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Sunday, February 28, 2021

I swapped out the 650 for the 650Xi and that went quite easily.  All the setup was already in there when I powered it up, so I didn't need to change anything.

I also got around to creating a checklist file for the G3X.  You can download a copy of mine here.  The Garmin Checklist Editor can be downloaded from here.

Easy swap!  Now to sell the 650 on eBay...

Installed the latest databases and it's all set to go!

How the checklist looks on the G3X.  Nice!  The .ace checklist file always needs to be at the top of the inserted SD card.  It doesn't copy the file internally, so it has to be there.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

I know I haven't posted in a while, but there hasn't been much flying, unfortunately.  It's either been attending to various non-flight-related squawk tasks, crappy winter weather (too cold, too windy, too snowy or all of the above...), pandemic considerations, or other obligations.  

Still need some more time with my CFI to dial in the landings in the pitchy Sling...  I'd say my airport is well above average in difficulty to tune up landings if you haven't done it in a while.  3100' long, 48' wide, and, often, crosswinds.

Meanwhile, I have finished up various interior items that weren't done when I flew home.  Some exterior items have also been addressed, but not everything (e.g. still need to do the steps...).  I also decided that I wanted to upgrade my 650 to the 650Xi.  I figured if there was ever a time to do it, now was the time, while the 650 still has good value.  I already copied all the config data from the 650, so I'm ready to plug in the Xi.  Then the 650 goes on eBay.  If anybody wants it before I do that, then email me or comment on this post and I'll get back to you.

Installed the handset hanger that people on the Sling Builders Facebook group recommended.  Perfect!  Also, put one further back for the rear seat.


The Interior looks much better now.

One of the tasks you have to do before doing the swap is upgrading the GTN software.

I got a kick out of seeing this because I'm a digital hardware designer and I've designed MANY "FPGA's" over the last 30+ years.  FPGA stands for Field Programmable Gate Array - and that's literally what's being done here in this photo.  As opposed to a typical "chip" an FPGA's design can be changed after it's shipped.  Could be to add features and/or fix bugs.

Looking good!  Now, if I can get some warmer and nicer weather I can get back in the air!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

This past Friday I gave a presentation to my local EAA Chapter (106) on the whole journey of building Sadie.  It's an hour long, so if you're interested, buckle up. ;-)

Sunday, December 13, 2020

I've been trying to work down my squawk list, with the top item being the rudder/nosewheel alignment.

I assembled a simple laser pointer alignment tool and started working on the issue.

My alignment tool ready to go.

Taped to the sides of the tire and pointing down.

I dropped a plumb bob down from the tip of the prop spinner and marked it.  The rudder is perfectly straight in the back and you can see that the nose wheel is a bit to the left.  I loosened the jam nuts on the pushrods near the wheel but will need help loosening the ones inside.  It's just too tight in there for me to hold the pushrod and loosen the jam nut.  So, I'll need someone outside holding the pushrod while I loosen the jam nut.  I honestly don't know how anybody bigger than me can get under the panel at all.  Once the stick is installed, it's crazy tight under there.

I installed the plug that comes with the OptiMate charger so it'll be easy to plug it in whenever I need to (e.g. updating SW takes a long time, so you can just plug in the charger when it's doing that - it has a special mode for just that task).

Monday, December 7, 2020

Went over to the hangar tonight to check the alignment between the rudder and nosewheel and they definitely seem off a bit.

While the rudder shows a bit right (this is just how it ended up when I pushed it back)...

...the nosewheel shows a bit left...  At least eyeballing it with the towbar attached.  This means if the rudder were straight, the nosewheel would be even more left and pulling the nose left - hence the need for heavy right rudder in flight.  I may need help to do this, but the next chance I get I'll lift the nose (maybe not necessary) so I can straighten the rudder then I'll use some attached laser pointers to see how the nosewheel points.  Then I'll adjust the nosewheel pushrods to get it perfectly straight.  I didn't do any of the rigging - otherwise, it would have already been perfect... ;-)

Sunday, December 6, 2020

 I've been continuing to address some of the squawks for the plane.  This weekend I added a rudder trim tab, updated avionics databases, and tweaked the left flap a bit more (still a slight left roll, so I brought that flap down a bit more).

I saw this video on testing various spray can primers for aluminum, so I picked it up at the local ACE Hardware (how convenient!).  If I had known about this when I started the project, I probably would have gone with this vs. the Cortec primer, since that was so hard to obtain.

A few coats of that and it was ready (I got the rudder trim tab dimensions from BobZ).  20cm long x 4.5cm wide, with the bend at 1.5cm.

BobZ recommended this tape for attaching it.

Two strips of that (I couldn't find 1/2" wide of that exact product) and it was ready to attach.

That tape is crazy strong!  Should fly this week, so we'll see if that works to alleviate the right rudder needed at cruise.  After that, I'll paint it the matching red.

Updating all my databases!  Very easy!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Oh, another thing I needed to address was the coolant.  The coolant that comes with the kit is Castrol Radicool SF, but that's impossible to find in the US.  My coolant was right at the minimum and I wanted to put some more in there, but I couldn't find any more of that particular coolant...

If you read about coolants and the Sling POH, you can't mix different types of coolant, so I wanted to make sure I got something that was completely compatible.  So, I contacted BP, the maker of Castrol.

They pointed me to Final Charge Global Coolant Extended Life, which they said is precisely the same as Radicool SF and can be mixed.  I looked at the specs and agree they're the same (they're both OAT-type and ethylene glycol).

Castrol SF-O (same as the SF)

Final Charge Global and more here.  I bought a gallon here and added some to the reservoir.