LongEZ - N961EZ on the tarmac in Alamogordo, New Mexico
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31 March 2005: LIVE WEB CAM

The network Camera is an Axis 205, these are very inexpensive and have all kinds of features. I use these a lot at work. The Camera is on my internal network, behind a Linux box firewall Smoothwall. When you click on the picture icon above, you get redirected to my IP address, through my firewall, and directly to the camera. I limited the image stream to one frame per second, and a five minute connection time (the stream stops after 5 minutes). The built in web server inside the camera (Linux Apache) is set to limit the number of concurrent connections to 20. That means only 20 people can connect to the camera at any given time. Hopefully, this will keep my ISP off my back for excess bandwidth usage.

Watch Waiter Work, OK Back to working on the LongEZ.

27 March 2005: Expensive Real Estate

This is the first opportunity I've had to get all the parts together, and actually plan where all the parts will go. Before this retrofit, things were just added and put where they would fit and function. One of the big problem areas was that of the cabin heater. I originally put this in the nose and had #8 oil hoses running to it from the engine compartment through an existing 2 1/2 inch SCAT tube. The heater plenum box also made doing any work in the nose virtually impossible without removing the heating system.

Anyone who's tried to add something or route wires or hoses from the front to the back knows what I mean. With the original plans built LongEZ, On the right side is the control system, so I need to be careful that nothing inadvertently interferes. There's also the roll trim that pretty much blocks any front to rear passage of any hose larger than 1/2. I designed and installed an electric roll trim during original construction, so I have room on the right for a 2 1/2 SCAT tube.

On the left side is the Landing brake and pitch trim. To get any tubes or wires from the front to the back on this side requires a contortionist, and a couple weird jogs as they go through the front seat bulkhead in order to get around the landing brake control system. And forget about any hoses, there's nothing going down the left side.


Freeing up real estate.

Landing Brake. By installing Ken Millers electric Landing brake system, that gets rid of all the manual cable and actuator stuff going through the front seat bulkhead.

Strong Pitch Trim. This system will install on the right side, so it frees up the space below the throttle quadrant assembly, and also the instrument panel area where the cables penetrated. Its now possible to do a straight shot from the front to the rear without any interference.

The old heating system hoses came up on the right side of the instrument panel. This is where the Strong pitch trim system gets mounted, so the heater hoses have to go.

Considering Weight and Balance, ease of maintenance, I needed to located the Hydraulic pump and the Heater system. But where.

I need to get the heater out of the nose, but I don't want to put it in the hell hole. The heater uses an open frame DC motor with brushes. If there are any gasoline fumes in the hell hole, this could be an ignition source. I did some fit checking, it could go up against the back side of the front seat, but this would limit the rear seat leg room. The only place left for the heater is to build an extended thigh support for the rear seat, and put it in there. This works out great, I have access to a 2 1/2 SCAT tube that already runs from the rear to the front (old Heat muff heater) so I can tie this in to blow hot air to the front seat toe area. Its also an easy and direct shot for the #8 oil hoses to the engine compartment. This heater can be designed and built to drop into any EZ, so it should work out very good.

The hydraulic pump is twice as heave as the heater unit, so this will help my CG issues with the new gear. By installing Jacks EZNose Lift, That opens up some real estate in the nose. After doing several test fits, I've decided to make a Frame/bracket, and install the hydraulic pump in the nose, almost directly above the right Master brake cylinder. By relocating the heater, there's now easy access in the nose to perform any maintenance, and the hydraulic pump is located in such a manner so it won't block anything.

26 March 2005: Good work day

LongEZ Fuel Sump Post cure in oven     LongEZ Speed Brake Install Ken Miller     LongEZ Speed Brake Install Ken Miller

1) I got the sump tank completed. I post cured it in the oven. Baked at 170 deg F for 4 hours. It's now ready to mount in the hell hole. This is important, because the hydraulic gear pump will sit on top of the sump tank. I still need to glass the pump brackets to the top of the sump tank.

2) Needed to elongated the hole for the Speed brake actuator. This is Ken Millers rig.

3) Actuator all mounted and glassed to the back side of the pilots seat. This is a real easy to do when the plane is upside down.

22 March 2005: Tire Clearance inside Wheel Well

One of the problems I noted early on in this retrofit, was a clearance issue with the tires inside the wheel well. I was very careful to make sure the Pre-molded wells were as far back as I could get them. In fact, They are up against the Center Spar.

I tried a couple tricks during the installation to mitigate the problem, these helped, but there is still a slight rub on the tire as it enters the well. This is not acceptable. The gear must work flawlessly, no binding, or friction from any parts.

One of the possible fixes to this problem is to change the angle of the half fork where it mounts to the strut. After making several measurements. I calculated that a 1/16 shim under the mount would move the axle centerline forward 1/4 inch. This is more than enough to clear all sides of the wheel well.

LongEZ Infinity Aerospace Wheel Well Clearance

So, In order to test this theory, I loosened the mounting bolts, and slid a washer between the mount plate and the half fork. When I snugged the bolts back up, I happily noted there was no longer any rubbing of the tire.

I need to sleep on this for a few days, but it looks like I'm going to mill a slight angle into the mounting surface of the half fork. This will have the same effect as my washer shims, and move the axle forward and slightly outboard. The fork is 0.750 thick, I'll be removing 0.062 from one side, at an angle.

20 March 2005: Spring Time? Doesn't fell like it

I added a new area to the web site called UPGRADES. In this area I put some preliminary drawings, electrical diagrams, and initial design review manual for the landing gear controller. I'll update these as new versions become available.

The Landing gear is back on the plane, this time with all flight hardware installed. Even though I was able to shim the forward mounting plate, (it helped a little) I still get a very small tire contact with the aft side of the wheel well when the gear retracts. I have a couple other ideas I'll look into a little later.

Most of the fill and sand is done on the bottom of the fuselage. The portion where the fixed gear used to be, plus the old fuel blisters, and the old NACA scoop are now filled in and ready for primer. I also have a very slight hump where the strake fuel pickup now goes into the fuselage. The Nose area is complete and also ready for primer. When I get the gear doors on, then I can finish up the bottom of the strakes.

LongEZ Infinity Aerospace Pivot Trunion     LongEZ Infinity Aerospace Door Mount Assembly     LongEZ Infinity Aerospace Door Mount Assembly     LongEZ Infinity Aerospace Door Mount Assembly

LongEZ Fuel sump hardware     LongEZ Nose Gear Door

1) The top wing bolt (upside down in this photo) is very difficult to get to because the trunion pin is in the way. I decided to weld the bolt to the aft trunion support. that way I don't have to worry about putting a wrench on it. If both bolts were perfectly parallel, it would be possible to weld both bolts, and the support would still be able to slide in and out (not so on mine)

2) Upper gear door support bracket is welded to the steel pivot assembly (Note the collar, this is for the landing light)

3 & 4) The lower gear door bracket is cut, it needs to be welded (Aluminum) to the collar. These collars are available from Wicks. They come in many different sizes and materials (Aluminum, Stainless, or Steel). This size fits snuggly around the gear leg, and is used for the lower gear door support, and the landing light support bracket.

5) Plumbing for the fuel sump. There are 2 each of these. the flat threaded stock is embedded into the tank, then the fittings are screwed into the threads.

6) The nose gear door area is ready for primer. Looks very good, and is aerodynamically clean.

13 March: A Better Mouse Trap?

LongEZ Nose Gear Door Installation     LongEZ Nose Gear Door Installation     LongEZ Nose Gear Door Installation     LongEZ Nose Gear Door Installation

LongEZ Capacitive Fuel Probe Installation     LongEZ Fuel Sump connections     LongEZ Fuel Sump connections

After Searching for weeks for a torsion spring for my Nose Gear Door, I finally found one. Its a MOUSE TRAP spring. The Mice around my house are safe for the time being as I confiscated the traps to reallocate that spring to a more worthy task.

1) A good view of the newly liberated spring.

2, 3, 4) Nose Gear door completed. In Photo 2, note the nose skid plate, This is a piece of 1x1 inch stainless that acts as the nose bumper, and also a Tie down loop.

5) Fuel level sensors mounted in both strakes. The Strake is upside down in this photo. The Sensor is in the top of the strake inside the wheel well.

6 & 7) The old sump feed now feed the new internal Hell Hole sump

6 March 2005: Good weekend, No Pictures

For some reason my camera decided not to record pictures, I suspected something was wrong earlier this week. I should have reformatted the memory card, but didn't. Fortunately, nothing real important was lost.

LongEZ Removing Brock Throttle Assembly

1) Removed the original Brock Throttle quadrant and cables. Made mounting plates for the new Throttle quadrant assembly. I need to look at a throttle cable assembly before I mount the new quadrant, to make sure it doesn't interfere with the the pitch trim. I plan on installing an Ellison Throttle Body, so I need good push-pull cables.

2) Assembling the Sump tank, I'm now waiting for connectors and hard points, Once I have these, I can proceed with the final assembly of the sump tank. I need to get the sump tank installed in the hellhole. The gear hydraulic pump will mount on top of the sump tank.

LongEZ Remove NACA scoop

3) Glassed the outside of the lower firewall were the NACA scoop used to be. Also glassed the cowl mount lip across the bottom, both inside and out. I'll be installing a new sheet of stainless firewall.

4) Flipped the plane back over on its back to finish the main gear mounting. Once I close out the end of the Center Spar, I won't have access to the nuts or any of the hardware, so I've been delaying this. I'm welding #5 nuts to large area washers, I'll flox these inside the the Center spar to hold the gear plate. This will allow me to re-torque the mounting bolts without having to put a wrench on the nuts. I also need to do one lay up of glass on the forward face of the center spar to fine tune the strut alignment.

Also making main gear door mounting hardware. One bracket will be welded to the steel trunion arm, one aluminum piece is welded to a collar that fits the gear leg. I have another collar that will hold the landing/taxi light. These lights will now be on the gear legs.

5) Removed the PAX seat air vent. This will be relocated up and forward to give the PAX better air flow.

6) Removed the original Landing brake hardware. This frees up a lot of valuable space for running cables and tubing on the left side of the fuselage. I'll be installing Ken Millers electric speed brake actuator.

7) Reworked the nose door springs.

1 March 2005: Main Gear Alignment

Infinity Aerospace Main Gear Alignment     Infinity Aerospace Main Gear Alignment     Infinity Aerospace Main Gear Alignment

Over the last couple days, I've been able to take some initial measurements on the gear alignment. In the left photo above, the rear of the plane is to the right. If you look very carefully, you can see that the tire just barely touches the wheel well on the aft side (toward the right). Both gear do this, the tire rubs a little on the aft wall.

To correct this, I'll remove the main mounting plate, and put one or two layers of BID under the the two inboard bolts where the trunion passes through the center spar. I'll tighten the bolts while checking the clearance. When I get the correct clearance, I'll stop and let the epoxy cure. That should cause the whole mechanism to turn slightly forward and the tire should then be in the center of the well.

Unfortunately, I also found that the gear has a very slight toe out condition. The measurements I came up with are shown in the drawing. It looks like about 0.7 degrees toe out.

I'll wait until I correct for the tire rub and get a final measurement on the toe out situation. I'll check with JD at Infinity Aerospace this week and see if its possible to realign the strut. If that's out of the question, I can install a 1/2 degree shim behind each axel, Wicks has these for about $20 each.

What caused this is my center spar probably isn't swept back correctly. Instead of 12 degrees, its like 12.1 degrees Not a big deal. This is the kind of stuff you run into when doing a retrofit of this magnitude.



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