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Improving Systems on Purple

A couple of years ago, I put an oil cooler in the nose to use oil for heat, It worked okay. The blower motor was lacking. I put it on my top one hundred list.

Finally this week I decided to work on Purple, my airplane, for a change.

#1 replace blower motor. I made an adapter plate to fit the 4” fan and the oil cooler, wired it up to a variable speed controller. It works fine, no magic smoke.

#2 Seat heat. Purchased the heat pads from Summit back in 2017, so I spent thirty minutes looking for them, of course they were in the last place I looked. Pulled off seat covers, installed heat pads this step was pretty easy, recovered seat covers. Next i wired all of this. Wiring is just a power and ground, so most of this was hiding the wire.

#3 Retractable step. The step is timed to be fully open when the canopy is. Kinda cool, however a real pain. When by yourself you only need half open, at this point the step is only half way out. I use an Allan servo to actuate the step through a multiplier. Shortened the input side of arm to increase movement, much better now.

#4. Add lower winglet. Purple has a long nose to offset the engine being moved aft. I removed the lower winglet because it looks cool. The longer nose and no lower winglet made purple loose in yaw above 170 Kts. A simple solution was to put the pods on, at normal cruise that cost you 7Kts. The pods look really cool, but they are almost always empty. Solution is to install lower winglets. We built new ones and removed the top four inches of foam to fit over my small winglet. The first requirement was they had to be removable. There is a bell crank in them to move rudder. They are held on by eight screws. So far so good and the pods are on the fuel tank rack. If I need my pods I install them and remove lower winglets.

#5 Revisit the gurney flap on elevator, the first one was made from heat shrink and tape. It worked great. Made new one out of cheap plastic and glued on. Purple has a cool pitch trim, so I will tell you how to do an easy electric trim in the future.

Stay Tuned for more on Purple!


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