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EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter
   
 
October 2009
  EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter
Inside this Issue
Revised 51% Policy
Electronic Fuel Injection
Mythbusting Belt Drives
Shop Tools
Mike Lecka's Harley-Davidson
 
 
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WELCOME!
Joe NorrisThis past weekend saw many of EAAís boards and councils gather in Oshkosh. Among them was your EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council (HAC). The council discussed many issues, including accidents and safety, homebuilt content in EAA publications (both print and electronic), government advocacy issues, and EAA convention activities. Read more
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Paul's Pick
Paul PobereznyWith the recent release of the revised FAA Amateur-Built policy it will be interesting to know how kits of the future will be structured. In August of 1970, Paul Poberezny wrote about this very same issue when plans-built aircraft ruled the homebuilt universe and kits were relatively new. Even back then the issue of fabrication and who and how much the builder, the manufacturer, or someone else should do and still have a certified amateur-built was often discussed. Read Paul's article
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Revised 51 Percent Policy Good News for Builders, Kit Makers
"For the past four years, EAA and the amateur-built aircraft community have been facing perhaps the most significant threat ever faced by the homebuilt movement. But today, we're confident in declaring that the threat is over; the FAA this week released the long-awaited final order that revises the amateur-built aircraft certification policy known as the 51 percent rule as well as Advisory Circular 20-27G, the guide for amateur builders on how to properly certify every step of the building process."

This paragraph and much more hit my e-mail inbox on October 7, 2009, and it’s all good news, as compared to what it could have contained. Here’s a link to the full statement by the EAA, of which the above paragraph is just the opening.

The proposed changes that the EAA fought with due diligence were potentially crippling to the homebuilding community, and this news was welcomed relief. But reading the message had me asking more questions than what it answered, so I decided to read the 100 pages or so of FAA language, and I came away with a few answers to my questions that I’d like to share with you.  Read more

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Electronic Fuel Injection for an O-200
Fuel injectionJustin Mace installed a Volkswagen conversion in his Viking Dragonfly about 20 years ago. After an in-flight crankshaft failure, he wanted a more reliable engine. When Subaru debuted the EJ22 engine in the early 1990s for its Legacy model, Mace was excited to try out this "computer-controlled, multipoint fuel-injected, super whiz-bang engine." What he found were some issues with keeping the engine cool, and the configuration of the computer limited his use of 100LL. Now he has installed an aftermarket automotive computer system on his Continental O-200 that can be programmed "on the fly."
Read more
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Mythbusting Belt Drives
Belt driveDan Horton's Grand Champion Light Plane award winner (AirVenture 1998) made the cover of EAA Sport Aviation in September 2004 and was featured in Experimenter (October 1998). Although he did a superb job building this plane, what he really brings to the table is his understanding of propeller speed reduction units (PSRU) and torsional vibration. "A belt-driven PSRU drive isolates the torsional vibrations coming from the propeller," Horton says. "I contend that the statement is based on myth, printed and reprinted until accepted as fact. Belts have no magic properties, regardless of what you read on the Internet or hear at the vendor's booth. " Dan speaks the true gospel about belts, inertia, stiffness values, and why you should stop believing the rumors. Read more
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How To ...
Shop Tools
Shop toolsEvery Experimenter has strong and weak areas. If the weak area is welding, William Wynne wants you to think about burnishing your skills, which may open you up to projects you may not have considered in the past. With proper training, practice, and a special tool Wynne will introduce, you donít have to be afraid of fire. Read more
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What Our Members are Building
Mike Lecka's Harley-Davidson

Harley-DavidsonDuring a visit to Sun ’n Fun, I found an interesting “aero conversion” in the engine workshop area. Mike Lecka had a stock 2004 88B Harley-Davidson engine on display, which he has adapted for aviation use. Mike is tailoring this engine for use in a single-seat sport/racing airplane of his own design. The new aircraft is a single-place, low-wing, all-metal pusher that resembles a BD-5 at first glance, with a fixed main gear and a manually retractable nose gear. Although the cockpit area is monocoque, the firewall aft is of tube construction. This project was inspired by an article on Pushy Galore, written by Gary Hunter, in CONTACT! Magazine. Pushy Galore also graced the pages of EAA Sport Aviation in the June 1996 issue. Read more
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From the EAA Homebuilding Community
Oshkosh 365The Homebuilders Corner message forum at Oshkosh365 is as active as ever. Have a look at the list below and follow the links to read the actual questions and discussion topics.

Can You Help?
 :
How to inspect a rag, tube, and wood project?
 : Highest-time homebuilts?
 : Questions about a Vision Micro Systems VM1000

Interesting Discussions
 :
New FAA Amateur-Built Aircraft Certification Policy Released
 : What are you building?
 : Amateur built Ö by professionals? Chime in!

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From the Editor
Patrick Panzera, EAA 555743
ppanzera@eaa.org

Pat PanzeraThe article on the Harley-Davidson engine is still incomplete as far as I’m concerned. Trying to get technical information from HD directly was a huge waste of time. No one knew the weight of the engine, nor could anyone supply me with torque curve data. Representatives couldn’t even tell me if the dyno numbers HD reports in its literature were measured at the crankshaft or the rear wheel. I got conflicting numbers from various sources. The numbers I published are my best guess with the information available. However, I’m sure that Mike Lecka will get it all sorted out for us, and we’ll do a follow-up article.

COPPERSTATE
I hit the road this week to make my annual trek from my hangar in central California to COPPERSTATE, Casa Grande, Arizona. It will take at least 14 hours door to door, and Iím sure that most of that trip Iíll be daydreaming just how nice it would be to make this trip in my own plane (in a fraction of the time), one that I built myself. Unfortunately for me, it may be some time before that day arrives, but in the meantime, Iíll just keep plugging away at helping my friends meet their parallel goal.

Long before I became the editor of CONTACT! Magazine, CONTACT! has been hosting the Alternative Engine forum tent at COPPERSTATE and Sun 'n Fun. This year is no different, and that’s my primary reason for making the road trip. I like to bring visual aids for the forums I present (specifically auto engine conversions) and also act as ground support for those presenters I book who fly their experimental aircraft to aid in their presentation. This year I’m bringing along my Corvair conversion, a Revmaster R-3000, and a Hexadyne P60—which isn’t a conversion, but it’s still an alternative engine.

Just a few of the speakers who will be flying in include Paul Lipps, who will be giving a talk on propellers and will show up in his Lancair 235 (featured last month in Experimenter); Scott Casler from Hummel Engines, who will be speaking on two- and four-cylinder VW conversions and will fly in with his Thatcher CX4; and the gang from Maxwell Propulsion Systems in their Glasair Sportsman. And I just found out that Gus Warren (www.FlyWithGus.net) is bringing a Zenith 750 with the UL 260i engine he’s promoting. We have about a dozen or so speakers lined up, all of whom are scheduled to give one or two forums on topics specifically aimed at helping homebuilders power their aircraft with affordable (to purchase and operate) alternatives to certified engines and propellers. This is just one small way in which I help my friends meet their parallel goal.

The weather is slated to be sunny and 88 degrees all week. If you can make it, please look me up. I’ll either be in the forums area, the CONTACT! Magazine exhibitor’s booth, out on the ramp collecting photos and stories for Experimenter and CONTACT!, judging alternative engines, or just chillin’, taking it all in.

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Hints for Homebuilders
Firesleeve Installation & Removal
Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation Services demonstrates the installation and removal of firesleeve. Brian is an A&P aircraft mechanic with an Inspection Authorization rating (IA), a DAR for light sport and amateur built, a Sport Pilot Instructor Examiner, an FAA Certified Flight Instructor, an EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor.

Watch the video
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From the Archives
EAA Sport Aviation, September 2004
Dan Horton's Early Bird Jenny
This month in Experimenter, Dan Horton testifies about belt driven PSRUs and the myths and old wivesí tales that still persist. Dan has also built an Early Bird Jenny, which was a Grand Champion Light Plane winner in 1998. The aircraft was featured in the September 2004 issue of EAA Sport Aviation after a new owner and former Navy A-7 pilot made some modifications, including a Ballistic Recovery System (BRS) and gasp! a radio.

Read the article

You can also search the archives by subject for a multitude of technical and how-to articles.

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Questions and AnswersQ&A
Got a question? Send it to us at Experimenter@eaa.org.
Whether you're building, restoring, or just an enthusiast. we want to know what has you stumped.

Q:  I am building a homebuilt that when completed will meet the definition of a light-sport aircraft. Some of my fellow EAA chapter members have suggested that I may want to register and certificate the aircraft as an experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA) instead of experimental amateur-built. Can I do this? And if so, what would be the benefit?

Read the answer

Read more Q&A

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Homebuilder Gallery of the Month
EAA AirVenture 2009 Review
Fall flying is colorful, but just about every builder and flyer dips their wing toward Oshkosh no matter what the season. Experimenter Editor Pat Panzera shares a few pictures he took while attending EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009.

View the photo gallery

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Poll Poll
Q. The FAA finally published the new policy and guidance for certification of amateur-built aircraft. How will the new procedures affect you?

Poll - Vote Now!

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Aviation Glossary
Confused by a strange aeronautical term? EAA's online Aviation Glossary can help.

ANTI-SERVO TAB - A small portion of a flight-control surface that deploys in such a way that it works to resist the motion of the entire flight-control surface from the direction that the pilot or other forces apply to it. An anti-servo tab, unlike a traditional trim tab, is a dynamic device that increases resistance as the control surface is deployed further. Its function has a stabilizing effect.

More glossary terms

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Forum Review
Windshields, Windows and Lenses: The Answers

George Mesiarick of LP Aero Plastics, Inc., presents information on the materials used on windshields, windows, and lenses including the new UV-blocking acrylic sheet. Read more
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Survey
Please review and rate this issue of Experimenter.
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