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gorilla

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About gorilla

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    Jr. Crew Member

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    UK
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    flying, motorcycling, skiing, playing the guitar (badly!)
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    Male

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  1. I forgot to add that having seen a number of CT's out there with slightly uneven wing levels (and pilots on this forum who have admitted that their aircraft don't sit exactly level), there's either a lot of folk having very heavy landings (!) or the undercarriage legs weren't fastidiously drilled correctly in the first place!
  2. The whole job took about 4 hours but in order to get a perfectly level aircraft and correct wheel tracking, it needs to be done properly! The hardest part was wiggling the hub assembly up and down the leg to get the level correct. It's a tight fit on the leg and we found that we had to clean out the inside of the tube with some fine emery paper wrapped around a piece of tubing in order to get it to move up and down the leg. A smear of ACF50 on the end of the leg helps too. The trouble is that FD don't seem to have a uniform way of mounting the hubs to the legs. My engineer has seen some undercarriage legs that have been inserted down inside the hub tube as far as they'll go (until they touch the horizontal hub tube which can be seen inside the slanting hub tube of the hub assembly) whilst others have only been inserted about 3/4 before the bottom hole was drilled. So this means that the new leg which has to be drilled, needs to be wiggled up/down the leg accordingly to get the aircraft level set correctly. Even if the leg on the other side of the aircraft was fully inserted into the hub tube before its hole was drilled, this doesn't automatically mean that the aircraft will be level if the new leg is also fully inserted. I'm not sure why this is but my engineer tells me that of the many legs he's done, it just doesn't work that way. Similarly, he says that measuring the distance of the bottom hole on the 'bent/cracked' leg whilst it is on the workbench and transferring this measurement across to the 'new' leg doesn't work either! You only get one chance to drill this hole in order to get the aircraft sitting level and the tyre tracking correct and unfortunately, there ain't no short cuts!
  3. Hi Guys, I've just had to replace one of my CTSW undercarriage legs and thought that other owners may be interested in how to do this and some detail in getting the holes drilled accurately! Here in the UK, we have a mandatory 300 hour inspection of the undercarriage legs (Service Bulletin CT145) and my 2006, 890 hour CTSW with over 1,000 landings had its third inspection done this week. This entailed raising the main gear a few inches off the deck using a homemade raising gadget! Then the spats and brake lines were removed, brake fluid drained and axle/wheel assemblies removed. The leg fairings were then slid off and then the legs were unbolted from the 'plane. Non-destructive testing was done by employing special chemical penetrant dyes and UV light. The only areas tested were in & around the main centre hole and around the 'waist' at the top of the leg just below the thicker part that goes up inside the top bracket. Unfortunately, the port leg on my 'plane had a very tiny crack just inside the aft edge of the centre hole which was only visible with a x100 jeweller's loup. The leg was rolled on a propeller balancing rig and was found to be dead straight but a crack is a crack. The crack was absolutely minuscule but my engineering inspector said that cracks only get bigger and are always a possibility on a metal item subject to repeated bending loads. Anyway, he had a new replacement leg in stock and proceeded to fit it. The new leg only comes with the centre hole already pre-drilled. Another modification we have in the UK is to peen the edges of the main attachment hole thus leaving residual compression stress at the hole edges intended to suppress fatigue crack initiation (Mod 309). As this wasn't done on my factory fitted original legs, the 'old' starboard leg and new port leg had this engineering process applied. First, the new leg was fitted and the (new) M6 centre bolt tightened up together with the cover plate and its four (new) bolts. Then a custom made centre-punch tool was fitted into the white bracket's top and bottom mounting holes and hit with a hammer to make an indentation on the new leg for drilling. This custom made tool is a short steel dowel with a very small hardened point in its centre. The tool sits snugly in the white bracket's hole(s) so that the tiny raised point is exactly in the centre of the hole. The leg was then removed and drilled from both sides just slightly undersize. It was then re-fitted and the top hole reamed out and a new nut, bolt and washers fitted. The correct drilling of the bottom hole is critical so that the aircraft not only sits level but the wheel tracks correctly. First, ensure the tyres are exactly the same pressure and the same amount of fuel is in each wing. Then slide the complete axle and wheel assembly onto the new leg and just nip up the pinch bolt. Lower the 'plane onto its wheels and roll it backwards and forwards a few yards to settle it. Then accurately measure the height from the floor to the base of the last aileron bracket on both wings. You must have a flat workshop floor for this!! You may have to raise the 'plane, loosen the pinch bolt and 'wiggle' the wheel assembly up/down the leg a few times and repeat the above before you get exactly the same floor-to-height measurements on both wings' brackets. Once you have the same heights, scribe a faint line along the top of the white bracket onto the leg as a reference. Now we needed to adjust the tracking. We assumed that because the tyre wear on the starboard leg was very even, we would use that side as a datum to set the port wheel. With the 'plane on the ground and the undercarriage legs fully assembled and tightened (but with the the new leg's wheel assembly just pinched up), we first checked that the stabilator was exactly level using a digital level and measuring from the rear corners to the ground. It was! Then we put some masking tape along the leading edges of the stabilator. Using a laser level held against two of the brake disc mounting bolts on the starboard side wheel, we rotated the wheel until the laser beam 'hit' the masking tape and we then marked this spot with a felt pen. We rotated the wheel and used all the disc mounting bolts to check that it hit the same spot. It did! My Marco wheel must have been a good one!!!! Next, we measured the distance of the felt pen mark from the fuselage on the starboard side and made a similar mark on the masking tape on the port side of the stabilator. We then held the laser level against the port side brake disc mounting bolts and rotated the wheel to see where the laser dot hit the masking tape. It was off to one side of the mark so we loosened the pinch bolt and carefully twisted the wheel assembly on the leg until we got the laser dot to hit the mark - checking that we still had our scribed line in the right place and hadn't accidentally moved the wheel assembly up or down the leg! Now, at last, we were ready to drill the bottom hole in the new leg using the same technique as we used for the top hole. The rest is just a matter of reassembly and brake bleeding. For this, we used a big large diameter hypodermic syringe bought off eBay to pump the brake fluid in through the bleed nipples and up into the brake fluid reservoir to which we fitted a piece of tubing going into an empty container. I'm sorry I haven't got any photos but I hope the explanation above might help someone in the future who has to do this job.
  4. If you're like me, you've probably tried numerous USB 'cigarette lighter' chargers trying to find one that doesn't interfere with your radio or that doesn't send white noise to your headsets when you try to re-charge your iPad, phone or other such device. I think after trying about 7 different USB chargers - including ones that had an Apple MFI certified endorsement - I was about to give up the ghost ...................until, I found one that works absolutely brilliantly!!! In fairness, I think I read about it on one of the other American flying forums and decided to try it out. It is completely silent in use, and has dual high-power (2.4 amp) outputs. It is certified by RoHS, CE, FCC (whatever that means!) and has a 1 year warranty. The only problem if you live in the UK (like me) is that you have to send off to the USA for it because I couldn't find any on this side of the pond. The device is actually quite cheap‌‌ ($10.49 - reduced from $29.99) but after shipping charges, I paid about $35.00 (about £25.00). However, all I can say is that if silence is golden to you whilst charging your USB devices, then this beauty is worth every cent. It is made by SKIVA and here‌‌ is the link to the relevant webpage: https://www.skivatech.com/products/powerflow-4-8a ‌Skiva PowerFlow Duo C-3 (4.8 Amps / 24 Watt / Fastest) Car Charger with Two Universal USB Charging Ports (AC116)‌ I ordered one and paid by PayPal and it was delivered within a week‌‌. I wired a 12-volt cigarette lighter socket into the panel of my CTSW and then inserted the SKIVA charger. With a bit of engineering, I recessed the 12V socket so that the SKIVA charger lies flush with the face of my (RH) panel. It looks very neat but more importantly, it works totally silently when charging my iPad running SD and charging my iPhone. PS: I do not work for SKIVA!!!‌ Paul
  5. gorilla

    CAMBRAI Aircraft Covers

    Yes, I know that sounds expensive but that price is for a complete full set and it's their outdoor covers. They do cheaper covers for inside hangars, etc. The price also includes VAT (our purchase tax). And over this side of the pond, were always jealous of the much lower price you usually pay for things!! ????
  6. gorilla

    Refuelling My CT

    Thanks Mike!
  7. gorilla

    CAMBRAI Aircraft Covers

    I bought my CTSW new in 2006 together with a full set of outdoor covers for it costing £1,700. These covers made by Cambrai Covers in the UK have been excellent over the years at keeping off the UV and elements. Some of my plane's life has been spent in hangars but a lot has been spent outdoors in very hot, sunny places like Lagos, Portugal and Tallard in France where I was an instructor. http://www.cambraicovers.com/ Earlier this year, I decided to send the covers back to Cambrai for their full refurbishment service which includes a thorough wash, re-water-proofing, fitting new straps and buckles, carrying out any necessary repairs to stitching and re-embroidering of my aircraft's registration. Full details are on their website. I have to say that the covers had got very dirty, stained and green (due to parking my 'plane under some tall Leylandi trees) over the years and the water-proofing had practically disappeared. It's a shame I have no 'before' pictures because they truly were awful but I have some 'after' pictures - see below. I was in a hurry when fitting them so there are a couple of wrinkles but they do fit as snug as a hand in a glove when I'm being a bit more fastidious! When I got the covers back, I honestly thought they'd given me a brand new set! They were amazing. All the staining and green had totally gone; there wasn't a mark on them. They were 'stiff' again with the re-proofing agent used and all the straps and buckles had been replaced. Cambrai even supplied a new bag for me to keep them in. I negotiated with them on the price but considering a full set is now £2,700, I paid less than a fifth of that for my refurbished covers. All in all, a fantastic after-service from an excellent firm making a top quality product. Thank you Cambrai!! Paul
  8. gorilla

    Refuelling My CT

    Well, after 11 years of fantastic CTSW ownership and of humping 20-litre jerry cans up onto my cloth-covered wings, shaking a jiggle-tube up & down to get the fuel flowing and then waiting nearly 10 minutes for each can to empty, I have finally decided enough was enough!! I did some research and found a great little 12-volt pump certified for pumping mogas, avgas, etc, with spark-proof fittings and wiring and earthing wires running through the hoses. The pump is made in the good ol' US of A by a company called Fill-Rite. It was a bit hard trying to find a UK importer and dealer but I managed it and purchased a complete kit (pump, hoses, wiring, nozzle) for £218 (including VAT) which I didn't think was a bad price. I would imagine that in the States, you would pay a lot less than this. The pump, wiring, fittings and dispensing nozzle are all first class quality and I'd highly recommend it to anyone thinking of buying one. I bought the RD8 model which pumps 8 US gallons a minute - which is about 30 litres. I have 20 litre cans which should equate to one being emptied in about 40 seconds. In practice, with the can on the ground and having to pump the fuel up into my wing-tanks, each can emptys in exactly one minute flat. This is brilliant. Besides saving me shedfuls of time, it is just so convenient, too. I have a small motorcycle battery that I use for power but the other day, I decided to use the CT's battery via the emergency jump-start lead which sticks out underneath the engine cowling. I emptied 6 x 20 litre full containers (6 minutes of pump running time) and then went and tried to start the engine. It burst into life immediately with no difference in starter motor speed or power. I made a bit of a mistake with the model I ordered as I chose the model with a flexible inlet hose rather than the model specifically designed with a rigid stainless tube for jerry cans. The flexible rubber inlet hose was larger than I envisgaed and had a brass fitting on the end which wouldn't fit into any of my cans so I cut the fitting off but the hose was still too big in diameter. I then found a length of stainless tubing which was a lovely tight push-fit inside the rubber hose. I drilled a small hole about an inch from the end of the tube so that I wouldn't be sucking up the absolute dregs of fuel in my cans in case of contamination. Job done!! Paul (aka "Gorilla") Here are some pictures of the pump in action - and of my lovely CT's interior!!:
  9. gorilla

    A new CT Owner here

    As you know, UK CTSW's are fitted with Warp Drives and I haven't heard of any bad reports regarding them from our side of the pond. Personally speaking though (!), after about 400 hours, one of the nickel inserts on one of my blades started to just lift a little bit on the underside. I managed to find a 'phone number for Warp Drive direct (as opposed to their distributor) to discuss the issue. A very helpful man told me to clean the area thoroughly with acetone and then use 24 hour epoxy. I did this and clamped the insert whilst the glue was drying but after about 30 hours it started to happen again. The other two blades were still in as-new condition. I contacted Warp Drive again who told me to send the complete set of blades back so they could do a repair and rebalance them all. Naturally, I was worried about how long this would take! I needn't have worried as I sent them on Monday morning (using their shipping agent and contract number so at no cost to me) and I got them back on Friday of the same week! Incredible service and I'm convinced they gave me a completely new set of blades. If they were the original blades, they certainly sent them back looking like brand new! They said that when they checked the serial numbers, they'd had one or two in that batch with a similar problem. And all this at absolutely no cost to me! I was so impressed that I wrote a 'proper' hand-written letter of thanks to the the boss telling him how grateful I was with his customer service. I would recommend that American company to anyone!!
  10. gorilla

    Heated Seat Covers

    Hi Roger, I've cured all my 'above head height' air leaks but I'm curious as to how you seal your door aperatures with the draught excluder strip in addition to the black rubber/plastic moulding. Please could you post a picture of what your 'system' looks like? Thanks. Paul
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