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N34KP

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:46 pm
by Richard Roller
Hey everyone.

Not everyone may know, but last year on the way to Brodhead for the fly in N34KP, Ken Perkins Piet, was damaged. The tail wheel assembly was torn out of the left longeron. The repair is completed now and it ran for the first time since last July yesterday. I started the condition inspection today. A few little things have showed up that need taken care off, but the airplane is in good shape.

I did my first fabric work since 1977 with this repair. Things have changed! I thought it turned out pretty good, though the paint shade is off a little. In either case, next time everyone sees it, don't be to critical!

N34KP should be back in the air soon.
20200602_123017[1].jpg
20200531_153051[1].jpg
I don't know why, but when I post photo's, they end up upside down.

Re: N34KP

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:02 pm
by Pat Weeden
Fixed the pics.

Re: N34KP

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:45 pm
by taildrags
I am not proud of this, but there are a lot of spots on 41CC where the paint on some patched spots does not match the overall paint. I learned that the way to prepare Poly-Tone after the can has been sitting for any length of time is to stir the contents thoroughly and slowly so that all of the pigments that settle to the bottom get brought back up into suspension. The slow part has to do with not introducing bubbles into the paint, as those are a pain to deal with once they get onto the fabric. Paint from the very same can that Corky used when he originally painted the airplane did not match what I was touching up after some repairs and I didn't understand why. Now I do. And I keep telling myself that one of these days I'll go back, lightly sand and repaint those areas properly. But then I see that it's a nice day to go fly and I do that instead. The airplane doesn't know the difference.

Oscar Zuniga
Medford, OR
Air Camper NX41CC, A75 power

Re: N34KP

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:57 am
by tom kreiner
At the cross bar, there’s a red adel clamp holding a cable attached to a mysterious gizmo.

Pray tell, what is the function of this device?

Re: N34KP

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:17 am
by Clay Hammond
Tow hook re-purposed as a releasable tail holder-downer.

If you are storing paint long term for touch-up down the road flip the can every few months.

Paint in the can often won't match up anyway because of UV degradation in the paint that's on the plane.

Re: N34KP

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:31 am
by Richard Roller
The paint is rattle can Rust-oleum Husqvarna Orange. The closest I could get to whatever paint Ken used in 1999 on the Superflite fabric system. I just know he bought local automotive paint. The tail hook is something I made while still working at a certain airline. Nice light titanium hardware! It always made me nervous not to have the Piet secured when propping it. I couldn't get Ken to take the time to install it. I put it on after he died. Works well.

Re: N34KP

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:22 pm
by taildrags
I've had a tiedown release on my mind for a long time. The newest model from Tost, their E-22, is much lower cost than their standard glider tow releases and weighs 310 grams (11 ounces). I may look into that one or may try to fabricate one like this

Oscar Zuniga
Medford, OR
Air Camper NX41CC, A75 power
tow hook.jpg

Re: N34KP

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:48 pm
by Richard Roller
Mine is hardly a tow hook. Just something I threw together years ago so I'd feel better propping the Piet. Made several for other builders at the airline. The frame is .090 4130, the hook I think is just cold rolled steel. I did intentionally make the frame the right width to trap a
10-32 nut, to make it easier to install.

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:17 pm
by taildrags
Oh, I'll feel MUCH better with the release inside the cockpit than using my current method, which is to carry a set of chocks with me along with a rope to let me pull the chocks into the cockpit. Chocks are a real pain, but about the most secure thing I can think of to do right now. Static thrust with my A75 was measured at 280 lbs so even if the throttle got bumped wide open, even a 1/4" nylon rope should hold it just fine and even if I have to sacrifice a loop of 1/4" rope on the tiedown if I'm transiting a field I won't be returning to, it's no big deal and the rope should be plenty strong to hold the plane.

Oscar Zuniga
Medford, OR
Air Camper NX41CC, A75 power

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:10 pm
by taildrags
OK, the tiedown release discussion pushed me over the edge. I've got my fabricator lined up to make me a release. Over on the Fly Baby site I located some drawings that R.S. Hoover drew up for a release and also saw a photo of the same release but laid flat so the release lever sticks out to the side rather that straight up. I think that setup may work better on my airplane. Also having my fabricator look at making it out of aluminum since he's an artist when it comes to metal and he's made multitudes of custom parts for experimental aircraft. I don't have access to titanium like some people do ;o) Thanks for the nudge to get this going, Richard!

Oscar Zuniga
Medford, OR

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:23 am
by Richard Roller
Just titanium fasteners, Oscar. I probably saved a whole 1/10 of an ounce! I used them mainly for corrosion reasons.

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:50 pm
by taildrags
I actually have some titanium parts on my Piet, too. When I rebuilt the rudder, I reinstalled it using titanium clevis pins, the shortest that would fit, along with thin AN washers. I also took care to clip the ends of the cotter pins and left just enough tails on them to wrap around the pin in the approved fashion. I may have saved about as much weight on the tail as you did, but now I'm going to mount a tiedown release back there and will gain that weight back.

Oscar Zuniga
Medford, OR
Air Camper NX41CC, A75 power

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:54 pm
by taildrags
Update on my tiedown release. I got it all drawn up and will cut metal over 4th of July weekend, with any luck. Once it's mounted I'll probably just test it by running a cord from the release up to the cockpit so I can jerk on it to see if it's going to work as designed. Later, once it gets smoothed out and works as intended, I'll route a cord up inside the empennage through some fairleads. Thanks again for getting me started down this much-needed path, Richard.

-Oscar

Re: N34KP

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:33 pm
by Richard Roller
I forgot to post. I've flown N34KP several times now, flies fine. The fabric stayed on! I have to get up early to beat the heat.

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:08 pm
by Richard Roller
Hey everybody. I've put just over 7 hrs on 34KP since the repair. I opened up the tail a few days ago and did a close inspection of the repair area. Everything looks good. I've been flying in some horrible temps and rough air and all the parts are staying where they should. Great!

Oscar, the tail tie down for propping is working great. I feel much better knowing the Piet will stay where I want while propping and getting in the cockpit. Get yours installed!

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:23 pm
by taildrags
Installed my tail tiedown release yesterday and it *almost* works as intended but the hook needs a little smoothing and shaping so it will release the tiedown. A tug on the lanyard releases the hook alright, but the geometry doesn't quite allow the tiedown rope to slide off. It'll soon be in service. Great help!
tiedown.JPG
-Oscar

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:19 pm
by Richard Roller
I have to make sure that the rope is not over the pivot point of the release arm, or it wont let go.

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:30 pm
by taildrags
Richard; good point... it's easy enough for me to push the tail over before climbing in, so that the rope has the best angle to pull on the hook. That might help too. The geometry of my setup is different from yours, but in either case the effect of not having the tiedown pulling correctly results in a 'misfire' ;o)

-Oscar

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:37 pm
by taildrags
Richard: success! I did some smoothing and re-shaping of the tail tiedown release "hook" to encourage the tiedown rope to slide out of it, and I cheated just a bit by using some inexpensive nylon rope for a tiedown since it is slicker than other types of rope or cord. First tug on the release, zip-zip, and off we went on a nice 1 hr flight! I have now put several pieces of that rope in the pouch behind the pilot's seat where I keep the ship's papers, a spare flying helmet, water bottle, and a few other small things. These short sections of tiedown will be sacrificial, of course, when I have to stop for fuel or overnight somewhere and they get left behind when I taxi away.

Thanks for the kick in the pants to get my tiedown release completed and operational!

-Oscar

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:57 pm
by Richard Roller
Glad to hear this, Oscar. I've been using mine several times a week. So far the ropes have varied from 1/4" cotton to 3/4" nylon. All good so far and MUCH easier on my peace of mind.

Re: N34KP

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:54 pm
by taildrags
Richard; I might just write this up for the BPA Newsletter as a little tip or idea for other builders. Would you mind if I used one of your photos, zoomed in to show the release?

-Oscar

Re: N34KP

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:50 am
by Richard Roller
Sure you can. If you like I can go out and take dedicated photos of the installation and pass them on to you.