Now about halfway thru Phase 1 testing. Progress has been slow due to the rainy and windy spring as well as other personal commitments. The light controls took me a little time to get used to, but now I feel pretty comfortable and confident in the plane. Have been testing the plane for stall speeds, glide speeds, rate of climb speeds, etc., at increasing weights. With just me in the plane and full fuel, the weight is about 1100 lbs. I’ve been adding weight in increments of 50 lbs to the right seat to get the plane up to about 1300 lbs, close to the max weight of 1320 lbs. Will conduct a full range of tests at 1300 lbs. My friend Paul from work visited recently to see the plane. Took him for a taxi ride in the plane and showed him all the bells and whistles. Once Phase 1 is complete, he wants to go for a ride in the air, brave guy that he is. Anyone else wants to sign up?
This was the first opportunity to fly in the last two weeks due to weather and gusty winds. Stayed in the pattern to practice takeoffs and landings. Plane and engine continue to run well; pilot performance is catching up. Oil temp continues to run cool though, max 55 C with a 7 C OAT despite having taped over about a third of the oil cooler surface. CHTs also in the lower range.
Flew the plane westward for about 20 miles towards 1B9 at 2500′ and operated the engine at speeds from 4000 to 5500 rpm. Engine ran smoothly and all engine parameters in the green. Oil temp at 86 C at higher rpms. Noticed a slightly heavy right wing and the ball slightly off center to the right in level flight. Later, I moved the right rudder cable tang one hole forward; hopefully this will help center the ball in level flight.
The takeoff after rotation was unsteady. I had adjusted the takeoff trim a little more nose down for this flight and was probably overcontrolling due to the light controls. The next flight I will stay in the pattern and practice takeoffs and landings.
Seems there is a slight oil leak at the oil cooler fittings. I tightened the fittings up and will check again after the next flight.
I made my first flight in N812X today. Winds were light from 270 and so used runway 24 at KGHG. Ground roll was short and controls were more sensitive than expected. Takeoff rpm was about 5250 so the prop pitch is about right. Climbed to 1800′ – 1900′ and did several orbits above the field. Flew mostly at 60 – 70 kts IAS with two notches of flaps to get a sense how the plane handled at pattern and approach speeds. The plane was nice to fly. All temps and pressures were in the green although the oil temp did not exceed 80 C. My final approach was high and I landed long, but my landing was pretty good for my first landing. I have to get a better sense of the proper power setting for descent for landing. All in all, a pretty satisfying first flight. Hobbs time for the flight was 0.7 hours, although takeoff to landing was about 0.3 hours with the rest for warmup and taxiing. Total fuel burn was 1.5 gallons per the fuel flowmeter. Here are a couple videos.
N812X took to the skies for the first time the morning of October 30, 2016, at Marshfield Municipal Airport, KGHG. Mitch, an experienced pilot with some S-19 time, was at the controls. Mitch made several circuits above the airport at altitude with some slow flight and an approach to stall at about 43 kts with two notches of flaps which is pretty much in accordance with the performance specs. Mitch made a low pass down the runway and circled back for a perfect landing. The flight was thankfully uneventful with the plane and engine performing well. Controls rigging was spot on with no apparent instability or heavy wing. Engine temps and pressures were all within spec. Prop may still be slightly overpitched; I’ll look at the rpm/speed data when I download the data logger.
Many thanks to Mitch for making the first flight successful. I’ll take my try at a first flight shortly.
Below are some videos of the first flight. They are large files and take a little time to download. Enjoy!