Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It runs! Well, more like lopes...

After a prolonged operation of moving other aircraft out of the way, were managed to pull the Warrior out of the hangar to test run the re-assembled engine. I received yet another harsh reminder of the true cost of taking night classes in the winter: it's COLD out there.

We had pre-oiled the engine before pulling the plane out of the hangar to ensure that all of the engine bits had at least some access to lubrication when we first started the engine, so it should have been a simple matter to just crank it up and run it. Snapita, of course. What appeared initially to be a dead-ish battery (and in this case, given the hugely deflating, anti-climatic failure to turn over, I prefer the word "flaccid") turned out to be a problem in the wiring. An hour of fiddling around with that, wishing all the while that, if not Rome, at least something was burning to provide some heat, the wiring was jury-rigged enough to allow another attempt.

It started right up. No apparent leaks, and all of the parts (at least those visible to the naked eye) remained attached. Success!

Well, partial success. The engine steadfastly refuses to rev up any higher than 1,300 RPM. At that point, it just quits. Fuel starvation, it appears, which indicates a problem in the carburetor. Now, here's something we didn't know: when the initial damage to the pistons and cylinder heads occured, they were running the engine to try to determine the cause of (wait for it...) fuel starvation at higher RPMs. Late to be learning that, in my opinion, but nothing to be done. We did all we could do, and now it will be up to the advanced engine class to find the fault with the carb. Which, of course, they will do inside, where it's warm.

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