in-house. (Here we are talking not only about seat and guide replacement, but barrel regrinding, chrome plating, head welding, stud replacement and/or spot facing of intake or exhaust flanges.) Hence, it is increasingly common for engineers to increasingly package freshly removed cylinders and send them to Engine Components, Central Cylinder, Divco or some other large repair station specialising in cylinder repair work.
With any luck the cylinders will come back yellow tagged, a week or two later with all defects corrected. (If you are not so lucky, the jugs are sent back red tagged and unrepairable.)
The normal scenario culminates in the engineer giving the yellow tagged jugs a cursory inspection and installing them (along with new pistons and rings) on the customers aircraft. The engineer may drain the aircraft's ashless dispersant oil and fill the sump with mineral oil for break in purposes ( or maybe not if Cerichrome cylinders are being put on).
The engineer test runs the engine, makes the necessary log entries and hands the keys back to the owner, along with a bill for about ten hours of labour and the cost of all parts and outside services. (Typical labor on a cylinder removal job of this sort is six hours for the first jug on each side and three hours of labour for each additional cylinder).
The first problem with this scenario is that the engineer has blithely accepted the repair station's yellow tags as evidence of airworthiness, when in fact he can and should do a number of things to assure airworthiness.
First, if the cylinder has been rebarelled, he should sight down the flanges to see the head is on straight. (Don't laugh. I have seen TIO-540 cylinders with the barrels crooked relative to the heads, by a visible amount).
Laying the cylinder sideways on a bench, you will see, if you look closely at the fins in the head-to-barrel junction area, punch marks across the fins. These marks should be exactly lined up. If they are displaced, the head and barrel are not screwed together properly.
When any yellow tagged cylinder is received, the barrel dimensions should be checked. That means bore, choke and out-of-round. These three numbers should be verified and written down in the ship's permanent records. (It's not illegal to omit to do this but it probably should be, in my opinion.)
The piston skirt diameter should also be checked. If bore and skirt diameter are not checked, you have no way of knowing the piston's skirt clearance in the barrel. This is a fairly critical dimension. If it is too tight, piston scuffing will occur, too loose, leads to piston slap.
When a chromed cylinder is received, a double-check should be done to ensure the piston rings are NOT chrome faced. Rings for steel cylinders normally are chrome-faced. If chrome-faced rings are used in a chromed barrel, you will see very high temperatures and massive contamination of the engine with chrome particles in a short period of time, possibly necessitating a major overhaul.
The condition of the honed finish is extremely important on all cylinders except those with Cermi-chrome or Nu-chrome barrels. (The ceramic particles in Cermichrome and Nu-chrome virtually guarantee ring seating within the first few hours as the particles act like lapping compound. An experienced eye can tell if a cylinder has been properly honed. The finish may be 2--35 microinches ( slightly less for nitrided or channel-chromed cylinders) and the hone marks should look uniform. Again, a trained eye can easily tell if the hone finish is uneven because of dull and sharp stones being used together or unequal pressure being applied to one side of the barrel.
Speaking of surface finish, rocker shafts should be mirror-smooth (no cross-hatching). valve stems should not be mirror-like but should be smooth. For long life, valve guides should be honed to 30 microinches on the inside diameter (see Lycoming Service Instruction N. 1200A).
If new valves or seats have been installed, the grind pattern should be checked. Seats that have an obvious off-centre grind are not concentric to the guide and can be expected to give short life. Actual contact between valve and seat should be checked by wetting the valve face with Prussian Blue or equivalent and turning it in the seat. The degree of dye transfer will indicate immediately the quality of the seat contact.
If you don't have time for this check, simply invert the cylinder (with both valves installed), put spark plugs in the spark plug holes and fill the cylinder with Naphtha or equivalent. If fluid runs out of the valves, contact is poor and the valves and the seats should be reground. There should be no solvent leakage at all.
Rockers should be checked for square contact between toe and valve tip. If the contact is not square (or is far off-centre), rapid valve guide wear will result.
As with barrel dimensions, valve and guide dimensions should be recorded so operating clearances are known. Often after 300 hours a cylinder will show poor compression ( or blow by and high
oil consumption) and the valve guides will be found to be entirely worn out or the choke will be gone from the cylinder. No one will know whether there was any choke in the cylinder to begin with ( or whether the valves were rattling around in the guides to begin with), because there will be no written record of cylinder dimensions. It's best to write the numbers down in advance.
Another dimension that should be double checked and written down somewhere is the ring-gap data. Ring gaps and ring sideplay limits are spelled out clearly in the Table of Limits section of the overhaul manual for the engine. Rather than making a log entry that these items were checked and found "within limits", the engineer should make sure the actual numbers are recorded. That way, there will be one less source of confusion for everyone in the event of a warranty comeback.
The reader may be wondering why it is necessary to double check any of these items when the FAA repair stations that perform cylinder repairs are required to do all these things before putting a yellow tag on. However, slip-ups do occur. Brand new cylinder kits often show incredibly poor valve face to seat contact by the ink transfer method, and barrel choke (taper) is often at the low limit instead of the high limit, which can make a real difference for oil consumption and TBO life for some engines, like the Continental O-470-R. Beyond that, honest-to-goodness bloopers do happen.
I mentioned the crooked-head syndrome (which has been observed more that once). Sometimes "approved parts" get transplanted from one model to another by mistake.. For example, I've heard of Continental exhaust studs being found in Lycoming cylinders. Some engines have more than one permissible type of valve seat and/or valve; but you cannot intermix types on the same engine. For example Lycoming IO-360-A and -C (and IO-540-A,-B,-E,-K and -M and TIO-540-J2BD) engines can come with large diameter intake valves or small diameter intake valves. The small valves have to be used with a special "venturi style" seat; you cannot put the large valve on this seat.
(To be continued in May)
This article was written by Kas Thomas and taken from Canadian Flight March 1966.
SEAWIND PILOTS ASSOCIATION
List of Paid Up Members March 1996
ADAMS, 6 Wren Rd., Gloucester (613) 749-2619(H)
Dick & Eve Ontario, K1J 7H4 (613) 749-2619(F)
ALEXANDER PSC 1258,Box 419
Charles APO AE 09858
ANDERSON 11550 E. Camino Del (520) 885-9424(H)
Cam Desierto, Tucson, AZ (520) 721-7141(F) 85747-9730
ANGELINI P.O.Box 89,3152 State St.(716) 538-4810(H)
John,P. Caledonia, NY 14423
ARDOYNO, 9235 Lake Riley Blvd., (612) 496-0813(H)
John & Lyndia Chanhassen, MN 55317 (612) 496-0813(F)
ARRAY, 819 Peacock Plaza #668, (305) 745-8958(H)
Paul & Mardy Key West, FL 33040
BORMAN, 46 Harbour Drive (07) 576-4255(H)
John Tauranea, New Zealand
BECKWITH 570 Luella Rd.,
Bruce Locust Grove, GA 30248
BOWES 6382 15th St. E., (941) 751-3455
Michael Sarasota, FL 34243 (941) 747-0871
BOYNTON 169 Deer Circle,
Wilson London, Ont. N6H 3B9
CARLSON, 492 Holmes St., (801) 625-9513(H)
Brent Shelley, ID 83274
CARLSON, Box 164, Craik, (306) 734-2213(H)
Len Saskatoon, SOG 0V0 (306) 734-5174(O)
CIANFARANI, 85 Strathburn Blvd., (416) 741-3124(H)
Tony & Audrey Weston, Ontario M9M 2L2
COOK Box 79,E.Holden
Dick ME 04429
CROSBY P.O.Box 1038 Croydon
Andrew Victoria, Australia
CULVER, 17 Pinetree Road (919) 535-5353(H)
Art Henrico, NC 27842 (919) 535-5353(F)
DARRAH, Rt 1, Box 36B, (512) 264-1717(H)
Bob Spicewoood, TX 78669
DORR, P.O.Box 249,Middlebury, (203) 264-4333(H)
Bob CT 06762 (203) 264-4511(F)
DILLON RBC Dominion Securities
Joseph 2000 McGill College, Suite 300
Montreal, QC H3A 3H5
EASTER, Precision Design, Thomas P.(405) 722-2140(H)
Craig Stafford Airport POB 96591(405) 722-2140(F)
Weatherford, OK 73096
FLETCHER 5416-58A St. Crescent
Bob & Ivy Lacombe, Alberta T4H 1L7
FLYNN P.O.Box 223
George West Ossipe N.H. 03890
FORSSBLAD, Smedboda,3362 s-282 00 46 (451) 52205(H)
Johan Tyringe, Sweden 46 (42) 51228(F)
GAGNON, 4477 Namur, Pierrefonds (514) 620-5638(H)
Michel & PQ Canada H9A 2S2 (514) 339-2572(O)
Josee (514) 339-2526(F)
GLANOVSKY, 1714 69th Ave. W.,B208, (813) 756-3265(H)
Ed Bradenton, FL 34207 (813) 756-3265(F)
GOODYEAR, 112 Grenfell Hts. (709) 489-3894(H)
Terry Grand Falls, NFLD (709) 489-7282(F)
A2A 1W5 Canada
GREENE Allied Diesel Intl., (704) 898-5670(O)
Robert 2874 Castle Hwy 184
Banner Elk, P.O.Box 3410
GUSTIN, PO Box 87 (215) 855-2366(H)
Bud & Betty Montgomeryville, PA (215) 361-2077(O)
GRAVES 1 Surrey Lane
Alan Cumberland Foreside, Maine
GREELY 4000 River Road (908) 892-2300(O)
Ron Point Pleasant, NJ 08742
GUSTIN P.O.Box 87, (215) 855-2366(H)
Bud Montgomeryville, PA 18936 (215) 855-2366(F)
HAMILTON 1626 Valencia Ave.,
Fred Placentia, CA 92670
HARE J.H.Hare & Associates Ltd(204) 233-2199(O)
John 470 Provencher Blvd. (204) 237-7486(F)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2J 0B9
HOARE, RR#1 Island View Drive, (705) 569-3628(H)
Dr Bert & Ev Golden Lake,Ont.K0J 1X0
18562 Crosswind Ave N.E. (813) 543-7125(H)
N. Ft. Meyers FL 33917 (813) 543-7125(F)
HUETTEMANN, Luisenstrasse 72 (49-89)2725170(H)
Michael 80798 Munchen (49-89)2732056(F)
ILLYES MICR Automation Inc., (314) 644-0958(H)
Dick 2022 Hiawatha, Maplewood (314) 524-0006(F)
IRWIN, Normanton-on-Soar, 441 509 842 201(H)
Tony Loughborough, Leics. 441 509 842 201(F)
JACOBSEN, Berger Weg 100, (04141) 62931(P)
Dr.Jens 21680 Stade, GDR (04141) 68849(F)
JARVIS 27 Silkwood Crescent (416) 497-0326(H)
Gary Willowdale,Ont.M2J 1H1 (416) 449-2300(O)
JURCAN, 114 W. Lake Sammamish Pky, (206) 746-3995(H)
Anthony, L. S.E. Bellvue, WA 98008 (206) 324-9957(O)
KARLSEN, Turbine Design Inc. (904) 738-0510(F)
Douglas 608 North McDonald Ave, (904) 738-1667(O)
DeLand, FL 32724
KIVENKO, R.R.1.Box 2,Applehill, (613) 527-5302(H)
John Ontario,K0C 1B0 (514) 731-8541(O)
LAWLER 13352 Amblewood Drive.,
Dan White Rock, BC V4A 6G9
LONEY, 345 Seawind Road, (408) 684-0639(H)
Merle La Selva Beach, CA 95076
LUSH, 92 Gemorda Drive, (416) 338-1173(H)
Mike Oakville, Ontario, (416) 338-5241(F)
MAMAIS, 3310 Fieldgate Drive,
Dimitrios #507 Mississauga, Ontario
MCLAUGHLIN 1468 Wateska Blvd. (905) 891-2760(H)
Robert Mississigauga, Ont.
L5H 2R2 62
MERTZ, 111 Broad St., Pittston, (717) 654-2123(H)
Jack PA 18640
NEAL c/o LEVER BROTHERS CO. (410) 374-1300(H)
Gary,E 11404 Cronridge Drive (410) 581-2722(O)
Owings Mills, Maryland (410) 581-2680(F)
OLSON Route 2,Box 68c
Dorian & Donna Lake Park, MN 56554
PAWELIRIEWICZ 294 Ukraine Rd., (905) 279-6763(H)
Weislaw Mississauga,Ont.L5B 3W6 (905) 279-6763(F)
PETERSEN, 602 Beach Road (813) 349-3165(H)
Pete Sarasota, FL 34242 (813) 349-9692(F)
RICHARDSON 4 Morningside Drive
Tom Hookset, NH 03106
SAMSON 1236 Long Lake Court
Pat Brighton, Mich 48116
SCHRIDDE, Kastanienweg 6 06107-62648(H)
Manni 65451 Kelsterbach 06107-3859 (F)
DE RIDDER Box 1071 362-7364(H)
Philip Rossland, B.C. V0G 1Y0
SILVA, SNA Inc. Route 113, (610) 983-3377(O)
Dick Box 607,Kimberton, (610) 933-3335(F)
SROCK Eagle Fasteners Inc., (810) 644-8124(H)
Jim 2431 Pontiac Rd., (810) 373-1441(O)
Auburn Hills MI 48326 (810) 373-1212(F)
TOTTEN P.O.Box 6009
John Sitka, Alaska 99835
TREMBLAY 1520 Creawford Ave, (519) 225-7060(O)
Larry Windsor,Ont.N8X 2A8 (519) 255-9209(F)
TROWBRIDGE, Box 181,Sheboygan Falls (414) 467-4621(H)
Jeff WI 53085
WELLER 4301 Forest Ave.,
Wally S. E. Mercer Island WA 98040-3911
WIESE 5199 Adena Trail, America Online:MAR34807(E) Marc Cincinnati, OH CARDMARC@concentric.net(E)
WILSON, 16619 Highland Valley (619) 788-2108(H)
John & Margo Rd., Ramona, CA 92065
WOLF, 421 North Avenue, (804) 357-2143(H)
Donald & Newport News, VA 23601 (804) 599-5302(O)
Evelyn (804) 595-1743(F)
WOOD, 6358 Brandeis Crl. (313) 623-2718(H)
Dan Clarkston, MI 48346
SEAWIND PILOTS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
Vol.3 No. 3 Page 63 May 1996
This is the second to last letter in this, our first two year series. In the final issue I would like to include a questionnaire which will ask you for suggestions about the way we are heading. We have grown to more than seventy members in our first two years operations and several issues now arise. Are we for example to permit members to advertise products and services. Should we rotate my job to allow a fresh point of view. The acronym SPA is, as Dick Silva pointed out to me many years ago very ambiguous. Should we advertise our existence etc etc...so with that issue will come a renewal request and a questionnaire. If you feel SPA is worth maintaining respond. We as a group are not yet mobile enough to physically get together to have an AGM so that issue will important feedback for me.
This month we have contributions from our three regulars, Paul (Array), Craig (Easter) and John (Kivenko). If there is one regret I have it is that we are still depending too much on too few people for inputs. Surely some of you have found a short cut or different way or a device that you might like to share with us. It does not have to be a complaint. It could even be a query or an offer of help, or a comment on new regulations etc,etc.
Last month's filler article written by Kas Thomas will not be continued this month. However from it you engine amateurs (like myself) will have got a taste for the level and style of his approach. The author comes highly recommended. His work is current (my typo, 1966 instead of 1996) If there is a Lycoming Maintenance "Bible" then this is a major contender. The book referred to is The Aircraft Engine Operating Guide from TAB Books Inc.,Blue Ridge Summit,PA 17294-0850 Price $14.95.
New kit members; Skip Corwin from New London,New Hampshire (1-508 356-1228) who wrote me an interesting letter. Skip is one of those members who was in this venture from its start in Canada in the mid eighties. He is a retired professional pilot with much flying experience on both commercial and float planes. Will(iston) Hayes M.D. comes from Oroville California (1 916 533-7727) Welcome aboard gentlemen.
A FAX FROM CRAIG EASTER
Having installed a turbo 540 Lycoming on the first Seawind I never thought to comment on that engine installation, but now, doing the second aircraft with the IO-540 I would like to make the following comments. It is possible to use a smaller spinner than the one recommended. I used a spinner from a Bellanca Vicking that is 14 inches in diameter. It was necessary to use a bulkhead from a Piper Brave in order to mount the spinner to prop. Previously the spinner was mounted to the starter ring gear. I had hoped to heat form the cowling to the new dimensions but no luck so it was necessary in install a bulkhead in the forward portion and then cut out a seven inch circle for the prop extension to clear in the centre. It takes about 45-60 days to get your prop extension so don't wait around to the last minute to order one. Unless you have different drawings of the right front engine baffling than I had you should be aware that all the bends in the drawing are marked exactly opposite to what they should be. You can find the two rear bafflings on the Cherokee 235 or the Cherokee 6 or the Piper Lance so you don't have to make these difficult parts. Also the full scale drawings for the baffles for the right and left sides should not be used. Instead you should make your own templates from the rocker covers and then make your parts. I installed oil coolers on both sides for additional cooling and it was necessary to make some small bumps in the cowling for clearance. Had I located the coolers lower and turned the fittings towards the engine I think I might have avoided that.
I did not want to wait around for the SNA exhaust system so I went asking around for an exhaust system that would work and what I found was that the exhaust system from the Aerostar 600 works very well and it is made from heavy wall stainless. Next I made a drawing for the desired tailpipes and sent to Kensley exhaust in California and they made them up.
The manner in which SNA has you mount the engine controls for the mixture and throttle is no good because the engine mount is stationary and the engine is free to move around. This will cause premature wear of the controls. I once mounted controls in this manner on another aircraft and what I found would happen during the engine shutdown was that as the engine would start to die it would become rough and the engine would move around a bit. It was just enough that it would make the mixture rich enough that the engine would continue to run ! Unfortunately I did not realise this at first and sent the fuel servo out for overhaul and some other parts at my expense. To solve this I made a bracket from 1/8 inch aluminum four inches wide that would secure to the rear of the fuel servo. I extended this flange two inches on the right side and 2 1/2 inches on the left side then I bent this plate aft 90 degree's back until I had room to mount the cables. Next I welded a 3 1/8 inch piece of tubing in the middle to attach the induction air hose to. If you cannot figure out what I mean by all of that then send me $20 and I will make you a full scale CAD drawing. For the 90 degree elbow you need, you can go to your hardware store and get a thinwall 90 degree street L made from PVC to match up to that. It bonds well with vinyl ester.
For the fuel, manifold and oil pressure sensors that you have to get back to the instrument panel I used 1/8 inch air brake nylon hose. This hose is good for 150 (psi ?) working and 1000 psi burst pressure. It is very light and the hole is very small, in the event of failure one would have a good amount of time before it would cause a problem. (Note) I used 303-2 from the engine to the firewall.
MEMO FROM PAUL ARRAY
I write this letter in the aftermath of another engine failure in a Seawind. Thankfully no one was hurt during the experience. I am sure that you have heard by now that Don Wolf had an engine failure in his 24th hour of flying because of a fuel system problem.
I stress again the importance of the fuel system. I say again because after two failures myself I have stressed to SNA and to SPA to please take notice of these problems.
With the Romec engine driven pump you must keep constant head pressure to the pump, not just the 2-8 psi that the facet puts out but over 20 psi so as not to develop vapour lock. I am enclosing the following article by Lyle Powell .In the next to the last paragraph you will see them mention a facet "beer can" type pump. THIS IS NOT SUITABLE FOR THE SEAWIND. I have tried it and it does not work. Also the electric pumps should be mounted BELOW the level of the fuel in the header tank.
FUEL SYSTEM VAPOUR LOCK
Fuel system vapor lock occurs much more often than is regularly supposed. It accounts for uneven firing on climb-out and uneven running when descending into the airport pattern at nearly closed throttle. It occurs on takeoff, especially in hot weather, after being held in position with closed throttle long enough to collect a bunch of bubbles in the fuel system. A large percentage of "carb ice" incidents are really partial vapor lock.
The recent trend toward above ground fuel tanks instead of the far more expensive underground tanks translates to fuel temperatures of 20-40 degrees F warmer than we used to have and has significantly increased the tendency to vapor lock. This is especially true of auto fuel because of its higher volatility, but both 80 octane and 100LL aviation fuel are also susceptible to vapor locking problems if fuel systems are not properly designed.
Its well to realise that vapor bubbles are normally manufactured at the inlet of the engine driven fuel pump. They are usually redissolved downstream (due to increased pressure), but sometimes not completely.
Another fundamental to realise is that the surface tension of a bubble is sufficient to make it obstructive at a small orifice, such as at carburettor inlet valves or fuel injection metering orifices.
The engine driven fuel pump is bolted to the accessory case of the engine, and reaches equilibrium temperature at approximately the same level as the oil. Air cooling (by blast tube) over the outside of this pump is of minimal benefit. The only really effective cooling medium is the flow of fuel itself.
At reduced or closed throttle, there is very little fuel flowing through the pump. Without a prevision to cool the pump, vapour bubbles are formed at a rapid rate under such circumstances. This is due not only to the raised temperature but to the abrupt pressure drop at the pump inlet. Then, when the throttle is next opened, many bubbles rush downstream and produce rough running or even engine stoppage.
The answers to these problems are several, but one stands out as the easiest and the most effective-" the recirculating line". It's used in the Continental fuel injection system and by many of the homebuilders in the Southwest. A "T" fitting, preferably of the AN type and made of steel, is inserted in the fuel line between the engine driven pump and the carb or servo unit. The recirculating line portion of this "T" is drilled and tapped for a 1/4 inch by 28 thread receptacle for a short screw which has a #60 drill hole (.040") axially down its centre. The recirculating fuel line returns to a fuel tank, or to the filter inlet where it mixes with a large amount of cool fuel. This line should be firesleeved and include adequate length for vibration isolation.
At 15 psi this line produces a flow of 5-6 gph. At 5 psi the flow is about 3 gph. This is enough to keep the pump cool and prevent the accumulation of bubbles even with a closed throttle. Our pumps have a generous overcapacity to account for this extra flow.
Vapor lock used to be common in our cars in the summer. In recent years it has become almost unknown in the automobile experience. The reason: the "recirculating line". Another approach is to plumb the boost pump in parallel (not series) with the engine pump. This gets cool fuel to the carb or servo by bypassing the engine pump altogether. A check valve may be needed, depending upon the types of pumps used. You may get an unpleasant surprise of rough running when you turn off the boost pump, but this is manageable, especially if the recirculating line is in operation.
Another option to consider is to have a second electric pump of the continuous duty type, such as the Facet low pressure "beer-can" type This is connected in series with the engine pump and is left "on" whenever the engine is running. What this does is to produce a positive pressure at the inlet of the pressure pump, thus avoiding the negative pressure normally prevailing there. This avoids the bubbles normally produced. This electric pump should be placed low and behind the firewall so it is primed by gravity and not heated.
Fuel filtration is very important in these systems to prevent obstruction of an orifice by a particle. The filter (not a gascolator) should be placed downstream of the fuel valve or valves, before any small pumps or orifices are encountered. I use a FRAM HPG-1 filter obtainable at most auto supply stores or speed shops. Its a steel cased 13 oz device with a renewable element. Avoid the small "inline" filters because a good slug of particles could obstruct them. Several very good filters are available.
Think carefully about your fuel system. Fuel delivery problems account for more accidents THAN ALL OTHER SOURCES COMBINED in homebuilts. Fuel is very volatile stuff and bubbles really can obstruct small holes.
WHICH OIL TO USE by MIKE BUSCH (firstname.lastname@example.org
If you were flying a turbine engine, the choice of oil would be easy. You'd simply choose the slipperiest,longest lasting lubricant you could find and it would be 100% synthetic oil.
When it comes to piston engines however, the issues are much more complex. That's because the oil in a piston engine is called upon to do a lot more than simply lubricate. The oil must also serve as a coolant, a cleanser, an acid neutralizer, a sealant, a hydraulic fluid and a preservative. Finding an oil that performs all these functions adequately well can be a tricky business.
SINGLE-GRADE OIL Straight mineral oil such as Aeroshell 100 (red can or blue plastic bottle) is a petroleum based oil without the usual cleansing agents or additive package. It is commonly used as break-in oil for new steel or chrome cylinders. Its claim to fame is that it is not particularly good at either lubricating or cleansing ! The resulting high levels of friction may speed up the break-in process, but this oil is not approved for long term use in your engine. If you use this stuff for break-in you should plan to drain it in 10-25 hours( the sooner the better) and replace it with a high quality ashless dispersant (AD) oil. Single grade AD oil such as Aeroshell W 100 (SAE 50) or W 80 (SAE 40) is a straight-weight petroleum based oil with an additive package of ashless dispersant cleaners, lead scavenging agents and acid neutralisers. It offers good lubrication and good cleansing action. Single grade oil is especially good against protecting engines against corrosion, because it is very thick at ordinary room temperatures and sticks to engine parts without stripping off as readily as multigrade oils. However, single grade oil is not recommended for non preheated cold weather operations. When starting in sub-freezing temperatures, single grade oil may be too thick to provide adequate lubrication in the first minute or two of engine operation.
MULTI-GRADE OIL Multi-viscosity petroleum based oil such as Phillips X/C 20W-50 is similar to single grade AD oil, but has a viscosity index (VI) enhancer which causes the oil to maintain a more constant viscosity over a wide range of temperatures. This oil remains much thinner and more easily poured at room temperature than single grade oil. This is a distinct advantage for cold weather starting if a preheat (or heated hangar) is not available. On the other hand, multi-vis oil will strip off engine parts much more readily during periods of engine disuse, so it doesn't provide nearly as good corrosion protection as single grade oil does.
Fully synthetic oil such as Mobil AV-1 (no longer available)
is a multi-vis oil with an AD additive package similar to other AD oils. Synthetic oil has better lubricity (or slipperiness) than petroleum based oil as well as several other advantages. Unlike petroleum products a fully synthetic oil does not carbonize or "coke" under high heat, nor does it loose its viscosity with prolonged use. On the other hand synthetic oil strips off parts readily (because of its low viscosity at room temperature and its slipperiness. It also is poor at cleansing because its molecules are too slippery to hold scavenged lead, carbon and other particulates in suspension very well. It is this poor cleaning action (particularly with regard to lead) that was responsible for Mobile AV-1 being withdrawn from the market recently. For years we have warned against the use of synthetic oil in most of owner-flown planes.
Semi-synthetic oils such as Aeroshell 15W-50 is a blend of multi-vis with fully synthetic oil (50:50). Here one attempts to combine the excellent lubricating with the cleansing properties and for the most part it achieves these goals. However it remains quite thin at room temperatures and so strips off engine parts readily and leaves then vulnerable to corrosion during periods of disuse. About a year ago Shell started adding a new corrosion inhibitor to the additive package of 15W-50 in an attempt to remedy this problem. We feel it is too early to tell at present just how effective this additive is.
SO WHICH OIL SHOULD I USE ? It all depends on where you fly and how often. If your airplane flies at least once a week, or if you operate in a low corrosion environment such as the desert or the mountains you probably don't have to worry too much about corrosion. This is especially true if the airplane is hangered. In this case we recommend you use a multi-weight oil such as Phillips 20W-50 or Aeroshell 15W-50. The Aeroshell semi synthetic is a slightly better lubricant while the Phillips X/C is slightly better at cleansing. Both are excellent choices. On the other hand, if you are based in a corrosive environment--within 100 miles of the ocean, the Great Lakes, or a major metropolitan area with its industrial pollution--and if your airplane sometimes goes for two weeks or more at a time without being flown, internal corrosion should be a major concern. This is especially true if the aircraft is not hangared. If you fall into this catagory, we strongly suggest that you use a single weight AD oil such as Aeroshell W 100 to provide the best corrosion protection. If you operate in a temperate climate (such as is found in much of California) you can use single weight oil all the year round. However, if you operate in sub-freezing temperatures then we recommend that you switch to a multi-weight oil during the cold weather months, and then return to single weight oil during the remainder of the year. If your mechanic tells you it is bad to switch from one oil to another he's misinformed. Change oil regularly. Its impossible to overstate the importance of regular oil changes. During engine operation, the oil becomes contaminated with nitric and sulphuric acids, water, lead salts, carbon, metal and other contaminants. It is essential to flush these out of the engine on a regular basis. In addition,
the cleansers and acid neutralizers in the oils additive package wear out and must be replenished by changing the oil. If your engine is equipped with a full flow oil filter, you should change your oil and filter every fifty hours or less. If you have only an oil screen, you should change every 25 hours. In any case, you should change your oil every four months even if you have flown only a few hours during that time; the oil may still look clean, but the additive package is probably shot. Whenever you change your oil, fly the airplane first to bring the oil up to full operating temperature and to agitate any contaminants that may have settled out back into suspension. Drain the oil as quickly as possible after this warm up flight in order to remove all the nasties. Catch an oil sample about halfway through the draining process and send it to a lab for spectrographic analysis. (The author uses Spectrographic Analysis in Tulsa, Oklahoma) If you have an oil filter be sure to change it every oil change. Cut open the old filter and inspect the element for metal particles. If you ever spot an uncut oil filter in the trash can at your maintenance shop, find yourself another shop !
REPLY TO ROBERT GREENE
from John Kivenko
Well, here we have another member of SPA belly aching about the so called "bashing" of SNA and Dick Silva. Robert Greene writes to the SPA but fails to give any examples of what he finds objectionable. Considering the timing of his letter I can only assume that he took exception to the light hearted article entitled "LOVE OF THE SEAWIND". Well, if Robert cannot see the humour in this article, perhaps he will be able to appreciate it better after he has gotten further with the building of his plane. All other articles, the way I see it, were reports on the performance of primarily Paul Array's plane and building suggestions by several members of SPA. The one exception was the article written by Michael Huettemann. Considering the excellent credentials of Mr Huettemann, particularly in the area of composite aircraft, his views are worth reading. Should he ever design a plane to compete with the Seawind, one will then have the opportunity to see whether his criticism of the Seawind was justified. In the meantime the Seawind is the only game in town and I agree with Mr Greene that we should concentrate on making it the best plane possible.
It should be pointed out to the membership that SNA has not supported the SPA to the extent that it will not publicize its existence. Despite this a growing number of builders have managed to find out about the club and the membership is growing faster than ever. It is my opinion that anyone who is a builder, or is ever contemplating buying a Kit should join the SPA. So if you know anyone who is in this position and has not yet joined I urge you to inform them of the club. You will be doing them a big favour. Perhaps in the future when Robert Greene gets more
involved with the building of his plane, he will be in a better position to appreciate the information being disseminated by the SPA. For example, should he be one of the unlucky ones who received wings that were wrongly built, and find that he cannot build the plane as stated in the Manual, he will be saved considerable time and effort by the publicizing of this problem by the SPA. To my knowledge this was the only organisation that exposed this problem and, the fix to it, which involves the critical attachment of the wings to the hull. It has still not yet been addressed in written form by the company.
The SPA is fortunate in having a handful of very experienced builders. I am thankful that some of them took the time to pass on some very helpful hints. I also appreciate the trouble Paul Array took to tell us of his experiences with his plane. As the first customer built plane, he has had a lot to say to us. We only hear rumours about the second plane that was built in North Bay Ontario. I have suggested to Dick (Adams) that a questionnaire be prepared for those of us who reach the point of completion. In this way we will be able to determine in a uniform way the average performance of the Seawinds. We may also be able to determine what factors contribute to a better or poorer performing aircraft. I hope everyone will cooperate in this survey.
I agree with Mr Greene that few people could have done as good a job as Dick Silva. It should be pointed out however, that few people have been able to get into the kit making business with a prototype already flying for several years and about 100 potential customers sufficiently interested in this type of aircraft to have given a deposit to the original designer. In the long run there may even be a significant profit to be made. We have all sung the praises of Dick Silva, and "for he's a jolly good fellow" is still ringing in my ears.
Dick (Adams) started the SPA so there could be an interchange of ideas, As I have been involved with the printing of the SPA Newsletter, I am aware that Dick has given priority to all the items Mr Greene mentions in his letter. Paul Array's above mentioned contribution was only published about six months after it was received, and at a time when there was a lack of more time sensitive information. I find it far preferable to have material like "Love of the Seawind" than to receive a Newsletter such as the last one where the content consisted largely of a Membership list and an article from some magazine. Clearly this was a filler, as no articles were received regarding matters specifically related to the Seawind. I hope more people will participate in the dialogue which Dick envisioned, and that no one will be inhibited to express their views for fear it will be deemed "bashing" by some of our members. Remember what makes news is not the ordinary, but the unusual. Unfortunately that will sometimes lead us to discuss the weaknesses of the Seawind in order to make it a better plane. We all know of the many good qualities of the Seawind. I am involved in the building of two Seawinds, and I have never regretted making the purchase of these kits.
SEAWIND PILOTS ASSOCIATION
Vol.3 No.4 Page 71 July 1966
This is the last letter in our first two year subscription series. To receive the next issue your new subscription is required; the rates are listed below. Note, overseas postage is almost twice the continental American so a third category has been introduced.
As a group we are at last beginning to get a significant growth in the number of planes (pilots) and hopefully will receive inputs not just on building but on flying experiences.
This is a good time therefore to ask you where we should be heading ..to conduct a postal AGM if you like. To this end I have made up a number of questions that have been put to me in the last two years and would request your replies. If you complete the questionnaire you can deduct $1 off your subscription rates for 96-98 !
You probably realise that we operate on a very limited budget. No I cannot phone you long distance as much as I would like to occasionally. Our production costs are now running at about $115/issue so are margins are small. If you agree that we include advertising in our next series and charge a small fee then other ventures might be possible. It would personally please me if, in the next two years, we can generate enough pilots to have a Seawind get-together rather than meeting in print.
Thank you all for your inputs...flying is a great sport but it is unforgiving and for a homebuilt often constructed by amateurs, even getting a sense of problem areas will make our maintenance so much more relevant to our enjoyment and the plane's reputation.
SPA FINANCIAL STATEMENT 1994-1996
Paid up members......70 at $10/US member.......$700.00
Gifts from members............................. $60.00
12 Issues of Newsletter........................$202.00
Newsletter 12 issues...........................$828
Postage (44.5 US members)......................$204
Postage (17.5 CAN members)......................$71
Postage (8 O'SEAS members)......................$67
US Membership $12 plus $5 (post)................$17(US)
CAN Membership $16.50 plus $5.50 (post).........$22(CAN)
O'SEAS Membership $12 plus $10 (post)...........$22(US)
I tell people who express an interest in building the Seawind that it would help if they enjoy sanding. There is perhaps no single construction operation than sanding, filling fairing and more sanding. The owner of a large automotive shop in Bradenton suggested we try MIRKA brand sandpapers, a product of Norway. We have found the performance of this paper to be as good or better than 3M products which are generally more expensive. We have also used Carborundum papers and rank them third place and the least expensive.
Recently we completed the installation of spray rails on two Seawind hulls. One set was supplied by SNA, the other scratch-built in the shop. Rather than working overhead, it is well worth the effort to enlist the help of three or four strong buddies and roll the hull (tail attached) onto its side and do the bottom work in that position. Place the hull on some used tires for cushioning and you will find it sits in that position quite nicely. It makes the work easier and faster. I suggest the bonding flange on the factory built spray rails be ground to a knife edge, all around the perimeter, prior to bonding in place. This will assist you in getting a smooth transition into the hull. Remember to remove all traces of West System and Microlite, applied at the factory, prior to bonding and glassing with vinylester resin.
I'm pleased to see the letter being used as a forum for the exchange of constructive building tips and problem solving. My thanks to Don Wolf for shedding additional light on his nose gear woes. It was in response to this and other reports that we have undertaken to design a hydraulic nose fork shimmy damper. A trip to the airport yielded photos and dimensions for a Piper, Cessna and Beechcraft installation. If these guys all have one why not the Seawind ? Now it does, based on an all aluminum bodied steering damper borrowed from the racing motorcycle industry. This unit is buildable for about 12 bucks and features half a dozen resistance settings from very light to very firm. Weight is measured in ounces, not pounds. Cost ? About $120 plus some aluminum parts to be fabricated by the builder and attached to the nose gear by your favourite aluminum welder. Any builder who wants more info (photo/drawing) should send me a SASA. Make it a long envelope. Nose wheel shimmy is annoying, at the least, it concerns your passengers (they don't know what the noise is) and can be a big expensive problem when work hardened or fatigued parts finally quit holding hands. Solve the problem now, not later.
Another sanding tip I forgot to pass on. Styrofoam Blue insulating board makes excellent, lightweight sanding blocks which can be used flat or can be easily contoured to aid in sanding a specific profile. The 3" stick-on rolls of 80 and 100 grit produced by 3M and MIRKA adhere very well to the styrofoam and the blocks are very comfortable in the hand.
Thanks to Craig Easter for alerting us to his main oleo blowing apart under pressure. I have opted to upgrade the oleos that are presently in my shop by having a new longer stainless centre rod made up to accommodate the extra height of a "tall" AN310 castle nut which has a much greater strength than the AN320 shear nut installed by S.N.A. The oleo goes back together exactly the same way as the original. The correct length for such a new rod is 6.75" and this allows good thread penetration into the cup at the opposite end, as well. Mike Bowes
REPORT FROM N76SW
The following is an extract from a letter sent by Don Wolf to Dick Silva which summarizes his problems encountered in his first fifty or so hours of flying which he gives us permission to publish.
On May 29, 1996, after making arrangements to meet you at Chester County Airport on June 1, 1996 at 8.30AM, Donnie and I went to change our cowl flap to be 8 1/2" at the full open position. A group of students from the local aviation school came to the hangar to inspect a wood and fabric biplane and the composite Seawind. On opening the forward hatch, a crack and collapse of (the) nose gear retract yoke was observed at the attachment point of the hydraulic actuator to the yoke.
Examination of the failure indicated that the yoke tube experienced a gradual stress failure. You are aware that Paul Array's plane, the turbo and your plane have all experienced failure of the nose landing gear.
A brief summary of our problems with nose landing gear to date is listed below:
March 10, 1995 - ordered nose gear bronze caps to replace the aluminum caps which failed after about twenty (20) cycles of (the) gear.(Design defect # 1)
The next change was the reinforcement of the hydraulic actuator clevis per your Builder Alert (Design defect # 2), which was completed prior to initial taxi test.
We experienced no nose wheel shimmy until just prior to our trip to Sun-N-Fun 1996 with forth (40) hours total time and over eighty landings. (Design Defect # 3)
As you are aware, the rod end bearing at the top of the oleo failed while taxiing back to the showcase on Tuesday. This failure I attribute to the shimmy problem. The failure of the rod end bearing also damaged the back up plates (Part # 45) as shown on Fig 13-3 page 48 of Kit # 5. The above prompted our hasty return.
When we returned we completely disassembled the nose landing gear assembly and examined same. This examination indicated that the thrust washers (Part # 45) were worn. The rod end bearing which you had with you at Lakeland also has excessive wear and must be replaced. We were able to solve the shimmy problem by inserting rubber O-rings in the space between the castering spindle (# 1) and the main tube (#2). The bearings (#28) also appear to have excessive play.
All part numbers in this para refer to figure 12-2 page 42.
Now we have the failure of the retract yoke at fifty six hours of service. Over the past two years talking with two builders (Paul and Doug) they both had to entirely rebuild the nose gear retract fork which I consider design defect #4.
I understand you have a reinforced yoke that you are now supplying with the Kits. Please forward a new yoke, bearings etc which we can install with the steerable nose wheel modification.
To date we have declared one (1) emergency at PHF (loss of power) and requested inspection by tower of gear due to failure to get three (3) green lights. If complete failure of the nose wheel would occur on a landing at a controlled airport, the Seawind would make the local news or more if the runway had to be closed.
SEAWIND ACCIDENT REPORT
We just found out it is possible to get killed by the Seawind and not even start the engine!
While we were making our final preparations to make our first engine runs we were inflating the main struts and like any other aircraft we were rocking the wings to get it level when all of a sudden the right main gear strut went "Kaboom!"
Fortunately we were rocking the wing from the ends and not under it and no one was pinned. After the dust settled we examined the damaged parts and found that the threads had pulled off the castle nut that holds the strut together.
Normally castle nuts are only used in a shear type application not a tension application which is what we have in this situation. After disassembling the left strut we found the threads to be already worn. I am thankful we did not fly this aircraft before we found this problem ! Now the fix begins: first we took out the rod that runs down the centre, the jam nut, and the castle nut and replaced those with an AN6H-63A bolt and an AN970-5/16" washer. We did this by opening up the bore to 3/8" and placing the 970 washer under the head of the bolt. Then we drilled the retainer nut with a couple of # 40 holes to have a place to secure safety wire to the head of the bolt and re assembled the strut. While we were at it we replaced the Allen headed screws with some real aircraft hardware AN4-26A. For now it is staying in place.
I intend to write a book about my experiences with the Seawind and Bob Darrah has agreed to be my co-author. We would welcome any input from any builder. I am interested in building techniques and design improvements more than flying tips. Correct (me) if I am wrong but I would imagine that a lot of builders have sent Fax's or letters to SNA about problems and remedies. I would love to have copies of these sent to me to the address below. Other ways we might exchange these ideas if you have made your documents on a PC then send them to me in a flat ASCI file. If you have E-mail you may E-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org..I hope that you share my philosophy that one may complain about existing design to their heart's content but unless one has ideas about how to fix the problem one is merely a complainer. Sorry I can't pay you for your contributions but I will credit your name in the book. I strongly desire to guide other builders away from the same holes I have fallen into. If by chance you feel the same way then please send your stuff !!
This may seem rude but I would like to request that you do not call me on the phone with the above information. My hope is that as a fellow Seawind builder you will understand that when you are in the middle of a twenty ply layup it is very difficult to make it to the phone and concentrate on what the person has to say when you know your resin is curing as you speak (!!)
In closing let me say next month I would like to send in my tips on ways to make the building of the Seawind easier, since I am nearing the end of my project.
Craig Easter .............. P.O.Box 96591 Thomas Stafford Airport North Hanger, Weatherford OK. 73096 Internet Address wceaster@AOL.com
A NOTE FROM BUD GUSTIN
Please note change of address effective immediately:
51112 W. Iver Rd.
Eagle Roost Aerodrome
PO Box 387
Aguila, AZ 85320
Phone is 1 520-685-2557 (There will be a FAX on this line after July 20th.)
Please note that the air park is one mile square with about 40 homes (each with a hanger) and we have 3960 ft. paved and lighted N-S runway and a crosswind runway which is a full mile long. We are starting construction on a new home and a 40 X 80 hanger in July right at the intersection of the two runways (!!!)
...yo'all come down and see us sometime...winters are great (summers are HOT!!!)
1. How might we expand our services to members ?
(a) Bulletin board on Net
(b) Dedicated Fax line
(c) Any other ?
2. Do we need to change our Name ? If we advertise, confusion will arise as there are three SPA's around.
(a) International Seawind Pilots Association
(b) Seawind Association
(d) No change.
3. Should we advertise in the Newsletter ?
(a) Members products services
(b) General advertising
(d) No advertising.
4. Would you like a change in Secretary/organiser ? :-}
(a) Suggest a volunteer
(b) Incumbent continues for second term
(c) Other suggestions
5. Should we try to organise an annual get together of members ?
6. Please list the current ways we can reach you.
(a) Postal address
(c) Radio phone (mobile)
(g) World wide web
7. Any suggestions for improvements in the letter ?
Many thanks for your time. If 10% of our membership support any idea I will consider it a valid proposal.
PROBLEM DISCUSSION BY OUR MEMBERS
I am a firm believer that our membership is responsible enough that open discussion of problems will be good for Seawind.
I would like to comment therefore on the MLG experiences we have had to date. The first MLG failure ocurred during construction when three of us were working in a confined area. The port leg gave way for no apparent reason. The hull fell into the second Seawind by its side and it was very fortunate that no one or a head was caught between them. The fault appeared to be a short vertical gouge on the outside of the upper oleo which had allowed the slow escape of gas. They were only at 300lbs at that time. The second failure ocurred a few weeks ago when aircrew were wheeling the plane back to the field. The damage in both cases was broken rod ends and two strobe lights. This design results in catastrophic failure if the over centre "lock" is for some reason "straightened". Clearly having low (uneven) oleo pressures or a faulty arm geometry or a scratched oleo will invite sudden collapse. This was not the case with the earlier worm drive version and as a result I placed a block behind the arm to hold it in place after the first incident. It might be worth emphasising again that although in principle the design is sound that careful maintenance of correct oil levels, gas pressures and leg geometry should be very carefully monitored throughout. I have my three rod ends.
I am sorry Mike about giving you your old address in the March letter.
Mike LUSH 4068 Hilton Ave, (905) 634-2919(H
Burlington, Ont (905) 634-2940(F)
L4B 2P9 Canada.
REPLY TO DICK SILVA FROM CRAIG EASTER
I decided to submit the following matter to the SPA instead of the factory as I felt it would be given more immediate attention and the story would be related exactly as I tell it. The oleo collapse happened at a time when I did not have the elevator, stabiliser or electronics installed. By my calculations with a measured piston size of 2.1", each piston is capable of supporting 1038lbs at 300 psi. Allowing for a 13% reduction due to the angle of the two main struts the system could support 1806 lbs. As the tail area was light the balance was supported by the nose wheel. The oleos I have are the original ones which were modified by an outside shop, but I myself reassembled them and I believe that this was done correctly. I ended up speaking to the factory two weeks after the incident but by then had thrown out the part that had failed and was unable therefore to ship it to the factory for inspection. I find it to be a good policy to get rid of faulty parts so that they do not by accident end up on some plane. I was never authorised to send faulty parts to the factory collect, and did not feel that I should bear the costs involved, especially when I was easily able to see the problem and relate both the problem and solution to others.
INTERNATIONAL SEAWIND PILOTS ASSOCIATION
Vol. 3 No.5 Page 79 September 1996
Thank you for your continued support. Please remember to write your subscription to me personally not to SPA. This month an interesting letter from Fred Hamilton in Idaho and two excellent articles from Paul Array and Craig Easter kick off our new series. Note that my new Fax (613) 749-1532 is on from 9-5p.m. Mon-Fri EST. John's (Kivenko) still holds as an alternative.
ANALYSIS OF QUESTIONNAIRE
Many thanks for your support to continue the Newsletter. We had more than 60% response and some unexpected results. A dedicated Fax line (20%) and a Bulletin Board on the Net (40%). Four different names for the Letter but the clear winner at 45% was International Seawind Pilots Association. Advertising; Seawind products 20%. Meetings the most comments said no; but local meetings gained an honourable mention ! Ways to communicate in order of usefulness tel/fax then post and surprisingly then e-mail. It was suggested that we could save you money by using the latter. I will certainly look into this. As a result you note we have a new title and you won't have to phone me up before you Fax if you do it in office hours ! I propose to accept a limited number of advertisements for Seawind services/products at $25/quarter page/issue. Incidentally I do apologize to those of you who have not received certain letters in our previous issues. I will address that once things quieten down on the Seawind building front...we are almost there but unfortunately I find the commitment gets more hectic not less as you approach the end!
AFTER 300 HOURS
The first 75 hours was the toughest, everything was going wrong and I would get one thing fixed when another would go wrong or break.(don't get discouraged) Now that I see other people starting to fly they are going through the same teething pains Since then everything has been going a lot smoother. I go out to the airport,fire her up and fly,park then fly again, just like a real airplane!! Here are some of my observations after 300 hours and 2 years and seven months of flying my Seawind. I LOVE my Seawind.
FUEL SYSTEM: It is important that you have a continuous (key word) duty pump that puts out over 22 PSI to keep the engine running in case of engine fuel pump failure and for high altitude operation (over 8000ft). This pump is in addition to the boost pump which should put out about 35-40 pounds. Be sure to mount all pumps below the existing fuel level in the header tank. In no way should a push type fuel pump be mounted above the fuel level. If you have a Romec type fuel pump on your engine do not use a facet electric fuel pump for a high altitude or continuous duty pump. It does not have enough pressure to overcome the vapour lock you will experience because of the heat in the accessory section of the cowling. The pump I use is made by Airflow Performance in Spartenburg SC. 864-576-4512 about $290.00 US.
COOLING: The engine runs very hot. Cylinder head temperature in cruise is 390 to 450 degrees F. Oil temperature 210 to 250 degrees F. (Calibrated gauges) According to Lycoming this is too hot for long engine life. This will never pass FAR part 23 specs. I do not know the solution except that a cowling change is necessary. The factory disagrees with this but they have not calibrated their gauges. There is also a difference in where you take the temperature. Lycoming says to take it on the top forward end of the filter housing. Don Wolf just got flying and also records about the same temperatures as I. Dimitri Mamais, who was the latest to fly runs a little hotter than I. What bothers me is why the factory insists there is no problem yet they have made three changes in their cowling without letting us know.
STABILITY: Oh Boy, this is a sore subject...
PITCH: The instructions said to set the stabilizer to 2 degrees negative. I did that. (actually the smart level would go between 1.9 & 2.0 degrees) The first elevator and stabilizer was too small and the aircraft was very unstable. (Dec 93) I added to my elevator chord and width and found the aircraft flyable but not very stable. (Jan 94); when I say that I mean that a standard stability test where you take the yoke and pull it back during cruise, the aircraft should oscillate and come back to neutral within three oscillations & 10 to 20 seconds. The factory then came out with an elevator modification, 7" additional width and 2" to the chord. I did that (they would not send me the mod though, I made it myself) but still did not find the aircraft extremely stable (June 94). The factory then admitted that their stabilizer was not set at 2 degrees negative like the instructions said but at 3 degrees negative. This makes for a much more stable aircraft. I reset my stabilizer to 3.3 degrees negative and added an additional 1 1/2 inches to the elevator chord, giving me an additional 1.25 ft squared of area (Jan 96). I now find the aircraft oscillates back to neutral but takes 90 seconds.
ROLL: If you trim for straight and level and let go of the controls the aircraft within 5-10 seconds will either bank left or right. Not inherently stable.
YAW: Over 100 m.p.h. (indicated) the rudder is fine but as you start getting slower the rudder becomes more ineffective until you get to an approach speed of 80-85 mph and in a cross wind of over 10 mph you need full rudder. Sure you can say "I landed in a 25 knot crosswind 30 degrees off centre". It just shows your inability as a knowledgeable pilot. I have landed in crosswinds many times, you just raise the approach speed and land a little hotter. But that is not how the FAA does it for crosswind component tests and the FAA has there specifications for all pilots including some of you low time pilots. You are the ones that need the stability. The FAA criterion of 15% of the stall speed is only an 8.5 knot crosswind. Do you want an aircraft to be only able to land in an 8.5 knot crosswind ?
Some one asked me if the airplane was a hands off aircraft. (Like a Cessna 150 or 172) - NO ! It's not that stable. I doubt if the aircraft will pass the FAR part 23 stability criterion. Does it matter ? Not for me, I have a lot of hours and can handle the airplane with no problems, but what about you ? If you are a low time pilot you will want a more stable aircraft. I take a lot of Seawind builders for rides and find that the low time ones have problems flying this bird, for them I suggest the following. Every additional degree of negative adds a lot of pitch stability. Do not be afraid to add some negative to the stabilizer. You can always take it out later. I would suggest 4 degrees. Example a Lake amphibian is 7 degrees. The best thing you could do is to buy Craig Easter's bigger stabilizer and elevator.(405-772-2140) For Yaw (until the factory fixes it) the two things you can do is to make the trailing edge of the rudder about 0.4 tenths of an inch thick and square it off, or better yet, along the trailing edge of the rudder cut a slit in and then glue on a piece of 1" PVC pipe the whole length. For roll stability, I have no idea but I would love to give you a suggestion. I put in an S-Tec autopilot. According to the factory there is no stability problem, but they have changed the ailerons, stabilizer, elevator and now they are working on the rudder....WHY?
NOSE WHEEL STEERING: This is a must. I wore out a set of Matco brakes in the first thirty hours trying to steer this baby in a crosswind. Then I went to Clevland brakes. They were better but still I wore out a set. Guess I have a lot of crosswinds in the south ! I also had a terrible time with nose wheel shimmy. If you tighten the nose wheel spring tight enough to stop the shimmy then you could not steer. If you loosened it then it would shimmy. I decided to have a hydraulic nose wheel steering system that would not shimmy .(key word here is shimmy) The system I have is a shimmy dampener that will also steer the aircraft up to a 45 degree turn (example a Cessna turns 37 degrees). It also centres the nose wheel for water operation. There must be a self centring nose wheel for when you come off a ramp into the water. You touch the button on the yoke to go left or right, let go and it centres. As it retracts into the wheel well it shuts off so it can't mistakenly turn one way or the other. Can you imagine landing with a nose wheel turned to 30,40 or even 90 degrees ? The great part is if you loose the hydraulic pressure the shimmy dampener still works. Total weight 4 pounds. The factory also has a system they developed after I did. It's a good system that steers up to 90 degrees but weighs 12.5 lbs and if you loose the hydraulic pressure it shimmy's. Also it has no self centring system. $1,190 US (305-745-8958 or 904-985-6888)
NOSE WHEEL MODIFICATION: Any of you old builders (under 50) the new mod the factory came out with to stop the nose wheel coming off will not work if you have the thin cap. A good way to fix it is to take out the big bolt, throw away the spring and washers and put a short bolt in with locktite and drill and install a roll pin down from the top. To stop the shimmy put a big stack of 1/16" O rings between the centre shaft and the outer housing (about 2" diam O rings). This idea is from Don Wolf. Of course putting on nose wheel steering does the best job.
ELECTRIC CANOPY OPENING: For over two years I used the struts supplied to open the canopy. Slowly but surely the pressure from the struts(175lbs each) started pushing my canopy out and up until finally, when it was closed there was an air gap in the back by the hinges. (what a pain to build the canopy with a crush factor that changes with the temperature) The solution is to have an electric opener that a light in weight and positively closes the canopy. The first one I saw was on the turbine Seawind, a great concept and it even worked well; it was just too big and heavy. The second one was on Don Wolf's Seawind. What he did was put one opener in the centre of the cockpit. Also a good idea but the weight was over 15lbs.(also one could not reach into the back seat while flying) What I did was copy the first idea with two openers located in the rear of the canopy but had an opener manufactured that was light weight and only uses 31/2 amps per unit. Weight ! 5.5 lbs total or just 1lb over the weight of the struts.$ 588.00 US (305-745-8958 or 904-985-6888)
WATER HANDLING; At this point I have about 100-150 water landings in the Seawind. First I would suggest that all of you go for some Lake training (about 25hours minimum) before you attempt to fly the Seawind in the water. A Lake does not fly like a Seawind but it is the closest you are going to come. You will need some hours of instruction in the Seawind after that before attempting it yourself. The Seawind needs to have spray rails to come up on step and out of the water with over 3200lbs on board. The factory and I have both designed spray rails that look completely different but work about the same. Your choice. I get off the water at 3600lbs in 26 to 27 seconds at 72 mph. Water handling itself is not remarkable but it is very difficult to high speed taxi and turn. It also sits very low in the water making the slightest wave (12" or more) come over the bow when you are heavy. (most of the time) We need more floatation to keep her higher in the water, mostly in the rear. She draws 29" of water so do not expect to go into any shallow lakes. The water rudder needs to be bigger. I made mine a bit bigger by squaring off the top. Jim Srock has a great idea for a new rudder, I hope he completes it. You can land into about 12-14 inch waves without much of a problem. When you do land somewhere she sure is beautiful and everyone turns their head.
CAMPING AND HAVING FUN: This is where the Seawind shines. We go camping at least six or eight times a year. My back seat folds down flat and we have 10 feet of area for storage or sleeping. At most of the seaplane fly-ins around the eastern half of the country you will see my wife and I and our Seawind. She is a good fast cruising aircraft to get to those fly-ins. Previously I had a Lake and it took forever to go anywhere. Now I flight plan for about 160 mph and can cruise as high as 175 if need be. This is definitely the fastest seaplane out there. I can go 180 but must be at 7-8000 ft and run the engine at 2700 and full throttle. Not a pleasant situation. It's just too loud and she heats up with that high RPM. How about we meet at some wilderness lake?
JUST PLANE FLYING: I get a hundred questions every time I land. Here are a few. Q:How does she fly ?A: The closest I can come is she flies like a V tailed Bonanza that lands on water. She lands on land like a Lear Jet.
Q: How fast is it. She cruises between 170-180 mph. Q: How much did it cost ? The kit costs about 45,000. I have about $165,000 in it in total. Q: How long did it take you to build ? A: 3663 hours to get it flying. 1 year 11 months 15days and 9 hours! Q: Are you satisfied with it? A: I am never satisfied until it is perfect. It is not perfect but no airplane ever is. Q: Do you like it? A: Absolutely Q: Would you build another one? A: NO Q: Why? A: Too much damn work.
Should you need any help or clarification with the above please feel free to contact me.
CORRECTION; Mike Lush's Postal Code is L7L 1G3 sorry Mike.
HINTS AND TIPS ON CONSTRUCTION
This month I would like to give some hints and tips on constructing this complicated aircraft based upon our group's experience.
1. DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING unless it is absolutely necessary.
2. When making the bell-cranks for the control systems we found it easy to cut them to shape with a band saw and finish the edges with a sanding disc. The hard part is milling the edges down where the cables attach What we did is buy NAS42-HT6-18 bushings and insert them without milling the edges. You will have to slightly reform your clevis from the cables and use longer bolts but this is easy because the material is stainless steel. This tip is especially helpful to those that do not have a mill in their workspace. incidently this also makes the bellcrank stronger.
3. When I was building I spent a lot of time redoing, so as I got into my second Seawind my philosophy became DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. I think the best insurance for this is to find a builder that is slightly ahead of you and ask him to share his mistakes with you. Then I think it is only right to look for a builder who is slightly behind you and share your mistakes with him/her.
4. During all the bonding processes, use a screw gun instead of a screw driver. What this does is speed up the process so much you will not have to worry about your resin kicking; we used reversible air drills.
5. My next tip is one that some of you may have already done better than I with but I know that there are some of you out there (don't deny it) that like me will have to learn this the hard way. Its called ORGANISATION !(Whoops did I step on some toes?). This really is a personal preference thing; you will have to find out what works best for you, but let me just insert a couple of suggestions. First, you really should keep your hardware organised. You'd be surprised how much time you can waste looking through bags and boxes for just that right piece of hardware. Doug Karlsen has his hung on a wooden door with thumb tacks. You might put all screws in one row, all washers in another - Bob Darrah has his put in those plastic drawers one can buy from WalMart. Be creative. I hung mine on a giant cork board with thumb tacks. I even saved some time by having my daughter do the organizing as part of her punishment for one of her mistakes!!! It served the purpose, she had to do something a little tedious as she thought about her transgression, but when she had done it she could see the reward of a job well done and hey, I got my hardware organized !! I am always careful to point out to her now and then how much that has helped me. Organize the rest of your project by using the same categories the manual is set up in. Have specific areas for each categories part's. Lastly organize your tools and equipment. Can you remember the last time you could not find the air nozzle ? Thirty minutes or so at the end of each day's work session to clean things back up for the next session works wonders.
6. A mixing table should be on rollers so you can move it to the area you are working in. 10 steps further to the mixing table really adds up at the end of the day. and it also helps with cleanup. Drill a 1/2" hole in your table so when you are mixing up milled fibre to shoot from a caulk gun you can insert the end of the tube in this hole and the tube will stand up. This prevents the fibre from ending up dripping down your leg!
7. I took the lid from a one gallon ice cream bucket and made a plate with holes in it that would sit about 1/2" off the bottom of the basket. Then I put about 2" of acetone inside it (enough to cover the brushes). Now when I have finished with a brush I rub it across the holes to dislodge the resin and the gooey residue settles below the plate leaving my brushes as good as new ! Most of all however I enjoy replacing the bucket!
8. Use dry wall screws anywhere you have been using hot glue to hold parts in position. The advantage is that you do not have to wait for it to cool and you do not have to worry about contaminating the laminate. Also it takes up less space so you can get the microballoons closer.
9. Any time you have extra resin, do not throw it out but just add microballoons to it and use it for filler. I have mixed microballoons and resin and placed it inside a wrist pin, then done the same with microlight and compared the densities (which are virtually identical) you do not have to worry about the compatibility of the resin system.
10. Use a spread sheet to do your weight and balance (For those of you not yet comfortable with a computer...perhaps I will share some tips on this next month. It really is worth the effort to do that initial learning process.
11. Bob Darrah say's "don't glue the tail on until you have to" and I agree. The highest number of connections and interconnects occurs at the mid-deck, some of these being main wing attach, rear wing attach, flap torque tube, electrical, fuel lines and valves...the list goes on
12. Make TO DO lists for each component. This helps in two ways: First, you are less likely to forget something and secondly, which I feel more important is a psychological reason. You can work for days on this project and not see any visible progress. If you have crossed off a couple of intermediate steps it helps you to gauge your progress.
One last note: two builders have called and said that when the main strut is properly serviced and has a small amount of air in it that there is no dampening effect in the last 3/4 of an inch. Does anyone have a cure for this?
Sitting here at our vacation home in Laclede, Idaho looking out on a world class water runway (we are) looking forward to the day when I can taxi up to the dock in our Seawind.
The Pend Oreille river is 1/2 to 3/4 mile wide and flows west from the lake of the same name at Sandpoint, Idaho 14 miles to Laclede - then into Washington where it makes a brief loop into British Columbia near Montrose, B.C. and SPA member Phillip DeRidder.
Down in California we've finished ailerons, rudder, fin tip and elevator and almost finished the seat bases. I did get the quick-kit but have done little on the hull yet. I found another builder at El Monte, California Bob Martin) and I've suggested that he join this group. I'm still working full time so progress is slow. Seawind gets two nights a week and Saturday and Sunday.
I've enjoyed the newsletter- the builder's tips are informative and useful. Got 'em filed away for ready reference in the future. I get the impression, perhaps mistaken, that most SPA members are much further along on their airplanes than I.
When I got my quick Kit I copied the parts list into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet where I could sort and account for all the parts - unfortunately I'm left with about seven pages of missing parts, parts that are not mentioned in any list and parts that I cannot readily identify. Other problems have been inaccurate or mis-dimensioned drawings for parts or for jigs. I finally drew the rudder jig three ways and faxed it to SNA so they could identify the correct solution. I'm disappointed that none of my suggestions, corrections, or drawings have been distributed by SNA.
Keep up the good work. I do think it would be a good idea for a name change. I like International Seawind Association. Thanks for all the work you obviously have devoted to this organization.
sincerely, Fred Hamilton
Thanks Fred for your comments you touch on many things with which most of us can identify...its a long haul but looking back its been our collective effort (I have had two partners and many contacts that will get you through).
Mark W. Fletcher 103017,3236@COMPUSERVE.COM
This month's complimentary copy is the last you will receive without renewing membership. If you wish to have your name/addresses removed from our register then PLEASE INFORM ME.
INTERNATIONAL SEAWIND PILOTS ASSOCIATION
Vol. 3 No.6 Page 86 November 1996
How the time flies when your having fun ! Many thanks for your calls and comments. Texas Bob (Darrah) suggested I make my name and address more prominent so it will be Bob. In this issue however it is the first name in the members list I'll leave it at that. As we near completion it seems everyone wants to know "is it flying yet ?" Well FWFA is about two weeks off its "final inspection for the C. of A. Finishing is hard...your" to do" lists are never ending and small jobs seem to take forever. We have the additional need of pulling the wings off (yet again) and shipping it to Ottawa for the inspection and test flight. Hopefully we'll be re-established before Xmas and praying for a pass mark. Our weight turned out to be 2550lbs which is a useful load of 650lbs for short flights and a maximum useful load of 850lbs for long. This is not the 1100lbs advertised and its hard to put 250 lbs down to extra resin, that's a lot of resin ! But we press on.. with a very mean eye now about unnecessary weight.
HELPFUL BUILDING TIPS
Here are more construction hints and tips, some of which came to us after a considerable time and effort was put into the R & D. I pass these on freely, to other builders out of a sincere desire to help others who are coming down the trail after me. It is always great to hear from those who have gone before. I encourage those who have never written for these pages to do the right thing and pass on some nuggets for the rest of us.
Those who read Flying Magazine probably spotted the recent story about Mod Works, the Mooney specialists located at Charlotte County Airport, Florida. They have established a reputation for top-notch painting and we have consulted with them on the possibility of having a Mod Works paint job done on two Seawinds nearing completion at this shop. Information from professionals is invaluable
We are doing all of the filling, fairing and priming, which in the case of this airplane is 90% of the paint job. This is about priming a fiberglass airplane. They switched us from other big name products (which I won't mention) to U.S. Paint products, the makers of Alumgrip and Awlgrip. We are now using a high build, epoxy primer which has an induction period of only 15 minutes, sprays easily (you have to really try to get a sag or a run), dries fast and hard. All this and it sands easily and does not tend to clog the paper even when sanding dry ! Four gallons sprayable costs about $360 and, believe me, you will use at least that much primer or more, depending on how fussy you are. We're talking hours and hours of block sanding.
The products are as follows: High Build Epoxy Primer # D8002, Converter # D3002, Standard Reducer # T0006. Wish I'd known about this sooner. And here's a tip from their chief painter on how to deal with a rash of pesky pinholes. Spray on a heavy first coat in the affected area and literally rub the paint into the holes with a fingertip or a small sqeegee while wet. Don't worry about what it looks like...you're going to be sanding it off anyway. Carry on from there.
For those of you designing your own fuel systems, like I am, for our corporate flagship, Imperial Eastman makes a great check valve, easy open, positive close, that has a 3/8" female pipe thread in each end of its brass body. This means you can use standard dash-8 fittings with 1/2" tubing. It's the only one of its kind I've been able to find. thanks to S>N>A> Model #81C06. Costs about $24. By the way, I'm doing a manual selector valve Right, Left, Both, Off Cessna style. I like it.
We usually find a source for 1/4" stainless wire mesh which looks great in your defroster outlets, vertical fin fresh air scoop and supporting your induction air filter. Makes sense that we found Scott Brackett has lots of it and he's in the business of selling it. He also has 7/8" thick foam which you can cut to shape as you design and make the air cleaner. Contact Brackett Aircraft Co., Inc. 7045 Flightline Drive, Kingman, Arizona 86401. Telephone (520) 757-4005 and tell him Mike at Bowes Aviation in Sarasota referred you.
With reference to Lycoming IO-540 engines in general. If you have a mechanical tach drive output on the accessory case, it needs to be capped. It is splash lubricated, back in there, and will leak oil. The thread is the same as for any GM auto speedometer cable. Go to a wrecking yard,pick up a high end wreck like a Cadillac, and under the hood, on the cruise control module, you will find two of these round nuts. Cut one of the cables and the nut is yours in minutes. Make an aluminum disc that fits inside,lay in a disc of gasket paper, install with some gasket goo on the threads and your done. Problem solved.
For genuine Lycoming parts, try Edgcumbe-G&N Inc, in Kentucky. Steve Coble is the parts manager. Telephone 800 621 1319. We get a discount, maybe you can too. Of necessity, we have also established an account with Superior Airparts in Dallas. If you need major engine parts, or other major parts, like starters, tires, batteries,and wish to buy through this account, you are welcome to do so, with no mark up on my part. Call me. By the way, I have a good set of 4 Lycoming engine mounting lugs (type 1,1 3/8" hole) which I will sell (cheap) or trade for a set of type 2 (2" hole) lugs.
Due to a gross mistake by our local Sir Speedy printer I have a limited number of copied Lycoming IO-540 Parts Manuals. Also included is the Lycoming Operators Manual which includes some great drawings of these engines and accessories. The latter has been enlarged from its original handbook size. You get BOTH, already inserted in a three ring binder. This is not a commercial venture. This was an honest mistake by the printer that I have helped to pay for.
The first ten people who send Michael Bowes a cheque for $10 get them. After that, I will simply mail your cheque back to you. Gentlemen, 10 bucks doesn't even cover the cost of the printing. I just want to get rid of them.
I hope this information helps at least some of you. At this point I'm well into two Seawinds with a third just being started. If you have questions about some aspect of construction, call Walter or Dick at S.N.A. or feel free to call me (941) 751-3455. I'm not the only problem solver in the shop. Why not take advantage of some collective experience ? And you guys who aren't writing, please do. I would like to have the luxury of picking from the best of the best ideas as we all go down this Seawind road !
WATER RUDDER MODIFICATION
You might ask why modify it ? Well.....the first water rudder, for you folks with serial numbers under about 50 simply does not work. It didn't work in the 200 H.P. prototype and it does not work on this one, so your only recourse is to get the newer version from the factory. (Or wait until Jim Srock gets his finished, I've seen it and its going to be great). So now that you have the new version and you will notice that the rudder sticks down farther than the keel. In fact, the way the Seawind floats in the water the water rudder draws 29 inches of water and the keel 22 inches. Ahhhh, a revelation, the rudder should not be lower than the keel. (I'm sure all you sail boaters know that). I have broken the water rudder five times now, always either hitting a sand bar or a beach or weeds. I finally came up with a great solution. Were going to make the bottom half of the rudder slide into the top half. Looking at the water rudder from the side you will see an aluminium tube that goes down into the rudder about 7 inches and is pop rivetted on. Half an inch below where that tube ends cut off the rest of the rudder. Now you have a 7 1/2 inch water rudder. Drill a 3/16 inch hole 1/2" up from the bottom of the tube. Make a slice up the back of the tube 3/16" wide with a dremel tool about an inch long and up from the front about 1/2". Make a lower water rudder out of 1/8" aluminum plate that has a tab with a 3/16" hole that fits up into the tube and put a stainless bolt through it. Slice up the back of your water rudder so the aluminum rudder slides up and into the fiberglass one and Wa-La you have a kick up water rudder. The weight of the plate keeps it down and when you hit something it kicks up. It works just as good when kicked up as down.
If it sticks in the kicked up position, don't worry about it because when you retract it, it all comes back into place.I also added to the front and back of the rudder to make it bigger. Now I have a water rudder that is 40% bigger than the original and works great. This is a simplified instruction. If you write to me in Key West I will send you photos and instructions.
Paul Array N888PA
Hmm...Paul. What's to stop your hinged blade from swinging up when you start to accelerate forward. The water resistance (drag) should be considerable. Maybe I'm missing something. I like the idea though. Do you have a way to check if its up when in operation ? Your wider blade may be making up for it ? Send me a diagram and I'll put it in the next issue.
Had a call from Doug Karlsen. Doug put our first advert in this month and he points out the price for his 7781 cloth is well worth looking into. Its just over half the cost of that from Aircraft Spruce. He also asked me to mention that there is a Seawind Web page at http://www.turbinedesign.com
Had another call from Tony Cianafani whose colleague, Dimitri (Mamais) work jointly on their respective Seawinds. They had Elton Townsend do the initial water checkout. For you newcomers he was the guy that checked out the first Seawind in 1983. I have called on Murray Morgan, to test fly ours out of Ottawa. Murray did the very first flight of this bird (from Ottawa airport) even further back ! Anyway they are very pleased with the results. They have 32 hours on it and still going through some teething pains. However all in all they are very pleased with the results. Good stuff guys...it must be fantastic to reach the promised land !
Had a visit from Bert (Hoare) last month. Bert is now back in Florida now but he came quite a long way to see us at Cornwall. If I make it to Florida this winter I'll certainly have plenty of people to look up. Thanks for writing in, calling etc. I have a number of topics to put in the letter once this pressure slows
Mike Lush had an unfortunate delay with a damaged prop but should be flying about now...I sure hope so, his effort has been exemplary. His new engine of course will give us a new set of Seawind characteristics.
We have found an excellent mechanic (Ian Preston) who serviced our alternator and vacuum pump and is very reasonable on costs. He is at #20544,RR #2,Alexandria,Ontario,K0C 1A0.Tel 613 525-0924 Fax 613 525-0925
Dick Adams (613) 749-2619
Rolls of 7781 fiberglass.
128 yard rolls by 38 inches wide.
Mil Spec same as supplied for Seawind
Price: @.25 per yard. Minimum 1 roll.