P3 Lite Carb Tuning Continues

I took the test flight I wrote about in the last article.  I had moved the needle clip to the top-most position on the needle, effectively leaning the mixture.  The resulted in PERFECT throttle response.  However, it also resulted in much higher engine temperatures.

No bueno.

I spoke to the folks at Six Chuter again and they are going to send me a different needle for my carburetor.   They are also going to send me some new pitch blocks for my propeller.    They believe the prop may not be allowing the engine to turn as fast as it should.  I’m only getting about 6100 RPM static.  They believe it should be closer to 6500.  I’ll be trying the new spacers which will allow the prop to spin faster.  This will cause the engine to work less hard to spin the prop as well.  I’ll do another test flight once the spacers come in.  If the spacers don’t correct the heating problem then I’ll try the new carburetor jet needle.

Six Chuter has been very responsive and I appreciate the factory support I’m getting.  Great company!


P3 Lite Carburetor Testing / A Name

I have been having trouble with the throttle response of my P3.  I called the factory support line and talked to their engine guru.  He suggested that I run the P3 on the ground, throttle up until I get into the problematic RPM range, and then give it a little shot of prime.  (The primer shoots gas directly into the carburetor and is generally used only during starting.)  The thought was if I gave it some prime, and then engine bogged down, then I’m running too rich, if the engine revs up, then I’m running too lean with the stock settings in the carburetor.  I tried the test and it bogged down big time.

Six Chuter factory support recommending I change the clip position on the jet needle.  With out going into carburetor theory the jet needle controls how much gas the carburetor delivers to the engine.  Moving the clip up makes the engine run leaner, moving it down makes the engine run richer.  I moved it down first, and the problem became worse.  I moved the clip up and throttle response was good throughout all RPM ranges!

I did have a momentary scare when I saw that there was a split in the clip on the jet needle.  I had never noticed it before but was assured it was completely normal and was part of the design.  Six Chuter factory support assured me this was normal.  And a friend of mine who has an extensive ultralight history assured me this was normal.  In fact, he sent me an article by Chris Wolf on rebuilding the Bing 54 carburetor which has this excerpt:

If you look closely at the E CLIP, you’ll see that it has a break in the
metal, right next to the curved part of the clip that snaps around the body
of the JET NEEDLE.  This is as it should be.  Rest assured that you didn’t
break the clip when you pulled the JET NEEDLE out of the piston.


Well that’s exactly what I did.  I dropped the clip on the ground and thought I broke it!  So glad Jim Volk sent me that article.

Now that I have the carb adjusted properly I’m going to give it a test fly tomorrow and see how it works.  I’m hoping this cures the problem and I can start working on my landings again.

A Name

I’m not big on naming inanimate objects.  I’m not good at it.  However, when a fellow P3 pilot suggested that since I used to work right outside the gate to Moffett Field and I had P-3 Orion Sub Hunters flying overhead all day, and since I was working for the company that manufactured these airplanes, Lockheed, that I call my P3… Orion.  And a name is born!  This same fellow also quipped that I should check the belt drive on the propeller from time to time, as he put it, don’t for get to check Orion’s belt!

P3 Lite Status Udate

Here’s just a quick video with a status update on my P3 Lite Powered Parachute from Six Chuter.  Still enjoying this little beast.  Have worked out a couple bugs and have just one more to go.  Great little machine!

And Even More Flying

After a REALLY hectic week at work it was great to unwind out at New Jerusalem flying with my buddy Joey.  He’s actually the one that suggested I try PPC rather than PPG.  Joey was already set up and ready to go by the time I got out there.  The air was calm and cool.  Joey launched and I finished getting my PPC ready to go.  I bucked in, fired up my engine and 100 feet later I was climbing into the air.

We flew out over the river but it got a little bumpy that direction.   We were probably hitting a little wind shear since the wind was starting to slowly pick up.  I turned south and my ground speed went from 17 MPH to 42 MPH.  I messed around checking my throttle response (I had adjusted the carb earlier in the week).

I flew back to the airport and could see that the wind was picking up.  At this stage in my PPC flying I elected to go ahead and land and call it a day.  After packing up I ran into a group of balloonists.  As luck would have it they had been taking pictures of Joey and I.  So I will leave with with some of the pictures they took.



Not much to say this week.  I did install a larger fuel tank on the Swamp Plane.  (I’ve taken to calling it a Swamp Plane because people have asked if it’s a swamp boat or swamp buggy).  This video is from a test flight after installing the new fuel tank.  Enjoy!


Sunday Morning Test Flight

I took a flight this morning to test out the fuel flow meter I installed.  I ran into a couple of issues though.  The fuel flow meter requires +12V and ground to operate.  I tapped into the 12V connection to my starter switch and the ground connection on my kill switch.  However, this would not allow the engine to run.  It grounded out the kill switch line so the motor would not start.  I’ll have to find a different ground connection.

The second issue I ran into is when I am running at cruise RPM, and then would advance the throttle, the engine would hesitate and then rev up to the desired RPMs.  I think this may have something to do with the fuel sensor.  I’m going to disconnect it for  the next flight and see if the engine runs any better.

The last item is my kill switch.  Sometimes it doesn’t kill the engine after landing.  I’m going to replace that switch and see how it goes.

Other than that it was a wonderful Sunday morning flight!

Flying Before The Rain

Not much to report in this update.  Just took some time yesterday to go flying before the rain started.   This is a rare June rain storm for us.  Storm is a relative word, it just means that it clouded over and some rain fell.  Not exactly a storm.

At any rate the flying conditions were perfect at New Jerusalem but somewhat chilly.  I flew around for about 30 minutes before I got cold enough I wanted to land and warm up.   It was a nice, shore pre-work flight.   Here are a few photos I took as I was cruising above the farmland and river.