After being so quiet for so long, my engine finally was able to make some NOISE ! The
first engine start was a success, but it didn't go without a couple
hitches.. First the plan was to see all the fuel line junctions by removing all the fairings that I had to install for the weigh
in. That didn't take to long, then I had
to verify all my fuel lines were torqued and looked good. Also I had to upgrade my Dynon to 5.1 which
includes data logging which is perfect timing for me because I can track
multiple times a second all the temps and pressures of my engine during start
up and break in.
To prep the engine I had to turn the prop several times to
get oil up the oil pressure hose. This
also pushed oil all around in the engine so it was good to do prior to the
first start. Vans indicates you pull the
top plugs and hit the starter to do this.
I found turning by hand several times pushed oil up the hose and primed
the pressure line just fine. So I
replaced the plugs including anti seize and torqued them. Things were looking good at this point.
Now it was time to start working with the Blue 100LL Avgas, it sure was pretty in the sunshine. I put a gallon or so through each tank and sloshed it around, then fully drained each tank. I am almost 100% confident that the tanks were pristine to begin with, but just in case, it is a good idea to rinse them out.
First glitch came up when I tried to run fuel to prime the
fuel pump. Turning the pump on didn't do anything. I had disconnected the fuel
line at the spider and nothing would happen.
I had to get fuel to the pump so used a siphon technique to get fuel to
the pump which worked fine and from that point forward fuel pump was able to
pull from both tanks with adequate pressure.
All was looking good, pulled the plane out of the hangar,
tied it to the car and set up a few cameras..
Confirmed that all the assistants there were looking for the same stuff and communication was working OK. Went over everything a final time and then
jumped in the plane, full of stress ready to fire it up. Sure I had a checklist and knew exactly what
I was going to do, I even read it and double checked it but sure enough the
first couple attempts at starting I had forgot to turn the mags on.. No way would it fire without the ignition on,
so once that problem was corrected it fired right up.. Man was I stressed..
BEKAH TOOK A PERFECT HD VIDEO : Click here for the Video
Then I noticed that my RPMs were reading as double due to
the Electric ignition sending two pules per revolution vs just one. I have since corrected this, but during the
engine run I just idled it at an indicated 2000 rpm (which really was 1000).
The engine ran great, but was rich at idle causing a bit of roughness which I will need to look at
over time. I ran it up and cycled the
prop, tested each ignition and then back to idle. I then leaned it out quite a bit at idle and
it started to run much smoother. Did a
quick idle lean test and noticed it raise a few hundred RPM, which is
consistent with being too rich.. Then
shut her down. You really don’t want to
run the engine much on the ground when you need to break it in. The only way to break in an airplane engine
is to run it at high power in the air for several hours.
I will never forget the slight smell of burning as the new engine came to life. It really smelled brand new, sort of like a new car, but it was a new airplane. It was wonderful !