I finally got the RV–8 flying again today - the first flight since late January. The engine had been at Aerosport Power since late March. They were ready to ship it back in mid May, but I needed to pay the bill first, and we were on the road on vacation in Alberta and BC. I paid the bill after we got back home at the end of May, and the engine arrived on June 8th, shortly before I left on a two week trip to Viking in BC. I went to the hangar every day after I got back, but it was steaming hot in the afternoons, so I would eventually melt down and stop for the day.

I had it ready yesterday afternoon for a ground run to check for leaks, but the starter barely cranked it over, so it never started. Slow cranking has been a recurring problem, and in the past it has always been caused by a bad connection in the power or ground paths somewhere between the battery (in the rear fuselage) and the engine.

This morning I cleaned and tightened every connection in the power and ground circuits, and now it cranks like crazy. I did a ground run just before lunch to check for leaks, check ignition systems, prop governing, engine instruments, etc. Everything check out, so after lunch I did the first break-in flight. I used the profile recommended in Lycoming Service Instruction 1427B - 60 minutes at 75% power, then 60 minutes alternating between 65% and 75% power, then 30 minutes at max power. Of course, now that I look for a link to SI1427B, to put in this post, I find that it was superseded by SI1427C, which no longer has the final 30 minutes at max power.

The aircraft and engine were working well. I need to adjust the oil pressure slightly. It was in the normal range, varying between 66 and 71 psi, but I’d prefer to see it closer to 80 psi. I’ll tweak the pressure relief valve before the next flight. I’ll also pull the cowlings to check for leaks or anything else amiss, and cut open the filter to check for metal.

It was great to get the RV–8 flying again! Now I need to reteach it how to land. The landing was OK, but not as tidy as I would like. Something to work on before Oshkosh at the end of the month.