Wendell Folks RV-8 Project - Page 80.

January 27, 2008:  This Sunday afternoon had wonderful weather considering how it has been for the past few weeks.  We pulled the RV-8 out in the sunshine to calibrate the magnetic sensors on the Dynon unit and calibrate the wet compass on top of the instrument panel.  The airplane had to be aligned on the four cardinal points of the compass, 0/360, 90, 180, and 270 degrees.  I walked the concrete ramp to be sure my trusty oil-filled, hand-held compass would remain aligned with the seams of the concrete pad in front of the shop where the airplane was built.   Wendell assured me there was no steel rebar or mesh in the slabs to distort the magnetic field.  He was right.  We also leveled the airplane in both directions before running each of the four calibration routines in the Dynon software.  This is the first alignment with magnetic north, which was about 10 degrees off from the alignment of the seams and edges of the concrete slab in front of the hangar and shop/garage you see in this picture.
DSCT0007.JPG (192404 bytes)

Wendell as I got so busy doing each of the moves to the next heading, I forgot to take the picture with the nose pointing to the East.  This shot has the nose of the airplane pointed South.  Just in case you missed it in the first picture, take note of the 3/4-inch board under the tire on this side and the wooden wheel chock.   The board leveled the airplane laterally.  The steel drum with boards on it leveled the longerons to represent level flight.
DSCT0008.JPG (186748 bytes)

Wendell's friend "Cool" is helping with the oil drum and spacer boards to get the longerons level at each of the four magnetic alignment positions.   My old Caddy and Cool's pickup are parked well away from the airplane to avoid any magnetic disturbance near the airplane.
DSCT0009.JPG (196710 bytes)

The upper set of spark plugs were removed to spin up the engine using only the starter.  The purpose was to get the oil circulating before the first engine start.   I made a check of the prop governor and a few other key oil locations to find no leaks.  After that was done, we put two gallons of 100LL AVGAS in each tank, then tested the electric fuel pump and primer valve for fuel leaks.  None were found there either!
DSCT0010.JPG (165689 bytes)

Then it was time to push the fuel mixture to rich and go for the first engine start.  The engine came to life just after 4:30 PM.  A quick check of the engine monitor at 1000 RPM to see that all the EGT and CHT sensors were climbing to temps well above ambient and then it was time to shut things down for one more cautionary check around the engine.  The oil pressure got above 65 PSI at 1000 RPM, and still no oil leaks anywhere!
DSCT0011.JPG (164583 bytes)

After a successful first engine run, I told Wendell to crank it up again and taxi over to the ramp in front of the hangar door.
DSCT0012.JPG (168867 bytes)

And there it sits ready to go back into the hangar after the first engine test and fuel system tests.  By the way, the Dynon unit calibrated to within 1 degree of the four cardinal magnetic bearings, but ONLY with the airplane leveled.  Since the only way a compass is reliable in flight is in straight and level conditions, we are satisfied.  We checked the Dynon and the wet compass with the tail wheel on the deck and there was a variance from the "longerons level" positions that represent level flight conditions.
DSCT0013.JPG (227656 bytes)

This was a GOOD DAY for RV-building.  The end is now in sight.  The DAR told us he would be coming to see Wendell this week.

CLICK for Folks PAGE 81 Return to Other RV Menu Return to Main Menu Page.