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16 Nov 2018, 05:39 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


Greenwich AeroGroup



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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 23:16 
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Joined: 06/17/14
Posts: 1545
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Location: KJYO
Aircraft: FF-AX7, C-182, BE-95
Brilliant move to get the avionics before they could sell them or tie them up as assets in a BK!


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2018, 00:09 
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Joined: 11/22/12
Posts: 963
Post Likes: +497
Company: Retired
Location: Seattle KPAE
Aircraft: TN36, building Evo
Meeting with the new EAC boss didn't happen this week but got some useful stuff done and pictures for you all.
Attachment:
IMG_20180813_145002514_HDR.jpg
Pulled the engine back off, getting ready to go to the paint shop. The prop is already there.
Attachment:
IMG_20180813_141848727.jpg
See-through fiberglass layer over the de-icing system, kept as thin as possible to minimize change to the airfoil.
Attachment:
IMG_20180813_164836849.jpg
The wings have an inset for the de-icing system so we have had more cushion to build it up to the design profile but we still kept the glass layer thin to maximize heat transfer.
Attachment:
IMG_20180813_165050189.jpg
Shop's getting crowded. This bird was trucked cross-country from a shop throwing in the towel to get finished here. When I started there were 7 or 8 approved build shops, now I think there are just 3 left still in the business.


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2018, 08:05 
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Joined: 05/05/09
Posts: 2733
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I was at Spruce Creek meeting up with my IV-P buddy and he said Fibercraft has gone under due to the Evolution situation. Sad.

Question: what happens if these integral heating elements need service, fail, a wire breaks, etc? Do you have to chisel them out and start over? The idea is pretty interesting but do you have any thoughts about maintenance?


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2018, 10:15 
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Joined: 08/14/13
Posts: 2899
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Location: DTS/ATL/IAD
Aircraft: LancairES TAT-TN
As cheap as capital is right now, with this booming economy, it's interesting to see that this company is not thriving

I can't help but notice that the demise/downfall seems to track directly with the two insurance losses last year and the availability of options in this market.

Not trying to say I have a crystal ball, but this point was mentioned prior to those incidents as a huge outstanding risk by several others as well

Dave, are you in agreement that this is the culprit, or do you see other factors?


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2018, 13:25 
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Joined: 11/22/12
Posts: 963
Post Likes: +497
Company: Retired
Location: Seattle KPAE
Aircraft: TN36, building Evo
Username Protected wrote:
I can't help but notice that the demise/downfall seems to track directly with the two insurance losses last year and the availability of options in this market. Dave, are you in agreement that this is the culprit?
No, this was in the works long before the first hull loss. The company had been losing money for years, only selling about half its capacity. Kevin Eldridge was brought in to turn it around in 2015, the owner gave him almost 2 years before pulling the plug. For that matter, the rise in insurance costs started even before the first hull loss, with a spate of nosewheel collapses crunching expensive engines. Note that when the rates went up the insurance companies didn't increase their training requirements but they did add an exception for gear collapse.

The fundamental problem is a conflict between innovation and control. To get away from their experience on the earlier Lancairs and the reputation they created, they tried to minimize variations in airframe, engine, and avionics. But if every Evolution is the same, why buy (and build) new? You could buy any of the 7 currently for sale and have it updated, saving both money and time. There needs to be a continual flow of improvements to make new more attractive than used. By blocking builders from experimenting, EAC had to take on the R&D burden by itself. It couldn't afford that, especially when too much of its R&D money went down ratholes like the parachute and piston models, neither of which sold enough to justify their development cost.


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2018, 13:39 
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I parked next to an Evolution this weekend at Spruce (probably a Fibercraft Eviction) as its in primer.

The nose gear appears to have a giant hydraulic actuator with no mechanical over-center mechanism. Is this true? What holds the gear down in the even of hydraulic failure; the gas strut?


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 21 Aug 2018, 14:22 
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Joined: 11/22/12
Posts: 963
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Company: Retired
Location: Seattle KPAE
Aircraft: TN36, building Evo
Username Protected wrote:
The nose gear appears to have a giant hydraulic actuator with no mechanical over-center mechanism.
Yeah, not my favorite part of the design. An accumulator maintains pressure on the system when the pump is off. Somewhow, pressure was sometimes being lost after sitting, then if the plane is towed, when the towing stops the body of the plane would continue to roll forward, retracting the nosegear. The factory tried a couple of fixes but never fully got this solved. We redid the system, changed from a one-way pump and shuttle valve to a simpler design with a reversible pump and no valves. We're cautiously optimistic that will fix it, but we added a "Remove Before Flight" pin anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 22 Sep 2018, 18:44 
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Joined: 11/22/12
Posts: 963
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Company: Retired
Location: Seattle KPAE
Aircraft: TN36, building Evo
The landing gear hydraulic system mod that we came up with for my plane has proven to be a popular retrofit, at least 3 Evolutions are in the shop for the mod now. Besides simplifying from a unidirectional pump and shuttle valves to a bi-directional pump (as the factory was also planning, before everyone was laid off), we moved it forward to the firewall. That freed up room for an aux tank (w/ gauge and sump) entirely under the floor of the baggage area. It also shortened lines, sped up the gear cycle, saved weight and moved the empty CG forward, which have proved attractive for other Evo owners as well.
Attachment:
IMG_20180918_142846121.jpg
This is a 40 gal aux tank, about the same size as mine, in a plane built by another shop, seen through the baggage door. No gauge, no sump. You can see how much baggage room it takes up even when empty. And when full, the CG precludes using any but the front seats. The owner is keeping the tank but getting the hydraulics moved to make the CG range more useable. They're also changing the fuel hoses designed for gasoline, not jet fuel, so the cabin will stop smelling of Jet A. And they'll move and enlarge the vent line you can see going behind the paper towels and up and over the fuel filler so it can be filled without spitting all over the line guy.
Again, this is NOT my plane!


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 23 Sep 2018, 18:03 
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Joined: 12/03/17
Posts: 1261
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Location: Asheville, NC
Aircraft: Lancair LNC2
I smile because you have an EXPERIMENTAL airplane, just like us Lancair 235 guys who had to work out the bugs in the original design. :bud:


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 30 Sep 2018, 23:04 
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Company: Retired
Location: Seattle KPAE
Aircraft: TN36, building Evo
Last chance to refine some bodywork before heading to paint.
Attachment:
IMG_1971.jpg
Top...
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IMG_1969.jpg
...to bottom
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IMG_1978.jpg
Working with carbon mostly avoids the infamous fill-sand-repeat drudgery of fiberglass composite construction but there's still some. The plane-size rotisserie is a big help.


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2018, 17:31 
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Joined: 03/24/08
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Aircraft: Cessna 182M
Username Protected wrote:
The plane-size rotisserie is a big help.


Dave,

Mild sense of curiosity, how on earth does that rotisserie work with the wings attached?

:dancing:

RAS


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2018, 18:01 
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Joined: 11/22/12
Posts: 963
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Company: Retired
Location: Seattle KPAE
Aircraft: TN36, building Evo
Username Protected wrote:
Mild sense of curiosity, how on earth does that rotisserie work with the wings attached?
LOL, it doesn't, of course. Gather everyone, pull the wings off, rotate, put them back on. It's an all-hands-on-deck operation but it doesn't take that long. The wings aren't heavy, less than 200 lbs. apiece, just awkward. As busy as the shop is right now, the most time-consuming part of the whole operation is clearing enough floor space.


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2018, 19:23 
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Joined: 11/22/12
Posts: 963
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Company: Retired
Location: Seattle KPAE
Aircraft: TN36, building Evo
Username Protected wrote:
I smile because you have an EXPERIMENTAL airplane, just like us Lancair 235 guys who had to work out the bugs in the original design.
So, so true! And every "improvement"/deviation from the plans adds time. I'd heard that, of course, but I didn't appreciate how it works. It's seductively easy to make the change, it doesn't add much time when you do it (an antenna, for example: it takes no more time to drill the mounting holes where you want them instead of where the manual says) but w-a-a-y down the road you discover it adds a ton of time (the new coax routing means something has to be moved, so something ELSE has to move, etc.).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not regretting any of the changes we've made (most of which I'm not supposed to talk about yet so stay tuned) but man, the schedule slippage has me chomping at the bit.


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2018, 19:31 
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Joined: 05/05/09
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Left wing root at leading edge doesn't seem to line up with fuselage fillet; did you micro this in more smoothly?


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 Post subject: Re: You say you want an Evolution ...
PostPosted: 02 Oct 2018, 22:43 
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Joined: 11/22/12
Posts: 963
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Company: Retired
Location: Seattle KPAE
Aircraft: TN36, building Evo
Username Protected wrote:
Left wing root at leading edge doesn't seem to line up with fuselage fillet; did you micro this in more smoothly?
That's the "before" shot. You can see when it's upside down it was much cleaned up before we flipped it over.


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