Sun 'n Fun Report|
With notes from Winter Haven
Changed date for next year! Sun ‘n Fun has rescheduled next year’s six day fly-in at the Lakeland FL airport to a later part of APril. The new date, for those of you planning ahead, is April 21 through 26, 2015. Plan on being there!
Winter Haven Flyin
We had a great fly-in in Winter Haven. Some Cardinals were delayed due
to the weather, but 85 Cardinalers made it to some or all of the
festivities, including the cocktail party, day on the airport, and the
day at the Florida Southern College “Child of the Sun” campus learning
about and appreciating Frank Lloyd Wright's work, resulting from the
chutzpah of a certain small-college president in the midst of the
Beyond the Saturday evening cocktail party and awesome food, we began
Saturday with a continental breakfast (never sure just which continent
that's meant to refer to, since Europe lacks Dunkin’ Donuts) in the
grove on Winter Haven Airport. We progressed to a walk around of the
assembled Cardinals, with each owner giving a brief overview of their
aircraft, and Keith, Paul and the occasional CFO member contributor
directing the crowd's attention to points of interest on the bevy of
beautiful birds. We enjoyed a great southern BBQ lunch, followed by a
round of door prizes, and brief updates from PowerFlow, SchemeDesigners,
Guy Maher Cardinal training and Cardinal sourcing assistance, and
Cardinal drag reduction and otherwise wonderful mods guru Roy Sobchuk of
The group conversation then included:
There are certain Cessna installed elements of most every Cardinal
that can't be found in the parts catalog or service manual, because
Cessna chose to cover them in the Avionics Manual. Cessna published an
Avionics Manual to cover all 100-series aircraft roughly every three
model years. Things like the phenolic block at the top of the tail that
the cat whisker VOR antennae attach to are included there. It's a shame
that information is not more regularly available, for as Keith pointed
out, the phenolic block does fail from time to time, but new ones are
available from Cessna for under $20 at last report. In touring the
Cardinals assembled, we could see several innovative, and much more
expensive than $20, modifications that folks had made to deal with this
problem, lacking the proper replacement part number. Paul added to his
list of things to do in retirement (what *is* the meaning of that word,
anyway?) the preparation of a highlights document for the CFO website of
Avionics Manual items, such as the alternator noise filters, comm
antenna mounting plates, and of course the VOR antenna mounting block
One member showed off his custom fabric glareshield cover, sourced
from www.dashcoverusa.com They apparently have the template for the
Cardinal, and the product seemed to do a credible job concealing tired
A folded and then re-straightened (mostly successfully) nosegear door
raised the question of what those doors are going for these days. Anyone
have a recent price quote? The walk around highlighted a couple of
airplanes at some risk from a nosegear door event of their own, due to
worn grommets, worn hinges, improper Zerk grease fittings on the
nosegear scissors, bent nosegear link rods, and the like. An aftermarket
supplier was rumored to be considering making a carbon fiber version of
the door. Hopefully more will come to light of that option soon.
One aircraft had serial number 1 of the LoPresti Cowlabunga installed.
Both the engine cooling improvements and drag reduction speed increase
were verified (14 knots, including addition of PowerFlow).
Craig Barnett of SchemeDesigners announced a new website rollout by
early May, making it easier to get ideas for a paint scheme, presumably
to be very capably designed for excellence-in-implementation by
mention was made of a Cessna 182 gear well mod, which included a foam
rolled-radius piece inside the leading edge of the well, to reduce
turbulence and drag.
Roy Sobchuk shared that Northwest Seat Covers in Vancouver BC offers a
carbon fiber seat heater element for $35/seat. Convincing your mechanic
and/or FSDO that it's either a minor mod or worthy of a simple field
approval is left as an exercise for the aviator.
http://www.nwseatcovers.com/category/accessories For more info about the
More seat heater info here: http://www.heaterseat.com/products.php
Roy went on to discuss his drag reduction efforts, some available from
The remainder are available from Roy directly. In addition to the mods
on the website, Roy is selling his behind-the-spinner baffle, wingtips,
and possibly arm rests.
Roy is also investigating a silicone nanomaterial that might offer
durable anti-ice coating of leading edge surfaces. Roy offers a door
hinge pin repair kit, which he can assist with installing in Arizona in
the winter or in Manitoba in the summer. This repairs the sag along the
front door post, and sprung bottom door hinges.
Roy also rebuilds the Sprague clutch style door latch, and offers a
stainless steel striker cover plate to either conceal existing door slam
damage, or prevent future damage. This is particularly important for the
'68 through ’74 Cardinal, before Cessna saw fit to install a fuselage
edge protection plate themselves.
Roy's STC’d tail cone fairing has been upgraded, with water-jet cut ribs.
The assembled Cardinalers weren't sure what to make of Roy’s toilet
fan, designed to remove the smell before it exits the toilet bowl. This
is not a Cardinal specific mod.
Pat Selover of Aviation Plus was interviewed by Keith. AviationPlus
will be installing the new LoPresti cowl, the first non-Florida-factory
installer. That will occur in April, and they hope to be able to
complete two per month going forward, and assist LoPresti is designing
the kitting for remote installations.
Pat discussed the Cardinal battery box cover. These are getting old
and brittle, and failing. Cessna wants $800 for a replacement.
AviationPlus is working with a fabricator to provide a carbon fiber
cover repair. If you have as little as your metal clips remaining, they
can effect a repair. The new cover won't require hair-dryer modification
to accommodate the popular Concorde glass matt battery.
AviationPlus is annualing fifty-five Cardinals per year, with as many
as six in the shop at a time (for annuals and other repairs). They
target one to two annuals per week, but be sure to schedule at least
three months in advance to avoid disappointment.
AviationPlus is happy to assist the Cardinal community by answering
your mechanic's questions. But they prefer to speak directly to your
mechanic (have your mechanic call, don't call yourself) to minimize the
time spent communicating.
The warning NOT to get your Cardinal serviced at a Cessna Service
Center was repeated. Cessna has apparently imposed certain restrictions
on their Service Centers as to how repairs can be accomplished. Certain
of those restrictions can be VERY expensive for the Cardinal owner. And
the Cessna Service Center, in general, seems to bring no
Cardinal-specific expertise to the party. All downside, no upside, so
instead use a good, Cardinal-familiar independent shop instead, it is
Pat reported good success in finding what might seem like bizarre
parts, and identifying new sources for parts that Cessna is either slow
to provide or charging unreasonable premiums.
AviationPlus has an extraordinarily capable flow control unit (fuel
injection throttle body AKA FCU) maintainer or overhauler, but the
owner/operator is extremely idiosyncratic. Keith and Pat both highly
recommended routing FCU work through AviationPlus, who are maintaining a
good relationship with the very capable but touchy shop.
Pat summarized that AviationPlus is very good at door hinges and
anything Cardinal specific.
PowerFlow explained that their tuned exhaust system is available for
every Cardinal except the turbocharged ones. They reminded all PowerFlow
owners (which includes 25% of US fixed gear Cardinals, and over 10% of
US Cardinal RGs) that there is an annual requirement for disassembly and
application of anti-seize. See PowerFlow's website for information:
It's now the fifth anniversary of the introduction of the RG PowerFlow.
An issue has arisen with regard to variation in the positive clearance
between the intermediate tube, from the heater to the exit, near the
engine mount. The design was for 1/4 to 3/8 of separation from the engine
mount tube and heat shield. In some installations, this clearance is
diminished. Note that the exhaust is free floating, and can be “snugged
up” to provide more or less clearance. Without adequate clearance,
damage to the engine mount is possible, and cocking of the intermediate
tube can cause exhaust leakage, possibly in the cabin heat area. Both
are bad. PowerFlow's advice is to check for positive clearance; again,
see the website for photos showing the four locations in question.
PowerFlow is shortly expecting FAA approval to remove the language
limiting the RG PowerFlow to the IO360. That language was an anomaly.
Removing it makes it even easier for folks to retain their PowerFlow
when installing the Lycoming IO390 on the RG.
PowerFlow's Jim Schaffer outlined three different special pricing
arrangements. Pick your lead time: the longer the lead time you allow
PowerFlow, the lower your price, with as much as a $1000 discount. The
Sun ‘n Fun Show Special is an up to $300 discount, depending on the
total number of participants (sales at the show). AND, PowerFlow added
an additional $300 door prize for CFO'rs at Winter Haven, redeemable as
a discount, or a Challenger air filter, or as aviation oil.
PowerFlow is considering a put-up-or-shut-up proposal to their
internet gadflies. Try a PowerFlow system. If it works as advertised,
make a $1000 donation to PF's choice of aviation charity. If it doesn’t,
then PF makes a similar donation to the gadfly's choice of aviation
charity. I guess they're getting tired of internet know-it-alls with
nothing in the game, and opinions undeterred by facts.
Sun ‘n Fun
Keith and Paul met Bob Kramer, currently marketing engine upgrades for
King Airs. But Bob, it turns out, began out of engineering school in
1977 as a Cessna flight test engineer on the Cardinal. Bob shared a few
reminiscences, and asked what the Cardinal community has been able to do
to improve the performance of the '68 177? I explained my personal pick
as top two, the Maple Leaf fixed cowl flap to improve both climb (very
important) and engine cooling. And the PowerFlow exhaust to improve
available power. Then beyond that, there's a menu of improvements:
Sobchuk wingtips for climb, Fancy Pants, both nosegear and main landing
gear for drag reduction, vortex generators for low speed performance,
and a host of engine upgrades from high compression pistons for 160 HP
on board, to 180 HP solutions both fixed pitch and constant speed
(unfortunately, no one's taken up the Avia integral constant speed
propeller as yet). Bob was impressed it seemed. :-)
Keith and Paul visited with Stuart Nichols at ElectroAir. As many
know, ElectroAir has a certified electronic ignition available to
replace one of two magnetos on the Cardinal. It's pretty easy on the
non-D engines. On the D engine, ElectroAir takes their crank position
signal from a ring mounted on the crankshaft right behind the propeller.
However, FAA certification requires one magneto be kept operating. It's
not clear what an airworthy solution looks like: keep the D2000 mag, but
only connect half the plugs? Install an owner-selected single mag in the
D2000 port on the accessory case? This is non-trivial, as the D2000 mag
has a six-cylinder-engine-style base, so there aren't any commonly
available four cylinder mags that mount right up. One could machine an
adapter, but that's a new design part not eligible for anything short of
FAA engineering review. ElectroAir hopes to have an approved solution in
“six months or so” but be advised, FAA approval time lines can expand
beyond all reasonable expectation. www.electroair.net
Pacific Oil Cooler's Jan Saurenman gave us an update on their
now-in-La-Verne California operations (moved from their El Monte home of
many, many years). POCS' now manufacturing an approved, high efficiency
cooler to fit various Cardinals, including even the turbo Cardinal.
These coolers have 60% more cooling fins, which improves heat transfer.
What even POCS may not appreciate is that by increasing the number of
fins, the pressure drop is increased, which actually preserves engine
cooling air, reducing aircraft cooling drag, which might seem
counterintuitive. This was a result identified by GAMI's Tornado Alley
engineers in designing the enhanced Bonanza, Cirrus, and yes, even
Cardinal intercooler systems. The new coolers are called Aero Classic HE
(high efficiency) and their certification testing proves that they are
better. Incidentally, Jan shared that Stewart Warner coolers, which they
also sell, have a new name, as Meggett has acquired the brand, and
renamed it Meggett-Troy after the Stewart Warner factory's location (a
Meggett custom). One bystander observed that the hugely increased prices
post acquisition may represent some effort by British Meggett to recoup
the loss of the original 13 colonies. Jan wasn't sure about that, but
did indicate that the large price increase (from say $400 for a Cardinal
RG stock cooler to nearly $1000) did make it easier for POCS to justify
bringing out their own improved-design line of coolers. www.oilcoolers.com
Mooney held a press conference to discuss their return to
manufacturing. Anyone building airplanes is a good thing for all of us,
generally! Apparently the Mooney Museum in Kerrville, TX has been
subject to the vagaries of the factory going out of business repeatedly.
The new owners of Mooney are setting up a foundation to fund the museum
going forward to avoid such upsets. They're planning to build two
airplanes a month going forward, and are sold out for 2014 already. Best
wishes to them! www.mooney.com
On March 25th, the FAA issued SAIB NE14-13 to alert regarding the
possible failure of engine thru-studs, and/or cylinder mounting studs on
Lycoming engines. It has been observed that cylinder mounting studs
failed on Lycoming engines due to the absence of protective cadmium
plating on the studs.
1. Inspect cylinder studs and thru-studs for corrosion pits and missing
2. Follow the cylinder installation instructions in the Lycoming
overhaul manual or Lycoming SI 1029D.
3. Use Lycoming special tools, or their equivalent, to torque the
4. When using the special wrenches to torque cylinder nuts, ensure the
wrenches do not contact the cylinder or other parts of the engine.
Wrench contact can result in a correct torque indicated by the torque
wrench, but the actual torque applied to the nut, and the clamping
force, will be lower than required.
5. When accessible, inspect the crankcase main bearing mating surfaces
for fretting. Lycoming has advised that no fretting is allowed.
The SAIB's full text is available on the FAA’s website:
One supplier recommended contacting Power Packs Plus in Reno Nevada
for RG gear power pack (electric motor and pump) parts. The Prestolite
tooling was transferred to a new owner, but not without loss of some
casting molds, etc. PPP's Brian is a resource as they have in depth
stock, and will likely be aware of any reverse-engineering solutions to
keep these power packs running. http://powerpacksplus.com/
Do you need a mnemonic to remember the emergency squawks? I wasn't
sure this was an itch that needed scratching, but apparently even
airline pilots mess this up at times:
75 – taken alive
76 – technical glitch
77 – going to heaven
Or, if you prefer: Hi Jack (75), can't talk now (76), on fire (77)!
Ah, the human mind!
Sporty's held a press conference, and served a very nice BBQ lunch too
I might add, to address a number of issues: updates to the Stratus ADS-B
portable (hint, it's even more functional, now offering weather data
buffering when your iPad is otherwise busy, and only $895 for the
hardware); a new partnering club with CFI's and flight schools to incent
more pilots via training that involves Sporty's products; new flight
gear designed for electronics instead of charts and binders; a new IPC
(instrument proficiency check) online course for only $39.95 that looks
to be spiffy. Sporty's also introduced a line of variable propeller
digital camera filters for pilots flying with the GoPro or iPhone. These
filters can be combined with headset audio cables to make complete
cockpit video kits. Almost all video cameras suffer from the “rolling
shutter effect,” which distorts the propeller and can ruin a good video.
The annual Sporty's fly-in is Saturday May 17 from 10 AM to 3PM at
Clermont County Airport; fly or drive in, free parking, free admission,
free seminars, free lunch. Exhibitors include Cessna Aircraft, Aspen
Avionics, Garmin, Bose, Lightspeed, SkyOx, ForeFlight, Sigtronics and
others. Seminars will be hosted by Garmin, Bendix/King, Aspen Avionics,
ForeFlight, Air Mod and more. Sporty's flight instructors will be on
hand to offer introductory flights through Sporty's Academy, and tours
will be available of Sandy's Airpark at Sporty’s.
We caught up with Lightspeed at their press conference on the flight
line, and they gave us an update on their new extra-extra quiet
headsets, the PFX (personal flying ‘xperience). Paul and Keith's
experience is that they're truly remarkably more quiet than all the very
good ANR headsets that came before. But we heard one commenter that
didn't notice a difference, so perhaps it pays to try before you buy, or
buy with the money-back return period in mind. In any case, the
September 30, 2013 delivery date was pushed back due to technical
difficulties. We're now told that June 1 will be the initial delivery
date. There are significant backlogs, so if you want to be an early
adopter, get in the queue either at a Lightspeed dealer, or direct from
We chatted with Brad Dement of E-Mag, which continues to progress his
certified electronic magneto products, having been in the experimental
business for years now. His six cylinder electronic is in certification
now, and he hopes to have the D2000 clone available in a year. A
bystander observed that he's been a year away for half a decade now, and
Brad acknowledged that he may not have always made realistic projections
of certification obstacles. Brad hopes to have further discussions with
Lycoming regarding a joint certification effort. www.emagair.com
CFO Sponsor Wilco reminded us that they are a cost-effective supplier
of aircraft batteries, and have lots of knowledge to share as well on
making those batteries last. www.wilco.to
PSA Enterprises www.psaenterprises.com and AeroLEDs www.aeroleds.com
both offer certified and “standard electronic part replacement on a log
book entry” solutions to LED lighting in aircraft.
SiriusXM advised us of a change in their direction on weather
providers. XM initiated the aviation weather service, using their
preferred provider, Baron. Since Sirius acquire XM several years ago,
they've been rationalizing their satellite business. SiriusXM now offers
WSI weather via satellite at the same pricing and nearly the same
service levels as the Baron product. For portable applications, the
hockey puck antenna needs to be changed, though they promise this will
be only a nominal charge (maybe $25 net). And they plan to offer both
Baron and WSI for some indeterminate period of time. It's not clear what
may be required to transition Garmin GDL91 weather receivers, if
feasible. But, if both products are moving forward, then it's not a
short term concern.
CFO Sponsor Vantage PlanePlastics reported an uptick in sales volumes;
the recession is over and folks are fixing up their airplanes? It's hard
to say. CFO discounts still apply, so be sure to ask for them, and
during Sun ‘n Fun and Oshkosh, there are show discounts as well, which
may be available even if you're not at the show. www.planeplastics.com
CJAviation has an interesting new product on offer – in addition to
overhauling both Weldon and Dukes fuel pumps used on the RG, they now
have an FAA approved one of their own design and manufacture. The pump
internals are very similar to Dukes, the motor is an electronically
controlled unit of their own design, which will continue running down to
even just a few volts (or two speed on the aircraft so requiring).
Overhauling your RG's existing pump by CJA is $400; a new pump from CJA
is $700. www.cjaviation.com
SkyTec, the starter folks, have a new neat idea to help a fuel
injected Lycoming get started. It's called iSTART. It’s an electronic
fuel injector connected to an aluminum “hockey puck” that installs
between the fuel control unit (FCU or throttle body) on a Lycoming-style
fuel injection system and the intake manifold/plenum. The injector
connects to the fuel supply, of course, and the smart box senses RPM and
ambient air temperature. At start, whether hot or cold, the pilot leaves
the mixture at idle cut-off, and sets the throttle cracked slightly
opened, as recommended by SkyTec, and then starts cranking. The iSTART
system figures out how much fuel to introduce according to an algorithm.
When the engine starts, the pilot advances the mixture control, which of
course enrichens the mixture, causing the RPM to drop. When iSTART sees
the RPM drop, it disengages. There's a CFO discount of $100 off between
now and August 31, though the sales price is not definitive yet.
Electronics International (EI) has introduced a new 3.125” instrument
hole color engine monitor; kind of like the JPI 730/830/900 series, but
a round presentation of the color display. Standard features are
manifold pressure and tachometer, plus EGT/CHT engine monitor. The main
screen offers seven functions from an inventory of 30; the secondary
screen provides an additional six functions from that same list.
FreeFlight was touting their all-in-one functionality ADS-B system.
For $3,995, the unit provides ADS-B out, and thereby fully enabled ADS-B
traffic and weather service. This is *not* a 2020 ADS-B mandate
installation, but FreeFlight promises an upgrade path to meeting the
mandate that will be affordable. The ADS-B display of weather and
traffic can either be on an in-panel GNS430 or GNS530, or with the
optional WiFi module, on your iPad. There are over 400 aircraft on their
AML (approved model list) including, reportedly, all the Cardinal
Three blade composite propeller for the Cardinal RG, better climb,
slightly better cruise, all for $13,900 including spinner? It could
happen. MT-Propeller is willing to certify their three bladed unit for
the Cardinal RG if five RG owners place a $2,500 deposit against the
full purchase price. According to their dealers, two of these props have
already been installed on Cardinal RGs under field approvals. CFO
Readers, if you have one, let us know how it works! The cruise speed
improvement is estimated at 2 knots, the climb improvement more
noticeable, on the order of 100 FPM? But taking 60 pounds off the nose
would have a salutary effect on W&B, in fact, completely negating the
weight impact of the Cardinal Cruiser turbo system, for instance. Let us
know if you're interested and we can put you in touch with the MT
We were able to touch base with Superior Air Parts at their press
conference. They continue to offer their Lycoming-clone certified
parallel valve cylinders, and Lycoming-clone experimental only angle
valve cylinders. So the Cardinal O360 folks have a lower cost
alternative, but as yet the Cardinal IO360 pilots do not. Given the
backlog of opportunities, in response to our question, Superior opined
it would be at least two years before the angle valve cylinder
certification program resumed. Interestingly, they also have an
experimental one-piece parallel valve cylinder, with integral cooling
baffles. It looks different, to be sure, but you don't have to worry
about the cylinder head and cylinder barrel coming apart.
Kelly Aerospace's Neil Clark, VP of Sales, updated us on the parts
status for the D2000 and D3000 magnetos. Kelly holds PMAs on every part
of the dual mag, except the magnet and the housing. They are shipping
overhauled magnetos, and parts, as required. If your preferred magneto
shop says they can't get parts, tell them to call 334-517-0039 to talk
to Neil, ‘cause he says the parts are available! firstname.lastname@example.org
AeroShell is pursuing continuous improvement, they tell us. AeroShell
oils will now come in *red* containers, not to be confused with
ConocoPhillips (66) red I suppose. They're also proud that the new
labels are more informative, the packaging sizes will be more
standardized, and “a streamlined, comprehensive range.” The nice young
lady we spoke with at their display couldn't really tell us what all
that meant. But when we see the red containers, I guess all will become
apparent! They're also discontinuing AeroShell W 65, the straight-weight
30 weight oil that very few folks use anymore. www.shell.com/aviation
See you next year at Sun 'n Fun!
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