Mike Armstead's Comments

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At 8:30pm on February 6, 2010, Jake Reyna said…
Mike, thanks for telling me about the new drill, buddy ;-) I'm not going to get rid of my Milwaukee, but didn't I mention something in the past about working with stone age tools?

Still working on the first wing. I just set the line for the L angles in the top skin and will drill in the morning, then it's time to reattach the nose skin and I'm mostly done. The best part is I get to do it all over again ..... you know the drill, no, not the Craftsman.

How's it going?

At 8:08am on January 30, 2010, Jake Reyna said…
Mike, the 1x1 angle on the rear spar will really add strength. Your skills continue to amaze me.

Wing update, I was very, very optimistic on my timeline, but it is going well.
At 10:37am on January 28, 2010, Jake Reyna said…
I may have been a bit optimistic about completing both wings by Monday. I'll try your version of rivet removal on the next wing. I was stuck last time, my wife wasn't around to help me move the wing.
At 1:39pm on January 27, 2010, Jake Reyna said…
Mike, I was thinking that was what you were doing when you mentioned it last week or so. I was heading down that path, but stumbled across the "Navy Method" and it works really well. I did time myself, 1 minute 45 seconds from drill out to tap out. It's still a 3-4 hour task overall.

Thanks for posting your idea. This can be a difficult task and more options is more better :-) Now I'm getting cocky and hope to have both wings done in one week, by next Monday.

How was Sebring?
At 10:58am on January 20, 2010, Jake Reyna said…
Didn't think of using my Router, duh! I have one mounted on my table saw wing. Sometimes I forget how to do it the easy way.
At 7:25am on January 20, 2010, Jake Reyna said…
Mike, making the new angle longer makes sense, longer should be stronger! I don't have a mill or lathe, so I'll have to use my stone age tools. I was thinking of adding a doubler of sorts on the overlap.

I've been in contact with the DAR to make sure he is up to speed on the Upgrade. We may get some new guidance after Sebring from the FAA, ZAC and AMD, but it won't change the path.

Shaped my rear attach plates last night and I'll be tapping those in later. Looks like I've finally reached the end of the fuselage Upgrade.

I had it in my mind that you lived in the mid-West and it was a long way to go to Sebring. Alabama makes more sense and a trip I would make in the Winter.
At 2:59pm on January 19, 2010, Jake Reyna said…
Mike, I'm finishing up the fuselage today. That doesn't mean I'm done with the fuselage, I'm working on some other stuff. I'm hoping to start on the Wings tomorrow. I have already removed all the rivet heads. I do plan on removing the nose skin and will see what path works best at that point. I do have excellent solid rivet removal skills ;-)

I've had problems with the Side Doublers and also the Console Seat Panel Angles until I figured out an easy way. I'll post a blog tomorrow on my version of re-installing the Console Seat Panel angles.

I wish I could go to Sebring and talk to Sebastian and Mathieu. Send me back a report.

At 8:25am on December 22, 2009, Jake Reyna said…
Mike, from the bottom of the rear sump I get 10-12mm up to the bottom of the lowest pipe. Basically, the bottom pipe is right about the base of the cooling fin on the sump. Muffler clearance with the intake plenum as no more than 10-15mm as I recall. I'm going to post some pictures in a minute of my dual exhaust and it will give you a visual reference.
At 7:20am on December 22, 2009, Jake Reyna said…
Mike, I'll setup up some reference points and take pictures of the engine and exhaust pipes. I'm going to use dual exhaust like the Sonex builders. I just had those pipes made and will include in the picture.
At 1:53pm on December 21, 2009, Jake Reyna said…
Mike, I'm in the market for a welder. I know that a TIG is better and more expensive, but I'm wondering if a MIG will work for my purposes, welding thin aluminum, .020, for stuff like cabin heat boxes as an example. I doubt that I would do anything over .125.

Sounds like a good MIG is the solution. What do you think of the Henrob 2000?
At 11:11am on December 20, 2009, Jake Reyna said…
Mike, thanks for the welding aluminum information. It's what I thought, but sometimes I'm not actually thinking correctly. Welding is one skill I haven't developed and welding Aluminum, from what I have read takes practice, practice, practice.

I'm having good luck brazing Aluminum tube, .035 wall and larger. But I'm getting warping on .016 and .020 sheet, seems like that is to be expected and practice could help.
At 9:15pm on December 14, 2009, Allan / Zenair Australia said…
Hi Mike

I have the DI00 fitted to my 601xXL and have fitted the one servo the wing leveller and it is great it work straight away and I am very please. In the new year I will be fitting the other servo for altitude holding

At 12:31am on November 15, 2009, Larry said…
Mike, It is a bit of work. The gear channel is deeper than the US version, so that has to be changed out. Also, there are some stiffiners and brackets that have to be installed to the gear channel. The gear attach plates are simular, but different than the US version. I have both sets and I will tell you that the weight savings is incredible. The fuselage you see in the pictures was built by a guy, but it was built very badly. I now have a quick build kit and since I have to do a lot of work for the new upgrades, I am thinking of going ahead and putting the composite gear on it. I had the gear, brackets, wheels and wheel pants for sale, but I may go ahead and use them and then sell the US gear. All this stuff came from a CZAW plane that was tore apart for fear of wing failure. The plane was almost new. I also got the canopy in the picture from that same plane. I have a set of drawings somewhere, but I have moved and have to find them. If I do not use the gear, I am going to put the gear up for sale, but 31 lbs savings is tempting.
At 9:49pm on November 8, 2009, Dr. Edward M. Moody II said…
I'm not too unhappy neither am I very impressed by the recommended changes. I'm not inclined to tear my plane apart to make it conform to perfect world standards... it's just fine for me and my family as it is. The drill out and re-rivet process is more likely to weaken the airframe than the mods are likely to be helpful.

If I was just starting to build the wings I would probably do the mods but I'm not and I won't. Someday the plane will sell for what the market will bear and the drawings will be with the POH. By that time, I'm betting this will all look like a tempest in a teapot with the accident rate of the non-modified planes matching the modified ones.

Are you going to modify your plane? The mods are not mandatory and seem to be mostly a maneuver to try to keep the market share and deflect lawsuits.


At 2:38pm on August 18, 2009, Dr. Edward M. Moody II said…
Sounds great Mike. When you hook up with the guy in Mississippi, let me know how it goes and maybe evenpost it on the forum. There are a lot of guys who need transition training and the opportunities are scarce.

The XL has only a couple of idiosyncracies: first it is extra sensitive in pitch so you need to learn not to horse it around with heavy elevator action. Second, when the flaps go down it puts its nose down BIG TIME. You can counter it with back pressure and/or nose up trim, but you have to know that it is coming or it will surprise you.

At 5:23am on August 16, 2009, Dr. Edward M. Moody II said…
Hi Mike, welcome to the Zenith XL club. I'm headed out at the butt-crack of dawn today to put about 3 or so hours on the Papa Goose. Everything is pretty much done as far as testing goes... that only took the first 25 hours to complete. I do still need to calibrate the AOA system but that is just a simple calibration flight; the hardest part is flying a zero G parabola for a few seconds. anyway, I'm just compiling hours like a good boy now. You're gonna love the way the plane flies. It's very easy to transition to but you will want some dual time before your first flight unless you have flown a good bit in an XL before.

I hope you're not a big Tide fan, are you? LSU is going to have to kick some butt this year. Can't let Saban have a win, you know?

At 10:56am on July 7, 2009, Gary Bean said…
Mike, Sorry, I am not a CFI. The chioces in the "flying experience" category listed Commercial and CFI together, so thats the one I picked. I was an instructor pilot and flight examiner in the Air Force, but never got a CFI certificate in civilian life.
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