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David Paule 03-26-2023 09:07 AM

Sorry for the hiatus!

On the re-do, the third left exhaust fairing was fine. The third right one wasnít quite the way I wanted it, so made a fourth one, which was fine. Here they are held in place with magnets.


More recently, they are now glued on, and Iíve trimmed to fit and added the glass over the joints.

With the Oregon Aero seat cushions arriving again for a fit check, I was able to recheck the throttle, and sure enough it was too high. I shortened it and to do that, needed to shorten the manual trim lever, too. The PTT wires arenít yet hooked up and the covers are still off.

Interestingly, when I sat in the cushions, the canopy was quite close to my desired head clearance. But after half an hour or a little more, the cushions had compressed a bit and then there was too much clearance. I'm looking for two inches, head to canopy.

I got the McFarlane throttle cable out so that I could start prepping for that installation, and learned that the threaded end isnít long enough for a jam nut. On the other hand, it has a locking element. In the photo, itís the red blob.

Now that the exhaust fairings are on, I decided to attempt to trim the front baffles. This is a bit of a conundrum, since I couldnít put the lower cowl on with them in place untrimmed, and couldnít mark them without the cowl in place. Russell Thomas was kind enough to offer some tips and ultimately it only took an afternoon. Here are the before and after photos.



David Paule 04-22-2023 06:42 PM

I haven't been posting more regularly, sorry about that.

Lately Iíve been working on the baffling and the third seat cushion trial. The seat cushions are getting fairly close now but we anticipate a fourth fitting before the upholstery is applied. Oregon Aero sent me a generous sample of the sheepskin since thatíll affect the heat to canopy clearance and a few other smaller things. The sample they sent is about the nicest sheepskin Iíve ever seen. Itís very impressive.

I was able to lay one piece on the seat cushion and another on the seat back cushion and try that out. There were some differences compared to sitting on the same foam without the sheepskin, as youíd expect, but overall a rather significant improvement. Unfortunately the black samples they sent donít photograph well. Itís too flat and unreflective. Imagine a black hole and thatís what the photo would show.

My initial plan was to have a Navy blue upholstery but after playing around with the black samples, I switched to that.

The front right baffle has a hole for the prop control oil tube. I made an access slot so that I didnít need to remove the tube if I wanted to do something to that baffle. Hereís the hole in the baffle.

It needs something to fill its slot up and block the air gap, so I made a simple .016 cover attached to the support that screws to the engine.

Hereís how they go together. Iíve had that baffle on and off a few times since. Yes, the grommet isn't in yet - I know.

The two front baffles needed conical-shaped fillers to blend the outboard corners of the lower cowlís air inlets to the baffles. When I thought about that I realized why the baffle plans had mentioned something about curving the side front baffles inward a bit. Unfortunately I realized that after Iíd made the flanges that connect those side baffles to the front baffles, and it was too late to bend them in. What to do?

Now that Iíd unfortunately built in a bit of a gap between the outboard lower cowl side corners and the side baffles, I decided to replace the conical filler pieces, which were aluminum, with fiberglass. Here are the female molds in progress. At the moment they are a little closer to being used.

At that point, with epoxy curing, I got involved in stripping vinyl and deburring the baffles.


Okay, moving right along, kind of hate to bring this upÖ. Itís beginning to look as if Iíll be too old to get insurance for this thing when it's done. If I can get liability insurance, thatís good enough, but Iíd prefer hull too. If I canít get at least liability Iíll sell it before flying it. I think thatís still probably two or three years off. For quite a while I've answered the common question of ďwhen will it be doneĒ with ďthree more years,Ē although that's just a wild guess. Anyway, Iíll be closing in on 80 then. Iíd always planned on selling it but hoped to fly it first. Now itís starting to look as if thatís not going to happen. Sure is a good project, though, so Iíll continue for now. But I wanted to let you know what the outlook is. I'm just too dang slow.

As I said, though, I'm continuing on course for now.


David Paule 05-14-2023 07:26 PM

Those conical filler parts are ready for installation.


The No. 3 cylinder has a spot that needs a bit of a bypass due to poor cooling fin design. Some bypass methods are to simply stick a washer in for spacing, other people make fancy devices. Hereís mine. It took some figuring and thinking to get it in the right position. The position might not match other builderís installations but please remember this is an RV-3B and itís often different. Wouldnít have thought so for this sort of installation but this position is correct for this airplane and engine.

And in the front,

I got one of the ignition holders in, the one on the right side. Also, you can see some of the semi-trimmed baffle seal retaining strip templates being fitted.

The screws have nutplates, and while it would have looked cleaner to have the holder behind the baffle, this is a lot easier to remove if that should ever be necessary.

Havenít done the left side yet. The baffle seal retaining strips are nominally 3/4Ē wide and in some areas as shown here, somewhat narrower. They will need to be thicker than the standard .032 in these areas.

I bought some of McFarlaneís ďCowl SaverĒ baffle seal material for this. I chose that because I rubbed a sample of it, Vanís standard baffle seal and some red silicone baffle seal against some of the fiberglass cowl, the lower friction of the "Cowl Saver" was very obvious. Also, I'd used the red silicone on my C180 and it just isnít lasting as well as Iíd have hoped, plus itís clearly wearing the cowl. I plan to replace it with some ďCowl SaverĒ one of these days.


David Paule 05-23-2023 07:29 AM

For what it's worth....

As you may recall, I like this project a lot but don't have much of a desire to finish it. That's changing. I found a worthy follow-on project that's sufficiently appealing that it tends to encourage me to get on with things. The angst of completion has gone away.

We'll see whether that affects anything in practice. I could just find the next one too distracting, after all.

In case you're wondering, the next one isn't an RV. Or anything at all close.


PaulvS 05-23-2023 07:53 PM

Hi Dave,
Also for what it's worth... I hope you will be able to finish it, if for no other reason than you've got a lot invested already.
Some people start and finish in the same calendar year, I don't know how they do it. I'm slow too and more haste=less speed, it seems.

David Paule 05-23-2023 07:55 PM

The plan is to finish, get it flying and sell it, if someone will buy it the colors it'll be. If I don't age out first.


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