Friday, June 24, 2011

JPI installed

I went down to MaintenanceExpress today to check in on the plane and it looks freakin beautiful. The engines are gorgeous, the photos don't really do it justice. The JPI is also installed now:

The wires hanging over the front are the switch for the fuel flow mode toggle, which I'm going to have them put with the other switches under the G600, and the dataport for the download. I was severely disappointed to learn that the JPI comes with a freakin serial port interface. That's not even 1990's tech, it's like 1980's. For crissakes, they don't even make computers with serial ports anymore. I'm going to have to get this adapter to make it work:  KEYSPAN Adapter 

Also removed the old Hoskins fuel flow computer from the stack, and took out the old Alcor EGT gauge and moved the stock fuel flow gauge into that slot.

I'm thinking I'll also pull out that Collins nav/com and the standby transponder, move the radar to the bottom and put a GTN 750 on top of the 430W. Going to look around for some quotes on that. The JPI wiring for the CHT/EGT is all done, the fuel senders are installed for the fuel flow option. They did a really nice wiring job and routed all the JPI wires along the bottom of the engine instead of hanging out in a bundle on the side like I've seen on most planes. Hard to tell from this photo but it really looks clean and tight in there.

Also the LED nav lights are installed and the reskinned elevator is installed. The elevator looks great although the white paint is a slight mismatch... hard to tell in this photo though.

What's left: wing strobe fences painted and installed, finish the right engine which still needs the GAMI's installed, prop install and JPI wiring as well as the throttle body arm modification. The cockpit switches for the JPI and both engines need new dipsticks as the ones they sent have no chance of fitting in the Baron nacelle. The end is in sight. I think I'll buy one of those NFlight cam's to capture the first flight. Can't wait.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Slow and steady progress

More slow an steady progress. 

Here all the flex hoses are wired up

Got the GAMI injectors installed

And the prop! Stockton Propeller did a really nice job on the blades, they look like new.

Still got a ways to go on the right engine though, still need to get the wing strobe fences installed, the LED's, the vacuum pumps that were on back order, the JPI finished up... and a few more air frame items. I haven't flown her since Apr 9th. What a massive job. I'm really suffering from withdrawls now and ready for some summer flying, but will need to be a bit more patient.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

No more oil screens

Got the FM Enterprises oil filter adapters installed.

This is something I wanted to do on the old engines but once they started making metal I figured it was a good idea to change the oil every 25 hours anyway, so I held off.  These filters double the oil change interval from 25 to 50 hours.  Since an oil change is 20 qts of oil at $6 a quart, plus $30 or so for Blackstone oil analysis, plus an few hours of time, I figure these suckers basically pay for themselves.  The filters along with the new quick drain plugs should also make much easier to do my own oil changes.

Here is a before/after shot of the left engine.

I'm also having them paint the inside of the cowls, I love the look of the white paint with blue baffle seals.  The white paint should make it very easy to spot any possible oil leaks, and it looks sharp!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


The engine mounts arrived!

The mounts are pretty beefy, but it's amazing they hold those massive engines with the kind of shaking and stresses that go on with 6 huge pistons pumping that giant metal prop.  It's remarkable how solidly built these are.  The more I dig in and learn about this plane, the more I'm seeing such quality throughout the airframe. Beech deserves its reputation for knowing how to build a solid airplane that lasts. When you compare these to a Cessna or Piper engine mount it's really striking.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Mounts

Still waiting on the engine mounts, some #$% at AWI put his finger in the wet paint on one of the mounts, so they pulled it back to repaint it. Yet another delay. They did get that resolved and claim they shipped last week, but have not yet arrived so the engines are still sitting there standing by... can't mount a motor without a motor mount. grrr...

While we're waiting on the mounts though, the guys got all the baffling repaired/painted and installed along with new flex seals. The also got all the wiring ran for the JPI.