cowlove

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Everything posted by cowlove

  1. cowlove added a post in a topic Catalina 90MPH or bust   

    Thanks, Laurent.  I'd seen that writeup a while ago, it's good I can now bookmark it.  
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  2. cowlove added a post in a topic Ivo props   

    On my Catalina w/ 582, i've run a Warp Drive 70" w/ 3.00:1 vs a IVO 2 blade ultralight 72" at 2.62:1 and the IVO 3 blade 72" at 3.00:1 (against their recommendations, I only used this last configuration for a few quick test flights).    The two IVO setups were in-flight adjustable, and even given that advantage, I never matched the static thrust, takeoff and climb performance of the fixed pitch Warp Drive.    
    The 2 blade IVO may have had a very slight cruise advantage, but it was difficult to tell.   It was definitely smoother and sounded better. 
     
     
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  3. cowlove added a post in a topic Thoughts on mounting full lotus sponsons inboard on a Catalina?   

    That version of the event makes a lot more sense than what I'd read somewhere: that it was the wing-mounted sponsons that got scraped up in crosswind landings.  Sorry that you knew him, Jack, I hope my mention of it doesn't seem irreverent in this context. 
    Yes, I'm also pretty paranoid about water in the bilge too.  Here's some of my handful of tricks for worrying about it:
    1) These battery-powered water-detector alarms are light and reliable, and I never had false alarms.     https://www.amazon.com/Zircon-Alert-Electronic-Detector-Sensor/dp/B01J39MJ9I/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1509547198&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=moisture+detector&psc=1 
    I kept one in the tail, zip tied to the frame just inside the landing gear spring bolt inspection cover, and I also kept one just behind the step of the hull, where it would detect any water sloshing aft into the tail.    Later, after I dealt with a pretty bad gash in the aft fabric from taxiing into ice, I realized how steep the angle is from the tail to the bilge is.  Even in plow taxi, water drains very effectively from the tail area into the bilge, and I'm confident any leak in the aft area will be apparent as water in the bilge.  
    2) I have a little self-adhesive mounted mirror (non-fisheye worked best) that lets me glance backwards and down into the bilge without moving my head.   I give the bilge a glance once I'm on step. 
    3) In my plane, there's a small void space between the sponson and the hull.  I drilled holes from the interior of the hull into that void space, and through that into the foam-filled sponson itself, so any appreciable water in the sponsons will drain into the bilge, and the leak will be evident. 
     
     
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  4. cowlove added a topic in Avid Catalina   

    Catalina 90MPH or bust
    N157AB is home for a bit while I finish up the 670 install.  The point of this kind of plane is absolutely not about covering ground, but her cruise performance was always a little bad even by Catalina standards: about 65MPH with the 582 running 5700RPM and 5.8-5.9GPH.     So I'm going to take some extra time to do all the little things that I thought might make her a tiny, tiny bit faster.   I'll document all the mods here, and let everyone know the results.   Fun?  Fun!
    Here's what's cooking so far:
    Right prop, wrong engine: the 70" 3-blade warp drive was too much for the worn out 582, and was pitched pretty flat for water takeoff performance.   It's the perfect prop for the new 670, though.  Hopefully halfway to 90MPH already!Internal radiator: the flat radiator right before the prop seems like it would be a double penalty- direct drag, plus decreased prop efficiency.   I've sketched in a Kawasaki EX500 rad down by the turtle deck, with a scoop behind the rear window, and an outlet with a huge adjustable cowl flap on the other side of of the plane.  Hopefully, the cowl flap can be opened enough to suck adequate air through while flying, and the electric fan that came with the radiator will handle ground operation.  (See pic)Better canopy- my canopy was reworked and is even worse than the stock one- very abrupt vertical face and rough transitions.   I'm scheming a vac formed canopy with better curves.   Again, hopefully this provides double benefit- cleaner air to the prop, plus a slight direct drag improvement. Fair the stabilizer struts, gap tape for the elevator, as all this is right in the prop blast and practically incurring double penalty. Experiment with gear doors-  Again, double benefit?  Get on step easier, maybe not need a 3-blade prop for so much static thrust?Exhaust cowl?  Went to all that work to remove the radiator, the exhaust is still right there in the prop's air. Anyway, that's all that's planned.   What's the over/under that I'll make 90MPH on the 65HP available at 5500RPM? 


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  5. cowlove added a post in a topic Catalina 90MPH or bust   

    PS- plywood is for prototyping and static/taxi tests.  (And for the CONSIDERABLE trial and error in getting all this stuff to clear the wing-folding geometry.  I've thought I was done like 5 times and then hit yet another interference point)
    The plenum will be all fiberglass once it's done.
     
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  6. cowlove added a post in a topic Thoughts on mounting full lotus sponsons inboard on a Catalina?   

    Thanks for the full lotus instructions, and thanks Jack for your aerodynamic research.  I don't have the same specific reference plane that the instructions talk about, so I think I'll start off with the same AOA as the stock sponsons.  If the hydrodynamics work out, maybe later I'll orient them for aerodynamics instead. 
    Here's a picture of the AOA and fore/aft placement.    

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  7. cowlove added a post in a topic Thoughts on mounting full lotus sponsons inboard on a Catalina?   

    I threw on a wing to visualize the geometry of the test sponson location.  It's actually a fair bit lower than I thought, and the angles are quite different.  I drew lines on the picture below to help visualize any problems.   
    DISPLACEMENT MODE: The sponsons will actually be closer to the water.   I think it will be OK, as long as both sponsons aren't forced into the water at super-max gross.  Based on where I remember the water line being then the plane was overloaded with sacks of concrete, there is a chance this might happen and it would require changing something.  I'll check this on slow speed taxi test day.   There also needs to be enough stability to board over the side, which is about the most extreme test of static stability that I've seen the plane subjected to in practice.   The full lotus sponsons are smaller, and the close-in location will cut the lever arm in half, but I am predicting it will be fine.  
    ON STEP: The sponsons are a little further from the water than stock, but not as much as I'd feared.   It appears that the sponson will still amply prevent the wing tip from hitting the water, assuming flat seas.  I'll gradually work up to testing this gently in later step taxi tests.  Maybe     
    LAND: For wheels, it's a win win win.  It looks like I could almost drag a wingtip if I wanted.  A guy killed himself in a Catalina by scraping holes in his full lotus floats on land, then using them in water, so it's good to see these little fellers a little further away from the concrete.   
     
     

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  8. cowlove added a post in a topic Can I get some Catalina and amphibian pics pls?   

    Shared google album of '7ab: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y9ROsVb6sQPqKukM2
     
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  9. cowlove added a post in a topic Thoughts on mounting full lotus sponsons inboard on a Catalina?   

    I had not seen the FL instructions, thanks for that.    I'm not sure different the floating angle will be.  The new location is only about 1" higher than stock, but of course it is much more inboard and will result in a greater angle to the center of buoyancy and larger list in the water.  How much larger will depend on how low she sits in the water, I guess.   I can adjust the height a little bit as needed. 
    Agreed, catching a wingtip would be all around bad. 
    -Jim
     
     
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  10. cowlove added a topic in Avid Catalina   

    Thoughts on mounting full lotus sponsons inboard on a Catalina?
    I like the looks and results people have reported after mounting their sponsons inboard, at one of the jury strut attachments.   I didn't want to weld on the struts to add tabs, so I mocked up some brackets out of plywood that use P-clamps to attach to the 3/8" jury struts right at the cluster welds.   The plan is to do some slow speed taxi tests and make sure the sponsons still have enough leverage at this closer distance to allow me to re-board the boat over the side.  I think that's the most extreme static stability situation. 
    If it seems workable, I'll fabricate these out of fiberglass.  I weighed it in my head, and decided I'd rather have a sponson shear off rather than deform the jury strut.   I plan to make a little destructive test rig and make the fiberglass just thin enough so that this is the likely outcome.
    Thoughts?  Advice?  Cautionary tales? 

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  11. cowlove added a post in a topic How to keep the Catalina alive   

    Mark- very happy to hear that you have the molds for the Catalina.  Every time I look at or research other airplanes, it just drives home what a one-of-a-kind bird the Catalina is. 
    Jim
    Catalina #157
     
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  12. cowlove added a post in a topic 670 thread   

    I'm not sure I had a thread dedicated to my 670.   I mentioned it on a tangent in a few other threads.   But if there was a thread, here is what it would say:
    1) I ran the original 582 grey head in my Catalina for 250 hours, but it was tired and had a 20 year shelf life. 
    2) I got a timed-out blue head and had Rick build it up into a 670. 
    3) I put it in the Catalina this summer, kept the same 70" 3 blade warp drive with 3.00:1 C gearbox, took it out for taxi tests, and had a huge smile on my face until a RAVE valve came loose and hit a piston.  
    4) Rick was very supportive and redid the engine. 
    5) The Catalina is in my garage now.  Maybe taxi tests in week or three.  I'm taking the time to also do an internal radiator, a custom all-lexan molded canopy, and full lotus sponsons.  80MPH or bust!  
     
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  13. cowlove added a post in a topic Can you ID this Bi-plane?   

    While we're asking questions, whats the pointy sharp one at the top right? 
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  14. cowlove added a post in a topic 670 thread   

    I'm installing a Rotax Rick 670 at this very moment, but I'm not sure I'm the guy you're looking for. 
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  15. cowlove added a post in a topic Yamaha RX1 Engines   

    Good discussion all around. 
    > As far as the Rk400 clutch Im not sure why someone would need to tear it down every 75 hours. Where did this information come from?
    The RK400 requires an inspection of the friction surfaces every 75 hours, per the manufacturer's instructions.   This requires draining/removing the gearbox, of course.   Pretty quick job, I've never felt overly burdened with doing it.  
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  16. cowlove added a topic in Rotax and other engines   

    Approximate Inlet/scoop size for an internal 582 radiator?
    Hi.  I'm moving my Catalina's prominent radiator inside.     Does anyone have a faired/cowled 582 radiator setup that they're happy with?  What's your approximate inlet area?   I'm having a hoot reading NASA CR3405 and other resources, but I'd like to also see what has worked for other similar planes.  I assume most of our planes would have similar climb speed, cooling needs, and radiator area, so I'm guessing other people's experience would be directly applicable.  
    I have lots of room to play with, so I can make the inlet/outlet almost any size I need, but a starting point would be helpful. 
    Thanks!
    Jim
     
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  17. cowlove added a post in a topic First Annual Pacific Northwest Catalina Flyin - Last July   

    Just got the 670 back from being redone.  Since the plane is now out of annual and the weather is turning, I'm going to take a few months with it in the garage to get after all the deferred maintenance list, and do some of the fun projects I've been dreaming of:
    new vac formed canopyrelocate radiator internallyfull lotus sponsonsjack screw landing gear actuatorI'll post updates as they happen.  Wish me luck
     
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  18. cowlove added a topic in Avidfoxflyers General Hangar   

    First Annual Pacific Northwest Catalina Flyin - Last July
    Just ran across this and realized I forgot to post this last July.  Flywise and I met in Squamish, BC, and had a chance to briefly glance over each other's planes.   Laurent's plane looks as nice in person as it does in his photo album.   
     

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  19. cowlove added a post in a topic Melted piston from overheat due to coolant loss- repair plan?   

    It is a Rotax Rick 670.  Mistakes happen, but I've been very pleased with his customer service and how he immediately stood behind his engine and offered to redo it.   I've enjoyed talking with him a bunch over the last year as we made a 670 happen.   Apparently about 2-3 hours of phone conversation is included with the price of a build-up
     
     
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  20. cowlove added a post in a topic Melted piston from overheat due to coolant loss- repair plan?   

    Talked with the builder this morning and shipped the motor back; he's going to redo it all under warranty.   I'll start a new thread with (hopefully) better taxi test news when I get it back. 
    Thanks everyone for all they help   
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  21. cowlove added a post in a topic Melted piston from overheat due to coolant loss- repair plan?   

    akflyer, the image is of the undamaged side, and the valve could have flipped around any which way after I took it out.  I trust they were in correctly- the main failure is definitely the loose nut and the extra 1/8" of solid interference with the piston.  
     
     
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  22. cowlove added a post in a topic Melted piston from overheat due to coolant loss- repair plan?   

    Here's the style from my engine (unaffected cylinder).   You can see the stud and jam nut going into the actual blade of the valve.  If the nut and/or stud loosen, the valve goes further in... crunch.  

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  23. cowlove added a post in a topic Melted piston from overheat due to coolant loss- repair plan?   

    Oh, you could push it a full, clear 1/8" into the cylinder.   The other cylinder is normal.   There's a nut on the threaded stud coming out of the end of the RAVE slide.   The shoulder of that nut is what actually contacts the stop and limits the travel of the valve.  If that nut loosens and rides up the stud, the valve can protrude further into the cylinder.    As I found it, the nut was loose and about 1/8" up the stud.  The valve had neatly and precisely cut/routed out a perfect little footprint in the piston, and the debris tore up the rest of the piston/cylinder/head, but I don't see any melt or other kind of damage. 
    The engine backfired a few times right before I shut it down, and I think that blew off the RAVE valve diaphragm boot (and zip tie), but the rest of the RAVE valve hardware was undamaged.  (Well, the slide is beat up from eating away the piston, but I mean to say the rest of the RAVE valve hardware looked like it was functional) 
     
     
     
     
     
     
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  24. cowlove added a post in a topic Melted piston from overheat due to coolant loss- repair plan?   

    Actually, upon teardown, there was no piston melting- the RAVE valve hardware had loosened and allowed the slide to contact the piston.  It wore down the piston until it broke chunks off the rings, which then tore up the cylinder and head pretty good.  This made a hotspot that visibly failed the inner head o-ring, which pressurized the coolant and blew it all out the overflow tank.     The low coolant was a final symptom, not the root cause.  
    The engine install is inverted- any thoughts on the chances that debris made it into the crankcase? 
     
     
     


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  25. cowlove added a topic in Rotax and other engines   

    Melted piston from overheat due to coolant loss- repair plan?
    I was out on the water doing the break-in procedure and taxi tests for my new 670, and during the 4500RPM step, I noticed a sudden loss of a few hundred RPM and a rapidly increasing and erratic coolant temp.  I idled the engine, and decided to taxi back to the boat launch, with coolant temps hovering about 180, but erratic.   I found the coolant level just below the water pump (engine is inverted), and I'm sure I was boiling coolant in the heads even though the CHT showed 180- that must have been the erratic part.   I haven't located the exact leak location yet, but there is coolant spray all over the pusher prop, tail and empannage.   
    Anyway, the #1 piston's edge is melted at the exhaust port, and the cylinder crosshatching is gone at the 4 corners.    #2 cylinder looks fine, at least from the exhaust port view. 
    So- my question:  Is it a reasonable repair plan to just rehone, install new pistons, and possibly new head if it's warped?
    PS-  The overheat is certainly my fault and I'm really happy with Rotax Rick's 670.  I definitely have no complaint at this point about his product.   The few minutes I got to spend with it, it seems awesome and I can hardly wait.   Very smooth, and the boat clawed its way onto step at 4500RPM, which almost unbelievable.  6100RPM minimum needed with the 582.  
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