Email Darrol

Breaking in your racing engine.

I run the first 2 tanks of fuel on the test stand. Small prop, that will turn at least 22,000 for Quickie and 27,000 for QM. I keep it on the rich side of peak and do not try to see what it will turn at that time. That takes lots of self-control.
Next I put in an airplane and start out the first flight rich. I use Powermaster fuel and read the fuel trail on the bottom to the airplane. It is the discolored caste in Powermaster that we are seeing. The heat the engine is generating is coloring the fuel. I will turn the needle in and fly it again. I am looking for just a little color in the oil on the bottom of the airplane. When I have the color, I keep dialing in the needle a little at a time until I have a very light brown color. That is the needle setting I use until I start looking for the kill setting....
You live at a high elevation. You use so little fuel at the high altitude, that it is sometimes hard to read the fuel trail, because there is so little. Just be careful to not run it lean until it is completely broken in. Until they are broken in, they will not take any abuse.(lean runs) After that, they are pretty hard to hurt, and will last a long time. They will not break in until you have them running at racing temperature, that is the proper needle setting. Running it rich forever will not get the job done.
You will find many opinions on this, but it is what I do, and it seems to work for me.

Setting up your racing aircraft

When you set up your airplane to race, set it up soft with enough control to fly the airplane with full up on the #1 pylon. If you cannot use it all, you have too much. When you come around pylons #2 and #3, you should have enough to almost make it around both pylons with a full pull when you grab it all; that is, if you start the turn on pylon #2.
Most racers, new and old fly with to much control. They are afraid that they cannot get out of trouble without it. It is the to much control that gets them in trouble most of the time

Straight Racing wings
We used to straighten our build up wings in Formula One. The methods we used were much more difficult than we have a need to do today. Diagonal cut wings epoxied together was one way to do it for a very bad wing. We used to also cut the aileron line from where the ailerons ended to the tip. Then we would bend it and glue it in a new position to compensate for the twisted wing. We only did this with the worst of the warped wings. This was just prior to throwing them away and building a new one. Building a new one was common also.

Now, with the composite wings, there is no excuse for not having a straight wing, no matter how much of a twist there is in a wing. I had one wing that had so much of a twist in it that full aileron trim would not make it fly level. By doing what I am explaining, the wing was straightened to the point that there was no aileron deflection for level flight. In order for an airplane to be properly trimmed, there should not be any aileron deflection at all at neutral.

The first step is to fly the airplane and leave the aileron trim where the airplane needed it to fly with the wings level. Note which aileron is up. That is the wing tip to moved. By experience, I have found that if you move that wing tip to where the aileron and the fixed part of the wing tip on the outside portion of the wing is in line, it is very close to where you want to be. Moving it is easy.

Bolt the wing on the fuse and leave the radio on with the aileron trim in the position that it was in for level flight. Get someone to hold the airplane solid on a table with the wing we are going to repair off the edge of the table. I have found that the easiest place to heat and move the wing is at the aileron cut at the outside end of the aileron. Using a monocote heat gun, I heat about a 6" area from the trailing edge to the leading edge on both the top and bottom of the wing. If the temperature is correct, it should be hot to your touch, but not hot enough to bubble the paint. Heat it in several passes over the area instead of trying to do it in one pass. You must heat the top and bottom before you twist it to the proper angle. The heat must go deep in the wing skin, not just the surface to be able to move the wing.

Once the wing is heated, take the tip in your hand and hold it at where you want it plus a little. Now, while holding it in position, rub the heated area of the wing with a wet towel to take the heat out of the skin and to set the new shape of the wing. Remember the goal is to align the outboard aileron with the new wing shape with the aileron in the new flying position. You may have to repeat the process several times to get it where you want it after it has cooled. When it is where you want it, it is time for the next step.

Now you will have a wing that the aileron center and tip does not match the wing. We use the same method to straighten the ailerons. With the radio holding the center of the aileron at the neutral position, heat and bend the aileron to match the new position of the straightened wing. Now remove the wing and mechanically center the other aileron to match the wing. Next time you fly the airplane, the ailerons will be perfectly aligned with the wing and in neutral flying position. If not, you may have to repeat the process. Once I have completed this, the wings have kept their shape. The heat of the sun does not seem to affect the changes you have made.

This process is simple, and it has taken me longer to explain it than do it… Do not be afraid to try it, it works well.