Piloto

Bravo Conversion

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John,

 

 

I regularly fly 800 mile trips, over mountains, in or over solid and low overcast, that usually take me through at least two separate weather systems.  In those flight parameters, a J model Mooney, or a naturally aspirated Bonanza for that matter, would be as much use as a Volkswagen bus.  It's simple; initial and operating costs are a limiting factor for most of us, but that is not a valid reason to disparage the capabilities of an aircraft simply because any particular pilot cannot afford an aircraft of greater capability.

  

 

John, a J model is capable of the mission you describe, we do it all the time. I agree that it's not a valid reason to disparage the capabilities of an aircraft simply because any particular pilot cannot afford an aircraft of greater capability. It's also not a valid reason to to disparage the capabilities of an aircraft simply because any particular pilot CAN afford an aircraft of greater capability.

 

Steve Reid

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I've been looking for a Bravo with FIKI for the reasons John mentioned. I just came back from a flight out to BC and back and would only do this in the summer in my J. It's a great plane and very efficient but I would of liked to be at 20K rather then 14K going west and the winds were 30 knots higher in the flight levels coming back from CYXX to CYAG (~1300 miles). Secondly I've been delayed 3 times for a total of 7 days in the last year because I don't have some sort of anti ice system. It would be nice to know that I could keep full power to get above the clouds when icing is around. I'd be nervous at 15K in an Ovation where you're at 55% or less power.

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Good points. I myself had two alternator failures, one in IFR conditions. On both instances I made it to my final destination running on ship battery power with no major problem. Had vacuum to run the gyros. I also had two gyro failures with no problem reaching my destination. I am not impress with TKS specially on a 7 hour flight over the North Atlantic where TKS can only function for two hours and will take forever to de-ice a frozen wing. Unlike the pneumatic boots that will quickly remove the ice and will work for the whole flight duration, TKS is more of preventive measure for short duration events. Plus I hate carrying TKS extra jugs because most FBOs don't have it. I found that Mooneys handle ice pretty well, even though you may loose up to10kts. But best way to deal with ice is to avoid it. And this is where the NOAA website freezing levels is very useful. Unlike an alternator or vacuum failure a turbo failure can bring an airplane down. Specially when flying over the Andes with and average height of 13,000ft. At least on an Ovation  or even an M20J doing the crossing you know you will not have a turbo failure to bring you down. I am sure your plane is kept in the best shape but statistics is what I go by. Like I said before, if you don't have it, it will not fail.

 

José     

 

Piloto,

 

TKS not removing ice is an old wives' tale. On high setting, with panels that were used/primed prior to flight, it will pop ice right off, in a matter of a few minutes.

 

 

As to J being to able to complete same missions as Bravo, sure, but with much more pucker factor.

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That is three really long minutes of video...

It would be longer if I was in the plane wondering if my TKS system was really working...

Is there a background story to go with that?

Best regards,

-a-

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( I am moving this from another thread since it makes more sense to have it under "Bravo Conversion")

I probably own the last M20M in the world (N134JF) that isn't converted to a TIO-540-AF1B (Bravo) engine. (The two other M20M's that I had over the years were already converted to Bravos before I bought them).  I've flown this one about 100 hours in the past two years in between re-doing the interior, the panel, the baffle seals, all LEDs and fixing one tank. I have flown it conservatively since I got it and the temperatures have been good. The oil analyses have been good, but I recently noticed that oil consumption had gone up.

Well . .  it's officially time for the Bravo conversion. I started my annual last week with a compression check and I had a couple low cylinders. I'm going to go ahead and do the top end overhaul and Lycoming Service Instruction 1479a (Bravo "wet-head" conversion). I bought a set of bravo cylinders about a year ago that are at J & J Airparts getting overhauled right now (3-4 weeks til they're done ). Another Mooney owner sold me the Bravo Parts kit that Lycoming sent him - he decided to swap his -A engine out for a factory new -B engine quite a few years ago and had been hanging on to the kit. I happened to sit next to him at MAPA last fall and we worked out a deal last week on the kit.IMG_1744.thumb.JPG.4f43605ce607965e169c3721b2c221c4.JPG

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IMG_1750.thumb.JPG.29757edd41aef041fcf6a94e9c71d888.JPG

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I'm waiting impatiently.  I bought a set of bravo cylinders about a year ago that are at J & J Airparts getting overhauled right now. It should be another week or two until the cylinders are done. Knowing that things always take longer than you expect, I'm hoping everything is wrapped up by the end of March. The annual will be signed off then.

I am also doing a few other things while it's down.

  • I replaced the ignition harnesses on the mags - they were original and a little ragged.
  • I am sending my left mag in for a 500 hour inspection even though it's a little early for that inspection. The right mag is two years old so that's fine.
  • Both alternators have 670TT so I am pulling them and under the watch of the IA I'm going to change brushes, bearings & capacitor. If it looks like they need a complete overhaul we'll send them off for that.
  • I've pulled the rocker box covers off of the old cylinders and stripped, primed and painted them with Lycoming gray heat resistant paint.
  • I bought a new TIT probe since I can't find in the log books where it's been changed. That way the temps should be accurate with the new cylinders going in.
  • I've bought some new hardware that's not included in the Bravo conversion kit (screws for the rocker box covers, exhaust clamp, adel clamps for the fuel injection, etc)

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After experiencing how much work it is to pull the alternators I am going to send them off to be overhauled rather than just change bearings and brushes.

I am amazed how smooth the bearings were after 670 hours. The windings inside look nice and shiny so an overhaul should help these last to engine TBO.

 

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I'm sending them off to http://aeroacc-vny.com/

Robert at Aero Accessories has been very responsive. I'll post a picture when I get them back.

Wednesday my mechanic is pulling the left mag to send off for the 500 hour inspection.

 

 

On a TLS Bravo, believe it or not, you have to pull the prop off to change the alternator belts. So in the spirit of "while we're at it", I am going to send the prop off for an inspection, flush and re-seal as long as the airplane is down. I'm an hour from San Antonio and San Antonio Propellor will do it for $950.

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While I am waiting impatiently for my cylinders, I organized all of the parts necessary for the Bravo conversion. So once it gets going nothing will be left out.

There are a lot of little bits and pieces to convert the TIO-540-AF1A to a TIO-540-AF1B. One example is that the cylinder drain lines increase from 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch diameter to accommodate the extra oil flowing so that it doesn't pool up in the cylinder. The larger drain lines mean larger elbow fittings at the bottom of the cylinders, larger diameter hose and hose clamps between the drain lines and the crankcase, larger fittings on the crankcase, larger hoses that go in and out of the oil cooler, etc, etc. I still have to source two larger diameter hoses that come in and go out of the oil cooler, which will now have a tee on it to direct oil to the Valve guides.

So far, without those last two hoses, the parts in the picture would list for just over $6000 at Aircraft Spruce (one exhaust flange gasket is almost $300!). Of course that doesn't account for the cylinders.

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One of the things that has to be completed is a new engine data plate. The conversion isn't complete until a Lycoming data plate is attached to the engine showing that it's a TIO-540-AF1B. This is what that will look like once www.engravers.net  sends back my data plate. I have four of the Lycoming studs to properly attach the data plate to the engine.

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Since I won't be flying it again until it's a "Bravo" and since I'm still waiting for my cylinders . . . I figured it was OK to put the "Bravo" decal on.

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Interesting on the data plate. I have never converted a Lyc engine, but I have done it on a CMI. Continental uses a very different procedure. You merely and to plate by adding the new suffix after a “c” for convert. To my recollection, their service instruction only allows replacing a damaged unreadable data plate and only they are authorized to supply it - but that is based on memory. But there is nothing unusual about Lyc and CMI doing things very differently. The only downside I see to Lyc method is you loose the fact it’s a converted engine. Not a big deal since it’s still conforms to the converted engine in every way.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Clearly I am running out of things to do while I wait for my cylinders. I took an extra set of fuel caps that I had on the shelf and removed the paint, polished them and had them engraved. I need to touch up around the fuel caps. I didn't realize how bad that looked since the other fuel caps were all scratched up.

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