Today I drove up to Bob’s to pick up our engine! My day started very early in a hotel near the Tri-Cities airport. In a rare work schedule fluke, my day ended when we arrived in CLT at around 6:15 in the morning. I drove down to the south part of CLT to get to the Harbor Freight store, since there weren’t any others on the way. I had found a coupon that would reduce the price of their engine lift to $100, and I knew that I was going to need it before the day was over. I knew that today was going to be the engine day, so I had also tossed an old tire that I picked up from Claude’s into the bed of the truck a few days earlier.
I got to Bob’s at about 12:30, and it was a pretty chilly day. The engine had actually been ready for a couple of weeks, but he advised that I not try to come due to the icy and muddy conditions. Even now the runway was just visible.
Bob had made quite a bit of progress on the LSA variant of his Bearhawk Patrol design. As you can see, now the wings are on it and it even looks like an airplane.
After a few minutes of conversation and Bob’s explanation of a few key features, Bob and Bruce loaded the engine up for me. Here they are taking it off of the stand.
I asked Bob about whether or not he would still use electrical conduit parts for an exhaust system, now that he has over 10 years and 1000 hours on his. He said that he would, and he offered to go out to his prototype Bearhawk to take some pictures.
I also really liked the design of his heat box for cabin and carb heat. Left and right exhaust muffs take hot air into a mixing box, where both supply cabin and/or carb heat as needed. Carb heat exits through the forward-facing SCAT tube, an cabin heat exits through the aft side of the box. These kinds of pictures can be really handy for other purposes too.
It was getting to be time to go, since the weather forecast for more snow was starting to materialize into a wintry mix.
We put the engine onto the tire, strapped the engine to the bed, then covered the whole unit with a blue tarp. To limit flapping, I bunched up handfuls of tarp and used wire ties to secure them.
As I started to drive south, the snow turned to rain and the interstate stopped moving. It turns out there had been an accident, and I was able to shut off the truck and sit in the same place for more than an hour.
At about 8:30 I finally backed the truck into the hangar. 6 hours for a 3.5 hour trip! Tabitha met me there to help assemble the engine lift.
The next few pictures are a little bit blurry since it was dark.
We had to assemble the lift before we could unload the engine. By this point I had been awake for quite a while, so it took longer than it should have to get it together.
Here is the engine, unwrapped and looking all new.
I thought I should test the lift before I put something expensive on it.
In the end it was a pretty long day, but I was glad that everything went well.