|2005-04-26||Vertical Tail Assembled||Did this two and a half years ago, so not much to say. I had to do it twice, since I did not pay attention to the surface I built it on. It had a 1/2" twist in it. Re-do! I am sure this will not be the last.|
|2005-05-31||Finished the Horizontal Stab||This went smoother. I purchased the spar center from Sonex. Saved a lot of time.|
|2005-07-04||Cutting and drilling skins||Lots of layout, cutting and drilling.|
|2006-07-11||Spar Finished||Takes a lot of work to do these. Lots of patience. And be prepared to drill out several of the rivvets, as you will mess some up!.|
|2006-09-24||Ribs done. Lots of hammering||Used a router and a template to cut out. Works well, makes lots of metal snow. This is followed with lots of hammering.|
|2006-11-15||Right Wing||Spars completed, right wing near completion. C140 is flying now, and I have my TW endorsment, so I fly every chance I get. I expect that the right wing will be completed within a week or so. The Left wing will take a month or two.
|2007-03-01||TC inspection||Roy Tribbey inspected the wings before I closed them up|
|2007-03-24||Got Wings!||I have both wings completed now, and am working on the fuselage. I expect to have the aft portion of the fuselage completed by the end of April, and the entire fuselage finished before Airventure 07. This will make the airframe essentially complete.
I continue to fly (and work on) the 140 as much as I can. I currently have about 75 hour in the plane, and am planning on flying it to Airventure this year.
|2007-04-24||Tail Cone||The tail cone is finished. It is getting bigger than my garage, so I suspect that when I finish the fuselage, I will move "Robert's Airplane Factory" out to the airport (CFD). The latest work photos are posted also...
|2007-06-07||Fuselage finished||The forward portion took a long time. The sides are complex, and there are lots of details that take considerable patience to make sure you don't miss anything. Moved it to the hanger.|
|2007-08-23||Attaching the wings to the fuselage||I finally added the wings and empenage to the fuselage. Starting to look like an airplane!
|2007-09-24||Fuselage tail cone finshed||Lower skin is left off for easy access to the inner goodies.|
|2007-12-30||Flight controls installed||I have installed the flight controls, seat belts, and engine mount. This shows the joysticks and elevator linkage...|
|2007-12-30||Rudder pedals and brake pedals||Created some brake pedals and fabricated the rudder pedal assemblies. I wanted to have differential brakes, even though I plan on using the direct connect tail wheel. I have used differential brakes before to save my butt on assorted bad wheel landings. Also, I have myself trained to use these, so nothing new here.|
|2007-12-30||Flap and trim Controls||The flap handle and linkage, as well as the elevator trim.|
|2007-12-30||Tail Wheel assembly||I have attached the tailwheel, even though the Titanium spring is not ordered yet. Titanium is expensive, so I will order all pieces at once. Works as planned|
|2007-12-30||Seat Belts installed||I installed the seat belts, since after I create a baggage box, I will put the bottom skin on and the seat belts rear attachemnts will be difficult to reach.|
|2007-12-30||Install Engine Mount||Installed engine mount from Sonex. Nicely done! Landing gear next!|
|2008-01-13||Putting the baggage compartment together.||Rather than build a box to fit in the baggage area, I simply made some covers to protect the elevator pushrod and rudder cables. I then made some panels to close off the rear of the fuselage.|
|2008-02-02||TC Inspection||Roy Tribbey Inspected the fueselage. Submitted the TC report online.|
|2008-03-20||Installed main gear rods||Thanks to Titanium Joe. Way Cheaper than Sonex. Gear installed. Drilling Ti-6-4 is an exercise in patience, but doable. Just drill slow, keep the bit cool, and don't cheap out on the dill bits. Ti-6-4 will work harden really fast, so do not dwell the bit at all. Either cut, or don't drill. Nowhere in between.|
|2008-04-24||Installed Brakes||Installed Tracy O'Brian. brakes, axles, wheels, and tires. I like the compact brakes. Really small and simple.|
|2008-07-16||Wheel Pants, Fairings||Installed the wheel pants and gear leg fairings. It is amazing how much sexier it looks.|
|2008-07-16||Landing Lights||Installed a Duckworks landing light system.|
|2008-07-27||ELT||Installed the ELT in the Baggage Area.|
|2008-07-28||Misc. wiring||Connected switches (landing lights, Strobe/Nav, breakers, master solenoid, master switch, etc|
|2008-08-05||Install Strobe/Nav lights||Install Starbright Strobe/nav lights, switch, and all plugs.|
|2008-08-10||Installed the radio||Installed the Micro Air 760. Straightforward installation. Works as planned. Small, light wieght, and the intercom is in the same package.|
|2008-08-11||Installed Master Switch, breakers, etc.||Master relay, switch and several breakers installed.|
|2008-08-24||I finally got my engine!||I found a Jabiru 3300 for sale that had not been run since new, even thought it had set around for more than 5 years. S/N 33A299, a Solid lifter version. I flew up to see it at Jerrich Aircraft in Arlington, TX. and bought it on the spot. There are a few problems. A minor ding on one of the heads, (the folks at Jerrich are replacing the head), a few SBs need to be complied with, and some of the standard stuff it normally comes with was missing, but otherwise in good shape.|
|2008-09-07||Hung the engine!||OK, I have the engine hung, and replaced the damaged head (no photos of this yet). I have ordered the AeroCarb from Sonex, and will install it soon. I also have the Sonex cooling stuff, and am in the process of installing it.|
|2008-10-13||Installed cooling tin||Installed the cooling tin. Must have put the cowl on and took it off 60 or 70 times.|
|2008-10-13||Cowling Installed||Installed the cowling. Frustratingly slow and painfull. Test fit, remove, trim, repeat(at least 50 times!).|
|2008-10-13||Exhaust mod||Had to modify the exhaust that cam with the engine. The right exhaust was interfering with the cowling. I simply tweaked it till it fit.|
|2008-10-13||Installed Throttle||No pictures, just installed the throttle. You can see it in the right side photo in the engine cooling tin section|
|2008-10-13||Added the mixture cable||That says it all.|
|2008-10-13||Fuel Lines installed||Fuel line installed. Again, you can see the picture in the right side view of the cooling tin.|
|2008-11-01||Installed RDAC||Installed the RDAC, and connected all six CHT thermocouples, the oil temperature lead, and the oil pressure sensor, and the Tach pickup (connected to the alternator). I am going to try to connect it to my laptop.|
|2008-11-04||Windshield||Installed Windshield. Lots of fussing, but not a real big deal.|
|2008-11-05||Installed propeller||Installed a Sensenich 54-62 Propeller. Looks different!|
|2008-11-08||First test run||Cranked the engine. After fiddling with the mixture, and having to jump start the engine due to a wimpy battery, it started. Runs smooth...|
|2008-12-18||WIngs on!||Wings on! not it looks like its planned final form. Looks cool! I taxi it around with great pride!|
|2008-12-18||RDAC installed||I don't have the money for the Enigma, so I installed the RDAC. I use my laptop to read it. I have not run the engine hard yet, but the numbers appear good so far.|
|2009-02-04||Last TC inspection- near complete aircraft.||Roy Tribbey inspected the near complete aircraft. Submitted the report on line.
|2009-02-24||Homade seats||Made some temporary seats to sit on. It looks pretty good|
|2009-02-28||Did Weight and Balance||Final Talley
Empty CG is at 64.27"
Not yet covered with Vinyl, and that will add around 15 lbs.
|2009-03-04||Installed the EFIS||Installed the MGL Stratomaster Enigma. Wow! The perfect solution to the limited real estate in the sonex instrument panel.|
|2009-03-14||Installed Stratomaster Enigma||Installed the Enigma. Works great, but it is really complicated.
|2009-03-15||Final Inspection||Removed all of the covers, cowl, seats, etc. and inspected all controls and anything else I could find that could cause a problem. This is part of the final push for the DAR inspection.|
|2009-03-15||Some Photos||Some phots from the HOT LSA Expo.|
|2009-03-28||DAR||It's official! N157SX is a legal airplane. Expect 1st flight tomorrow.|
|2009-07-23||Performance||To date, I have 72.5 hours on the plane, and must report that it flies as advertised. On cool days, I get 2000 fpm climb. I cannot sustain that for more than 3000 ft though, at least if I care about my engine temps. The cruise speeds are as advertised. At 3150 RPM I get 150-155 indicated, burning something like 6.7 gph. If I slow down to 2450 and lean appropriately, I get 122-130 indicated, at 4 to 4.5 gph. Landing speeds are around 70 mph on final, slow to 60 at flare, touchdown between 50 and 55 mph. Leave the flaps down, or you will roll forever. Even with the flaps down, it will roll almost forever.
I did a big cross country test: Coulter Field in Bryan TX (home) to Ryan Field, outside of Tucson, Arizona. I tried to be consistent getting there. Averaged 150 mph TAS at 2750 rpm or so, burning 5 gph, cruising at 8500 ft. On the way back, I opened her up on the first leg, burning 6.7 gph and getting 170+ TAS.