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That’s a wrap!


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Hey friends, 

     My name is Toryn.   I’m a 4th year med student currently rotating in Michigan.  Prior to that I was the frontman for a rock band called FUEL and touring lead vocalist for Apocalyptica from Finland, among others.   My girlfriend and I are student pilots that recently became SportCruiser owners because we wanted our own plane to train in and we’d researched how great SportCruisers were to train in.  We found one in Ohio in Barnstormers that had a somewhat rocky past including damage from a prior incident in which the canopy had opened during flight which apparently caused the owner at the time to set down off field which caused some damage to the wings.  This had all been repaired prior to us seeing it for the first time.  After hiring an an aircraft mechanic with Rotax experience to fly down and do a pre buy inspection for us, we decided to negotiate a fair price off the asking and became the new owners of N85PB.  
     There were some immediate changes that we wanted to make.  The plane had no ADSB and it was still using the Garmin 496 GPS.  After reviewing all the options, we decided to swap the 327 transponder for the 345 for the ADSB in/out.  We swapped the 496 GPS for the touchscreen Aera 660 which also works with our SL40 radio.   The colors weren’t really us, so we decided to wrap the plane in fluorescent red and carbon fiber vinyl after researching options vs paint.  New weight and balance planned but we feel the additions will be minimal.  We weren’t able to find a 3rd Gen NLG, but install a 2nd Gen we’d found online in the interim, as the 1st Gen was bent and we didn’t have any confidence in that whatsoever.  Lastly, we have removed the original lights which were strobe only. (No navs).  We will be replacing them with the powerburst lights described by ShawnM in prior posts here.  He has been great in guiding our decisions in revisions.  Anyway, great to meet you all!  Enjoy the photos of our recent changes! -TG

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3 hours ago, Toryn said:

My girlfriend and I are student pilots that recently became SportCruiser owners because we wanted our own plane to train in and we’d researched how great SportCruisers were to train in.


my wife and I were ALSO both student pilots at the same time way back in 2011 and we also decided to BUY the flight school airplane - a great decision * - this has worked very well for us !


have y’all both Solo’d yet ?

 

* Owning your own airplane is definitely a MONEY MAKING Enterprise….at least that’s our story and we are sticking to it…

LOL

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ronin5573 said:

Why do I hear the party pooper song in my head right now ??? 

There’s a party pooper song?  :)  Forgot to mention the plane was converted to ELSA some time ago by the previous owner, which we’d verified with documentation. 

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19 minutes ago, DavePilot said:


my wife and I were ALSO both student pilots at the same time way back in 2011 and we also decided to BUY the flight school airplane - a great decision * - this has worked very well for us !


have y’all both Solo’d yet ?

 

* Owning your own airplane is definitely a MONEY MAKING Enterprise….at least that’s our story and we are sticking to it…

LOL

 

 

 

 

 

I’m about 20 hours in and should be soloing any time now.  She is just getting started.  It’s been a great experience so far, but definitely more of the money SPENDING enterprise so far haha.  Although we did catch somewhat of a break on the hull insurance.  Also due to new FAA regs, we got the LODA immediately. 

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3 hours ago, Toryn said:

There’s a party pooper song?  :)  Forgot to mention the plane was converted to ELSA some time ago by the previous owner, which we’d verified with documentation. 

No party pooper song then …..🤐

I would have to agree the wrap job looks great.  So much more updated in looks. 

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being experimental is  a plus  since there is no factory support and you can do more maintenance and flexibility in parts. .  if yr girl friend is mechanically inclined get her LSRM certificate and rotax engine training and do yr own annuals and spend about half the money you would expect for annuals and maintenance.

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Hi Toryn and glad to hear everything is going as planned. I'm still working on the light mounts as they are turning out a bit more difficult that I had thought. Getting the curve of the wingtip into CAD has been tricky but I'm close........I think. I'm not used to machining 3D compound curves but it has been an adventure. How your plane ended up without any flat mount is still a mystery to me. :unsure:

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Congratulations, Toryn!  Plane looks AMAZING with that vinyl wrap!  And awesome the plane is E-LSA - you've got the freedom to do what you want/need!  Good luck with training and looking forward to reading more about your plane and experiences!

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On 10/20/2021 at 9:39 PM, ShawnM said:

Hi Toryn and glad to hear everything is going as planned. I'm still working on the light mounts as they are turning out a bit more difficult that I had thought. Getting the curve of the wingtip into CAD has been tricky but I'm close........I think. I'm not used to machining 3D compound curves but it has been an adventure. How your plane ended up without any flat mount is still a mystery to me. :unsure:

Hey Shawn, no worries!  You’ve inspired me to be more able to handle things like this if the needs arise.  I love reading your posts about all the mods you’ve made..  I decided this was a great opportunity, so I researched CAD, then researched all sorts of plasma cutters.  After alot of YouTube,  I decided the best option was to learn to design using Autodesk Fusion 360 software.  Being a med student a was able to get free full access to all aspects of the program.   I then decided to learn how to 3D print… so after a lot more YouTube I decided on the Creality Ender 3 V2.  After designing my bases for the Aveo Nav/strobe wing lights including the complex curves, with proper mounting screw hole dimensions in Fusion 360, I chose Cura as my slicer to create G-code files that the 3D printer can read, I chose Carbon Fiber Polycarbonate to print them up due to its immense strength, heat durability and light weight.  Each base only ways 10 grams.  I then wrapped the border of each to match the wing tip wrap which took them each to 12 grams.  After rewiring the lighting and removing the original box behind the copilot seat, I was in business!  Everything is working perfectly and looks MUCH more updated.  Thanks again for the motivation Shawn!4243084B-F343-4757-A302-EDA4B0981CA0.thumb.jpeg.5ea8dac3e5f1e1235465ee1e4b133d7e.jpeg999F80C3-4156-4574-914F-EC07C8F13FF3.thumb.jpeg.4edd66fc87e0f0ee17403c9a32bd9032.jpeg08B57709-FAFA-4A34-B117-C3B5811FEDFD.thumb.jpeg.896d0fd75959df26aa16c330f3047eb1.jpeg

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I was gonna suggest to have them 3D printed but I'm not a fan of how the finished 3D printed parts look but by wrapping them in vinyl that covers up the "look" I'd wanna hide. Turned out great. I'm still shocked that your plane didn't have the flat mounts molded into the wingtip like mine and other legacy SportCruisers. You'll love the new lights and glad you ditched to "old school" Kuntzleman lights. Great upgrade.

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50 minutes ago, ShawnM said:

I'm still shocked that your plane didn't have the flat mounts molded into the wingtip like mine and other legacy SportCruisers.

Yeah that would have made things so much easier :)  I appreciate any time spent on your  design for my wing curve… I’ll be more than happy to compensate you for it.   Side note, the 2nd Gen NLG is in the plane.  My hunt still continues for a 3rd gen, unless you’re still thinking it may be best just to swap to a more reinforced fork.  The 2nd gen is noticeably thicker in diameter and much straighter than the one I just removed so that makes me feel a bit better.   And by the way… you were right, getting that gear back in and safety wired in that small space was absolute murder.  I’m thinking the next swap is the old saggy stained leather interior (especially the side panels) that currently have that fresh - 1967 station wagon smell after it’s been sitting in a dusty garage for a few years haha.  Plus the exterior is now completely different so a color change is in order.    Speaking of color, check out the view we got the first time we opened the right wing locker.   Still trying to figure out the best way to deal with this mess. CABAFEE7-6DCD-4B89-9C17-40CD9023FE7C.thumb.jpeg.0029033e53d33cdf5174d36d5b7ed4e5.jpegD0C9EB27-3DDC-4A34-BED1-4A2E6E75C115.thumb.jpeg.c939e158664cd851b0c46d1f01507fdb.jpeg

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I had that issue in my wing lockers too, Toryn.  I used some spray contact adhesive to the original fabric, and glued to the material backing (original fabric on the vertical surfaces).  It's held up great for the last couple of years.

I see some mold (mildew?) on the underside of the wing locker door.  Mine had that too.  I cleaned it off with all purpose cleaner, and then used some ceramic spray on it to help prevent the mold from recurring.  Keeping the plane in the hangar (in a dry environment) helps to prevent that too.

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28 minutes ago, rtk said:

see some mold (mildew?) on the underside of the wing locker door.  Mine had that too.  I cleaned it off with all purpose cleaner, and then used some ceramic spray on it to help prevent the mold from recurring

Thanks, I’ll definitely give that a try.  There was a very strong mold/mildew smell there when we opened it.  Where did you find the ceramic spray?  

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I used Mothers CMX all over my aircraft (including the lockers) to help with protecting the paint.  The ceramic will help seal the paint so mold will (hopefully not grow back from the pores in the paint (since now they're sealed) but if it does on the surface, it'll be easier to wipe away with some alcohol.  You can get Mothers CMX in most auto parts stores (aviation aisle, of course. 😜)

I need to buckle-down and use some plasti-gauge (or some clay bar) to measure the distance between the locker cover and the the lip below.  I would like to get some adhesive rubber (not foam) to help seal the locker so that moisture can't find its way in there.  That may be a winter project, and I'll post what I find.

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What you see in the wing lockers is normal with time. Yours appear to have not been opened in A LONG TIME either given there's mold growing on the door. Dilute some bleach with water in a spray bottle and spray everything down. As Bob stated (RTK) just clean the old glue off the sides of the wing lockers and re-glue. You can get some 3M Spray 90 at the big box stores and re-glue it. An even better way is to use contact cement. Good as new. I cringed when I saw you taxiing around in the rain, the plane is not weather proof at all and water will get in the wings and other places if you are not careful. There are places in the wings and tail that you don't want to get wet. :o 

I have only washed my plane once with a hose right after I bought it 8 years ago and have never washed it with a hose since and never will. Big mistake in my opinion as water will get in places you don't want it and bad things will happen. You have heard of "rust" yes?  

I can attest to the Mothers Ceramic Coating, that stuff is magic and leaves an amazing shine on the paint. Not sure what it'll do on your vinyl stickers but it's magic on paint. I have about 5 coats on my plane now and the plane is even faster than before. :D

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4 hours ago, ShawnM said:

I have only washed my plane once with a hose right after I bought it 8 years ago and have never washed it with a hose since and never will. Big mistake in my opinion as water will get in places you don't want it and bad things will happen. You have heard of "rust" yes?  

I can attest to the Mothers Ceramic Coating, that stuff is magic and leaves an amazing shine on the paint. Not sure what it'll do on your vinyl stickers but it's magic on paint. I have about 5 coats on my plane now and the plane is even faster than before. :D

Rust?  Did someone say rust?  As Shawn said, water WILL get everywhere where you don't want it to go, and it's not so easy to get out.  Fuel level sensor on my plane was WELL rusted after the prior owner tied her down on the ramp and through unknown amount of rain storms.

When my LSRM came to work on the plane, he literally had to drill a couple of holes under the plane to drain out water that accumulated in the belly of the plane!  (Yikes!)  The Sportcruiser is many things, but it is not waterproof!

As for Mothers CMX and vinyl decals - so long as the decals are on before CMX, it'll work great to protect the vinyl and help its gloss.  But if you try to apply vinyl after (on top of) ceramic coating, it will not stick (or stick well.)  I cannot get masking tape to stick to my airplane now after the ceramic coating.  In the image far below is my son's project car.  We applied matte black vinyl to the hood, then used Mothers CMX over the entire car (including vinyl) which will help to protect and keep the vinyl uniformly colored.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, ShawnM said:

I cringed when I saw you taxiing around in the rain, the plane is not weather proof at all and water will get in the wings and other places if you are not careful. There are places in the wings and tail that you don't want to get wet. :o 

I have only washed my plane once with a hose right after I bought it 8 years ago and have never washed it with a hose since and never will. Big mistake in my opinion as water will get in places you don't want it and bad things will happen. You have heard of "rust" yes?  

Wow guys, thanks for the wisdom on this… I mean it makes sense to me that corrosion can occur with water, but I’d assumed being an aircraft that may inadvertently encounter bad weather involving water that bare metal surfaces would be primed and painted to help prevent this.  What about morning dew that forms pretty much everywhere?  Is it more about the volume of water pooling in certain areas?  I’m glad that we only pulled it out of the hangar to get a quick vid of the lights and immediately towel dried it after we put it back in about 10 minutes later :)   That being said, what’s your preferred method of getting the dirt off the plane and shining it up? 

       I’ll make it a point to avoid water from here forward and look into the ceramic coating.  Like Bob mentioned, I’d seen that pro vinyl wrap shops were ceramic coating wrapped vehicles because it preserved the life of the wrap and helped slow the fading of bright colors, which definitely relates to our SC.   Again, thank you both for the insight. :)

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9 hours ago, Toryn said:

What about morning dew that forms pretty much everywhere?  Is it more about the volume of water pooling in certain areas?  I’m glad that we only pulled it out of the hangar to get a quick vid of the lights and immediately towel dried it after we put it back in about 10 minutes later :)   That being said, what’s your preferred method of getting the dirt off the plane and shining it up? 

I have a friend who works at Mothers car care products and he's introduced me to products I use on the plane since I try to avoid a direct dousing of water (e.g. from a hose or pressure washer.)  Those products were:  Mothers Waterless Wash and Wax, then the Instant Detailer (good for post flight wipe down) and now the Mothers Ceramic Detailer (like the Instant Detailer except it it contains some of the ceramic silicone oxide to help with beading.)

I hangar indoors and try to avoid overnighting outside if I can.  But I carry a few microfiber towels in the plane (light, very absorbent) to dry off the plane if needed.  Light dew isn't an issue, but where it goes when it forms droplets can be, so as part of a pre-flight if tied down, I'll wipe down the plane (I've done that only twice since having the plane.) Flying through rain can be done and is sometime unavoidable (I've done that a couple of times also) but the beading action of the ceramic coating helps that water to slide off the surface of the plane and hopefully not accumulate somewhere. (Again, I wipe down after a flight anyway, but especially after going through rain.)

 

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And Bob is the one who turned me on to the Mothers paint care products. I absolutely love the stuff. As I said before I have probably 5 or more coats of the Ceramic CMX coating on the plane. After every flight Ginger gets her sponge bath. I just use a soft terry cloth towel (it's a large bath towel cut in pieces) and clean water to wipe the plane down. I then dry it with another dry part of the same towel I cut up. Maybe every other flight I use the Mothers Instant Detailer. 

Here's a link to what Bob recommended to me in another post: (this stuff is amazing as well)

 

As for water intrusion, try to minimize it as much as possible. Will you get caught in the rain sometime? Of course, that'll happen but as Bob said when you are cruising at 120 knots most of it will blow off. You see what it did to Bob's fuel senders. There are also two steel pins that hold the horizontal stabilizer in place and need to be lubed every year at your annual condition inspection when you remove it. I've seen those rusted to the point the owner had to pry the stabilizer off. :o Long story short, keep the plane as dry as possible. 

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On 10/26/2021 at 10:05 AM, rtk said:

Those products were:  Mothers Waterless Wash and Wax, then the Instant Detailer (good for post flight wipe down) and now the Mothers Ceramic Detailer (like the Instant Detailer except it it contains some of the ceramic silicone oxide to help with beading.)

Are you guys proud?  No more H20!!  Haha Fun project ahead! 

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5 hours ago, Toryn said:

Are you guys proud?  No more H20!!  Haha Fun project ahead! 

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Holy moly!  😳🙂👍🏻  Nicely done!  Will look forward to your thoughts and pics of the results.  Looking forward to  you experience in any difference in TAS in level flight.  I’ve advised my Mothers friend of my experience with gaining a couple of knots TAS from ceramic coating! 🙂

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