Monday, November 10, 2014

Test flight

Picked up the plane today. The VGs are installed and I like them! Takeoff feels mostly the same, except it feels like the weight comes off the mains a bit earlier. I climbed to 7500 and ran it WOT at 2400 rpm and it settled in around 178-180 kts, which might be a knot or two lower than I would expect however at that point I didn't have the fuel flow working on my JPI so it's really hard to know. I'll do some more cruise testing this weekend when I go to Vegas. Stall is about 8-10 kts slower now. The warning horn came on at about 78 kts and I kept pulling back back back until the speed bled off to 62-63 indicated on the G500, clean with gear up which is how the test was specified in the install docs. 

At that point the stall came but it was super docile, no more break just a gentle bobble of the nose. I held it there for awhile and slowly lost about 400 ft of altitude, put the nose down and flew right out of it.  I flew back to Livermore and landed, adjusted the stall warning horn so now it goes on at about 70 and I'm all good. I haven't tested VMC yet, wasn't sure about doing that solo. Landings are definitely easier to come in slow and land short now, basically it lands like a 172 now and probably with less distance.

The JPI 790 is a huge improvement over the 760, I really like it. I'm still getting used to the location, not so much for the engine monitor but I'm not used to having the standby altimeter so prominently high and the MP and RPM gauges shifted right... getting used to that and I think i like it, so far. The JPI 790 screen is really nice, the fonts are huge so it's very easy to read, and the clarity is superb. This is a great unit, especially for the price it really is awesome.  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

JPI 790 installed

The 790 didn't fit above the throttle quadrant where my 760 was. Well, that's not entirely true... it fit but it looked hokey and overlapped the MP Gauge. Also it turns out you can't put the 790 in vertical mode, so hanging it lengthwise there wouldn't work either. So here is the spot:

Basically I just moved the altimeter up where the tach was and then shifted the tach and the MP gauge to the right, and then put the 790 next to the autopilot where the altimeter was and it fits there snugly. Actually I'm pretty happy with this because it puts the engine monitor right in my primary field of view just below the G500.   However I do now realize what we did resulted in putting the MP gauge on the left and the tach on the right, even though on my year Baron the RPM lever is on the left and the throttle on the right. Hmmm, worth a few hours labor to redo the hard attach lines for the MP gauge? tough one but I think it will bug me if I don't have them in matching order so I'm going to swap them.

Can't wait to fly with it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

VG's and 790 install

The inspection portion of the annual is done and fortunately no big surprises.  It's all routine maintenance at this point, since I've pretty much done everything possible to restore this plane.  With annuals however, you never do know when you pull everything apart what you're going to find.  The VG's are installed and look awesome.

Here is the nacelle strake.  They had to cut the fairing a bit to get it just in the right spot, but it looks clean and well done.  Hopefully the reduced surface area won't result in any stress cracks near the attach screws.

I had sent the VG's to Don Copeland to paint them to my scheme, but about 8-10 of them crossed over paint lines and will need touch up.  Also it looks like the JPI 790 won't work in the slot I had planned for it since it's not capable of vertical display.  I decided to move the Altimeter up above the throttle quadrant just right of the Garmin 500, and then move the manifold pressure and tachometer to the slots in the right, then move the 790 down where the altimeter was next to the autopilot head.

It should all work well and I'm actually happy the 790 will be center view just below the G500 right in my primary field of view.

Otherwise all compressions look good, just routine maintenance.  400 hr engines still look clean as a whistle...