First Turbine Start

      Friday, September 15, 2006 was a good day. My 50th B-day. At zero AM, I was up finishing the wiring on my startup panel, sipping a Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar and thinking, "You know, not too many people get to do this for their 50th." Caught a few hours sleep, got out of bed, had chocolate cake and a mocha for breakfast, then pulled the mast so I could get the JetExec out of my garage and into the driveway. A few friends stopped by during the day and we re-installed the mast, added gear oil to the main and Rotax trans, turbine oil to the T-62 and worked more on the electrical.
      Saturday was the big day though. Finished off the last of the temporary electrical wiring to the startup panel, my brother came over with two kegs, lots more friends showed up; we filled the tank with 5 Gal of Jet A, primed the fuel system and started going through all of the checklists. Finally, after I could think of nothing more to test, check, double-check or triple-check, I could procrastinate no further. With Dave (Alfred) E's start procedure, a fire extinguisher, someone to watch for leaks, smoke or flame, someone to record the gauges, and parents frantically herding their small children to safety, I invoked favorable blessing from the redneck gods with famous last words, "Hey ya'all, watch this!", and I hit the start button.
      The turbine started to whine. It whoomped. It rumbled. It spun itself up. It roared. It was good!

      Made a bunch more test runs during the day. Took it up to 100% several times. Accidentally live-tested the governor overspeed shutdown setting once (fortunately, since I had taken time to invoke favorable blessing from the redneck gods, it did work perfectly.) All in all, right out of the box, I did have some very successful starts and runs and I was happy. Thank you Joe.

      Helicopter left side. All of the mechanical systems are complete except for the T/R drive shaft. The three oil coiling systems and the fuel system are complete (well, O.K., except for the plastic fuel collection bottle hanging beneath the turbine drain.)

      (Note: You can click on these pictures to view in higher resolution.)

      Helicopter right side with turbine test panel.
      Turbine test panel. (Don't wire H like this. In spite of the drawing on the front of the governor box, it don't go that way.)
Last Updated: March 30, 2014
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