Author Topic: Cold air on the feet.  (Read 6646 times)

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Offline allen

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Cold air on the feet.
« on: December 18, 2007, 03:36:31 PM »
My plane was built in Florida so the builder never put in any kind of heat. I have a question for you guru’s out there.

Took the plane up Friday night for a trip around the patch since the plane hasn’t flown in 5 weeks. Initially I told ATC that I wanted to stay close to the field so they parked me up at 5.5 to keep me out of their hair. The problem was that it was COLD! Cockpit temp at that altitude was 17 degrees.

Back on November 4th I flew to Gatlinburg Tn. To visit family and flew home after dark up at 11.5k. On the way there I had a good bit of wind sneaking in under the canopy. A quick trip to Home Depot for some weather stripping solved that for the trip home.

The issue now is ram air coming in around the elevator tube. After Fridays flight everything felt fine, but I couldn’t feel my feet, and my lower legs were getting pretty cold.

Barring the electric socks, oil heat and what not, has anybody come up with a simple design to sort of “close off” the air around the tube? I was envisioning something similar to the brush type material around the emergency break handle in my Jeep. It would allow free movement for the elevator, but hopefully cut back some of the wind.

Later in life I plan on putting in some air vents and at that time addressing a more permanent heat solution.
Allen
Long-Ez N701DS
1998 O-320 160HP
http://www.freewebs.com/wonderingwingnut

Offline admin

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Cold air on the feet.
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 04:40:04 PM »
I think many have tried to fix this problem none real successful except
for the offset tube mod.

I was looking at the pre-made offsets this morning on the Cozy Gurls website.

http://www.cozygirrrl.com/aircraftparts.htm

I don't think its a big undertaking if you have the parts.
 
I seem to remember some articles in past CSA's about how to make these
yourself. I believe there have also been some alternate mods to cover the existing tubes. You might find it the CSA index.

Offline Radioflyer

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Cold air on the feet.
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2007, 05:12:33 PM »
Yes, many have tried to solve this air leak, having partial , if any , success. For example, someone has a web page describing how they made out of fibreglass an assembly of  a disc afixed to the torque tube which then rotates inside a fixed molded pocket, thereby trapping the mass air flow somewhat.  The offset torque tube mod would be really helpful, but google Nick Ugilini's website...very doable, but looks laborious to me.

I think someone in the CA List suggested that you pay at least as much attention to the "outflow" of cabin air. Find all the potential outflow spots... vents, hell-hole cover, space between right side rear console and hell-hole, etc., and you will mitigate the "inflow". This makes sense because you can't get air in, if it isn't going out.

Good luck. I have the same problem, but am not dealing with it at the moment.

Offline flyingwaldo

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Cold Feet
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2007, 01:12:06 AM »
I was surprised at how much of the cold air was coming from everywhere else BUT the canard tubes.  A very knowledgeable canard man helped me pack and silicone in stiff foam shapes that filled every other hole and slot in my nose area this fall.  The difference was amazing.  No more cold blast on the feet.  Now just a very light breeze, probably from the canard tubes.  

If you have the big blast, there may be bigger areas to fill. If just the light breeze, I'll also be happy to hear of a good solution to stop that.  In the meantime, Gerber clothing works well, as does battery powered socks and good insulated boots......

Offline allen

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Cold air on the feet.
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2007, 09:44:33 AM »
Thanks for the replies guys.

After posting I continued to crawl several canard sites and found a few ideas. The “inflow vs outflow” is the easiest and most logical place for me to start and I have addressed this somewhat already.

   When Douglas built the plane he omitted two key things; any weather seals, and any vents. My plane has not one air vent in it. Zero! Even the canopy vent in front of my face was glassed over smooth. I have to say, when I first bought the plane in Florida this summer it was very hot in the cockpit and the bit of air flow sneaking in under the canopy and from the canard were welcomed! Once I get this thing sealed up tight for the winter I have to figure out what I will do for summer flying.

   Putting weather seal from Home Depot has done a fantastic job of keeping the rain on the ramp out, and the wind at cruise speeds out. I experimented with a few different types before I found one that I like, but that’s not to say that I won’t play around a bit more. It was cheap stuff with peel and stick backing. I cleaned the rails with alcohol swabs and once it dried I applied the seal. It gets peeled back where I get in and out of the plane, but like I said, the stuff is cheap and it takes 5 minutes to pull all of the old stuff and put down new. It even comes in white.

   I’m hoping that when Drew gets home this summer I might be able to pick his brain for a weekend project building some kind of vents into the plane. (Drew, buddy, pal, friend… Beer? Donation to the college fund? You name it.)  8)

   At the end of the day I want some level of ventilation passing through the crew compartment. It’s a matter of picking your fight I guess. When it’s all over, even on a bad day, I still own my dream!
Allen
Long-Ez N701DS
1998 O-320 160HP
http://www.freewebs.com/wonderingwingnut

Offline Drew

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Cold air on the feet.
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2007, 01:05:52 AM »
A lot of air comes in at the canard cover.  Seal it up with silicone if you don't take off the canard often---otherwise tape it up with glider tape.  On my longez, I took off the canard all of the time---so I taped it.  On the Cozy, I almost never take off the canard---so it is siliconed.  You will notice a difference.  You will also leak a lot of air through the nose wheel well---so pay attention there too.

For cold flying, I use the little chemical heaters that hunters use in their boots.  The heated socks did nothing for me.  But the chemical heaters will warm your feet up real good.  And if your feet are warm, then the rest of you is warm too.

Doing vents is a good first project.  You can't really mess it up---and if you do, just start over.  Here is a page from berkut13:

http://www.berkut13.com/berkut35.htm
Drew Swenson
Cozy N171ML

Offline GlennBob

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Cockpit venting
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2007, 02:13:28 AM »
I saw a ver simple, . .and easy way to vent  the front cockpit this summer at Osh Kosh.  The dude with the grey easy had just slightly modified the landing gear inspection door.  You know, . that lil' plastic window through which you can see the nose wheel when it's stowed.  All he did was add a hinge to the bottom, and a latch to the top ! !  Now, . .when he wants cockpit air,  he just flips the latch and he lets the door drop back towards him and he's got air.  Plenty leaks past the nose wheel.  He says it does a great job of keeping the family jewels cool ! !    :lol:

I plan to encorporate this plan into my bird ! !  No exterior cutting required ! !

Mr. Redman did a beautiful job on his though.

Glennbob
N600EZ  O-320-E2A,  Hertzler prop, Trio AP, Narco HSI, Custom headers, Oil heat.

Offline Dave in Eugene

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Cold air on the feet.
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2007, 01:32:28 AM »
2nd on the glider tape... major difference...prior to that i installed 12 volts socks which work great... need them a lot less now. dk
408 EZ Long EZ 0235-L2C / Great American 62X62 / IFR / GU canard

Offline Mick

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Cold air on the feet.
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2007, 09:54:38 AM »
I minimised the airflow leak by sealing up all the outflow leaks and white duct tape cut out to the shape of the movement of the elevator torque tube and applied on the outside of the fuselage.

The remaining leakage is fairly small but helps to keep the back of the panel (avionics) cool. Even with no leaks you'll find your feet still get cold as they're in the shade.

So for winter flying a pair of sheep skin Ugg boots, they're light comfortable and warm even at sub zero temperatures. Works a treat!

Regards
Mick

Offline nmflyboy

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Cold air on the feet.
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2008, 08:29:14 PM »
My feet almost froze flying over E AZ and NM.  I bought some wool socks and taped up the canard seams, but it didn't help much.  I thought I was going to get frostbite!  Wasn't funny at the time, but could have been a serious safety issue.  

I also notice that my canopy 'warps' a little in the cold (16f) and blows air right on my right hand.  

Try to stay warm and dress in layers, seal outflows, and stop at the first sign of coldness.  I kept flying and found myself freezing cold over 6000' terrain with no airport w/in 30 mins!  "I learned about flying from that!"
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"I will always be puzzled by the human predilection for piloting vehicles at unsafe velocities!" CMDR Data

Offline allen

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Cold air on the feet.
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2008, 01:40:53 PM »
Flyboy,

   I had a similar experience flying to Gatlinburg Tn a few months back. I had a jet of ice cold 17 degree air shooting right onto my right hand. After I landed I went straight to Home Depot and found some white weather stripping. I ran this around the entire cockpit with the idea that it was a temporary fix just to get me home.

   When I flew home later that night I was up at 11.5 with an OAT of about 3 degrees short of ludicrous. The weather stripping did such a great job I simply replaced it with a thicker version of the same stuff. This fix cost a grand total of $16.

   One interesting point; with the canopy sealed up better I noticed a very pronounced reduction in the amount of air coming in from down around my feet. One of the other guys pointed out that this is a byproduct of the air no longer having an “out”. Don’t get me wrong, my feet still freeze, but the airflow is significantly reduced.  

   This summer I suspect I will be singing a different tune.
Allen
Long-Ez N701DS
1998 O-320 160HP
http://www.freewebs.com/wonderingwingnut