Thursday, February 03, 2011

Auto Pilot Service

I scheduled a vacation day for tomorrow in order to get 08Romeo to the doctor, the avionics doctor.  I have a 9:30 appointment with Penn Avionics to bring the plane in to get the Century I A/P squared away.  If you read along you will remember that during the annual I had the roll servo removed and Penn Avionics agreed to bench test it.  Getting the unit bench tested during inspection, while the interior was out and floor opened up, saved a good bit of time and money I would have shelled out for Penn to go through the same exact process.

So, the plan is to head to Brandywine airport in the morning, after a stop at Dunkin for my must have hot tea and maybe a bagel. I went to the airport after work today and plugged in the reiff heaters which should bring my oil temps up to 110* and keep the cylinder heads warmed up too. There was some ice but I managed my way picking the snow areas instead of the ice, in hopes of reducing the chance of falling on my butt. I forgot my moving blanket to cover the cowl but I'm sure she'll be ready to go.  Friday also looks like a great wx day for flying, today was just as nice despite the winds.

I'll report the findings and or status of my repairs. I am hoping they will not break the bank. If the repairs leave money in the flying budget I may swap out the taxi light with the wide beam Whelen LED version.  I am also looking at a replacent for the compass, maybe a vertical card, maybe SIRS.

Century I Autopilot information:

Century I is an all-electric, rate-based, lightweight, single axis, roll/heading lateral stabilization autopilot. Vacuum system failures will not affect the operation or performance of the Century I. An electric servo on the aileron control system provides the control force for the wing-leveling stabilization and pilot-commanded, knob-controlled turns at rates of up to 200°/minute.

The system utilizes a tilted rate gyro to sense rate of turn and roll rate in its 3-inch lighted standard turn indicator. The indicator includes an inclinometer (ball) for slip/skid indications, and VOR/LOC radio signal tracking is standard. The Century I may also be used as an all-electric safety backup autopilot to the Century IIB, III, or IV vacuum/electric systems, sharing the same roll servo. Unlike many competitive systems, the custom-manufactured cable harness is included to reduce installation time and expense.

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