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.

http://www.powerchutes.com/bingcw.asp

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!

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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.

 

Flying

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!

 

A Day In The Life

I’m a network administrator for a local county hospital.  Every once in a while I like to video some of the glamorous things I get to do as a network administrator.  Most of the time I’m proving that there is nothing wrong with the network.  That is 99% of what I do.  But every once in a while “the network” actually breaks.  This is a short video of me fixing “the network.”

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!

Lazy Monday Morning Flight

I decided to try to beat the heat this morning by getting an early morning flight in.  I hitched up the trailer to the truck the night before and had everything ready for an early morning departure.  At 04:30 I crawled out of bed and by 04:45 I was on the road.  It was already 79 degrees F.

I rolled into New Jerusalem Airport at about 05:20 and began setting up.  I first noticed the gnats when I got out to unlock the gate.  There was a huge swarm just hanging out where I needed to open my door.  I got past them and through the gate.  I got to the north end of the field and started setting up.  More gnats!  Yikes!  I started warming up my engine and walked around and stood in the wind created by the propeller to keep them off me.

I drove my PPC to the spot that seemed the best situated and laid out my chute.  The weather was PERFECT.

I advanced the throttle and plowed through the gnats into the warm sky.  Climbing out I was free of the gnats and was treated to buttery-smooth air.  As I climbed out I saw a truck at the far end of the field.  I actually saw it before I took off but I thought it was the local farmer checking his pumps like he does every morning.  As I flew down the runway I could see it was a powered paraglider.  As I got closer I could see it was a friend of mine, Jeff Erck, a super-nice fellow flyer and fellow believer in Christ.

IMG_20170619_060351

He was just laying his wing out and getting ready to go.  By the time I turned he had already taken off and tucked in just behind and to one side of me.  I only had my air band radio so I wasn’t able to talk to him so I just flew off over the river and he followed.

IMG_20170619_061130

I was somewhat worried that my engine temps would be high but as I cruised along they stayed right where I wanted them.  After surveying the river for a bit time began to catch up with me.  I turned back toward the airport and flew a few approaches.

I committed to landing on the last approach and then got a hair-brained idea…  “Why don’t I just roll off onto the dirt in between the runway and taxiway so my chute doesn’t drag on the pavement?”  The dirt will be far gentler to the chute; this is true.   So after I made a less-than-stellar landing I let my eager craft roll into the dirt and the parachute gently drifted to the ground… And disturbed no less than 800,529 gnats.  All of whom came to visit me personally.  Many of them also gave me “love bites.”  They were very affectionate, all trying to get in my eyes, my nose, my ears, and my mouth!

It took over 30 minutes to put my chute away (should only take 15 minutes tops if I’m being slow and careful).  All the swatting must have looked very comical to Jeff who flew by several times.  I finally got the chute carefully folded and put back in it’s stowage bag and then fired up the PPC and drove as fast as I could back to the trailer!

All in all it was the most wonderful flight I’ve had yet, gnats gnot withstanding.  I will end this entry with a short video I recorded on my phone while I was flying over the river.