Phillip Owens's Blog (33)

1st Flight after cooler swap

Had the opportunity on Friday to get into the air for a test of the new oil cooler. 

 Lots of traffic  and had to spend a lot of time holding short for takeoff, oil temps remained well within limits, Left bank CHT's got a little warmer than I would like but remained within limits. managed to get about .8 hr of flight and landed to check for potential oil leaks. Found one connection that needed tightening and will check it again on the next flight. Minimum loss of oil.

Added by Phillip Owens on May 1, 2011 at 3:40pm — No Comments

New Positech oil cooler & Mew Manifold pressure guage insalled

Today we managed to finish the installation of the new Positech Oil cooler and the new manifold pressure guage as well as re fit the cowl. engine has been tested and no leaks were found. Washed down the engine and fuselage with mineral spirits to remove any residual oil from the previous leak.

During the ground run the manifold pressure guage indicated 12" @ 1000 RPMS and 15" @ 1600 RPMS it will be interesting to see what the indications are at the next takeoff. Aircraft has a fixed…


Added by Phillip Owens on April 11, 2011 at 3:05pm — No Comments

Oil on the ground

Had a beautiful day on wednesday 65 degrees and clear skies so opened the hangar and brought out the plane for a short hop after the long winter.

Preflight went normal and I got airborne without a hitch, climbed out and flew for about 45 minutes and CHT temps seemed to be lowering, noted the oil temp seemed to be getting a little hoter than normal so I returned to the field and landed, went into the restraunt for a bowl of soup and when I came out there was oil all over the ground…


Added by Phillip Owens on March 17, 2011 at 7:27pm — 11 Comments

short flight after modifications to plug wires & oil cooler

On Monday rolled out the 801 with the cowling off, warmed up the engine and reset the idle to 800 RPM warm, put the cowl back on and added some fuel then rolled to Rwy 22 for another test flight. Plane came off the ground after only a short roll and was climbing at 80 MPH, cylinder temps remained within the limits and noted the oil temp had dropped to 220-240 F and held there, EGT s remained balanced throughout the flight. Flight was very bumpy as a storm was brewing just south of the airport… Continue

Added by Phillip Owens on November 23, 2010 at 4:24pm — No Comments

plug wire changes

I had noted the plug wires as originally run appeared to be blocking airflow into and around the cylinders, so to improve the airflow I changed the location and manner in which the plug wires were run. The photos posted are only a few of those that tell the story of the change and I will try to include more photos as allowed. Take notice of the clear air pathway thru the intake plenums and how the plug wires now are barely visable within the plenum. I also made use of the old plug holes to…


Added by Phillip Owens on November 19, 2010 at 4:04pm — No Comments

Building time and tweaks

Now that we have the cylinder head temps within acceptable range I note the oil temp is higer than I would like, so will try opening up the air intake on the oil cooler, since it is baffeled the additional air should go thru the cooler and lower the temp. Will know after the change. Still running on Mineral Oil but temps seem to be stabalizing as we go along. Lets hope the weather cooperates.

Added by Phillip Owens on November 9, 2010 at 2:51pm — 3 Comments

Temps within limits Hooray!

Today after adding an additional 1 1/2" to the lip of the left intake and the air temps at about 55F I had two take offs and landings and about 30 minutes of flight. Although the temps hovered around 340 -355 they were still below max allowable for the 1st time.

Noted that static RPM was over 2500 RPM and takeoffs were quite short, climb out at 80mph and going up FAST! Now that we can operate within temperature tolerances we can start to build some time.



Added by Phillip Owens on October 22, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

1st, 2nd, & 3d Flights Today

Today was the day, not the best of days hot and blustry but clear. Rolled down the runway and lifted off for the 1st time, have to admit I was a bit nervous and pretty shakey but into the air we went turblance and all, managed to get it straightened around and rounded the pattern for the 1st landing, kept the speed up as was suggested by the facory pilot and came in about 80, rolled out and caught my breath and talked over the 1st flight with my A&P, Rolled out for the second flight and… Continue

Added by Phillip Owens on August 20, 2010 at 3:27pm — 7 Comments

2011 EAA Air Venture

Joe made a suggestion about Zenith builders flying to and attending the 2011 EAA Air Venture as a mass group, I made a suggestion and Joe asked me to do a blog about it so everyone could read it:

I am an 801 builder from Beloit, WI operating out of Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville,WI (KJVL) your suggestion sounds good to me and I might suggest that if we wanted to have a mass type fly in the airport in Janesville has plenty of room for us to organize, low fuel…


Added by Phillip Owens on August 15, 2010 at 7:32pm — 3 Comments

Progress being made

Today I de-magnatized the down tubes of the cabin frame and the area immediatly in front of where the magnetic compass will sit, after checking the area I found I was successful in the de-magnetising process.

For information purposes to other builders I purchased a small hand held de-magnitizer unit from McMaster-Carr for $84.00 and it only took about 6 minutes to do the job. Word of caution I was careful to keep my distance from my Dynon D10A as it has an internal magnatometer that…


Added by Phillip Owens on August 2, 2010 at 6:51pm — No Comments

Slight delay

The way things work.....went to shut down the engine after the airshow and it didn't want to stop! Had to pull the throttle all the way closed and pull the choke.

Investigations shows a malfunctioning ignition switch, very intermittent, sometime it will ground out both mags and sometimes only the left mag leaving the right one active. Pulled the switch and made some adjustments, seems to work ok for now but have ordered a new one and will install it as soon as it…


Added by Phillip Owens on June 5, 2010 at 5:54pm — 2 Comments

Young Aviator

Sorry Guys, I got so excited about finishing I forgot to tell you about the young man in the photos.

This young 4 year old is the son of a contractor who recently did some remodeling for my wife and I, his mom and dad brought him to AirFest 2010 because he is crazy about airplanes, and let me tell you he gets EXCITED!!!!

It has been a long time since I have seen a kid get so excited watching aerobatics and airplanes in general, while he was watching Skip Stewart flop…


Added by Phillip Owens on June 1, 2010 at 5:27pm — 2 Comments

Finished and on display at SW AirFest 2010

Finally finished the long projest on Friday June 28th 2010! Put the prop on and wired it for the last time before flight testing, Not able to do any testing as the Airshow started on Friday also but we will be on display all weekend. Granted I am not as fast as the US Air Force Thunderbirds or the Canadian Snowbirds, I can't flop around the sky like Skip Stewart or make the graceful moves of the Big Red…


Added by Phillip Owens on May 31, 2010 at 12:43pm — 1 Comment

Cowling finally finished!

Well, the day has finally come, finished the cowling over the past two days, final fitting and a primer coat on monday and sanded and put on a coat of white as a base on tuesday. Photos are included. Now to put the prop back on, re-do the weight and balance and start testing. Testing will start with ground runs to check cooling on the ground and other items. First flight just around the corner after almost 11 years of part time work!

Added by Phillip Owens on May 25, 2010 at 3:18pm — No Comments

Putting on the finishing touches on the last item

Well, here it is Monday and we are finally putting on the finishing touches to the last item in the project, the cowl. Kent took two days while I was away and worked on the air intakes, today we put the finishing fiberglass on the openings. Now all we need is to let the resin harden and we can do the final install.]

Installed the bottom section today and ran the wires to the oil pan heater and the battery maintainer, put the holding…


Added by Phillip Owens on May 17, 2010 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Getting closer all the time

Today was a day to get closer to the first flight, the new fittings arrived for the oil cooler and were installed back on the airplane, oil and filter were changed, Added the forward bumper buffer for the top cowl by using a small rubber hammer, cut off the handle, and cut a 1/2" piece of plywood in a cirlce just larger than the hammer , screwed the two together and fiberglassed it onto the top of the cowl, when inverted into the normal position the base of the rubber hammer will just rest on… Continue

Added by Phillip Owens on April 30, 2010 at 8:22pm — 3 Comments

Finishing the cowl

Monday installed the oil dipstick door and did the layup for the box that will hold the wires that lead to the oil pan heater and the battery maintainer, This box will be fiberglassed on the inside of the lower cowl on the right side of the airplane and an access door will be installed also. It appearswe will need to add some rubber gasketing around the base of the cowl for a better fit of the camlocks. Then it is on to finishing the air intakes and baffles to direct the airflow into the intake… Continue

Added by Phillip Owens on April 15, 2010 at 4:49pm — No Comments

Getting Real close to flying

Well here we are, spring is upon us and we are making progress, the cowling is back from the fiberglass shop and we have fit and installed the camlocks, some we will need to change to a smaller stud, I goofed on the measurement before ordering. left to do now are the two door openings, one for the oil dipstick and the other for the oil pan heater and battery maintainer. flush out and finish the air intakes and the cowl is complete. Have the latest update from Dynon to install, but that is…


Added by Phillip Owens on April 9, 2010 at 5:55pm — No Comments

Latest Update

Finished the holes and splitting of the prototype cowl on Monday, 2/1/10 and loaded the two halves in the car for delivery. Wednesday 2/3/10 was bright and sunny but cold, my wife and I made the trip to Weauwega to deliver the protoype cowl to the factory for final layup. They are loaded with work so I do not expect to see the finished product probably until March. Weather is still cold and I have not installed a heater so will wait for better weather anyway. It was a long day 3 hrs driving… Continue

Added by Phillip Owens on February 4, 2010 at 6:44pm — No Comments

Cowling progress

Picked up the first version of the cowl for trimming and splitting on the 4th of January. Hangar doors are frozen shut, for now we will have to either wait for thaw or chip it open. Then we can fit and cut the first version. Meanwhile cowl is stored at Balckhawk Aviation maintnance. Weather is supposed to warm up next week a little so maybe we will get lucky and have an opportunity to work on it. Progress is at hand!

Added by Phillip Owens on January 9, 2010 at 3:08pm — 2 Comments

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