Mojave Experimental Fly-In 2016

Elliott Seguin scoots his crowd-drawing turbine-powered Quickie into its display position. Seguin was able to taxi the fully-functional jet Quickie but was awaiting a Letter of Authorization for a multi-engine turbine taildragger from the FAA. Actually the requirements are for a multi-engine ticket and a type rating, which, you might imagine, is taking a few days to sort out. One of the PBS TJ40 drone engines is visible in front of the “TEST” signage; it makes 85 lbs of thrust, and calculations show the airframe could reach VNE with just one engine.
Elliott Seguin scoots his crowd-drawing turbine-powered Quickie into its display position. Seguin was able to taxi the fully-functional jet Quickie but was awaiting a Letter of Authorization for a multi-engine turbine taildragger from the FAA. Actually the requirements are for a multi-engine ticket and a type rating, which, you might imagine, is taking a few days to sort out. One of the PBS TJ40 drone engines is visible in front of the “TEST” signage; it makes 85 lbs of thrust, and calculations show the airframe could reach VNE with just one engine.

Experimental fans continue to make the Mojave Experimental Fly-In an anticipated event on the west coast. Even with minimal publicity and in the face of sometimes blustery north winds, the Experimental Fly-In drew an impressively large crowd today. Almost all attending were fly-in participants eager to eyeball interesting airplanes and meet the people behind them - and with everything from Pietenpols to the Virgin Galactic mothership on the ramp, we doubt anyone was disappointed.

Van’s brought down their RV-14a demonstrator for everyone to crawl in and over. They had an RV-7a on hand as well.
Van’s brought down their RV-14a demonstrator for everyone to crawl in and over. They had an RV-7a on hand as well.

Besides the huge Virgin Galactic presence, other highlights included the RV-14a demonstrator open for cockpit tours plus the first operating IE2 Lycoming IO-540 engine in Lancair's Evolution demonstrator. A talk in the Mojave Air & Spaceport conference room by Van’s Aircraft representatives centered on the RV-14a development was also a great opportunity to get details and insight on all things Van’s as well.

Best thing about the MEFI is the depth of talent walking the ramp. Here we eavesdropped on an interesting conversation regarding the finer points of computerized engine management between Sport Class racers Andrew Findlay (left) and Klaus Savier. The MEFI is an excellent place to meet company principles and active experimenters.
Best thing about the MEFI is the depth of talent walking the ramp. Here we eavesdropped on an interesting conversation regarding the finer points of computerized engine management between Sport Class racers Andrew Findlay (left) and Klaus Savier. The MEFI is an excellent place to meet company principles and active experimenters.

As usual the single-day event made short work of a Saturday, and as always we’ve got the April event on our calendar for next year.

Kevin Eldridge, now at Lancair, flew-in the company’s impressive piston-powered Evolution demonstrator. The combination of clean, modern airframe and this single-lever, FADEC Lycoming IE2 engine posts better than Harmon Rocket speeds with fuel burns typical of big Lycoming’s running LOP. It puts the mid-teen altitudes and continent crossing speeds into reach for the well-funded builder.
Kevin Eldridge, now at Lancair, flew-in the company’s impressive piston-powered Evolution demonstrator. The combination of clean, modern airframe and this single-lever, FADEC Lycoming IE2 engine posts better than Harmon Rocket speeds with fuel burns typical of big Lycoming’s running LOP. It puts the mid-teen altitudes and continent crossing speeds into reach for the well-funded builder.
Rian Johnson of Van’s Aircraft makes a point during the hour-long RV-14 presentation. Topics included the improvements made to the kit and building process; elevator trailing edge redesign; delays in releasing the fuselage kit due to improvements generated after Finite Element Analysis was run plus an open-ended question and answer session. All said, the RV-14 should be easier to build, especially for first time builders. We hope Van’s continues to support the MEFI as it’s a wonderfully casual setting for customers to “meet the factory.”
Rian Johnson of Van’s Aircraft makes a point during the hour-long RV-14 presentation. Topics included the improvements made to the kit and building process; elevator trailing edge redesign; delays in releasing the fuselage kit due to improvements generated after Finite Element Analysis was run plus an open-ended question and answer session. All said, the RV-14 should be easier to build, especially for first time builders. We hope Van’s continues to support the MEFI as it’s a wonderfully casual setting for customers to “meet the factory.”

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson is a professional magazine writer and nurtures an ongoing affair with all things internal combustion. His writing is most often found in automotive magazines, but aviation is his first love. Working as a line boy, he learned to fly while in high school, but still hasn’t mastered the art of keeping a paper chart in an open cockpit.

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