Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Sunday, May 20, 2012

RV visiting hours

Jan Elkjaer, JanRV6UK on the VAF forums, and his son, Aksel, visited today. Jan is building a RV6 back in England, Aksel is just finishing a exchange year at UT. They are about to launch on a trip in a 172 to parts west. They will fly N413ES, a plane I have many hours in. While they were here they got to see our two flying RV's, ask lots of questions, try the seats out, see two different avionics packages, etc.. As a bonus, Mike Collier had the CAF P-63 King Cobra at the airpark (in a hangar) so we all got to ooh and aah over this awesome aircraft, one of only 3 flying. Finally, just as the day got good and hot and bumpy, I asked if they wanted to fly. Of course Aksel said yes, so we fueled up and launched in the RV-9A. This was Aksel's first RV time, and first low wing time. He came back and immediately goaded his Dad to finish the 6. Mission accomplished!
Lynne and I flew to KJWY, Midlothian/Waxahachie to visit Katrin at the Scarborough Fair renaissance festival. Didn't take any pictures, but we had a nice "Courtesy Car Adventure" in a retired Waxahachie police Crown Vic. Old and beat up, but the A/C worked!

May 27, 2012
We also flew up to Arkansas and landed at Mena to go hiking for the day in the Ouchita National Forest.

The hiking was hot and windy, and not all that great, but we both got a kick out of using the RV to get out of Texas for the day!

We had another "Courtesy Car Adventure" thanks to the nice folks at the FBO. It was an older car in serious need of new brake rotors and other front end work.  The check engine and low coolant lights were always on.  I wasn't sure it could be trusted in the mountains of Ouchita National Park, but it got us there and back.
After 130 hours and about 180 landings, my main tires are noticeably worn on the outside edge. So I decided to rotate the tires. On a car you move a tire from one location to another, but that would be pointless in this application. In this case rotate means to leave the tire in the same place but turn it around. Now the worn part is on the inside edge, and the outside edge has lots of tread to start wearing down.

After rotating the tire, the worn part is on the inside.

The process is fairly simple. First, remove the wheel fairings, then jack up a main wheel. I attached a hose clamp to the gear leg to give my floor jack a place to grab. This worked very well. I added a small strip of .032 AL on the second wheel to protect the gear leg better.

With the wheel off the ground, remove the outside brake caliper, the axle nut cotter pin, and the axle nut. Then the main wheel can be removed. Then deflate the inner tube and pop the tire beads off the hub rims. Next remove the three bolts holding the hub halves together. Split the hub and remove both halves. Remove the inner tube. Reinstall the inner tube in the other direction, so the the tire will now be rotating in the other direction, with the worn tread toward the centerline of the plane.
Assembly is the reverse.

It turned out to be easy to avoid pinching the inner tube when reassembling, with just a little air, the tube assumed a shape that kept it well clear of the hub halves. I did repack the wheel bearings, although there was no need to quite yet. With the wheels off it's a good idea to inspect the brakes. The pads all had enough life to make to annual time, although the rigth inner pad had a bit more wear than the others. I ordered three sets of pads to keep Wayne and I in the air for a few years.

I also ordered the high temp V75 -218 orings for the next time the brakes are disassembled. In all the left main took about 3 hours, and the right main about 2 hours. The worst part about the job is removing and installing the wheel fairings. That's just difficult uncomfortable work.

N20WX flies!

A very belated post. At the end of March, Wayne pushed his project into airworthy condition, and earned a passing grade from the San Antonio FSDO. N20WX is a airplane. He made the first flight on April 1. His IO-390 powered RV-7A runs smooth and sounds awesome. As I type this 45 days later, he has over 20 hours and is doing final install of the gear fairings. He will definitely be ready to go to Oshkosh.