November 11, 2009
Oct. 4 - There's an old saying in aviation, at least it's said with a wry chuckle in the maintenance hangars of this country. It holds that when the paperwork equals the weight of the airplane, the task is done. This truism applies to the next step of the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza project.
Those who have followed the progress of the project over the last 10 months know that all the nuts and bolts work is complete. The airplane looks and flies like a new Bonanza ï¿½ the engine, propeller, and turbonormalizer system have performed flawlessly. Mechanically the airplane is as good as new.
But there's one fly in the ointment - the certification of the Meggitt electronic flight information (EFIS) system. To this end, the technicians employed by Meggitt and S-Tec in Mineral Wells, Texas, are documenting everything - down to the material that was used to construct the instrument panel. The requirement to produce technical drawings detailing everything from wiring diagrams and interconnections to the specifications of the material used throughout the EFIS installation makes this phase of the project seem like it's mired in the stickiest of bogs. Those looking at the Bonanza for signs of progress will be disappointed. Yet day in and day out the work progresses.
On Tuesday, October 9, AOPA Pilot Associate Editor Steve Ells will fly the bird to Mobile, Alabama's Downtown Airport (BFM) for the American Bonanza Society's thirty-third annual convention. On the 14, N2001B will be returned to the experts at Meggitt for continued work on the EFIS and autopilot certification.
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