04 September 2017

First Flight Prep: First Engine Start

It has been quite a week after moving into the hangar over two days.  Because I wanted to minimize the time building the plane in the hangar, the plan was to have nearly everything done at home prior to moving it there.  Then, only the wings and tail would need to be attached.

Thus, with confidence that everything was buttoned up and ready for an engine test, it was time.  The left tank was dry (because of a leak) and the right tank had 25.4 gallons.  If there ever is a next time, I don't think it's too intelligent to do a first start with a full tank.  Oh well. 

Here is my friend positioning the airplane into the wind.


The bird is ready for first start.  Though we checked the brakes prior to starting the engine, we really should have chocked the wheels.


I stayed outside with the fire extinguisher at-the-ready, whilst my friend sat in the left seat.  Though his RV-9A flies with a GRT EFIS too, he's not completely familiar with my panel (and heck, neither am I).  Here I am going over it with him.


A 34 second video of engine start.  The fuel pump ran for 4 seconds prior to priming the engine.  The engine cranked for 10 seconds (the max permitted on the starter) before it came to life.  We ran it for just under a minute and turned it off because the oil pressure was showing 150 PSI (Update 9-Sep-17:  I found the problem and described it in this post).  Though I'm confident that's an incorrect reading and is probably a simple fix, it was the prudent decision.  All other indicators looked good (EGT, CHT, oil temp, MAP, fuel pressure, etc.).  The video fades into when the engine was shut down.


My friend exits the aircraft as I check the engine, fire extinguisher in hand.


The propeller had some oil slung on it from the hub.  This is normal for the first twirl of a prop.  Apologies for the poor image.  I'll try to replace it with a better one shortly.


The bird returns to its nest.



There are a few more little items that need to be taken care of prior to requesting an inspection.  That should happen in the next few months, when I have time.  I don't want to set up an inspection and then have a deadline to meet.  I'd rather it be ready, on my own time, then schedule the inspection.

I'm not certain that I'll have too many more postings prior to inspection.  I do want to post some info on my landing light installation and provide examples of the extent of the lights' illumination ability.  They are AveoMaxx Hercules 30 landing lights (specs.and wiring).  That will be forthcoming.

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