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Sun 'n Fun Report

From: Paul
Subject: Sun 'n Fun Report

Best in Show! Move over David Clark, here's the real deal… noise attenuating headsets for dogs. The show special price is available through April 17, even if you weren't at Sun 'n Fun. Check it out! I bought a pair for Elmo, pirep, or rather, dogrep coming soon!

Superior moves ahead; they were showing the angle valve cylinders for our IO360A1B6/D engines at the show (Finally!) They expect certification by September. Even if you choose to buy new Lycoming cylinders, availability of a competing cylinder should bring prices down, maybe by $300/cylinder or so. In addition, Superior is beginning to make counterweighted crankshafts for all Cardinal engines (availability date as yet unknown). They've also built a bored and stroked (?) version of our IO360 engine, an IO400; experimental only at this point, but 8.5:1 compression ratio and rated at 210 HP on premium mogas. Now there's a solution for a shortage of leaded avgas! With higher compression pistons and unleaded avgas, perhaps, this engine could make quite a bit more power. and

Spent some time chatting with Roy Scott of AvPro. They make nitrided, heat treated brake discs for the Cardinal, and claim theirs are the only ones that are heat treated. They're a lovely black color, and combined with their Kevlar brake pads, should last a very long time indeed; Avpro claims 30% longer. Avpro directs us to Aviall or AERO, for their products. But their literature lists an "Avpro Owner Price" that's nearly 40% off list

Cee Bailey was there, touting their windshields, etc.

Had a nice long chat with Randy Knuteson of Kelly Aerospace. He's Director of Product Support, and a specialist in the fuel injection / carburetion field. He explained how the RG "seeping mixture control" that leaves oily good on the floor under your airplane can be repaired, maybe.

There are two discs that rub against each other in the stack of goodies at the front of the throttle body. The mixture adjusting discs have historically been one brass and one stainless.

By removing the stack from the throttle body, with it still on the airplane, it's possible to smooth out imperfections in the discs' mating surfaces by burnishing them in a figure 8 with rubbing compound.

Reassembling the stack requires four fluorocarbon (blue) o-rings, which Kelly is happy to supply. The newer design from Precision uses an anodized aluminum disc against the brass disc. The aluminum disc cannot be burnished, as the anodizing is only skin deep; the part must instead be replaced.

In addition, we discussed jetting of throttle bodies for turbo'd engines. I asked Randy why the turbo runs out of power during test stand runs above 33" of manifold pressure (don't try this at home, folks!)

Randy explained that the disk and diaphragm pack has a set of shims and two sets of springs that adjust the fuel flow response to air flow. He suspects that either that adjustment (Kelly makes 8 strengths of each of the two types of springs, and a wide variety of shim packs are possible) or the size of the main jet are limiting fuel flow at 33" and above. This is fixable, but of course creates a certification opportunity.

Randy promised us an exploded parts list with part numbers for the throttle body, so that we could all know how to order these parts; as yet, the fax has not arrived. Stay tuned!

Randy also discussed the 1500 RPM or so "stumble" that carb'd engines sometimes encounter. Possibly, it comes from fouling of the idle jets, of which there are three that he handily showed us in the cutaway carburetor they have on hand. But more likely it's either fouling of the accelerator pump jet passage, since it takes suction at the bottom of the fuel bowl, and can easily pick up trash or corrosion product, or in appropriate accelerator pump piston or spring.

He explained that the accelerator pump comes in many different piston variants, some with bleed-back holes in the piston to reduce the amount of fuel being pumped. He also explained that the spring behind the piston compresses as the throttle is opened, so that with weaker springs, the instantaneous fuel flow is less.

He suggests diagnosing whether it's lean stumble or rich stumble by accelerating the engine with carb heat on (don't actually try to take off that way!) Since carb heat makes the mixture richer, it should reduce lean stumble, but aggravate rich stumble. Once you know which kind of stumble you have, you'll know which direction to go on pump piston and spring - richer or leaner.

Firewall Forward's tent included a brochure on their Cardinal RG high compression piston mod. The advertising fails to mention the manifold pressure redline, and of course there are pilots that ignore that as well, since it's a certification artifact designed to avoid the difficulty of approving a horsepower increase. Instead, the engine is "flat rated" to 26.5" MP or so, 200 horse, and you supposedly never see the 225 horse the engine is capable of. That may make the FAA happy, but pilots routinely ignore the limitation, and apparently deploy 225 HP without ill effect. In any case, the tables of numbers in the brochure don't make any sense to me. Bottom line is that this is a nice mod, with some caveats on cylinder cooling. But you'd never know that from the brochure.

Turtle Pac of Australia was showing off their heavy fabric auxiliary fuel tanks… from 10.5 gallons that straps into a passenger seat for $765 including pump, hose, filter, and filler neck, to 529 gallon bladders you can store on the floor of your 727. Interesting idea if you don't mind too much sharing the cabin with a millions of BTUs. Not FAA approved, so you'll need a ferry permit to use one in a certified airplane. 37, 66, 160, 238, 300, 400, 500, and 529 gallons, from $675 to $2400

Lycoming was bragging about the choice of the IO580 (beefed up IO540) for the Commander 114 conversion, about their new customized engine program, primarily for experimentals, and about their collaboration with third party engine shops to build up experimental Lycoming variants - to compete with the similar efforts Superior has made. They're still showing their roller tappets of course, as is Superior their own variety; they've liberalized the exchange engine core policy; they'll sell engine kits to experimental builders; and they have an Advanced Technology Center to provide high-end customized engine services.

Honeywell Bendix/King announced that the Silver Crown series is being re-engineering with LED displays instead of the gas discharge displays we've all come to know and love (and occasionally clean the contacts of or replace) over the years. At least initially, they don't appear to be offering retrofits for older Silver Crown units. www.bendixking/silvercrown for more details, and look for an update there soon on retrofits or not.

Kelly Aerospace has a new line of Ford-clone lightweight alternators, with 60 and 70 amps at 14 or 28 volts, and 100 amps at 28 volts. The 60 amp equivalent to our Cardinal alternators only saves a pound over the Ford design. Experimental only for now. The heavier high output alternators are STC'd and PMA's (but not as yet for the Cardinal) and can deliver 100 amps at 14 volts, 160 amps at 28 volts, or 115 amps at 70 volts if you've fixing to electrically de-ice your airplane. Interestingly, they share that the 14 volt alternators are 75% efficient, and the 28 volt alternators are 88% efficient. For the lightweight alternators, see For the high output alternators, see

Butch, the Quality Control Manager at Hartwig Fuel Cell, the new manufacturers of Monarch caps, reports that indeed, the raised inlet hole continues to be an essential feature of their offering. If anyone has come across a fuel door without the rise, he wants to hear about it. But he thinks it's extremely unlikely, as the same large press that molds the fuel door (the plate that mounts in the wing) also crimps the fuel cap thread assembly into place. So it would be pretty close to impossible to have an assembled fuel door that didn't have the raised inlet feature. Butch reminds us that Cessna flush caps leak water into fuel tanks, and that even Cessna's solution, the red umbrella cap, have an indentation around the cap that allows water to rest against the cap o-ring, inviting a similar fate.

Precise Flight announced the A5 oxygen flow meter/control to replace their existing line. With dual ranges, the A5 can handle flow rates appropriate to conserving cannulae, as well as masks up to 25,000 feet (where pressure masks are required). Unfortunately, the calibration is only in altitude, no liter per minute scale like the old scale had. A disadvantage to the scientists among us, but simplification for other users I suspect. Precise Flight was also showing off their HID (high intensity discharge) landing/taxi light. CFO is working with Precise Flight to offer a group buy later this year, after their installation STC is granted.

Zaon was touting their traffic detection portable that gives broad direction (by quadrant), range, and relative altitude of threat aircraft for only $1795. They also have a range/altitude only version for $499.

Panther electronics was showing off a wireless in-the-ear headset, using cellphone technology. The Jabra headset uses Bluetooth technology.

Sky-Tec wants Cardinal owners to know that they decided to build inventory (and limit cost increases by buying large lots of parts). So the recommended High-Torque Inline NL starter is now stocked in depth. The starter generates 140 foot lbs of torque compared to less than 100 foot lbs of older designs, only weights 9.4 lbs versus the 18 lbs of Prestolite starters, only pulls 135 amps compared to the nearly 200 amp draw of certain other lightweight starters, and lists for only $525. Sky-Tec is considering whether they can logistically offer a CFO group buy at a discounted price.

Garmin announced the MX200 to replace the MX20 multi-function display. The MX200 has a much faster processor, and improved software, so panning, zooming, and other display processing intensive tasks happen noticeably quicker… less than a second versus four seconds. The new unit can also zoom out to a 1500 mile range, much greater than the 200 mile range of the MX20. Already MX20's are being remaindered off…Eastern Avionics is selling "deluxe" MX20 "10" versions which listed at $8,500 for $5,995.

Tempest has added to their vacuum pump line. In addition to making the low restriction fittings you SHOULD be using on your vacuum pump (and that Airborne charges about $50 each for) they now also make an extensive feature set governor gasket at a lower price.

Subscribe to a Belvoir publication like Aviation Consumer, Light Plane Maintenance, IFR, or Kitplanes? They're offering new subscriptions or renewals at two-years-for-one pricing, which is unusual for them. Good for the duration of Sun 'n Fun (Monday the 10th of April). The rep thought that perhaps the same offer might be made at Oshkosh this year, so check your renewal dates!

Plane-Power shares geography and resources with starter manufacturer Sky-Tec. Plane Power is focusing on alternators. They have a small, lightweight (10 pounds) 70 amp replacement for the Cardinal alternator. Of course, you can't really use the 70 amps unless you replace the wire, noise filter, and alternator breaker, but it's a step in that direction.

Xerion Avionix has a 4.5" high by 6.25" wide engine monitor that's of interest. It replaces all engine instrumentation, and is already TSO'd; STC approval is expected before summer. The color display is compelling, and the thoughtful logic is encouraging. There's even backup alarm lights in case the display were to go dark (an FAA certification feature). In addition to CHTs and EGTs, there oil temperature and pressure, vacuum, manifold pressure and tach, fuel flow, fuel pressure, amps, AOT, TIT, carb temp, and GPS position for every two second data logging (automated logbook time!) It's daylight readable, and favored by the GAMI folks it seems... perhaps a PRISM connection on the back panel come the next step? You can configure your box on the web, and download the config file to a USB drive which is then plugged into the unit's front panel. That same USB can capture the data for transfer to your home computer. $2495 for the JPI plug-compatible replacement, more for probes of course. You probably don't have room in the radio stack for this today, but if you re-arrange your panel to take advantage of all those other gages not being there, it should fit to the right of the radio stack, eh?

See you next year at Sun 'n Fun!

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