Pitot Tube Fabrication and Installation
The RotorWay pitot tube is unsatisfactory. Its biggest drawback is its accessibility to damage from a passerby. It doesn't matter how many flags you hang or signs you have pointing to it, someone will bump into it with their leg and bend it! I elected to fabricate a bendable pitot to eliminate having to repair/replace the RotorWay one. I bought the basic pitot from Aircraft Spruce P/N 15170 at about $30. Then had the bracket fabricated at a local machine shop. This can get a bit expensive. The angular cut is 45 degrees and the pitot mounts lower than the 5 inches as recommended by RotorWay. The plastic coupler joins the two parts of the pitot with barbs that were machined onto the pitot tube. You can't pull the plastic off once attached. It must be cut off with a knife!
Cabin Comfort (Cockpit Heat)
If you live in cold climates, forget RotorWays radiator collector and get creative or freeze! There are many alternatives to heat the cabin, this is one of them. I am using one or two Cessna heat muffs from Aircraft Spruce P/N 08-02400 about $45 each. These are connected with SCEET aeroduct flexible tubing (fire retardant) to a blower motor. The blower motor is mounted on a fabricated steel plate by taping the underside of the bushings for the instrument pod. I have tested the motor and am pleased with the output to the windshield. This setup was a complete failure. See "Finishing Touches" for the latest in cockpit heating!
The first picture shows a cover plate for the seat belt cutout in the seat back. It is fabricated from .050 aluminum and will be anodized and engraved with a RotorWay logo. The next picture shows the plate attached with two 6-32 nutplates and black hex head machine screws. The final pictures show the anodized plates, the engraved RotorWay logo and the seat with shoulder harness and seat belt.
The right album shows some ideas for securing the heater/air controls to the underside of the fiberglass instrument panel. I used the elbows (originally for the metal instrument panel) and fiberglassed them to the pod. Be sure to fit the pod on the airframe and run the cables first. I ran one cable to the left side and the other to the right. Use wide masking tape to layout the locations of the elbow tabs. When cured, drill a hole in the tab and secure a nylon cable tie using stainless steel hardware. This has resulted in a very satisfactory heater/air setup.
The ballast weight is basically a no brainer. But, there are a couple of things to know. Although the plans say to limit the TOTAL weight to 25 lbs., you can get as much as 32 lbs into the container including the cap. I checked with RotorWay and they advised that as long as you fall within the envelope for weight and balance, you may use as much weight as you need to trim the ship. I got my weight from a local gun shop. It came in the form of pellets and was also coated with graphite but this will turn to slag when heated and is easily held back when pouring. Be sure to drill the mounting hole after you pour the lead for obvious reasons! The attachment pin was drilled from top to bottom on the right skid to eliminate the chance of catching it with your pants when walking around the helo.