Basking in the Sun

You know that summer is here when you see shy fuel tanks, basking in the sun!

In this case, we were able to capture the image of our Dream Tundra fuel tanks, stripped out of the airplane and catching some rays to set up Pro-Seal patches on some leaking welds. It's all part of experimental aircraft ownership especially ownership of a kit or plans-built that doesn't have a lot of examples flying. The Tundra is a good workhorse, but we are discovering a few bugs - and the fuel tanks appear to have a couple. We've seen leaks at the welded edge seams, as well as leaks from some spot welds that hold the internal stiffeners/ribs in place. Unfortunately, consulting with other owners of flying Tundras has shown that we are not alone - similar tank leaks have cropped up on a number of other operational planes, and have been dealt with in a number of ways. Continue reading "Basking in the Sun"

A Collection of Engines

No matter which brand name is on the box, receiving a new engine is one of the highlights of any build!

As I was reading the mail this morning, I saw press releases from all three major manufacturers of "Lycoming Compatible" PMA'ed engine parts. (I add that PMA qualifier because, believe it or not, there are many small manufacturers of small parts that fit these engines - but the "Big Three" can build you an entire engine from parts). Those three are Lycoming itself, Superior Engines, and Continental Motors Titan engine division. Continue reading "A Collection of Engines"

The ATC Privatization Proposal - A Bad Idea for General Aviation

President Trump's characterization of the United States Air Traffic Control system was a statement, unsupported by evidence, that listeners are supposed to believe and take as face value. He describes the system as "an ancient, broken, horrible system that doesn't work" - which could not possibly be farther from the truth. In reality, the US ATC system is, without a doubt, the best in the world, handling a volume of traffic that far exceeds that of any other system anywhere. It does this with a degree of safety that is as close to 100% as you can measure, and while there are always efficiencies to be gained with modernization (a process that pilots are already paying for in the cost of ADSB equipage), there is no doubt that the system is measurably without peer. Unfortunately the vast majority of non-aviators, knowing nothing more than that they have had a flight delay on an airline, has no idea that the President's statements are merely political posturing. Continue reading "The ATC Privatization Proposal - A Bad Idea for General Aviation"

Field Fixin'

We had everything but a jack- all the tools we needed to change a tail wheel on our Tundra were a set of pliers, a 3/4" wrench to pull the axle, and a pair of 7/16" sockets (and drive handles) to split the rims. Oh yeah - a source of compressed air to inflate the tube as well. Fortunately, the mountain ranch resort where we had landed for the evening was self-sufficient - they had to be, since the only way in or out is by air, or horse. So they had a bottle jack and small piece of plywood to keep it from sinking into the soil. Continue reading "Field Fixin'"