GlaStar C-FTEF

From Subenews
Jump to: navigation, search

Pre-purchase History

I'm the 3rd owner of an early GlaStar kit. 1st owner did all the structural work on an island off the west coast of Canada. After two years of fighting with NSI to get an engine he lost his medical and sold the project. The 2nd owner towed/trailered the plane to Ontario (originally on floats, you can guess at how it was towed across open ocean on the floats and without an engine to balance it....) The floats were sold to fund an E4 in 2001. I have photos of the plane both as purchased and with the engine being installed. The second owner told me once that the ECU wiring harness was partially completed by Jan visiting the project in Ontario to get it finished and running. He subsequently moved to Alberta where I became involved in the plane and eventually bought it.

Current Equipment

The plane itself has an E4 engine, Gen1 gearbox, Subaru ECU, Quinti Avio prop and FlySpeed 5 (flashing) prop control. The flight instruments are "classic" (aka: steam gauge) with a Grand Rapids EIS-912. It's a great plane for simple VFR flying with plenty of climb for handling the altitude around here. A single channel radio and mode 'C' transponder is all the fancy electronics it's ever had so there's some performance that's never been lost to all the weight of a full leather interior with heaters, HSIs, 4 or 5 different radio receivers, etc.


In the spirit of some things are never done though.... the fairings were never installed, the avionics have always had a glitch, the EIS has developed an annoying habit of not displaying information, and the fuel pressure fail-over system cut my last few flights short (the engine never stopped although the low fuel pressure light came on).


I've re-worked the fuel system a bit including pressurizing the gascolator (removal isn't an option under Canadian regulations), heat sleeving all of the fuel line forward of the firewall and mounting the fuel pumps, filter, and gascolator on a sub-system plate which is mounted onto the firewall. Switching out any of the components is now a one person job since everything is mouted to the sub-plate using nutplates rather then bolts through the firewall.

The batteries reached their end-of-life and have been replaced by two Oddessy batteries on the firewall. Steel wrapped brake lines, co-pilot brake pedals, and various fuselage refinements were installed at the same time with no change in total weight. (I can now fit 2 pairs of skis into the fuselage - VERY important around here!)


I'm currently working on re-wiring the power management system to eliminate the fuel pump failover system and eliminate a nagging pilot error of leaving the battery switches on. A new EIS from Sensornetics is on order along with a variety of additional sensors to ensure the performance is accurately recorded.

Re-organization of the panel into physical sub-panels for power management, flight instruments, and radios is in process. The additional time required to re-organize the panels actually isn't very much because it's such a simple plane and I can do most of the aluminum bashing at home in the garage. (Trips to the tie-down a rather brief at this time of year.)


A variety of other changes are in the works but I've spent enough time at 130kts in a rental 172 Cutlass already so I'm trying to keep the work in small pieces over the winter and get back in the air next spring.