Smoke system – securing

The LAA have asked that the smoke oil tank is secured suitably to withstand .. wait for it .. 9G …

I had planned a slightly more complicated cross over bar arrangement as this would match the aircraft internal structure but then thought … hang on .. this is a bit over engineered

I needed something that was simple to fit .. easy to remove .. easy to stow any elements that would stay permanently in the aircraft and yet be really strong.

The rigging setup on the Sherwood is a,azingly string and yet simple to manufacture so .. decided to use 3mm multi core stranded steel wire .. thimbles and turnbuckles to give me some ‘fit and secure’ flexibility.

All parts are stainless or steel … and it was fun to borrow Bob (Wright’s – CIAS) nicorpess huge pliers again … 3 tonnes of pressure when swaging.

… the quick release crampon means it should be a very neat cockpit fit with no loose flapping bits.

I also started to connect the jumper cables on the switch, fuse, switch and relay … as I have co located the fuses and switch the wires can be cut down to cm …

Just need to decide if I’m going to mount the ‘momentary’ switch to the stick … this is armed once the main smoke switch is thrown … cool eh 🙂

Smoke planning – Part 2

Got up to a very windy hangar today .. force 8 outside .. and the time to offer up the oil tank to the front seat

Then .. try it with stick full back

Then to offer up the injectors .. these are high quality parts with all the fittings provided by Smokin Airplanes …

Making sure that the braided oil lines are placed to offer the line of least resistance and sit nicely against the exhausts

Running PTFE tape around the threads

Good chance to have a look around the engine after the last 15 hours or so .

Paul from TLAC has kindly provided some useful input figures that I didn’t have for this MOD .. to aid calculating the ‘G’ factors in respect of ‘crash load’ I need the following

Forward and Rearward load = x 9

Vertical up and down load = x 6

Side to side load = x 4.5

So .. with a tank and pump combined weigh of 19.7kg

Forward = 19.7 x 9 = 177.3

Vertical = 19.7 x 6 = 118.2

Side = 19.7 x 4.5 = 88.65

Some cold winter flying – Steep turns

Been out practicing in this cold cold weather .. but it’s lovely and calm so .. time for some steep turns and practicing

Managed to get held and was around number 7 to land so had a chance to throw her around near Elizabeth Castle for about 30 mins

2019 – New Year Resolution – Take up Smoking !

Many years ago … quite some time before I had finished the build I had the idealistic idea that I could try to spice up the display options by adding a smoke system. I researched the market and located a US form called smokin airplanes and ordered their smaller kit.

I plumbed some of the parts in during the latter parts of the build … aeroquip oil pipes and wires etc and potential pump mounts and fillers but … on approaching the LAA discovereed the challenges of adding to the existing certification … they needed paperwork and workings to demonstrate the whole fit could withstand 9G !

After a couple of attempts at submitting it was clear it was going to delay standard test flying certification .. so I stopped further work on it.

Now .. 2 years after test flying certification .. I’m looking at resurrecting the work.

NOTE .. the following is all to do a proof of concept fit on the ground and test run it terra firma prior to blowing the dust of my pre submission LAA MOD form

Tuesday 1st January -2019

Spent a ‘happy’ hour upside down in the front cockpit checking the items i put in 2 years ago that were all neatly cable tied off.

The initial bit is to connect the oil feeder pipe to the back of the beautifully blue anodised T bar on the bulkhead. I’ve gone for the smoke model that has 2 (atomiser) spray heads .. one for each exhaust. Smokin Airplanes specify a specific distance from the exhaust tail pipe for these to be mounted (10” from tail exit I seem to remember)

Once I knew it would hold up test flying I took most of the fittings out and capped the exhaust holes, that was 2 years ago.

To mount the oil reservoir /tank I had originally intended on making a small rear shelf to sit behind the pilot seat P1 – rear, and span the sides of the fuselage … secured with proper aviation bolts. There was also a rear fill easy access, including an overflow drain pipe that exited well clear of any part of the airframe underneath the pilot seat.

Now, 2 years on, I realise it would be miles easier to simply place the oil reservoir in the front seat position ie P2. The plan now is to put simple extenders on the existing seat bolts and have rivnuts on the end to allow an ‘over the top’ cradle to be manufactured and hold the plastic oil reservoir tank securely in position.

The oil tank I bought is one of the smallest and measures 28cm wide by 28 cm deep and approx 28cm high – which includes the top mounted filler nozzle. The (not insignificant) pump adds around 10cm to the dimension .. be it side, end or top mounted.

The pump looks like it’s built to power a small airliner ! Def quality stuff but pretty heavy … another reason for re-locating this to the front seat location where weight will not be a problem. Also as a full oil tank runs down there will be zero effect on the C of G as the whole tank and pump pretty much sit on the main spar position.

I plan to make a support (spider) cradle to give me 4 solid fixing points for the oil tank/pump combination and then run a temp electrical test connect to trial it.

The electrics are largely provided with a nice mini panel, arm switch and light indicator .. the aim being, that once selected .. the system is ‘armed’ and then a short presss of a red ‘press and hold’ button and the oil would pump…

The installation guide provided by Smokin Airplanes is super clear and they are really helpful and respond very quickly to any queries via email

….to be continued ….

Landing focus

With the various ‘versions’ of weather we have had over recent weeks I’m going to do some clips of different landings …now Sam has shown me how to clip the videos … 

Some are ok .. some I can learn from 😁

First one .. Two up and just rounding out with a bit of cross wind surprising me as I pass the lee of the aeroclub .. so quite a bit of late aileron 

Second one … one up … nice calm conditions and steady approach to a touch and go 

Third one .. Bad weather (close) 3 min circuit .. BUT .. messed up the round out and approached too quickly … so you see she lands and then the starboard wing tip just starts to lift .. settles … then does it again … just to prove .. It ain’t all over ‘til it’s in the hanger with the covers on !!! 

Fourth one .. which was actually my FIRST ever landing in the Sherwood on grass 

Slight update to WordPress .. new features

Getting used to the slight update in WordPress now I’m paying a little for the software …

I’m going to try to use highlighters for quick reading .. also use pink when it’s something to watch out for or learn 😊

Not sure if these features are easy to retro add .. but we’ll see 

Landing followed by bad weather close circuit

The slight problem of training and flying at an international airport is … well .. it’s an international airport … with lots of stuff going on and only one runway on the island to use … and the circuits are designed to keep you nicely positioned and away from reasonably built up areas .. so mostly over the sea. In fact around 75% of the circuit is over the sea 

So, a while back, when I genuinely had what I thought was an overheating problem, I requested a really tight ‘bad weather’ circuit.

This is where you simulate that you have managed to ‘find your way’  the circuit I really bad weather and then stay very close to the runway …keeping it in sight all the time as you position yourself to land but way closer than you normally would.

The BIG benefit for me .. in the slow flying Sherwood .. is that I can get a circuit in in around 5 minutes vs 20+ …

Thankfully, the Super friendly Jersey ATC team try their best to let me get one or two of these tight circuits in a mix of normal large circuits or ‘round island flying.

The other really good learning for me is that you ‘arrive’ at the threshold .. not off a long 4 mile straight in approach but off a banked low level turn which brings in new skills and teaches you to read ahead and plan ahead 

Kicking her straight and losing that inevitable speed is still something I’m working on but will be a skill that is needed when you don’t have miles of uninterrupted approach space, a line of trees and a short stopping distance 

You will see at the last touchdown off the bad weather circuit .. I’m too fast .. I left too much speed on and the starboard wing lifts .. not once but twice ! only a small amount .. but boy you feel it inside … always learning … I’ve now added a tell tale marker on both ASIs to highlight the low end landing speed … so I can see at a glance 

Sunday morning cloud chasing

Lovely Sunday winter cloud base … cold but oh so nice

This has to be one of my favourite flights to date …

The forecast was giving a relatively calm morning turning to 20-27 plus in showers … a delayed morning .. doing household bits meant it was going to be tight

Fuelled was there when I pulled out so another delay as I took the opportunity to fill up whilst he was there … as I was one up I could pretty much fill the tank giving me options to dawdle if needed once up

Even though it was quite cold the engine started pretty much first touch, warmed up in around 6-7 mins so I started the mile long taxy aiming to get to 50’ oil temp by the holding point. Dead on 50’ as I applied the brake and power checked and then off. The go pro later showed I was airborne in around 10 mins from startup 

Using runway 08 .. pulled up and right after take off and recreated through 1,000 to not above 2,000 … forecast was BKN at 1,400 .. just what I was hoping .. a chance to top out above clouds BUT not too high for poss icing 

The cloud breakup was just amazing and superb light … a few turns around then through, then bank above and peel away .. then some nice waggles in and around … just amazing fun …

After about 15 mins your feet really start to feel the cold … so it’s time to call for rejoin ! ☃️🛬😎

20-22 Down the runway

So last week .. Saturday was fog so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of you … commercial stuff was going here there and everywhere .. EXCEPT here ! 

Then Sunday broke … fog gone .. yippee … but .. 15+ down the runway 080 ish 

By that time the pup had been walked it was getting up to 18, 19 but still pretty much down the track .. taxiing would be fun as 08 is a long mile plus taxy to the end of the runway 

Tied off the front harness as I was solo and taxied out … it was now up to around 20 … I used the carb heats for the first time as it as really cold … gave me a really high EGT for some reason .. need to check that .. EGT fine once the carb heat was turned off

Then was asked be ready immediate as they were squeezing me out before a landing Airbus .. handy or I would have to wait a bit … 

Take off was instant .. I don even remember the tail lifting .. she just went straight up like a Harrier ! pushed forward a bit so at least I got some forward movement .. then a slightly early turn to clear the centre line as requested

The first landing was great fun .. pretty choppy over the 08 approach in wind so kept the power on but with the 20+ headwind now she felt almost stationary … I now had a full waiting ‘audience’ of a departing easyJet holding at the threshold … no pressure 

As I cleared the cliff edge I eased back the throttle and took up the Harrier style VTOL approach … almost stopped dead on touchdown …great 😉 

Blog at

Up ↑