Monday, October 27, 2014

Annual time

Dropped off the plane for it's annual inspection, along with a few goodies for upgrades.  Yes I'm hopelessly addicted to improving this plane.  The first upgrade is a new set of MicroAero Vortex Generators.  They are little pieces of metal that get glued to the upper surface of the wing just aft of the deice boots.  They generate a whirling vortex of air on the upper surface of the wing that causes the airflow to stay attached longer at high angles of attack.  The benefit is reduced stall speed and reduce VMC which safely allows you to fly slower, and therefore land shorter.   The B55 is pretty good short field plane already (for a twin), but this will definitely help for fields like Oceano which is only 2300 ft long.  More importantly, it seemed like a good safety feature to lower VMC by 10 kts just in case I ever lose an engine on takeoff.  Hopefully there won't be much of a drag penalty on my high end cruise speeds.

The second item was the new JPI 790 which I ordered awhile back and finally arrived, just in time for my annual.  I have the 760 already and it works well, but I really wanted a more modern unit that will allow me to read all the CHT's at one glance.  Also this unit has a USB memory stick you just stick in there to download all the data, whereas the 760 has a wonky serial cable interface that I had to hack together with a USB->Serial adapter.

So the new unit is more modern, but it's wide for the slot.  It's not clear to me whether or not I can mount it vertically yet, the instructions are classic JPI... sparse.  The unit is so new there is really no information out there about it yet, I'm pretty sure mine will be one of the first installations.  I will try to mount it in a way that doesn't look too kludgy.

Lastly the wing root seals that got installed during my paint job are already starting to come up in a few places, so those need to be reglued.  Then I need an alternator mount which I knew about, since my last alternator lost it's belt due to it vibrating around on it's mount.  Apparently the metal had worn a little oval that caused some shaking in there, so I want that fixed.

Those are the known items, hopefully the rest will be routine and this one won't break the bank too badly!

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