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B-29 FIFI update
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jschauer



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 89
Location: Justin, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 13:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

We flew FIFI for the first time in about four years, today. We got airborne at about 0845 this morning for a 35 minute flight. She had a few minor writeups. We pulled it back in the hangar and are accomplishing a good look at all the engines with the cowlings off. We hope to fly again later this afternoon for about two hours. Nelson Ezell flew chase with us in Howard Pardue's Hawker Sea Fury N13HP. I'll post some photos as some as possible. The front end crew was Charlie Tilghman, pilot; Paul Stojkov, copilot; and myself, John Schauer, flight engineer.
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jschauer



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 89
Location: Justin, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 08:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flew once on Thursday for 40 minutes. All went well with a few minor writeups. We pulled it in the hangar and opened all of the cowlings to look things over. Found an engine driven fuel pump leaking and it was changed this morning. We will fly again this morning for 2 hours for engine break-in, and hopefully 2 more hours this afternoon to satisfy the FAA requirement of 5 hours before we can start crew training.

We climbed at 170 mph to 8500 feet, with 2400 rpm and 40 inches manifold pressure, 1300 foot per minute rate of climb, the old numbers were about 500 ft. per minute. We could never do this with the old engines. I never saw more than 200 degrees C of cylinder head temp, or more that 85 degrees on oil temp. The old engines would have been overheating. The cylinder head temps were actually running a little too cool.

That is Nelson Ezell flying chase with Howard Pardue's Hawker Sea Fury.

Video link below

http://www.cafb29b24.org/
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rcore



Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 31
Location: Wichita, Kansas

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 09:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on completing the project and getting her back in the air.

Thanks for all the updates too, it has been fun to follow.
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jschauer



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 89
Location: Justin, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 09:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Second flight yesterday right after gear came up #2 engine started to backfire and belch. Got on ground OK. Found the right distributor rotor came loose which we fixed. During ground run we couldn't get it below 1200 rpm idle. A lot of farting and belching. Doing compression test now and found one bad cylinder. We also suspect that the carburetor was damaged during the flight from the backfire. We may have an intake loose too, from the backfire.
Crying or Very sad
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rwahlgren



Joined: 15 Aug 2003
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 16:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff, keep us posted on what you found.
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jschauer



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 89
Location: Justin, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some photos.

Nelson Ezell flying chase

#3 amd #4 engines

Yours truly at the engineer's panel

Taxiing in from flight

Nelson Ezell picked me up in Abilene Texas in Howard Pardue's Sea Fury and we flew to Midland texas in about 40 minutes.

We found the right hand distributor rotor loose, it was changed and it helped a little. Then we found two cylinders with low compression and both had zero valve lash on one valve. After they were adjusted #5 cylinder still had bad compression. The engine rebuilder is having us ship the engine back to his place to rectify the problems. We hope to be flying by October's air show.

We fly with the flight engineer's side hatch removed for cockpit cooling. There isn't much draft, just a lot more noise.
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mabbott



Joined: 29 Mar 2010
Posts: 15
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 17:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Photos, thanks for sharing them and great to see the bird in the air.
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jschauer



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 89
Location: Justin, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 16:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

The #2 engine is on it's way back from the engine rebuilder, it ran fine on their test stand this weekend. I have no news yet on what was found.
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rwahlgren



Joined: 15 Aug 2003
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 02:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice, I wouldn't mind some private flights in the Fury, or the B29.
Good stuff, thanks for keeping us uptadate.
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jschauer



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 89
Location: Justin, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 20:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

The #2 engine is back on the airplane and the prop is going to be hung tomorrow. It should be ready for an engine run on Thursday. If the FAA gets us our authorization letter we may fly this weekend.
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rwahlgren



Joined: 15 Aug 2003
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any more news on what was found?
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jschauer



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 89
Location: Justin, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 18:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll pass the word once I find out.
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jschauer



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 89
Location: Justin, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original problem was the right distributor rotor nut came loose causing the rotor to spin which threw the timing off. The engine started to detonate/backfire and caused the front row intake pipes to dislodge and leak. The dislodged intake pipes were not visible until the baffling was removed. The rear cylinder intake pipes are attached differently than the front row and thus were not affected. All the cylinders were removed and gone through and reinstalled.

The engine run this morning went good. We are ready to fly again.
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jschauer



Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 89
Location: Justin, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 19:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

All test flights were accomplished, FIFI is now legal for the airshow circuit!

The three flights accomplished this weekend went perfect, with no engine problems. Thank you Ray Anderson Aeromotive for your great engine work!!!!
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kmccutcheon



Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 198
Location: Huntsville, Alabama USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 21:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

jschauer wrote:
All test flights were accomplished, FIFI is now legal for the airshow circuit!


Great news John! Thank you for keeping us posted.
_________________
Kimble D. McCutcheon
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