Morning of 26 May 04 - Day 3 at the Alexander Tech Center


Compared to most of the rest of the week, this was a pretty relaxed morning. Wednesday was (according to the orignal plans) a day on which we were going to be joined by Mike, but because we wound up being ahead of schedule, Jacob and Mike decided that it would be best if he came in on Thursday and Friday instead. In any case we sanded a few parts that still had rough edges and then Jacob went to the paint shop with all the parts. While he was in there, we wandered over to Don's Dream Machines, an engine shop (although they do other things, too) that has been doing some interesting things with RV-sized engines.

After talking to the engine people for awhile, we came back to Alexander and started peeling blue plastic off of the skins that had been primed. We didn't get too far with that before it was time for lunch.


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Paint booth at Alexander.
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No, folks - the sign isn't there because he has gas.
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Jacob's mixing the primer. Fortunately, this photograph doesn't convey the smell.
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Last few parts to sand before everything goes to the paint booth.
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All the skins in the paint booth prior to painting.
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Off to the engine shop - here's the front door of Don's.
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RV-8 that Harry Hughes (customer of Don's) is building.
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This is an O-360, not the angle valve IO-360, but they've still pushed it to 200 HP. Interesting . . .
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Detail on the RV-8 engine.

Apparently they way these guys are able to get 195-205 HP out of what's normally a 180 HP O-360 is by using the exhaust system that's pictured below, and making it a high compression engine. This seems like a way to get 200 HP if you don't want to haul around the heavier angle valve IO-360, but I don't know enough about engines to know if this is a good idea or not. Anyone out there have any advice?

I've also heard that Hartzell recommends that you not use their propellers with high compression engines, which makes me a bit cautious - as it would be a bit silly to put a fixed pitch prop on a 200 HP airplane, this means I've got to spend a pretty serious amount of money to get a composite prop - Whirl Wind or MT, I suppose. I'm not really anxious to do that. On the other hand, I think that Don's would build an engine without the high compression cylinders - if I want to use a Hartzell prop, maybe that's the way to go.


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Detail on Harry's Whirl Wind 200 RV composite prop.
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Exhaust on Harry's airplane - this is Don's replacement for the Vetterman exhaust system - it's a bit heavier and more expensive, but it's supposed to last longer and adds 6 HP.
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Harry poses with his RV-8.
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RV-6, also in Don's shop, that is being built for a customer.
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First panel for the RV-6, planned for a Blue Mountain EFIS. Customer changed his mind . . .
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. . . and this is what they're going with now.
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Don's MA-5 Charger. Don and Jeff (his son) are planning on redoing the fabric sometime this spring.
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Note the GPS antenna - not the sort of airplane in which you would expect to find a Garmin 430 . . . but you'd be wrong.
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The MA-5 is powered by one of Don's engines. I like the machine finish on the firewall.
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Skins back from the paint booth. Note the nice green primer.
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Peeling off the area of plastic along the rivet lines.
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I'm not sure if this is worth it, as it is a pain in the rear. Probably it's lots easier to yank all the plastic off now.
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The Alexander folks let us sit in a Cirrus that was being repaired there . . . these are nice airplanes if you don't mind flying something factory-built, I suppose.

Well, it's off to the kitchen to grab a few sandwiches and head back to the shop to keep working on removing the plastic.




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