Cowling: First Flight
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First Flight 1-23-05

Ron's built metal and felt mounting pads on top of each rocker box for holding the cowling off of the rocker boxes.  The felt provides a soft wear surface for the cowling to hold it off the engine, so there's no hard mounting ring in the front.

The cowling on the pad is rather tight, but appears to be effective at preventing wear.

Here are the pads all the way around the engine:

By late January 2005, Ron had gotten all of the mounting pads and had finished with a planishing pass.  Rob and I drove down to Cottage Grove over the weekend and did an annual on the aircraft.  Once assembled and rolled out things sure looked good:

In fact, the cowling looks so good that the wheel pants and fairings are looking sick by comparison.

The first flight went well.  The CHTs were a little high at 400F, which may indicate not enough cooling air flow through the new cowling.  There was a large hole at the bottom of the baffles, however, which could account for lack of cooling air for the cylinders.  The next flight will be done with a baffle in place to determine how much effect the baffle has on cooling.

The only bad part of the first flight was that I managed to flare a bit high and bump onto the runway!  Although I wish the project hadn't taken as long as it did, the results are amazing and well worth the time and money.