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BD-4 Builder/Owner: Brian Ingraham


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Name Brian Ingraham
Address P.O. Box 1016  
Seabrook, TX 77586, US
Airport KEFD  
Phone 713-410-1486  
Email (please contact the webmaster to receive the email address of this builder.)
How to contact best Email  
Homepage  
Callsign N238BD  
S/N# 238  
Project Status flying  
First Flight 1972  
Pilot Brian Ingraham  
Last Update 2009-09-27  
Remarks This airplane was built by a gentleman named Glenn and first flown in 1972 with a Lycoming IO-360-A1A (200hp) and Hartzell HC-C2YK constant speed prop. In the middle 80s, the builder replaced the powerplant and converted the landing gear to a tailwheel configuration. In the late 90s the plane became inactive and sat in the Yuma, AZ, area for 10 +/- years. The most recent previous owner re-activated the airplane and began the process to put it back in the air. His renovative work: 1. New Cleveland wheels/brake and tires. 2. New interior. 3. Garmin 327 Transponder. 4. New battery and ELT batteries. 5. Repair fuel leak in left wing (fiberglass). 6. Service engine and prop. The airplane was pretty much ready to go, but the owner was very carefully becoming accustomed to it since he didnt have much high performance taildragger time. On one runup, the owner forgot to keep the yoke back and the plane nosed over hitting the prop. At that point, he decided to sell. The engine and prop went one way, the new Garmin transponder and encoder another, and the rest of the VERY complete fuselage came to me. I trucked the plane from Yuma to Houston on the weekend of August 9, 2008, and began the process. I am installing the same powerplant as was original to the airplane. The Lycoming IO-360-A1A (200hp) and the Hartzell HC-2CYK-1BF prop will be delivered by August 22. They are both bolt-on installations with no airplane or component modification necessary. The old ICS 720-channel nav/comm works just fine so it is staying. A KT-76A transponder with encoder is being installed, as I write this. All bearings will be lubricated and the brake system flushed. The airplane will undergo a thorough condition inspection. I originally anticipated the first flight during the second week of October, 2008, but my work schedule has interfered with the progress on the airplane. I HATE work! :-) My aviation consulting business has me in Dallas during the week so I can only make any real progress on the weekends. Of course, I will post pictures, etc., of the progress. I have reserved N238BD for the registration and that will be changed soon. 8/18/2008 - The engine arrived!!  
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Images
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This is a February, 2008, photo of N2849 outside its hangar at Somerton, AZ. This and the next few pictures are the ones that the previous owner sent me for consideration. I didn\'t actually lay eyes or hands on the plane until August, 2008, when I arrived in Somerton to pick up the plane.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
February, 2008, Front of airplane with O-360-A1A before the prop strike. It sort of looks like the prop blades are too long for the application.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
February, 2008, Instrument panel with old ICS and Garmin transponder. The flight instruments will be replaced but the nav/comm radio will stay.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
February, 2008. The new interior was installed in the airplane when I bought it. Some of the trim panels are removed and laying in the back seat.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
August, 2008. Take a look at the pictures below. This is a brief description of this airplane project. The picture to the left is the only one I had on the computer at the time. Working backwards, today I reinstalled the wings, ensured the wiring to the fuel tank senders and wing tip lights was correct, and checked continuity through the pitot system. Everthing was good. The wings sure went on easier than they came off!!! I originally had thought to keep the steam driven instruments while I test flew the airplane and then install the Dynon D100. I have decided that because I am such a procrastinator, if I did not install the D100 now I would probably NEVER do it. So the old panel and instruments are out and the new panel is made, ready to install. The D100 will mount slightly off center to the left, and I am panel-mounting a Lowrance Airmap 2000 slightly off-center to the right. The Lowrance will provide the EFIS with navigational information to display and it will also draw its power from the EFIS. The original ITS radio still works so I am leaving well enough alone. I have installed the rack for the King KT-76A that is waiting to be installed. I am only waiting for my avionics guy to return from the holiday weekend and he will wire the transponder to the encoder to the EFIS, as well as adapting the harness for the other interconnects. The engine is ready to hang but I got the wrong Lord mounts from Aircraft Spruce (my fault) so as soon as the new mounts arrive, the engine will be installed. When that is complete, I will take the measurements I need to send to the guy making the new stainless crossover exhaust. The exhaust will be another week in manufacture and shipping so I predict that the engine will be running by the weekend of 9/13. The propeller is ready to install and that will be a slam dunk as soon as the engine is on. The cowling is already made so that will not take long to re-pin. I guess that is it for now. See the pictures below for more information. I will be sure to post more information and photos as the project progresses. October 28, 2008. Well, we\\\'re a bit behind schedule. Only being able to work on the plane on weekends and then being further delayed by Hurricane Ike has put a crimp in the plan. This past weekend was somewhat productive. Torqued and safetied the prop, took dimensions for the new cowling, installed the GPS antenna (the panel is finished), installed the new mixture and propeller control cables, installed the new mag switch (had lost the keys to the old one), finished adjusting the ailerons, plumbed the oil pressure and manifold pressure lines, and installed the new spark plugs. Slowly but surely!! November 25, 2008... UPDATE!!! The engine controls are in, all of the fluid lines are connected, and it RUNS!!! It took only 8 or 10 blades before it coughed to life. The avionics are in and will be certified this weekend. All that is left is to trim the nose cowl, connect the oil cooler ducting and fly it! Certainly, pictures will be posted!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
The new panel layout. Dynon D100 EFIS on the left interfaced with the Lowrance Airmap 2000c on the right.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
This is the Dynon D100 EFIS display. Pretty cool! The whole unit weighs less than 4 pounds and replaces about 20 pounds of junk that was originally installed!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
And the Lowrance Airmap 2000c display. This has Terrain warning but there is no capability to download XM Weather yet. Darn! With NMEA 0183 data transfer architecture, I can display an HSI on the EFIS at the same time that the map is displayed on the GPS.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
August 9, 2008. These are a little out of order, but I am just now able to upload the pix from the trip to pick up the airplane. This shows the airplane on the day I bought it. This picture was taken after airing the tires a bit and getting it moved from being mired in the Arizona DIRT!! I realize that this is a pretty goofy looking cowl. I plan to install a new one in the future to enhance the looks and, I am sure, the performance. I just want to get it flying right now.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
August 9, 2008. My brother building the supports for the airplane on the trailer.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
August 9, 2008. Out of the HOT Arizona sun for the first time in a long time... Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
August 9, 2008. Removing the wings inch by quarter-inch!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
August 9, 2008. The wings are finally off!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
August 10, 2008. On the trailer and ready for the 1300-mile trip from Yuma to Houston.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
August 10, 2008. First fuel stop.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
August, 2008. The Lycoming IO-360-A1A as removed from the Mooney M20, ready to install.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
September 19, 2008. The wings are installed, plumbed and tested. The engine mounts finally came in from Aircraft Spruce after a 3-week debacle. After an additional delay while fighting off Hurricane Ike, the engine is installed. Final attachment is underway.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
September 19, 2008. The top cowling just sitting in place to get an idea of the line. The left door was removed in the previous photo because the upper hinge had cracked. Here it is repaired and reinstalled. September 29, 2008. The Custom Aircraft stainless exhaust arrived today and was installed. I didn\'t have a camera with me so no picture as an update, but that will be posted by this weekend. Clinton Anderson at Custom has made BD-4 systems in the past and this one fit perfectly. I need to re-route the engine control cable to clear the exhaust but I was going to replace those cables, anyway. In addition, the avionics harness is complete and partially installed. I had to re-route the wiring behind the panel because the builder or previous owner let the wiring bundles come in contact with the flight control system that is mounted behind the panel. Not generally a good idea. That is all cleaned up and the EFIS/GPS will be up and running by this weekend.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
October 7, 2008. Finished the wiring for the new panel components, and yesterday finished the panel fabrication. All ready to mount!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
October 11, 2008. The harness is installed and secured, the panel is complete and here is the same panel installed and powered up. I removed 20 pounds of vacuum system and instruments and installed 5 pounds of electronic instruments. Technology is a wonderful thing!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
October 11, 2008. Another view of the completed panel to include the nav/comm and KT-76A transponder. The hole in the radio panel is waiting for the EFIS upload connector installation.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
October 11, 2008. This is the new view when you open the left door. The two gray wires that are visible in the middle of the panel are for the TRANSMIT switches that have yet to be installed on the control yokes. The intercom system is voice activated. What a difference between this and the third picture from the top!!!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
October 11, 2008. Just another view of the panel with more detail of the Terrain feature on the Lowrance Airmap 2000c GPS.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
October 19, 2008. Today got the prop cleaned, new seal in place and installed.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
October 19, 2008. Another angle of the prop. The prop bolts are NOT torqued or safetied, hence the big warning label.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
October 19, 2008. Even though the engine isnt completely connected, I just had to see what the whole package looked like. Im glad I did because, as it turns out, the nosebowl doesnt fit. Thats okay... I didnt like the way it looked, anyway. Luckily, the spinner that came with the prop is the same color as the airplane! One less thing to worry about.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
October 19, 2008. Another angle of the foul-fitting cowling. The nosebowl needs to be moved aft about 2 inches.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
December 8, 2008... Okay... so the picture doesn\'t mean anything as far as this airplane goes, but I couldn\'t upload anything else at this point! Here\'s where we are. 1) The cowling has been modified and now clears the prop. 32 manhours to complete that SIMPLE project. The installation of the shower of sparks for the ignition required a new magneto switch. When I replaced the switch, I replaced all of the ignition switch wiring, too. Installed oil cooler. The oil temperature sensor had failed internally and I replaced it with a new one that matched the gauge. Manufactured all new hoses in the engine compartment. Cleaned and lubricated the main wheel bearings. Disassembled, cleaned, reassembled and lubricated the tailwheel assembly. Completed the avionics installations and certified the transponder and IFR system. Have ground run the engine for about an hour as various settings and from both fuel tanks. I\'m two months behind schedule but the only thing left is to install new nosebowl baffling seal material, install the intake air filter and ducting, install the cowling and then fly it! More pictures to come.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
Left aileron torque tube fitting looking outboard. The ailerons are VERY stiff and discussion on this website tended to steer me towards the Oilite bearing supporting the inboard end of the aileron torque tube as being the culprit. Advice ranged from taking out the bearing completely to further reaming it to allow for more play. When I disassembled the assembly, I discovered that the original builder had replaced the Oilite brass bushing/bearing with a roller bearing with absolutely NO clearance between the torque tube and the roller surfaces. Even the slightest bit of misalignment could cause stiffness and the flexing of the wing added additional binding.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
Another view of the fitting and bearing. This is the left fitting, looking outboard and slightly down. Note the 35 years of accumulated crud on the top of the fitting, most of it being that fine Arizona dust from sitting outside for the past 10 years in Yuma.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
Here is another shot of the left fitting and the bearing, this time looking inboard and slightly up. The roller bearing did not fill the entire space of the fitting so the original builder also added a brass bushing to fill the space. You might suggest that the stiffness in the controls was due to the bearing being tight or frozen due to intrusion of that fine Arizona dirt. The bearing is actually free to turn, although it is stiff. Note that the inside diameter of the bearing is significantly smaller than the inside diameter of the brass bushing, which is actually sized as per the plans. Another example of why a builder should not alter plans or make changes without fully understanding the downstream ramifications.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
On a positive note, here is a shot of downtown Houston from this fun little airplane. The first flight took place on December 13, 2008, from Ellington Field, 2 months later than I anticipated. I will write an article about it all but the Readers Digest version is... A few high speed taxi runs, then two flights down the runway at 5-10 feet in altitude, and then a climb over the airport to 1200 feet to check systems. The prop seal leaked and began coating the windshield with oil. I cut the first flight a bit short at that point. After prop seal was replaced, most of the systems worked just fine. The oil and cylinder head temperatures always ran high. No doubt that was due to the poor cowling design by the original builder resulting in minimal airflow across the cylinders and through the oil cooler. My advice... Be careful with what you change. Listen to the designer. Consult with knowledgable experts. Be safe and have fun!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
April 12, 2009. More bad news. I pulled the wings in order to repair a couple of fuel leaks and when I looked into the center section spar, I found a few spots of corrosion. This is a shot from the left side.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
April 12, 2009. This is a shot of an area about 6 inches inboard from the left outboard end of the stub spar. You can see the bubbling.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
April 12, 2009. This is another shot of the same area after cleaning up with a wire brush on a drill motor. This area has not been blended yet. The area measures 1 inch by 3/4 inch and is .015 inch deep. I am not sure what caused the corrosion in the first place. After consulting with Jim Bede, I cleaned and blended those areas that posed any issue.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
April 12, 2009. I am going the wrong way! The wings are off to fix a couple of fuel leaks so I am preparing to cut into the fuel bay areas. I am also installing a new 4-place intercom and an ICOM 200. There is also a new cowl from Jim Bede on its way.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
May 12, 2009. The cowl finally arrived after a 9 week lead time. This is the first cut at fitting the top cowl and opening a blister to clear the Number 1 cylinder. I eventually had to double the size of this blister.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
May 12, 2009. This is the size of the opening finally required to clear the Number 2 cylinder.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
May 20, 2009. This is the final fiberglass layup for the blister to clear the Number 2 cylinder.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
May 20, 2009. Final fiberglass layup showing the size of the blister required to clear the Number 1 cylinder.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
May 20, 2009. Also had to fabricate the oil access door.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
May 20, 2009. A shot from the front showing the new cowling. What a difference!     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
May 20, 2009. I decided to install a different set of wheel pants. These are from a Piper PA-28 and seem to fit the lines of the BD-4 MUCH better than the chunky old Cessna pants that I had originally chosen.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
May 24, 2009. Just a quick shot of the bottom cowl in place after being sanded, filled and primed. I fear that I will still be installing a NACA inlet to feed cool air to the oil cooler. This shot also shows that the wings are once again installed! Yeah! The left wing was leaking fuel around the spar into the dry bay area between the inboard end of the tank and the fuselage. The easiest way to seal this was to slather Proseal on the inboard side of the tank rib. Hopefully, we will stay dry for a while.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
May 24, 2009. Ahhhhh... fuel leaks! The right wing was leaking from the rear \"spar\" area near the outboard panel rib of the fuel tank. The easiest way to figure out where the leak was coming from and seal it was to cut open the top of the wing. These two holes were cut to gain access. I discovered that the bottom skin of the panel forming the outboard cell of the fuel tank had pulled free from the rib forming the outboard wall of the cell and fuel was seeping out then aft. LOTS of Proseal to reattach the panel ribs. The wing was closed by installing a doubler in the hole and then screwing the access panel to the doubler. Again, LOTS of proseal.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
June 24, 2009. Another shot of the wing access holes after closure. I guess I should have taken some pictures of the inside, too. Sorry all.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
July 8, 2009. I needed to direct air into the oil cooler and the most efficient method is the use of an NACA scoop. This one is from a race car supplier, made of heat resistant plastic and has a 3 inch outlet.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
June 8, 2009. Another shot of the NACA scoop for the oil cooler after riveting and filling.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
June 8, 2009. The cowling installed showing the NACA scoop from the side.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
June 8, 2009. A shot of the front of the airplane showing the NACA scoop which directs air to the oil cooler, the air inlet under the prop directing air to the injection servo, and the bottom half of the cooling air inlet beside the prop spinner.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
July 23, 2009. The cowling was improperly manufactured with the air intake located on the bottom, as if for a bottom-mounted injector or a carburetor. I have a front-mounted injector so I either had to cut another hole in the front of the cowl or manufacture a plenum of some sort to direct the air from the air scoop to the injector. This is what I built.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
July 23, 2009. After all of the fitting and cutting and cussing, this is the final look of the new cowl. I am going to fly it in primer to make sure that I do not need to cut any more and then I will remove it for paint. Note the small blister to clear the number 2 cylinder.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
July 23, 2009. Another look from the nose of the plane. Notice the size of the air intakes. Just enough air to cool the engine keeping in mind that every little bit of excess air is unnecessary drag that hurts performance.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
July 23, 2009. And yet another shot of the new cowl from the right side. Note the slightly larger blister on this side to clear the number 1 cylinder and the NACA inlet for the oil cooler. In this picture you can also see the tip of the exhaust as it exits the lower cowling at the firewall. I have to cut a new instrument panel facia for the radio stack that I have installed and then I will fly the plane. My plan is to keep track of the performance changes after each upgrade. I have data showing the performance with the old cowl. Step 2 will be the performance difference with this cowl. Step 3 will be the performance after adding the wheel pants. Step 4 after wheel pant fairings, and Step 5 will record the performance after the installation of landing gear fairings. That way I will know exactly how much performance change will result from the addition of each component. Empirical data is always better than a guess.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
Maybe someone can help me figure out what this tube is for. It was located on the bottom of the right wing, aligned with the center of the spar and the center of the outboard fuel cell. It was bent during a recent move from the shop to the hangar and when I carefully tried to straighten it, it broke. When removed, I found that it was not attached to anything on the inside and is in fact clogged. It is not part of the fuel vent system and it is not connected to anything that exits the wing root. It is not referenced anywhere in the plans. I have removed it and sealed the hole in the bottom of the tank to prevent a leak. It appears to have been yet another unnecessary modification made by the builder of the plane.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
This is the unknown tube once removed. It was only being held in with proseal.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
July 23, 2009. By the way, I received authorization from FAA to apply N238BD to the plane in place of N2849. I have no idea what N2849 signified but I have serial number 238 and it is a BD, so the new number makes sense to me. Here is a shot with the new number applied.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
July 29, 2009. Here we are almost a year after loading the airplane on the trailer in a VERY hot Yuma, AZ, for the trip to Houston and its refurbishment. The snipets of information and pictures on this page show only a tiny portion of the thought and work thus far, as anyone who has undertaken such a project can attest. Fuel leaks were repaired and a new cowling was fitted, and today I made two flights. The first flight was totally uneventful. Ambient temperature was 95 degrees F. During taxi, Cylinder Head Temperature increased to approximately 420 degrees while Oil Temperature remained cool at approximately 220 degrees F. Oil pressure was normal. A normal takeoff was made followed by 5 touch and goes. During flight, the Oil Temperature and Pressure remained approximately the same, while the Cylinder Head Temperature dropped dramatically, settling in at around 300 degrees F. The second flight took place about 2 hours later. A short taxi out and about an hour of flying. Temperatures remained \\\"normal\\\". Then something interesting happened. After a quick stop for fuel, I headed back out for more flying. By this time, the ambient temperature had risen a few degrees and added to a long taxi and delay in takeoff clearance resulted in the CHT hitting the redline. As I applied power to take the runway, the engine started running rough. I aborted the takeoff and taxied back to the hangar but the engine quit. The exterior surface of the cowl was VERY hot to the touch and when I opened the oil access door, VERY hot air poured out indicating that the interior temperatures were extremely high. I suspect vapor lock in the fuel system due to the extremely high temperatures. After the engine cooled, the engine started and ran with no problem. I allowed the temperatures to rise and once again the engine quit. I removed the top cowl and allowed the temperatures to drop before running the engine again, this time leaving the top cowl off. The engine ran fine for 30 minutes at all power settings. The CHT and Oil Temp were high but within limits. I can only assume that air is not exiting the cowling properly, allowing interior temperatures to climb to a point where vapor lock occurs. To fix the problem 1) The oil cooler will be ducted directly overboard, 2) The exhaust will be wrapped, 3) The exit opening size will be increased to provide additional exit area, and 4) Particular attention will be paid to sealing the engine baffling to ensure the most efficient use of cooling air. I will let you know how this all works.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
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