Well it’s been almost a month since our last blog so I guess it’s time to bring you all up to date. We’ve been busy so you can expect a few blogs updates in the next week to bring you up to date with our progress. Under the engine cowling we just had the basic engine block so we were now in a position to plumb in everything. The first thing to fit was the CKT twin outlet exhaust system. As you’ll see from the photos below we’ve gone for the heater option which takes heat from the exhaust using an aluminium jacket around the exhaust. Scat piping then feeds the warm air through the firewall into the cabin. We then fitted the oil tank to the right hand side of the firewall.

The oil cooler piggybacks onto the back of the water radiator so that was the next item to install. The brackets need to be adjusted so that the radiator is aligned with the opening in the cowling for maximum efficiency. Once in place the relevant water and oil hosing can be installed. When in place they were cable tied and secured so as not to chafe or come into contact with the exhaust system. The expansion / overflow tank is fitted to the port side of the firewall.

Before fitting the fuel tanks, which are located behind the seats, we installed two aerials. This SkyRanger will be fitted with an 8.33kHz radio and a Mode S transponder so a VHF aerial is fitted to the upper fuselage just aft of the cabin with the transponder aerial fitted to the bottom of the fuselage. With these in place we could install the fuel tanks. Having all flown the SkyRanger classic, we unanimously decided to go for the external fuel filler option with the build. Otherwise you need to fill the tanks via the cabin with a jerry can, not ideal! The single point external filler is situated on the starboard side and makes fuelling the 60 litre tanks much easier.

A fuel balance pipe connecting the tanks allow both tanks to fill and drain easily. The fuel return pipe is fitted to the starboard tank and the breather is connected to the port tank. Both tanks have fuel lines from the base connected by a T piece and fuel tap. The line then runs through a filter, under the cabin floor and up through the firewall to the engine. We’ve decided to fit an additional electric fuel boost pump as a backup to the engine driven pump but this is not required. The engine driven pump is mounted on the gearbox and from there fuel is fed back to the carburettors. The tanks themselves sit on load spreader bars and are held in position by securing straps. With the tanks in place both cockpit seats were installed.

Check back later in the week for the next blog update! Click on the images to see bigger versions.

The CKT Twin Exhaust system laid out ready for installation

A view of the installed exhaust with heater jacket

The oil tank is fitted to the right hand side of the firewall

The oil cooler (red cap) piggybacks on the water radiator (yellow cap).

A perfect fit! The brackets holding on the radiator need to be adjusted to match the cowling

Before installing the fuel tanks the transponder aerial was fitted to the base of the fuselage

The VHF antennae is fitted to the upper fuselage just aft of the cabin

The last plumbing in the engine bay was the fuel system. You can see the engine driven pump connected to the gearbox

Engine installation almost complete!

The fuel tanks are connected by a balance pipe which allows fuel to fill and drain evenly from both tanks.

The tanks are located just behind the seats

Securing straps hold the tanks in position

Once in place, both tanks were connected to a T-piece which will connect to a fuel tap. The line will then run under the cabin floor to the firewall

With the tanks in place, the seats were fitted