Lithium Choices

Your recent article on lithium-ion batteries failed to consider what I think is an important issue. I have a Pitts Special, for which a 10-pound weight loss would be significant, so I’ve looked into these batteries a bit. My B&C vacuum-pad-mount alternator has an overvoltage control that trips off the alternator at 16.3 volts. I asked a lithium-ion battery manufacturer about the maximum charging voltage their battery could withstand, and was told 14.6 volts. At 16.3 volts that battery would be damaged in five minutes. It might be true that a regulator is unlikely to fail in a way that will set the voltage above 14.6 and below the trip voltage for the overvoltage control, but until someone develops an overvoltage control that is appropriate for these new batteries, I think I’ll forgo the weight savings.

Allan Franko

One of the great things about the Experimental world is that everyone gets to make their own risk assessments and then turn those into personal choices. It is our aim at KITPLANES® to help bring together the information you need to make those choices, and in this case, it looks like you are doing a good job with it for your particular situation and concern.—Ed.

Fiberglass Magic?

I didn’t understand the author’s description of the process, especially the beginning. It was a head scratcher for me.

George M. Tamayo

Fiberglass can be confusing to the editors as well, George, but we’re working hard to bring you tips and techniques that will make it less mysterious in the future.—Ed.

Where’s My Completion?

A friend of mine submitted pictures of my GlaStar some months ago and I have been waiting to see it appear in your magazine. What did we do wrong?

Warner Owens

Completions are sent to KITPLANES® fairly frequently, and we save them in the order that they are received, using them as we have space. It is possible that your story is simply waiting in the folder for its turn to be published.—Ed.

Aero ‘lectrics Returns!

I was extremely happy to see the return of Jim Weir’s “Aero ‘lectrics” column in the October issue. The local airport bums have been wondering what happened to him and there were odds on whether or not he had finally been fired, had run out of ideas, or had died. We’re glad to see that none of these were case, and look forward to seeing him in future editions.

Pete Davis

No, Jim wasn’t fired and he isn’t dead—he took some time off to get married to his childhood sweetheart and to recharge his creative juices, and we’re happy to have him back on these pages as well. You will occasionally see our monthly columnists take a break for various reasons, some of which are simply that we ran out of room because of the many choices we had in a particular month. Fear not—the KITPLANES® family is big, and all are willing to take turns. We’re always looking for new contributors, too. If you have an idea for a story, drop us a line at [email protected]—Ed.

Write to [email protected].


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