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Messages - Bill James

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For Sale/Wanted / EZ Tires
« on: October 20, 2007, 05:46:11 AM »
Put smaller tires on the VaiEze
Purchased these from AC Spruce 9 months ago.
11x4.00-5, 8 ply rating. 4 tires and 3 tubes.
Stored under my bench inside, no sunlight. Still in packing wrap.
Could store them for ten years and then throw them away but will take reasonable offer now.

Hangar Flying / EZ Chronicles
« on: October 19, 2007, 06:40:48 PM »
For your reading diversion,
a few thoughs on Oshkosh 2007,

Hangar Flying / Temps for the O-320 160hp
« on: September 21, 2007, 10:51:56 AM »
You mentioned leaning in your thread. For the last couple of years I have flown what could be called extreme LOP. My VariEze can be flown with the throttle full open and the RPM reduced with mixture, down to around 2000 RPM. Am still developing the efficiency potential. With the previous stock oil sump induction the lowest comfortable RPM with wide open throttle was about 2350, about normal I hear. I am not at all suggesting anyone needs to cruise at 2000 RPM, but rather per your comment, am offering some elemental thoughts on leaning during this experience. You proabably have more info than you can use. The simple intent is to mention some personal experience and sources. Satisfying curiosity and resolving the unknowns and concerns, they can be shelved and we can go fly.

Because of length, it is posted at

Good flying

Hangar Flying / Temps for the O-320 160hp
« on: September 12, 2007, 02:50:21 PM »
On sender location, over the years i ran washer senders on the tops and bottoms of cylinders at the same time. I also tried putting bayonet senders on the bottoms, which showed the same as the adjacent washer sender. The hotter sides indicated 'about' 60 degrees higher.
With dd cooling I run the senders on bottom for worst case readings. It is interesting to record the differing temps in climb versus cruise versus wide open on the deck.
After a while we can maybe detect which flight regime needs a little help and affect a benefit at that point without screwing up the other conditions too much.
I agree with Terry Schubert's Oshkosh cooling forum comment that different pilots get different performance and readings in the same airplane because of technique. Hopefully we all get better. At Jackpot i could outrun Beagle matched side by side but he always beat me because of his 20+ years of smarts. I'll get him next time.

Hangar Flying / Temps for the O-320 160hp
« on: September 11, 2007, 05:34:29 PM »
A couple of thoughts on changing cooling-
-Your cylinder numbers sound pretty good. I flew mine 400 hours over three years before going to downdraft plenums. It was productive time learning the plane and engine, and getting out among the other eze drivers.
-My cooling target was to be able to fly wide open at sea level on a 100 degree day. While it is very gratifying to have accomplished that fairly challenging goal, for most of us a better target is just good numbers for normal climb and cruise, which it sounds like you already have.
-A parallel target was to play with augmented cooling draw through the cylinders, and of course oil cooling, all good now. Its fun when someone stops by and suggests this or that and I pull an ugly inlet or ramp or tunnel out of the box and say "Like this?" My curosity is pretty well satisfied there, and now some components are being tweaked and minimalized or removed.
All this has been done after having flown the plane all over the place for several years, which I hope you have a chance to do. Maybe along the way you will luck into a back seat ride in an operationally well balanced plane where you can observe someone good up front working their cruise climb magic on the way to altitude. Good flying-

For Sale/Wanted / 4 new tires for sale, 11x4.00-5
« on: August 20, 2007, 09:57:01 PM »
4 tires and 3 tubes.
11x4.00-5, 8 ply rating.
Put smaller tires on. From AC Spruce 8 months ago. Have been stored under my bench inside, no sunlight. Still in packing wrap.
$57 plus shipping. 4 for price of 3.

Hangar Flying / Wobbley brakes
« on: August 19, 2007, 12:27:48 PM »
While youre at it, you might check the lower strut. Probably not an issue for you but i have helped repair three struts that had failed due to brake heat. Two struts were failed horizontally through the top axle bolt holes and one failed a little higher adjacent to the top of the brake disc. All had wheel pants. Indications included irratic brake shimmy, the gear wanting to spread, and uneven tire wear. None were visible until removing the outside glass wrap on the strut. On two, the damage was such that once the wrap was removed, the lower strut and axle came off.
That i have not had a similar issue is probably due to the brake shields and our 6k ft runway.  Hope having the rotors turned fixes it for you-

Hangar Flying / ELT Location
« on: August 18, 2007, 06:56:27 PM »
Mine is under the forward thigh support. The thigh support was built with a top lid.
The antenna goes forward through the left oval hole in the lower instrument panel bulkhead and aligns against the left nose wheel well wall and the left NG30 (they trap the nose gear crank.) It is secured to those two surfaces. The tip of the antenna goes just forward of the left pedal. The antenna is not disturbed by the pedal or the transient clodhopper.
This locaton meets the desired positioning and allows access to the ELT switch through the oval hole.
IMOH, in the event of an off field landing, this particular location will experience adequate disturbance from the event or the pilot to activate the signal.

Hangar Flying / Build my confidence...please!
« on: August 10, 2007, 05:48:03 PM »
Just to add to the excellent notes above, basic things can make for a solid confident start to a flight.
- Double check the last thing worked on.
- Restart any preflight that is interrupted.
- The canopy safety catch. Confirm its function each flight sitting in the plane and closing the canopy for the first time. For some reason mine occasionally needs a slight adjustment after the plane has been open at a fly in.
- The three canopy latches. Temperature or unintentional side loads while closing can cause misalignment. From inside, with no easy viewing of all three hooks as they engage, a guy can look right past the mechanism and not notice that the hook is actually going outside the bolt head. I caught one getting ready for Oshkosh. It helps to re-read the plans for the proper tolerances.
- The canopy/gear/throttle warning system. Installed and working correctly. I have heard and agree that this is a no-fly, safety of flight item.
-We certainly use the experience of others to advantage. Adjust along the way.

Concerning the concerns. Work through them.
-RAF did demos for early builders. They tortured and abused canard tabs and wing fittings. They tested poorly built components. They attached wings and canards to hangar pillars and loaded on sandbags and then dozens of bystanders. In the CPs.
My concern was those tiny little axle bolts. Until attempts to trash and break a few failed. Impressive.
- Even with a VariEze approaching a thousand flights, each preflight includes a little consideration of the significance of the powerful and exciting physics experiment that is about to take place. It is a useful part if the preflight ritual and is usually quickly checked on and checked off the list.
- Documenting maintenance and flight details is a good way to track and resolve legitimate concerns. I hear it can occasionally make a guy feel really smart. After shutting down, a local retired test pilot spends about ten minutes scratching on his kneeboard before climbing out of his SX300.
- Best Bet: Use a checklist, at least for the first twenty years.
Congrats on your work and good flying.

Hangar Flying / Where is Bill James?
« on: June 30, 2007, 08:15:36 PM »
Here i am just minding my own business perusing the board catching up with you guys and bam get whacked in the forehead with your note. Hello!

Like you, I enjoy seeing the ez chronicles come up. And getting the feedback they generate. And revisiting them a few months later to relive them again.

EZ Chronicles are also posted at  
A new note will be up next week. At some point the EZ Chronicles link in may take you to this new site.

Am having the time of my life right now and writing is mostly building shells capturing events and details before things get away.

Resurfacing a little while from now will include the old tried and true and something new... (Glennbob's poetry is inspiring me)...a  few new chronicles after they are cleaned up a little, and a surprise that is coming together pretty well.

Sunsets flights here are filled with lots of bouncy red clouds these days. The oil cooling is working so good, must follow the ez tradition and change it up a little.
-Bill James, Fort Worth VariEze

Hangar Flying / Downdraught Cooling with Exhaust Augmentation
« on: April 07, 2007, 05:50:36 PM »
Howdy Guys-
Don, I will be following your DD progress with interest.
Since stumbling onto a successful oil cooling combo last summer, am finally out of the test stuff and back into a comfortable routine of sunset rides and occasional weekend lunch flights, with a couple of efficient family business runs thrown in.

With all the oil cooling work, it is hard to admit that it is now almost identical to what I previously finally did on the 0-235. A considerable amount of effort and epoxy was spent trying not to stick that scoop back out the lower cowl, but common sense finally demanded giving up and just getting it cooling and enjoying flying again.
Unfortunately, cruising back from RR against a 35 kt headwind allowed enough time for a new cooler location idea to creep in. It is independent of other systems. If it works, you all will be the first to know. But right now the current setup is good I am still enjoying the more relaxed just-flying mode.

Terry Schubert's excellent CSA article on oil cooling this month explains everything we need to know. I guess it's just a matter of what drag price we are willing to pay.

As you move to DD cooling, I can mention a significant element that probably wonít be an issue for you, but caused big differences with my new engine installation - the aft cowl shape.
With the 0-290, the new top cowl was closed down too much and air circles back into the aft cowl opening. This is at odds with the oil cooler air flow, among other things. I chose to make small changes and watch the progress. A small mustang inlet was installed. Air came out of it backwards, forward - out of a forward facing inlet! That is how bad that air wanted to come in the aft opening. With the engine not broken in yet, oil vapor from the case vent tube provided obvious evidence of the aft air flow coming back in.  Again, one of my prouder days. The large helo i flew had similar surprising airflow. You could immediately tell if anyone in the aft cabin puked.
The easy cure of course, would have been to have snuck out at midnight at RR and secretly made a mold of Hertzlerís top aft cowl shape. This cowl shape redo was on the to-do list I got from him at RR this year. I felt good because Bill Allen evidently got as many demerits as I did. Back at home I did slit and raise the aft top cowl edge two inches. This helped, with the fog of oil vapor not coming into the aft opening as far. I expect it will take several steps in the right direction before 'arriving'.
Rob Martinson mentioned benefiting from trimming the aft cowl edge and increasing the space to the prop, which I will be playing with. Since your plane was already flying, the cowl shape and prop distance is obviously already perfect and it won't be an issue for you  :D

I have posted EZ Chronicles 40 and 41 at an upcoming site  including a note on one of the recent hamburger runs. These should also be up here on soon. Congrats to Avery and Crew for getting the site protected and going again. Thanks.

Don I wish you success with your DD conversion. Even though we all start with basically the same cylinders to cool, everyone ends up a little different. Or a lot different. Hope yours is the best!
Bill James, Fort Worth VariEze

Hangar Flying / YeeeHaw!!
« on: February 08, 2007, 01:28:21 PM »

Hangar Flying / mysterious thump
« on: October 14, 2005, 11:35:15 AM »
Along the way try looking at wiring while idling on the ground in the dark with the cowls off? I caught a bad plug wire arcing that way.

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