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Thread: Lowrider LSA

  1. #2081
    marcusofcotton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Hey Sky!

    I hear things have warmed up back there...at least for awhile.

    Always thinking...I know that's dangerous.

    No distributor, it is triggered by a crank trigger using a magnetic pickup with the magnets mounted on the starter ring. It's not clear to me yet whether you can use one pickup to feed both or do you need a pickup for each. The MSD units provides 20 degrees of spark at 6000 rpm so at cruise speed of 2350 to 2500 rpm that would seem to be plenty of fire on each plug which of course would be a quality auto plug.

    I'm looking for a more efficient and economical way to provide ignition...that's all. I can't be the first person with this thought. MSD also makes a fully programmable unit that hooks to a PC but I don't think that's necessary for a simple Lycoming.

    I'm following your lead with a "no alternator" system and I suppose by the time I'm ready to buy, battery technology will have improved to the point where my concern about battery weight may not be as big an issue as I think...there I go thinking again.
    So what's happening as far as timing advance curves with the MSD?
    Practicing open cockpit extremism

  2. #2082
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    You folks on that thread did a fantastic job of problem solving! I'm very impressed with the plywood fan blade!!

    Mounting the fan driven alternator under the nose and taking advantage of prop generated air flow certainly makes the most sense. The output of the little Kubota alternator is adequate for most any small aircraft that would be running without an engine mounted power source.

    OK, if I may steal the hard work put into this fan driven alternator, my concern about battery drain goes away. Running in "dirty air" should also reduce any drag produced by the unit.


    Maybe I missed it but is there a voltage regulator called out somewhere? It could be put inside next to the battery to make sure there is only clean power charging the battery.


    NIce work guys!!
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  3. #2083
    Lowrider
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    Marcus,

    On the programmable units you can set the advance curve. On other models I'm not sure yet but I would guess it is set up for a "car engine". MSD seems to use 6K rpm as a base line which probably is driven by engine speed on some pre-established advance curve. My plan is to contact MSD tech guys and see how it works and how (if) it can be tailored to an engine with a 1K to 2.8K rpm range.

    I'll let you know what I learn. If anyone knows, please chime in.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  4. #2084
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Maybe I missed it but is there a voltage regulator called out somewhere? It could be put inside next to the battery to make sure there is only clean power charging the battery.
    Look at post #37 @ http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth...Solar-Chargers That's the base of the regulator. The top has cooling fins.
    The dynamo output is ac which feeds directly to the Kubota regulator which converts the electricity to dc airplane power. This output is tied to the main bus through a c/b. There is a "field" switch and 5 amp breaker to turn the dynamo on and off. All in the wiring diagram.
    N1PA

  5. #2085
    Lowrider
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    You're right Sky...I missed it...thanks.

    I wonder if we could use one of these things...one wire with internal regulator but not water proof so it would require protection:

    remove the pulley and replace with a fan.


    Chevy Mini Alternator Denso Street Rod Race 1-Wire 12180

    Product Description

    BRAND NEW AFTERMARKET CHEVY
    1-WIRE MINI ALTERNATOR

    12 Volt - 35 Amp

    Perfect for High Performance where a light-weight alternator is needed.
    The output is 35 amps for maximum power when you need it!

    Internally regulated with 1-Wire Hookup.
    You will only need to connect your main battery charging
    wire to the alternator output terminal post.
    Very easy to install and wire for plug and play operation.
    Small and light-weight, this mini alternator can be mounted on almost
    all Chevys with only minor bracket modifications.
    Dimensions:
    Diameter - 4 inches
    Length - 4.5 inches
    Mounting holes center to center - 5-3/8 inches
    Weight = 5.5 pounds
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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  6. #2086
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    The Kubota dynamo complete with prop, mounts and regulator total weight 5.5 lbs. You can use any of these as long as you have a method of turning it. One reason that I like the Kubota is that it has a cup to deflect water away from the internals which is particularly important on a seaplane.
    N1PA
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  7. #2087
    Lowrider
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    #2 son is getting into 3D printing and thinks he can design a 2 piece aerodynamic cover to protect the alternator and reduce the drag. We'll see how well he can design and print before I get too excited about it. I plan on floats at some point too.
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  8. #2088
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Also the dynamo has no wearable parts other than the ball bearings.
    N1PA

  9. #2089
    Lowrider
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    Plan would be to monitor health of the alternator with the Davtron and replace as needed. It's only $65 so it's disposable when it wears out in my mind.
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    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  10. #2090
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    On the alternator situation, one thing that puzzles me is why experimental aircraft haven't adopted something like what is found on outboard motors?

    I have a Tohatsu 20hp outboard that has a fixed stator coil of something like 10 or 12 poles. Magnets on the drive shaft pass by, producing around 15 Amps using a tiny voltage regulator.

    15 amps may not be much, but it does a fair job topping off the trolling batteries and runs a fish finder. It seems like it would be enough to run basic electronics.

    So, dreaming a bit: imagine a bunch of magnets mounted around the starter ring with a light weight stator array fixed to the engine. No bearings needed. I would think someone has tried it already.

  11. #2091
    Lowrider
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    Could be done RV but then it would be an engine powered system and you would need to buy all the required stuff that an air powered unit doesn't require. Besides...that would do away with all the fun of making this system work.

    I'm a pretty strong advocate of using 21st century technology in small airplanes...it just isn't cost effective to develop it for wide spread use so we use mid 20th century technology instead...although there are lots of new ideas being brought into use every day...I love GPS...but we still need to teach the kids how to read a map!!
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    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  12. #2092
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I love GPS...but we still need to teach the kids how to read a map!!
    Ain't that the truth. For some reason the databases used by delivery drivers has our house location 2 miles away under a water tower. It's taken UPS and FedEx 4 years to figure out that addresses around here follow a logical grid.

  13. #2093
    Lowrider
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    Sky,

    I found a 3 blade 8" diameter trolling motor prop made of nylon. It seems to be the right size and could work. I bought the above alternator and I think I'll get one of the trolling motor props and follow the test procedures used previously. I guess I need to make a decision on what battery I'm going to use and find out the max charge rate so I don't overcharge. Also the voltage that the alternator turns out at particular speeds.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  14. #2094
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Low,
    Does it matter which direction that alternator rotates? If so, make sure that the prop blades turn in the same direction. The dynamo works equally as well in either direction since it's output is ac. So the prop can be either a left or right turner. The dynamo came with an output chart showing rpm vs amp output.
    N1PA

  15. #2095
    Lowrider
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    It needs to turn clockwise according to the specs. Looking at the prop it seems that it will turn that way mounted with the tapered end forward which is actually backwards from the way it turns on the trolling motor. I can mount it either way by slicing off the tapered part of the prop but it would look nice with the pointy end forward.

    We'll see how this works out and if not so good I'll use the dynamo you used. Just seems to be better to take 12 Volt DC from the alternator rather than an AC current that needs to be converted.

    It is also dependent upon rpm/amp output that will match the battery charge requirements. The AGM batteries in my 4 wheelers only want a max 5 amp charge rate but I want to get as light a battery as possible that will meet the needs of the plane. If this works as expected I don't need to be as concerned about current draw if I put some more electrical stuff in the plane. Also looks like I still want dual light weight batteries, one for ignition and one for lights/nav gear/radios and the like, both charged by the same alternator.

    This is a great idea you guys had!!!
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    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  16. #2096
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Sky,

    I found a 3 blade 8" diameter trolling motor prop made of nylon. It seems to be the right size and could work. I bought the above alternator and I think I'll get one of the trolling motor props and follow the test procedures used previously. I guess I need to make a decision on what battery I'm going to use and find out the max charge rate so I don't overcharge. Also the voltage that the alternator turns out at particular speeds.
    Low.... if you go back and read probably too many pages of a thread titled "solar chargers" or some unrelated name like that, you'll find that based on Skywagon Pete's idea, I got a dynamo and tested a bunch of different props. Like you, I had the idea that a trolling motor prop would be great. Well, I was wrong. I had to heat them up and twist them crazy to get them to spin up in the airflow. Now, it could be that since your unit is free-wheeling and does not have the magnets that the airflow has to overcome to "start" the prop spinning, you may have more luck. But the fast answer is I switched over to a multi-bladed bow thruster prop, and that works beautifully. Skywagon Pete of course was able to hand carve his own version of it.

    Pb

  17. #2097
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Speaking of that, I just listed the larger SET00090 Vetus prop (255mm) on eBay, since the little model is working for me. But here's a another photo.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #2098
    Lowrider
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    PB,

    Thanks for the comments!

    That's a big fan. I have no idea yet if the little 8" three blade prop will spin the alternator but I'll find out...just ordered it. If it doesn't work I'll replace the 2 blade on my 50 lb trolling motor which has a lot of rock nicks and looks like it doesn't even have a season left. I looked at the 2 two blade on the trolling motor and it seems like it will work so I hit it with about 50 psi air from the compressor at about 2' and it turned the motor slowly on the trolling motor. Not a good test but I figured a 3 blade would spin better...we'll see.

    I have no skills to carve a wooden prop like Sky's so I'm dependent on someone's else's product. It's good to know that the smaller thruster blade works on yours so I can always fall back on that if the one I order isn't sufficient.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  19. #2099
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    I lagged mine to a 2x4 and held it out the window. When I discovered it wouldn’t spin up on its own I lagged it to the headache rack behind the cab and did some midnight runs at 70/80/90/100 with Various designs.


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  20. #2100
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Ps - amp meter in the cab with the generator hooked to a battery powering a big light gave me a good indication of amp output at different speeds.


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  21. #2101
    Lowrider
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    My F-250 has a rack but it's buried under 2' of snow. The little Nissan has a cap so maybe I need to dig out the big truck or better yet get a kid to do it. Based upon your testing, do you think #10 wire from the alternator to a battery with the amp meter attached will be adequate to get a good reading or do I need to use heavier wire? I'm not sure the current weather here is conducive to holding things out the window at even 60 mph...maybe I need a kid in the truck bed...no sure #2 son is that stupid.
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    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  22. #2102
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    Make sure he’s got a strong arm. Better to lag it on to a rack or something. I think there are still pics in the other thread.
    #10 is plenty.


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  23. #2103
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    Marcus,

    I don't exactly have an answer since it's only possible to talk to a human at MSD if you have an extension. I did find this in the FAQ section:

    What is the best Timing Curve for my car?

    There is no real way for our Techs to answer this question but they can point you in the right direction. It takes testing and tuning time to find the best curve that fits your application. Many variables affect the ignition timing curve such as compression, cam specs, intake system, fuel, exhaust, altitude, driving habits and so on. The chart on page 3 lists some factors that will help you determine what sort of timing curve you should work towards for your specific application.

    MSD’s mechanical advance mechanism is accurate and easy to adjust so you can try different combinations with the supplied springs and stop bushings. We also offer a variety of electronic timing controls so engines with locked out timing or crank triggers can take advantage of altering the timing as rpm changes.
    Note: When you are testing different curves, listen for detonation (spark knock) which is a sign of over-advanced timing.


    I suppose this means there is a may to customize the advance curve using their electronic timing control. I need to look into this further and see what additional info I can obtain.
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    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  24. #2104
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    This really cute little alternator showed up in the mail today. Once the pulley was removed it weighs 4lbs 9oz. Add an 8 oz prop and it'll pretty close to 5'bs. I can easily spin the shaft with my fingers so I'm hoping the 8" three blade prop will move it without much effort...we'll see.
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    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  25. #2105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Marcus,

    I don't exactly have an answer since it's only possible to talk to a human at MSD if you have an extension. I did find this in the FAQ section:

    What is the best Timing Curve for my car?

    There is no real way for our Techs to answer this question but they can point you in the right direction. It takes testing and tuning time to find the best curve that fits your application. Many variables affect the ignition timing curve such as compression, cam specs, intake system, fuel, exhaust, altitude, driving habits and so on. The chart on page 3 lists some factors that will help you determine what sort of timing curve you should work towards for your specific application.

    MSD’s mechanical advance mechanism is accurate and easy to adjust so you can try different combinations with the supplied springs and stop bushings. We also offer a variety of electronic timing controls so engines with locked out timing or crank triggers can take advantage of altering the timing as rpm changes.
    Note: When you are testing different curves, listen for detonation (spark knock) which is a sign of over-advanced timing.


    I suppose this means there is a may to customize the advance curve using their electronic timing control. I need to look into this further and see what additional info I can obtain.
    I’d highly recommend using a system that takes rpm and manifold pressure to control spark advance.
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  26. #2106
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    Cam,

    That's certainly one of the best way to control spark. RPM should be a given and I'll need to do some research on how to put manifold pressure into a digital form and how it can be fed to the MSD unit. There should be a simple way to do that but I'm stuck on the analog MP reading in my mind. The answer is out there.
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    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  27. #2107
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    I received the trolling motor prop today and it looks like it will work just fine once I make a shaft that will thread onto the alternator and provide the proper size shaft for the prop. The prop also needs a "spinner" to provide a more streamline air flow and reduce drag.

    I'm getting sidetracked with snow removal and other silly domestic functions. Is it SPRING yet??
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    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  28. #2108
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    Well, I failed twice. I made adapter shafts from the alternator to the prop by welding things together and they are not exactly straight so it ain't workin. I can make one on my lathe pretty easily but the lathe is at the "Southern shop" with 18" of snow around the place...tractor is at the Northern shop so hopefully, this warm weather will make the snow go away soon...never give up!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  29. #2109
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    Temps in the upper one's F made me think of a decision I made awhile back on my fuselage. I insulated the bottom of the fuselage with 1/2" closed cell foam under the fiber glassed 5mm plywood I used for flooring. Question is...are a lot of folks in cold climates insulating the sides and other areas of their fuselages and if so, how and were? I don't recall off hand the weight of the closed cell foam but it was a few ounces per sq yard and easy to glue to the bottom of the plywood with construction adhesive. I didn't do the sides thinking there would be plenty of heat in the cabin...maybe so.

    I walked the 80' from the house to the shop this morning at sunrise and the temp was 12F and 18 kts of wind making it dam cold even with a down jacket zipped up tight...just got a haircut which didn't help. I'm thinking the plane will go more than 18 kts and February here has some great cold and crystal clear flying weather...just thinking.
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  30. #2110

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    I have no extra insulation in my plane. My heater kicks butt, however I seldom have it wide open. The one thing to consider in winter flying is what happens when you have a problem and have to land at a unplanned location?? You really need to dress for that event!! Bunny boots, several layers of proper winter clothing, and proper planning will save your life. I had to open my slider the other day because I was too hot!! Don't insulate the plane insulate the pilot and passengers!! A good wool scarf does wonders.
    DENNY

  31. #2111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Temps in the upper one's F made me think of a decision I made awhile back on my fuselage. I insulated the bottom of the fuselage with 1/2" closed cell foam under the fiber glassed 5mm plywood I used for flooring. Question is...are a lot of folks in cold climates insulating the sides and other areas of their fuselages and if so, how and were? I don't recall off hand the weight of the closed cell foam but it was a few ounces per sq yard and easy to glue to the bottom of the plywood with construction adhesive. I didn't do the sides thinking there would be plenty of heat in the cabin...maybe so.

    I walked the 80' from the house to the shop this morning at sunrise and the temp was 12F and 18 kts of wind making it dam cold even with a down jacket zipped up tight...just got a haircut which didn't help. I'm thinking the plane will go more than 18 kts and February here has some great cold and crystal clear flying weather...just thinking.
    Unless you're building an open cockpit, hopefully you'll see less than 18 kts in the cabin. Should be warmer there just from that.

  32. #2112
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    Closing the drafts will be more important than insulation. Denny's point is also valid. When cold water kayaking, the mantra is, "dress for the swim".

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  33. #2113
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    My Cub has no insulation and no interior. When I place my hand on the inside of the side fabric just ahead of the door, it feels very warm. There is a lot of warm air coming from the engine passing by the outside. If that air can transfer it's heat into the cabin then the warm air inside can also transfer out. Insulation would reduce this transfer. That being said, draft elimination would likely be as or more effective. Of course both would be best.
    N1PA

  34. #2114
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    Agree with everyone...sorta.

    However. another consideration in dressing warm is the desire (NEED) to be comfortable when you fly. I can't fly worth a damn in bunny boots but they are good to have along. The time I spent in Alaska flying part 135. LIFEGUARD and CAP SAR taught me having a well equipped survival kit was the key to staying alive on the ground if need be. I used to fly from Homer to Seward and back over the Harding Ice Field and every trip I would look down and think...there's not even wood down there for a fire. Or a simple flight across Cook Inlet when the icing level was too low to get high enough to glide to land if something quit. I can leave an airport in 90 degree weather in the valley and the mountains 5 miles away still have snow in June...nuff of that.

    Sealing the fuselage to stop air infiltration is a goal of mine and I plan to build an exhaust muff that will provide lots of heat into the cabin. One of the reasons I put insulation under the floor is to keep the duct I built away from cold air so it will pump heat to the back seat for the passenger and to keep my feet warm.

    I guess the answer so far is there's no need for insulation in a little airplane.

    I do have dry suits and wool undies for cold water kayaking and canoeing and I have "cooked" in them in February in the bright sun and when paddling generates lots of body heat they are usually unzipped. My winter flying suit used to be a Carhartt insulated coverall and it's usually unzipped but now I use layering and down that can come off easily but I still have my vest on with some survival gear close at hand. Experience has taught me there is no perfect way to dress for the weather...either too hot or too cold.

    Any other thoughts?
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    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  35. #2115

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    If you go down in the inlet,, makes no difference what you wear.

  36. #2116

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    If you don't have any heat now getting heat into the plane will help a lot. You could use the air force mukluks , they are big but flex better. Heated seats should be easy to do if you have power. All of my floor heat is directed to the back with a scat tube. My major problem is my feet are too hot in the summer. I usually fly in heavy hiking boots in the summer so the Bunny Boots don't bother me in the cub except I just kicked off another breaker switch getting into the plane last week. The boots in the Cessna is another issue still trying to figure that one out. The scarf has really been one of the best things I have tried, keeps the cold air from going down the back of my neck.
    DENNY

  37. #2117
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    Quote Originally Posted by don d View Post
    If you go down in the inlet,, makes no difference what you wear.
    Yes Sir...that's pretty much it!

    There was discussion that there should be water survival suits available for CAP mission pilots but that didn't last long. Ever try to put one on in a 182? Remember...Altitude is your friend!!

    When we flew to Kodiak we just turned the "over water sensor" off and had no problems.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!

  38. #2118

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    Sounds familiar. When we flew helicopters to Kodiak our survival gear was a single shot handgun.. Didn’t want to suffer..
    Mark

  39. #2119
    Lowrider
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    Hey Denny!

    I used to have a balaclava stuck in the seat map pocket but it's wool and itches something fierce. Hand warmers in your jacket over your kidneys helps. The majority of synthetic stuff works pretty well and is also comfortable. Layering is my best solution. My insulated Danner boots are just right until I get the plane off the ground and the heat kicks in...in full disclosure I have flown in Crocks...over wool socks of course and you get a much better feel for the rudder. Ain't no perfect solution that I've found. I only have wool in the survival bag...itch or not it keeps you warm when it's wet...heavy but kinda warm. US military surplus gear is also great stuff. The new treatments for down seem to do a good job of maintaining insulation when wet but I haven't tried it yet.

    Any other ideas?
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

    There are no new ways to crash an airplane no matter how hard you may try!
    Likes Bommer liked this post

  40. #2120

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    Jan 2007
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    I agree military stuff/wool bang for the buck rock!! So if you have floor heat just run a scat tube straight to the rear seat. The tube in mine is over 200 degrees. Feet plenty warm and the heat under and coming up back of seat is great!! You could pull it out and stick under jacket as needed, but having warm air on the back rocks. Backcountry cubs or whatever the name is this week had a nice cheap flange to mount the scat tube.

    You don't need to feel the rudder with your feet. The rudder pedal is not you wife, feel free to stomp on the bitch until the nose/ ball /you ass is happy. Just my way many will disagree.
    DENNY

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